A different stripe: work by Phil Smith and Polly Macpherson as part of Ambulation at Plymouth Arts Centre, to 10 Oct.
Building on the history of art and ambulation, for the eight contemporary artists and collectives in this group show, journeying itself becomes an artform. Projects designed to get ideas on the move include Simon Persighetti and Tony Whitehead's soundtrack to experience city noises from the 1950s-70s, while Phil Smith and Polly Macpherson have created objects inspired by a walk round a local 19th-century Royal Navy complex, including fossils, gargoyles, biscuits and a bag of clay evoking the softness of flesh. Architecture cooperative ad:HOC have designed a mobile home for an itinerant art project and Tim Brennan sees walking as a tool for creative contemplation. Similar exercises in free thinking are encouraged by Bridgette Ashton's alternative map of Plymouth. Like an anti A-Z, this takes walkers on random expeditions around curious sites of no historical importance.
Plymouth Arts Centre, Sat to 10 Oct
Simon Yuill, Glasgow
Simon Yuill's film, sound, internet and printed publication art makes a series of sophisticated, theoretically reflective and painstakingly researched observations on the social, cultural and economic politics of various local societies. Questions are instigated about the politics of labour, architecture, ethnic identity, the law and ecology. This is essentially subversive stuff. One video and photo piece documents and celebrates the history of the Pollock Free State, a Glasgow woodland camp, initially formed in the 1990s to protest against the building of the M77 motorway, which developed in time into a substantial working class community of environmental concern.
CCA, to 18 Sep
Masterminded by comics expert Paul Gravett, this show does great things with notions of the expanded comic, drawing on the innovations of interactive hypercomics – web-based, choose-your-own-adventure type comic strip experiments. It's worth seeing for artist Adam Dant's input alone – his Swiftian wall drawing follows the journey of Dr London through the city's digestive tract. Daniel Merlin Goodbrey's project explores both the dreamlife and waking existence of the sole archivist of glam rock dictator Hieronymous Pop's murky history. Dave McKean's offers perspectives on childhood betrayal, while Warren Pleece's animated installation gives a glimpse into the lives of others.
Pump House Gallery, SW11, to 26 Sep
Paul Evans's installation adds up to a personal hymn to natural diversity. Semi-abstract watercolour and graphite drawings, accompanied here by Chris Jones's succinct haiku poems, are images of nature in the making. As ambiguous as they are highly evocative, the amoebic cells might be ultimately unidentifiable yet they are nevertheless forceful presences that make your imagination creep. There's also an enchanting animation of metamorphosing butterflies, created in collaboration with the Humanstudio group. The central image here, however, is A Cure For Melancholy, Evans's life-size drawing of a narwhal, whose horns were apparently sold as unicorn horns and an antidote to creative and philosophical disillusionment.
Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery, Mon to 12 Sep
Archiving Place And Time, Wolverhampton
A selection of politically concerned art from Northern Ireland created since the 1998 Belfast Good Friday Agreement. The artists generally approach their difficult and delicate subject from oblique, ironic and non-partisan perspectives, signalling a recognition of the complex tensions and ambivalences involved in the conflict. Some of the work is almost mockingly humorous in its dealing with the unthinkable – Rita Duffy's Dessert is a chocolate cast taken from a decommissioned AK47 paramilitary gun – but other works uncompromisingly face grim facts. Willie Doherty's photography of The Westlink, a now demolished pedestrian bridge spanning the Catholic Falls Road and the Protestant Donegal Road, is a haunting image of division and dread.
Love it or loath it, Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth is British publicsculpture's hot spot. Coinciding with the Olympics, the 2011 commission is the most prominent yet, and the next six proposals, presented as a show of maquettes, are eagerly anticipated. Top secret until the unveiling, the spread of world class artists bodes well: Allora & Calzadilla, Elmgreen & Dragset, Katharina Fritsch, Brian Griffiths, Hew Locke and Mariella Neudecker. While Fritsch's eerily slick icons like neon-bright Madonnas have made her a global art star and Elmgreen & Dragset promise a glossy mix of queer politics and design culture, it will be interesting to see what London-based Griffiths – who's turned junk materials into huge vessels of adventure, from spaceships to Krypton Factor-style obstacle courses – will suggest for that small slab of stone.
The Crypt of St Martin-in-the-fields, WC2, Thu to 31 Oct
A quest for origins and originality has taken three young artists on very different journeys here. Inspired by the infamous British art forger Shaun Greenhalgh, Sarah Pickering has photographed a selection of his forgeries in a mock up of his living room as created for a BBC documentary. Mel Brimfield is something of a faker himself, with his film installation where actors give suspiciously different accounts of a performance that perhaps never was. Meanwhile, Aura Satz's sound piece explores where sound is located, with listeners required to plunge their heads inside a sculpture featuring an antique brass horn or witch's hat.
Jerwood Space, SE1, to 12 Sep
Steven Cairns, Stirling
The cut-and-paste aesthetics of collage might be a century old, but it appears to have been given a new lease of cultural relevance with the availability of digital sampling and layering. Collage is, of course, an art of compositional fragmentation and free association, a means of experimenting with dislocated spaces and unpredictable images. Steven Cairns makes full use of digital collage's ability to lift images from a wide diversity of cultural sources, to superimpose previously disconnected images just for the experimental hell of it. Furthermore, his use of collage has something in common with the "cut up" techniques of such subversives as William Burroughs and Harmony Korine, a technique of insubordinate disruption of proper and decent modes of cultural behaviour. A new video piece focuses on the hypnotic rhythmical geometries of gabber, a hardcore techno subgenre.