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Towards a City Observatory

Book Launch


13 Jul 2017  


Panel discussion with Kate Gray, Emma Hedditch, Jenny Richards & Lesley Young, chaired by Dominic Paterson

If the institution is, then, a machine that produces specific subjects, what can be asked of transforming, not the factory into a gallery, nor the gallery into a space of immaterial labour, but the historical observatory into a contemporary gallery?
—Simon Sheikh

In 2018, Collective will open its new home – the restored City Observatory on Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

Reflecting on the long journey undertaken to reach this point, Towards a City Observatory: Constellations of art, collaboration and locality, invites artists, writers and thinkers to imagine a new kind of observatory, which brings people together through contemporary art.

The publication represents a moment of pause for Collective on the threshold of change and considers some of its pivotal projects from the past five years to inform the future. Towards a City Observatory features contributions from Charles Esche, Lesley Young, Simon Sheikh, Emma Hedditch, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Sharam Khosravi and many more of the peers who have helped to make Collective a plural entity since it was formed in 1984. The book is designed by Åbäke with a limited edition of 200 including a unique bi-colour edge.

As part of Collective's 2017 summer school week, Ground Meets Horizon, the panel discussed the key questions raised by the book and the summer school, which seeks to reconsider the contemporary panorama.

Get your copy

Limited bi-colour edge edition available at launches in Edinburgh and London for the introductory offer price of £25, or by sending an enquiry to [email protected]

To order your bound copy of Towards a City Observatory for £15 visit lulu.com

To download a free pdf of the book click here


New Publication: Towards a City Observatory