Artist Placement Group Chronology
Antony Hudek


APG is founded as a Charitable Trust.


The exact wording of APG remains under discussion, between Art, Artists' or Artist Placement Group (the latter would eventually win out).


July 1966

Publication of A Study by Latham / Hills, co–authored by Barbara Latham [Steveni] and artist Joan Hills. The study, which lays down the conceptual foundations of 'Art Placement Group', states that 'its purpose is to place fine artists with suitable companies, in this way extending the opportunity and educational development of the younger artist and at the same time bringing his talents to bear on the dynamics of industrial society'.


Edward Lucie-Smith later cites this report in the first article devoted to APG, published in the London Times.


Late 1966

First 'Art Placement Group' publication, co-authored by Barbara Latham [Steveni] and Joan Hills, edited by Nicholas Faith of The Economist, designed by Dennis John Piper and supported by a £60 grant from the Arts Council and privately by The Economist editor Nancy Balfour. On the publication's first page, Balfour, Bernard Bertschinger (associate of Sir Roland Penrose at the ICA), Michael Compton (Assistant Keeper at Tate), Hills, Julie Lawson (Assistant Director, ICA) and Sir William Emrys Williams (former Secretary-General of the Arts Council) are listed as Trustees; Sir William Coldstream (Slade Principal), Frank Martin (Head of the Sculpture Department, Saint Martins School of Art), Sir Roland Penrose (co-founder, ICA London) and Norman Reid (Tate Director) are listed as Sponsors; Barbara Latham [Steveni] is listed as Honorary Secretary.



Beginning of regular informal artists' meetings in the Latham's home at 22 Portland Road, Notting Hill – later dubbed the 'Dialectic' or 'Think Tank' – bringing together artists Barry Flanagan, David Hall, John Latham and Jeffrey Shaw, as well as television producer Anna Ridley, for discussions about APG's objectives and function.



APG still stands for 'Art Placement Group'.


The Arts Council grants APG £1,000.



The Arts Council renews its support of APG with a grant of £1,200.


In a document entitled 'Artists Associated with the Artist Placement Group', Gillian Ayres, Michael Bolus, Derek Boshier, Anthony Caro, John Hilliard, Philip King, Bridget Riley, William Tucker and Steve Willats are among the 63 names on the list.


March 1968

A report lists the following as having contributed to APG's activities: Bernard Bertschinger, Sue Davies, Labour Minister Ray Gunter, Secretary Barbara Latham [Steveni], John Latham, Alan Osborne, and the industrialist Andrew Shearer. The same report, under the heading 'Finances', notes that APG is 'not without certain private support' – presumably a reference to Nancy Balfour's regular financial contributions. 


11 September 1968

Artist Placement Group convenes the 'Industrial Negative Symposium' at the Mermaid Theatre, City of London. The invited speakers are Tom Batho, Esso Petroleum Corporation; Mischa Black, Royal College of Art; Ray Gunter; Sir Gilbert Inglefield, Lord Mayor of London; Billy Klüver, co-founder of the American group Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.); and Sir Paul Reilly, Head of the Council of Industrial Design. No image of the event is known to exist, but transcripts of the speakers' interventions (both audio and text) and the press pack (designed by John Latham and with texts by Latham and Stuart Brisley among others) have survived. A document issued in relation to the symposium asks: 'What is the ultimate objective of APG? That in time (say 5 years) it will become common practice for all large organisations to have a realistic economic relationship with artists, equivalent to other professionals'.



APG obtains an Arts Council grant of £2,500 to cover the Group's activities until 1970, in addition to a grant of £550 from IBM administered by the Arts Council.


The Arts Council offers APG the use of the Hayward Gallery for a 'Festival of Art & Economics'.


20 February 1969

The 'Noit Panel', or 'conceptual engineering department' within APG, is founded with John Latham at its core. In his work Offer for Sale, Latham states that 'the term Noit refers to the activity of the individuals comprising the panel of artists. The role of APG (Noit) is of an advisory nature and this body does not make executive decisions for APG, (whereas of course they do so as individuals, artists)'. In an undated document titled 'Noit Terms', Latham defines 'Noit' as 'Alternative for Art. By its method of derivation (the suffix '–tion') describes an attitude/stratagem'. As well as Latham, the original Noit Panel members are Stuart Brisley, Barry Flanagan, David Hall and Jeffrey Shaw.


April 1969

Thanks to Tony Benn MP, APG receives a £500 grant from the UK Ministry of Technology and Industry.


May 1969

An excerpt from John Latham's text in the first issue of the APG publication entitled Noit Now states: 'APG is forming as a limited company nonprofit [sic] with directors Barbara Latham, Andrew Shearer, Larry Westland, advice from artist panel including John Latham, Barry Flanagan, Jeffrey Shaw, Stuart Brisley, David Hall, Morris Agis, Gustav Metzger, Liliane Lijn...'



The film Artists in the Works: Made for APG is produced by Nancy Balfour and directed by critic Paul Overy.


An internal APG memo suggests finding a new term for the word 'artist' which is 'reserved for the social scene'. 'Environment engineer' or 'concept engineer' are two of the proposed alternatives.


APG receives its biggest Arts Council grant to date of £3,000; IBM contributes a further £450, administered by the Arts Council; finally, £50 from the Arts Council is 'for assistance on New Activities Committee industrial investigation'. 


April 1970

First of eight four-page APG inserts appears in Studio International magazine as part of the inn7o 'exhibition in time'.


14 May 1970

APG Research Limited officially becomes a Company Limited by Guarantee, allowing it to raise funds for services rendered on a commission basis.


19 October 1970

Noit Panel members Keith Arnatt, Stuart Brisley, Barry Flanagan, David Hall, Leonard Hessing, John Latham, Ian Munro and Jeffrey Shaw sign a manifesto-like statement calling for the reduction of 'problems brought about by redundant information'. Artists Victor Burgin, Garth Evans and Alan Sutcliffe along with art historian and critic Charles Harrison are cited in the same document as 'sympathetic to this view'.



New APG members include: Malcolm Ashworth (Chairman, Crawfords International Advertising), Richard Buzzard (Director, National Institute of Industrial Psychology), Harvey Cole (economist), Christopher Cornford (Head of Humanities, Royal College of Art), Christopher Evans (Director, Computer Science Department, National Physical Laboratory) and Stanhope Shelton (advertising firm Mather & Crowther).


APG receives a £3,000 grant from the Arts Council, plus £750 towards the inn7o exhibition at the Hayward Gallery.


15–17 June 1971

Jürgen Harten, director of the Städtische Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf, invites APG to be part of the Between 6 exhibition. The lower ground floor of the Kunsthalle is occupied by APG's The Sculpture; upstairs, Belgian artists Marcel Broodthaers and Panamarenko exhibit new work. APG participants in the discussions over the three-day event include: Bernard Bertschinger, Deborah Brisley, Stuart Brisley, Peter Byrom (ICI Fibres Ltd.), Garth Evans, Barry Flanagan, David Gobbold (BoomBoom Films), David Hall, Leonard Hessing, Barbara Latham [Steveni], John Latham, Lynne Mitchell, Christopher Patey (British Steel Corporation), Jeffrey Shaw and Andrew Shearer. The discussions are recorded in film (David Hall), video (Mike Leggett) and sound (Paul Gilleron).


6 July 1971

The sudden death of founding member Bernard Bertschinger deprives APG of some financial support and international visibility. Nancy Balfour replaces him as Acting Chairman.


2–23 December 1971

The Arts Council makes the entire Hayward Gallery available to APG for the exhibition Art and Economics, 'codenamed' inn7o. Besides showcasing material from all of APG's placements to date, the exhibition includes The Sculpture, first set up at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf during Between 6. One of the least popular exhibitions in the history of the Hayward, it draws an overwhelmingly negative response from critics, artists, the Arts Council, industrialists and government officials. The exhibition also tests relations between APG artists, not least between John Latham and Barbara Latham [Steveni].


December 1971 – February 1972

Stuart Brisley, Barry Flanagan and Ian Munro resign from the APG artists' Noit Panel, while John Latham resigns as 'honorary convener of artists and honorary consulting artist to APG'. Barbara Latham [Steveni] resigns from the position of Co-ordinating Director of APG. As a consequence of the tensions within APG, its headquarters move from Portland Road to 4 Windmill Street, West London (and later to 44 Earlham Street, WC1). A Trades Union Congress member (Keith Morell) is invited to join the Group as 'mediator'.



The second APG publication designed by Dennis John Piper and summarising APG's situation in the aftermath of inn7o, lists Keith Morrell and Anna Ridley as Directors. Among the new 'trustees, members, associates, artists and others' are Godric Bader (President, Scott Bader), Leslie Julius (Director, Hille Furniture Co.) and artist Marie Yates.


January–April 1972

Artists Gustav Metzger and Stuart Brisley attack APG in the pages of Studio International. John Latham (under the alias Johan Steivensoon) and Jürgen Harten counter-attack in the same magazine.


January 1972

An Arts Council grant of £1,000, through Christopher Cornford, is awarded to cover the Group's activities until March 1973. In April, Nancy Balfour donates £500 to further help APG reduce its deficit after inn7o.


26 April 1972

In a letter to William Camp, the Arts Council's Director of Art Robin Campbell writes that 'our advisory panel has now taken the view that APG is more concerned with social engineering than with straight art, and that while they have done some useful work in this area, there have not been quite enough tangible advantages to artists to justify our continued support on the former scale'.


July (or September) 1972

The 'Civil Service' or 'Whitehall' Memorandum is negotiated between APG and the Civil Service Department, and circulated among UK government departments. The Memorandum states the aims and objectives of APG, its working method (feasibility and placement) and per-commission basis of operation, and signals its intent to diversify into government contexts.


1 November 1972

APG hosts a public 'Open Day' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on Carlton Terrace, London, where 'the idea of the potential place that an artist individual might occupy, relative to organisations, will be discussed in the light of current negotiations with Government Departments, Universities and Industries'. Admission is 30p.


March 1973

The Arts Council grants £500 to APG to cover the period until March 1974.


October 1973

An APG advertisement appears in Time Out London and the ICA (London) magazine: 'The APG has recently been reconstituted and a number of possibilities have arisen for artists within various organisations from short-term projects to long-term associations'.



The Arts Council grants £4,500 to APG, plus £300 to cover costs related to the forthcoming Garage Gallery event in Covent Garden.


February 1974

APG hosts a press conference at the London Chamber of Commerce to announce the 'emergence of a new professional role – Concept Engineer'. 'In this new, relevant and involved context, the artist becomes a possible factor in the resolution of our society's future development and direction'.


August 1974

Through the Minister of Technology Tony Benn, APG establishes contact with Barbara Castle, Secretary of State for Health and Social Services, 'to explore possibilities in the Social Services for which her Department is responsible'.


October 1974

Leonard Hessing leads an APG Course at the Architectural Association, London. After a few sessions, the course is cancelled due to lack of student interest.



The phrase 'Incidental Person' first appears. In an undated document titled 'Definitions and Observations', John Latham writes: 'This term was invented to distinguish a new type of individual from the more general "artist"... The I.P. is a resource and an instrument of change with those organisations responsible for future societies everywhere'. In a document dated March 1975, Latham states that 'since the [APG operative] is regarding "art" as a defined activity within the known semantic frameworks, the influence of this individual is likely to be ambivalent, ambiguous – it may be incidentally positive or it may be a waste of time'.


To mark the 'termination of the experimental phase' of APG, the Group commissions freelance journalist Graham Hancock to write a report to be published under the name of P.E.P. (Political and Economic Planning), for which Peter Byrom conducts extensive interviews. The report does not seem to have come to fruition, although copious notes survive.


At the time of the P.E.P. Report, the APG Executive Panel includes Tom Batho, Leonard Hessing, John Latham, Ken McMullen and David Toop.


The British Council supports APG with an international travel grant.


10–12 April 1975

An APG '3-day exposition' titled New Profession: Industries, New Towns, Government is held at Garage Gallery in Covent Garden, London, to mark APG's tenth anniversary.


November 1976

A statement signed by artists Ian Breakwell, Roger Coward, Hugh Davies, John Latham and David Toop protests: 'The Gulbenkian Foundation now intervenes in the field of artist/organisation relationships with a plagiarised, bowdlerised version of the APG. It operates from the office in Covent Garden that APG was obliged to vacate when the Arts Council support ceased... Both these funding bodies are known to have made attempts to assume APG's role. In doing so they betray both art and public at a time of catastrophic need'.



A new phase of APG's activity begins, under the title 'The Incidental Person Approach to Government'.


30 March 1977

As part of his solo exhibition Continuous Diary at ICA, London, Ian Breakwell hosts an APG programme of events with artists Stuart Brisley, Roger Coward, John Latham and David Toop.


June 1977

'A.P.G. addresses itself to the German Federal Republic, the German Democratic Republic and to other members of the EEC', as part of Joseph Beuys' Free International University at documenta 6 in Kassel.


4 July 1977

APG hosts a public event at Midland Group Gallery, Nottingham; participants include Ian Breakwell, Roger Coward, Barbara Latham and David Toop.


27 October 1977

As part of the solo exhibition by Roger Coward You and Me Here We Are: What Can be Said to be Going On? at the Royal College of Art, London (25 October–5 November 1977), APG holds an all-day seminar.


8 December 1977–22 January 1978

Organised by Margarethe Jochimsen (Director, Bonner Kunstverein), the exhibition Artist Placement Group: Kunst als soziale Strategie in Institutionen und Organisationen (Art as Social Strategy in Institutions and Organisations – The Incidental Person Approach to Government) opens at Städtische Kunstmuseum Bonn, accompanied by a catalogue. Participants include Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley, Roger Coward, Hugh Davies, John Latham and Barbara Steveni. On the opening night, the artists engage in a discussion – organised by the Minister for Education and Science Reimut Jochimsen, and chaired by Jürgen Harten – with German government representatives. On 13 January 1978, Joseph Beuys and John Latham take part in a discussion on 'Pragmatism versus Idealism'.



APG offices move to Riverside Studios.


2–5 March 1978

APG organises the exhibition Artist Placement Group: The Incidental Person Approach to Government at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. Live events include presentations by Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley, Roger Coward, Hugh Davies, artist Christopher Hamblin, John Latham, George Levantis, Barbara Steveni, David Toop and broadcaster Nicholas Tresilian.


11–15 July 1978

'APG Week' at Riverside Studios, London, with live events held on each evening, including presentations by Ian Breakwell, Roger Coward, Hugh Davies, David Gothard (Director, Riverside Studios), Bill Furlong, John Latham, Barbara Steveni and David Toop.



APG Research Ltd. reconstitutes itself as an independent artist consultancy.


The Arts Council ceases to fund APG.


20 January 1979

In the context of the group exhibition Un Certain Art Anglais at the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, APG hosts a British Council-funded conference entitled 'L'Engineering conceptuel'. French philosopher and artist Hervé Fischer is the principal mediator between APG and the French institution; APG participants include Barbara Steveni and Nicholas Tresilian, among others.


5–7 and 9 June 1979

APG discussions are held at Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna, under the title 'Kunst als soziale Strategie in Institutionen und Organisationen' ('Art as Social Strategy in Institutions and Organisations'). Organised by Rose-Marie Schwarzwaelder, the discussions include presentations by, among others, Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley, Roger Coward, musician and songwriter Kevin Coyne, Hugh Davies, Bill Furlong, John Latham, artists and historians Rolf and Ros Sachsse, Nicholas Tresilian, Barbara Steveni and David Toop. On 8 June 1979, the discussion is held at the Museum Moderner Kunst, Palais Liechtenstein, with the participation of Austrian government officials.



Numerous private or semi-private APG meetings are held in Paris (British Embassy, on the invitation of British Ambassador Sir Reginald Hibbert, 1980), Eindhoven (Apollohuis, organised by Rolf and Ros Sachsse, 1982), Amsterdam (on the periphery of the 1982 ILEA Conference), Bonn and Brussels.



Unsuccessful application to the European Cultural Foundation, under the title 'Art as Social Strategy in Organisations and Institutions: The Incidental Approach to Europe'.



In an article in AND magazine, Barbara Steveni writes that APG's 'operatives (as directors and members)' include performance artist and musician Paul Burwell, artist Roberta Kravitz, poet and performance artist Carlyle Reedy, Paul and Helen Panhuysen (on the board of directors of Apollohuis, Eindhoven) and Kate Walker.



O+I – standing for both 'Organisation & Imagination' or '0 + 1' – replaces APG, with Barbara Steveni as Co-ordinating Director. To quote from an O+I promotional leaflet, the new entity is 'an international affiliation of professional artists [which] operates as a network consultancy and research organisation. Its purpose is to integrate the creative contribution of artists at the leading edge of their discipline with decision-making in government, industry and education'.



APG Archives acquired by Tate.


23 March 2005

Daylong public event at Tate Britain devoted to APG/O+I.



The dissolution of O+I is voted by its board of directors (including Clive Phillpot, Barbara Steveni and Neal White).