In 2000 a group of artists from Derby with a similar set of concerns and a shared attitude to working practice came together and formed the collective "Disco". The group drew up and published a manifesto of intent, which was centred around the significant, if problematic, notion of "conceptual art". It was felt that the legacy and foundations laid by the most radical artists of the 60s and 70s was largely being ignored; those critically engaged with ideas-based practice were increasingly being pushed to the margins by the wishy-washy, self-satisfied, lazily ironic, and blatantly commercial work of the mainstream. Disco, feeling it necessary to articulate their opposition to the complicitness and lack of rigour of much contemporary art, initiated a series of exhibitions, conferences, and publications.
One of the founding members, on relocating to the capital, endeavoured to create a London-oriented group based on the model of Disco. In 2003 a regular series of meetings were initiated, attended by those who had responded to a notice calling for artists interested in "conceptually-based art". The participants engaged in discussions both on each other's work and on more general art issues, and after several months of meetings the regular attendees came together tentatively under the banner of "Discotheque". The group then set about putting on two exhibitions, Flat, and Damn Fine Cup of Coffee, which took place in the Summer and Autumn of 2004 in east London. These were relatively successful, thematically strong shows, but the lack of unity amongst the participants became apparent, and this early manifestation of Discotheque disbanded.
However the backbone of the group remained enthusiastic, working together to build on those foundations, and continuing to develop and refine their collective concerns. From 2005 onwards Discotheque operated as a fluid gathering of like-minded artists, all of whom to some degree engaged with a progressive, rigorous and challenging ideas-driven practice.
Projects included: Veiviseren: In the Dark, All Cats are Gray, proposed for Tou Works 1, Stavanger, Norway, 2007; Coryat's Crudities, NAN-NANA, Nottingham, 2006; The Wisdom of Solomon, Normalife Unlimited, Neal's Yard, London, 2006; The Glorious Twelfth, Deptford X, London, 2005; Strangers on a Train, London to Newcastle train route, 2005; and One and Three, Euroart Gallery, London, 2005.Discotheque ceased activity in 2007.