This week's new exhibitions

Clifford Owens, Manchester

Clifford Owens's brand of performance art can get excruciatingly too close for comfort. He cleverly sidesteps accusations of exploitation of his audience by stating that his often confrontational actions have been prompted for him by artistic colleagues. His enactments of such "discreet works of art", as the artist impishly calls them, have included the screening of multiracial porn and the drunken feeding of those present with Korean kimchi, as well as inviting chosen members of the audience to pull down his pants while drenching him with Budweiser. In Better The Rebel You Know, Owens uses racial politics and asks participants to reveal personal foibles in order to ratchet up the cultural discomfort.

Cornerhouse, Sat to 17 Aug


Daniel Weil, London

Since the early 1980s, product designer Daniel Weil has thought outside the box. Quite literally so with one of the earliest works in this sparky survey, the iconic Bag Radio, where he housed a radio's components in a plastic sheath. Blurring the boundaries between art and design, his contributions to the everyday landscape include Mothercare bottles, Swatch watchcases and shoeboxes, but it's the thinking behind his people-focused designs, explored in his sketchbooks, that structures this exhibition. His work moves seamlessly from the highbrow (a chess set for the World Chess tournament) to pop culture (his tactile spotted orange sleeve for the Pet Shop Boys' Very), always retaining its appeal. skye sherwin

Design Museum, SE1, Wed to 31 Aug


Harrison & Wood, Stroud

In Harrison & Wood's latest short films, on show as part of Stroud's yearly arts festival SITE (various venues, to 31 May), merry destruction is wrought again and again on carefully constructed tiny model worlds. A series of car bombs blow up the plastic rides in a miniature, well-groomed municipal car park; a pier goes up in smoke to the sound of fairground music (pictured); a car rolls off a jetty into a lake in slow motion; though in this airless constructed world, the film's speed only becomes apparent when it hits the water. It's like watching someone erect a house of cards only to knock it down.

Brunel Goods Shed, Sat to 25 May


Neil Clements, Glasgow

Neil Clements counters the notion of abstract art by producing paintings that are an almost clinical reflection of our present-day design environment. Clements's canvases often break away from the square or rectangle format into dynamic zig-zag and V-shaped geometries. As his forebear, pop artist Andy Warhol, stated he wanted to be a machine, one suspects Clements might have almost reached that level of flawless repetition. rc

Tramway 5, Sat to 15 Jun (closed Mondays)


Snail Porridge, Manchester

Curated by the always mischievous "duo" of Bob and Roberta Smith, this installation takes in artworks, music and poetry from secure hospitals, prisons and institutional children's homes. Selected from entries sent in to the charitable Koestler Trust awards, the works here are posited as items whose expressive range goes beyond therapeutic indulgence. While the project is bound to reawaken age-old concerns about patronising "outsider" artists, it shows the freedom that exists outside the often stuck-up constraints of the academic art world.

Castlefield Gallery, to 15 Jun


The Crisis Commission, London

"Home" takes many forms in works by a stellar lineup of British artists commissioned by homeless charity Crisis for this fundraising show. For George Shaw, it's the eternal subject, rendered in the greens, greys and browns of an overcast day in paintings focused on his childhood haunts in Midlands suburbia. Many of the pieces on show hint that home is a place of conflict as much as comfort. Co-created with Crisis's clients, Lottie Davies creates a Call The Midwife-esque scene of domestic childbirth. Meanwhile, father figures seem far from wholesome in Billy Childish's Van Gogh-inspired painting, where a ghoulish little girl with green-tinged skin sits on the artist's knee. Turner-winners Mark Wallinger and Marin Creed, sculptor Bill Woodrow and "the walking artist" Richard Long are among the other big names swelling the ranks.

Bermondsey Project, SE1, to 24 May


Jerwood Encounters: TTTT, London

TTTT is one of those acronyms that's hard to suss. It's used to mean These Things Take Time, or, in shorthand for online ennui, Too Tired To Type. It's an intriguing entry point to a show exploring the impact of digital technology on 3D objects. All that is solid melts in the work of its seven young artists as they tap into a worldwide web of production, where everything is open to reinterpretation. Oliver Laric's thigh-high bronze everyman, for instance, was produced by Mansudae Art Studio, a kind of art factory in North Korea, whose 4,000 employees create traditional statues, embroidery, woodcuts and oils. Meanwhile, Benedict Drew's trippy video explores the lure of rocks and modern architecture.

Jerwood Space, SE1, Wed to 22 Jun


D'Arcy Thompson, Leeds

Certain scientists could easily be defined as artists. When, in 1917, the biologist and zoologist D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson published his study of natural processes, On Growth And Form, there's no way he could have known the repercussions it would trigger throughout the 20th-century art world. The book discusses phenomena such as soap bubbles and elephant skulls to arrive at an almost awe-struck recognition of all things organic. As abstract art of the time became increasingly concerned with seeking out the underlying nature of things, the models Thompson created to illustrate the book's ideas revealed more of nature's metamorphic charms than the work of those who were to quote him as an influence, such as Henry Moore. Included here are delicate glass larvae and hand-coloured vertebrae that are something else in the attention they give to nature's precious wonders.

Henry Moore Institute, Wed to 17 Aug


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