"MIND IS A CULTURAL FORM, A COMPETENCE OF COMMUNITY."
ARTISTIC RESEARCH CENTRE
BOARC is a not-for-profit study site focused on providing individual users and groups with a low cost, temporary residence from which to develop their work and creative strategies.
Based in a historic former observatory building, it is an experimental project, primarily directed towards cultural production, social activism and supporting the development and well being of communities. It welcomes willing practitioners from a diversity of fields, to test and share knowledge, develop their resources and organise collectively, regardless of their background or professional standing.
Founded in 2018, BOARC adopts a pay per night principal, enabling users to personally dictate their duration of stay and methods of congregation. The nightly fee, subsidised by the energy and love of the collective stewarding the space, goes towards bills and maintaining the project. This gives it a practical and political autonomy from structures that might otherwise restrict research freedom or place sole emphasis on visible work outcomes.
BOARC is not a hotel and its community of users are expected to look after and maintain the space to ensure the resource remains financially accessible to all those with projects that would benefit.
30 minutes from the centre of Liverpool and surrounded by woodland, BOARC can host seminars, events and workshops and is open to a range of academic and non-academic discourses; from politics and social sciences to philosophy, therapeutic bodywork, collective choreography and critical chat. The site itself encouraging imagination to grow legs and take physical form in the world. Its physical architecture and historic research legacies provide a rich and particular backdrop where ideas can reverberate between the domes and basement workshops and discussion can flow from the kitchen to the sound recording studio.
The project website is currently under going a refurbishment but basic information can be found here.
View of the space and facilities
Bidston Observatory is a locally cherished landmark that has been occupied by different research-led organisations - up to now, predominantly in the Natural Earth Sciences. Originally built to measure time, latitude and the declination of the stars, in later iterations employees here worked with meteorological, seismic, tidal and other marine data. Through this, the Observatory has historically helped the UK to expand its project of exploration through scientific advancement. We, would like to position and understand the building itself as socio-politically situated technology with our public educational focus emphasising related concerns such as; Earth Science and environmentalism; Feminist technologies; empire building and the long term impact of colonialism; Expansive cosmologies and systems of ecology.
For information on the work that took place here I highly recommend this website
In the future a space downstairs will be reserved as an independent museum displaying these histories, and there will be an evolving archive relating to the wider history of the hill. These will be open at set times throughout the year. Doing the building’s history justice means the museum will develop gradually in the mean time we offer tours in line with Heritage Open Days and for various community or educational groups.
For more information please get in contact:
Read a short descriptive tour of the subbasement here:
Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre
Wilding Way, Prenton, Merseyside, CH43 7RA
From Liverpool stations take the metro, in the direction of New Brighton or West Kirby getting off at Birkenhead North. This will take about 12 minutes. It is a 15-20 minute walk to the Observatory, which includes the small hill of Wilding Way. If you are a client or are coming to work on a project via BOARC (advance booking necessary) and have accessibility requirements, please notify in advance of your journey, or alternatively ring Argyle Taxi Service on: 0044 151 201 1111
As with most of Liverpools docks and infrastructure the Observatory was built to support the British colonial project which systematically and brutally exploited other continents, and their indigenous populations (Africa, Asia, the America, Australasia). The effects of this injustice are still operating through contemporary capitalism, the consumptive nature of which perpetuates the gross inequality of resources across the global population and a huge toll on our natural environment. In occupying this building BOARC acknowledges the sites wealth is indebted to those who suffer through exploitation and is firmly committed towards enacting and contributing to a more equitable future. We intend the building as a collective resource if you have idea's and opinions on this please get in touch.