Reminder: Forms of Criticism this Thursday

Thursday 30 June 2016
Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

Forms of Criticism

Forms of Criticism proposes to think about critical practice as a creative experiment with form in its own right and invites a re-examination of the relationship between research and forms adopted for presenting, communicating, and disseminating it. By considering diverse sites of critical and creative production the project focuses on experimenting with modalities of criticism and ways of addressing formal critical-creative hybridity.

The event brings together artist, curators, writers, critics and scholars addressing questions of hybrid creative-critical forms in theory and practice though talks, performances, screenings, readings and installations. Speakers include: John Beck (IMCC), Kate Briggs (American University in Paris), Eric Cazdyn (University of Toronto), Ducks!, Gary Hall (Coventry University & Open Humanities Press), Peter Jaeger (poet and critic, Roehampton), Kristen Kreider (poet and artist, Royal Holloway), Richard Misek (filmmaker), Simon Morris (Leeds Beckett University), Jo Collinson Scott (musician and musicologist), Marquard Smith (Journal of Visual Culture and Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam), and Nick Thurston (artist, University of Pennsylvania and Leeds).

The event is free and open to all but places are limited and booking is essential. For more information about the event and to reserve tickets please go to: http://www.formsofcriticism.net/

For more information, please contact Kaja Marczewska: k.marczewska@westminster.ac.uk

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Screening of the Battle of the Somme

Tuesday 5th July 2016, 3-6 pm
University of Westminster, 4 – 12 Little Titchfield Street, London, W1W 7BY

Our friends in the Westminster Law School has collaborated with Imperial War Museums (IWM) to show the UNESCO listed film The Battle of the Somme, to audiences across the world. Shot and screened in 1916, it was the first feature length documentary about war and changed the way both cinema and film was perceived by the public. In the year of its release around 20 million people, almost half the population of Britain at the time, watched The Battle of the Somme many hoping to see the image of a loved-one, or friend captured on film. One hundred years later, this unique film from IWM’s collection, is being shown to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

The event will be held at the University of Westminster building at Little Titchfield Street, London. The screening of the film will be followed by food and drink refreshments in Portland Hall where there will be additional archive material, displays and information to mark the centenary of this historic event.

Book a place here.

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Reminder: The Hypothetical Conference, June 25-26 2016

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Saturday 25th 2016, 3.30 – 6.00 pm, followed by reception
Sunday 26th June 2016, 11.30 am – 5.30 pm
Room UG04, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

The Hypothetical: Institutions, Fictions, Environments

A hypothesis is literally a placing under, and thus a foundation or basis for an argument. As a foundation, though, a hypothesis is less than concrete; it is a starting point, a premise, a conjecture, a supposition. A hypothesis stands in a provisional relation to the known facts — may, indeed, fly in the face of the facts — and at worst can be described as a mere assumption or guess. A hypothesis, then, is a provocation. It demands investigation, testing, evaluation, perhaps refutation. A hypothesis has expectations.

The purpose of this conference is to interrogate the ramifications of the hypothetical in its philosophical, scientific, technological, historical, literary and artistic forms. How do the fictional, the conjectural, or the notional provide the operational conditions for new knowledge, new social and political forms, and new modes of describing the world? What are the temporalities that govern the hypothetical? How does the hypothetical put pressure on existing forms and practices, within and across the arts and the sciences? Are there limits — organisational, structural, ideological, disciplinary — beyond which the hypothetical collapses into the simply impossible? Or is the impossible an ideological bracketing of the emancipatory potential of the hypothetical? Alternatively, does the hypothetical run the risk of producing hypocriticism, a mode of reflexive and opportunist self-interest that merely reinscribes the position of the hypothesist?

Speakers: Claudia Aradau (King’s College London); Mark Currie (Queen Mary, University of London); Elizabeth Ellsworth & Jamie Kruse (by video link) (The New School, New York City); Mikhail Epstein (Emory University); Greg Garrard (University of British Columbia); John Richard Sageng (University of Oslo); David Wittenberg (University of Iowa).

View the conference programme here

The conference is free but it is essential to register via Eventbrite

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Open City Documentary Film talk

Amanda Millis who is currently studying on the IMCC’s Art and Visual Culture MA is giving a talk this evening, Friday 24th June, after a documentary screening at Hackney Picturehouse as part of the Open City Documentary Festival. Directly following the UK premiere of Desert Migration, Amanda with Doc Duhon will be discussing the film and long-term HIV/AIDS survival. The discussion will be framed through the feminist psychoanalytic theory of Matrixial Subjectivity created by the artist and psychoanalyst, Bracha L. Ettinger. They will address matters such as the lack of an HIV/AIDS memorial in London and the immediate need for the NHS to provide PrEP. Following the dialogue, there will be an audience Q&A as well as information on accessible activist actions to provide PrEP on the NHS now.

Further details here: http://opencitylondon.com/films/desert-migration

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Anne Witchard on London Nobody Knows

Anne Witchard is part of a panel discussing the 1962 film The London Nobody Knows at the Genesis Cinema organised by the Luxury Book Club.

The London Nobody Knows is an important film every Londoner should watch once. It’s a privilege to re-experience the city through the prism of Geoffrey Fletcher’s eccentric gaze. Fletcher loves the romance of ruins, relishing are the places where a fragile connection with the past remains intact. He’s an explorer and an adventurer, a Londonologist. The film sees James Mason (smart casual and dressed for adversity in a flat cap) taking a stroll through shabby 1960s London. Edwardian tearooms, unusual gas lamps and crumbling terraces, rococo funeral parlours and art nouveau pubs, the ‘sleazy snack bars’ and the cast-iron balconies, forlorn music halls, old Jewish tailors and outmoded East End boutiques; redundant curiosities on the brink of oblivion.

Further details here.

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Experimental Writing @ Carroll / Fletcher: Nick Thurston (Information as Material)

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Wednesday 29 June 2016, 7pm, Carroll/Fletcher, 56-57 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8EQ
Tickets £5, available here

Nick Thurston, an artist and critic, will discuss the work of Information as Material, an independent publishing project, which he co-edits with Simon Morris and Craig Dworkin. Thurston will address questions of materiality of language and independent and experimental publishing, and explore ideas about appropriated and subverted technologies of communication.

The talk will be followed by a conversation between Nick and critic and academic, Stephen Voyce.

This is the fifth event in the Experimental Writing @ Carroll/Fletcher series. Organised by the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture at University of Westminster and Carroll/Fletcher, the series showcases contemporary developments in experimental writing and their relationship to the visual arts.

Nick Thurston has exhibited and performed internationally at Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, Toulouse Museum of Contemporary Art, The Laurence Sterne Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, and Bury City Art Gallery, amongst others. He is the author of numerous publications ranging from poetry to prose essays. Since 2006, he has been a co-editor of Information as Material (iam). iam operates as a collective of writer-editors and as an independent imprint that publishes work by artists who use extant material — selecting it and reframing it to generate new meanings — and who, in doing so, disrupt the existing order of things. The imprint’s activities involve writing, publishing, exhibiting, curating, web-based projects, lectures and workshops. iam’s publications and editions are held in private and public collections around the world including Tate (UK), National Library of France (FR), and MoMA (USA). Nick’s own work is collected by the Electronic Poetry Center (University of Buffalo and University of Pennsylvania), which archived his work in 2015. The collection includes his poems, short writings, interviews and book extracts (2006-2014). Nick is a Programme Director of interdisciplinary undergraduate Fine Arts programme at the University of Leeds and a Visiting Fellow in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania.

Stephen Voyce is Professor at the English Department at the University of Iowa, where he also holds appointments in the Digital Studio for the Public Arts & Humanities and the Center for the Book. He is the author of Poetic Community: Avant-Garde Activism and Cold War Culture (University of Toronto Press, 2013), the editor of a book of variations: love – zygal – art facts (Coach House Books, 2013), and the Director of the Fluxus Digital Collection. His work also appears in journals such as Jacket2 MagazineModernism/modernityCriticism: A Quarterly Journal for Literature and the ArtsPostmodern Culture, and Open Letter. Voyce’s primary teaching and research interests include twentieth-century poetry, media studies, Marxist criticism and theory, and critical digital studies. Before joining the University of Iowa, he worked in the music industry and as a SSHRC-postdoctoral fellow at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Center in Toronto, Canada.

For more information, please contact either Kaja Marczewska: k.marczewska@westminster.ac.uk
or Asya Bachelis: asya@carrollfletcher.com

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Without Borders: LGBTQ+ ALMS conference June 22-24

Wednesday 22nd – Friday 24th 2016
Bishopsgate Institute, University of Westminster, London Metropolitan Archives

“Without Borders”: LGBTQ+ Archives, Libraries, Museums and Special Collections

The Queer London Research Forum at the University of Westminster is co-hosting the three-day 2016 LGBTQ+ Archives, Libraries, Museums and Special Collections conference in collaboration with the Bishopsgate Institute and the City of London through the London Metropolitan Archives.

ALMS is an international conference focussed on the work by public, private, academic, and grassroots organisations which are collecting, capture and preserving archives of LGBTQ+ experiences. The conference began in Minnesota in 2006 when the Tretter Collection and Quatrefoil Library co-hosted the first LGBT ALMS Conference. The last conference took place in Amsterdam in 2012 and saw archivists, activists, librarians, museums professionals and academics from around the world coming together to share success stories and discuss challenges involved in recording LGBTQ+ lives. The 2016 conference is titled ‘Without Borders’, and the aim is to generate a dialogue within the co-dependent fields of LGBTQ+ historical research and collecting, and share experiences, ideas and best practice through a programme of presentations and short talks that explore margins, borders, barriers and intersections, past and present.

An evening reception to welcome delegates to London and the conference will be held in the Boardroom of the University of Westminster’s building at 309 Regent Street from 6-9pm on Tuesday 21st June. To help with drinks catering, please register via this Eventbrite page: https://goo.gl/N8kkXe

The three days of the conference will then take place at the Bishopsgate Institute (June 22nd), University of Westminster, 309 Regent St (June 23rd), and the London Metropolitan Archives (June 24th).

Full details and conference programme at: http://lgbtqalms.co.uk/

Full three day ticket (includes Tuesday evening reception)

£220 Institution
£100 Self-funded / unaffiliated
£40 students / unwaged / concessions (proof required)

You can book online here.

Photography and the Language of Things Parts 2-4

Stephen Shore, "Perrine, Florida, November 11", 1977, © Stephen Shore, from American Surfaces

The second, third and fourth installments of David Cunningham’s series of pieces on the theme of Photography and the Language of Things are now up on the Still Searching blog hosted by our friends at the Winterthur Fotomuseum in Switzerland: Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

Here’s the intro to the second:

In my previous post I tried to sketch out some of those questions provoked by a contemporary desire, in the words of Hito Steyerl, to side with and affirm the object. While this affirmation has coincided with a more general turn towards the object or thing in recent theoretical writing – and, consequently, away (or so it is said) from earlier concerns with language, text, discourse and sign – it has also been attached, in Steyerl and others, to a more specific call to rethink the character of ‘the image’, and of ‘our’ relationship to it, as one framed not by an “identification” with the image “as representation”, but precisely “with the image as thing”.

I want to focus in future posts upon some of the wider philosophical and political issues that are, I think, at stake in this, for photographic theory at least – including those quasi-animistic claims often made today for the capacity of the thing or object to speak of its own accord (sometimes combined with rather over-excited accounts of machine vision and photography’s automation), as well as, in my final post, the kinds of political oppositions, between, for example, a politics of representation and one of participation, that are frequently said to follow from this. In this current post, however, it seems useful, before doing so, to trace something like a ‘pre-history’ of the contemporary valorisation of the image as thing (as opposed to the image as representation) in order to try to draw out more clearly in my subsequent posts what might be distinctive about the particular ways in which this is conceived of today. [Continue …]

Parts Five and Six will be appearing before the end of June.

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Programme for McLuhan’s Media Practice – this Monday 20th June

Monday 20th June, 10.30 am – 4.00 pm
The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1

McLuhan’s Media Practice: Literature and Communication

Marshall McLuhan is a central and provocative figure in early media discourse – some of his pronouncements shaped the subject while others were divisive or obscure. However, his wide-ranging literary research, teaching and ground-breaking contributions to publishing still require detailed attention – for example, recent accessibility to his own richly annotated library presents a remarkable new research resource, while his collaborations with book designers remain hugely influential if inadequately understood. This symposium addresses McLuhan’s media practice from the dual perspectives of communication and literature, and introduces a new digital resource of archival McLuhan materials gathered from seven independent institutions and scholars during the last twelve months.

10.30-11.00 Coffee and Introductions

11.00-12.30 McLuhan’s Modernisms

McLuhan and Literary Modernism: David Cunningham, IMCC, University of Westminster
Annotation in Marshall McLuhan’s Library: John Shoesmith, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto
McLuhan and Modernist Spaces: Jon Goodbun, Architecture, University of Westminster
Fiore, McLuhan & Book Design: Doris Gassert, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Universität Basel
Contemporary Criticism and Small Presses: Leigh Wilson, IMCC, University of Westminster

12.30-2.00 Lunch and Discussion

2.00-3.15 Reading McLuhan Reading

Reading in the Future: Tom Lamberty, Merve Verlag, Berlin
The McLuhan Digital Resource: Simon Worthington, Mute Magazine, Berlin
McLuhan’s Media Practice: Graham Larkin, Curator, Ottawa

3.15-4.00 Closing Discussion

Register for a place here.

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Reminder: Sexual Violence Against Women symposium, Friday 17th June

Friday 17th June 2016
St Pancras Room, King’s Place, 09:30-17:00

Sexual Violence Against Women: Voice and Representation

This one-day symposium organised by the IMCC’s Dr Georgina Colby with Hannah Camplin aims to bring keynote academics and practitioners in the fields of law, politics, and charities into dialogue with writers, artists, and filmmakers who take up the issues surrounding sexual violence against women in their works.

The symposium will open with a keynote address by Professor Jacqueline Rose (FBA, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London), entitled ‘Feminism and the Abomination of Violence.’ Professor Rose’s keynote address will be followed by a lunchtime keynote paper by Keir Starmer MP, Holborn and St Pancras. There will be two afternoon panels on ‘Sexual Violence, Belief, and Credibility’, and ‘Voice and Representation: Empowering Voice and Enacting Change Through the Arts and Humanities’.

Tickets are priced at £6.00, excluding booking fee (£1.52). All proceeds from tickets sales will go to the Women’s Project at Asylum Aid. Tickets include coffee and refreshments throughout the day.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Contact Georgina Colby for further information: g.colby@westminster.ac.uk.

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Marshall McLuhan’s Media Practice, Monday 20th June

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Monday 20th June, 10.30 am – 4.00 pm
The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1

McLuhan’s Media Practice: Literature and Communication

Marshall McLuhan is a central and provocative figure in early media discourse – some of his pronouncements shaped the subject while others were divisive or obscure. However, his wide-ranging literary research, teaching and ground-breaking contributions to publishing still require detailed attention – for example, recent accessibility to his own richly annotated library presents a remarkable new research resource, while his collaborations with book designers remain hugely influential if inadequately understood. This symposium addresses McLuhan’s media practice from the dual perspectives of communication and literature, and introduces a new digital resource of archival McLuhan materials gathered from seven independent institutions and scholars during the last twelve months.

Discussing McLuhan’s contributions to our understandings of media practices, the history and futures of the book, and literary modernism, not least through his own annotations on texts by Joyce and others, the symposium welcomes participants from the Marshall McLuhan Estate, Canadian Embassy, Berlin and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, as well as academics, curators and publishers with a special interest in McLuhan.

Speakers include: Andrea Boegner (McLuhan Salon, Canadian Embassy, Berlin), Peter Cornwell (Data Futures, IMCC), David Cunningham (IMCC), Duncan Forbes (Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland), Doris Gassert (Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland), Jon Goodbun (Architecture, Westminter), Tom Lamberty (Merve Publishing, Berlin), Graham Larkin (art historian, Ottawa), Andrew McLuhan (McLuhan Estate), John Shoesmith (Director, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto), Leigh Wilson (IMCC), and Simon Worthington (Mute, Berlin)

Register for a place here.

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London’s Latin Quarter?

Veronica Posada Alvarez, one of the students on our MA Art and Visual Culture, is taking part in an event on The Case for London’s Latin Quarter. Organised by Latin Elephant, and setting out a strategy for the future of Elephant and Castle’s Latin American community, the event includes a discussion, photo exhibition and screening of a short documentary.

It takes place at 6.00pm on Monday 6 June at Draper Hall, 1 Howell Walk, London SE1 6LT. Further details here.

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Forms of Criticism

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Image courtesy of Derek Beaulieu

Thursday 30 June 2016
Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

In the Editorial for the first issue of Art-Language (1969) Terry Atkinson raised questions about a possibility of combining creative and critical practice: ‘can this editorial,’ Atkinson wrote, ‘in itself an attempt to evidence some attributes as to what “conceptual art” is, come up for the count as a work of conceptual art?’ Forms of Criticism takes Atkinson’s idea as its starting point to engage with issues of criticism and form and interrogate limits between creative and critical practice.

In poetry, fine art, film making, performance – in the creative sector – we are familiar with and applaud – or tolerate, in the very least – experiments which blur or transgress boundaries of genre, form, or creativity. Similar possibilities of formal experimentation remain significantly underexplored with respect to critical practice, although a growing interest in probing the limits of criticism can currently be observed. Forms of Criticism proposes to think about critical practice as a creative experiment with form in its own right and invites a re-examination of the relationship between research and forms adopted for presenting, communicating, and disseminating it. By considering diverse sites of critical and creative production the project focuses on experimenting with modalities of criticism and ways of addressing formal critical-creative hybridity.

The event brings together artist, curators, writers, critics and scholars addressing questions of hybrid creative-critical forms in theory and practice though talks, performances, screenings, readings and installations. Speakers include: John Beck (IMCC), Kate Briggs (American University in Paris), Eric Cazdyn (University of Toronto), Ducks!, Gary Hall (Coventry University & Open Humanities Press), Peter Jaeger (poet and critic, Roehampton), Kristen Kreider (poet and artist, Royal Holloway), Richard Misek (filmmaker), Simon Morris (Leeds Beckett University), Jo Collinson Scott (musician and musicologist), Marquard Smith (Journal of Visual Culture and Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam), and Nick Thurston (artist, University of Pennsylvania and Leeds).

The event is free and open to all but places are limited and booking is essential. For more information about the event and to reserve tickets please go to: http://www.formsofcriticism.net/

For more information, please contact Kaja Marczewska: k.marczewska@westminster.ac.uk

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Literary Criticism and the Small Press: A Symposium

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Saturday 1 July 2016, 10am-6pm
The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London, WIB 2UW

Literary criticism has historically been practised using three broad models: a close attention to form; a consideration of the way that histories of ideas, identities and social forms are apparent in literary work; a more sociologically oriented consideration of practices of production and reading. From the twentieth century on, while the relations among these, and the prioritising or marginalising of each, shifted and changed, the mutual shaping of literary writing and its means of production has been consistently ignored. In contemporary literary criticism, while much literary critical work combines the first and the second, very little considers all three. Detailed consideration of the way that formal elements are shaped by and interact with the production and dissemination of writing remains almost absent from the discipline. At the same time, the limits of mainstream publishing and the growth of the small press have each been particularly visible since the economic crash of 2008, yet an investigation of the relation between this and the kinds of writing studied and interpreted has not emerged. Literary Criticism and the Small Press: A Symposium aims to draw attention to and investigate this absence through three broad themes. The location of the small press as the site of formal innovation is clear from the end of the nineteenth century, and its role in the dissemination of modernism is well known. How has this relation changed over the last century or so, and what are the interventions or absences in the literary critical work with regard to it? From William Morris to the digital revolution, the relation of the small press to writing has made central the question of materiality. What is the relation between material and linguistic forms? The relation of the small press to the mainstream, the material forms of writing and linguistic innovation are all mediated and determined by the institutions within which they exist — publishing, bookselling, the university, government funding of the arts and universities, and so on. How do these institutions shape what is published, where and for whom?

The symposium will consist of three panels:

Materialities: Nicholas Thoburn; Sophie Seita
Institutions: Claire Squires; Lisa Otty; Nick Thurston; Matvei Yankelevich
Histories: John Wrighton; Matthew Sperling; Stephen Voyce; Richard Price

The event is free, but please book your place here.

The Symposium has been organized by Dr Georgina Colby, Dr Kaja Marczewska and Dr Leigh Wilson as part of the Contemporary Small Press Project, supported by the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, University of Westminster.

For more information please contact: Dr Leigh Wilson: wilsonl@wmin.ac.uk

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Photography and the Language of Things

The IMCC’s David Cunningham will be contributing a series of pieces over the next six weeks on the theme of Photography and the Language of Things to the renowned Still Searching blog hosted by our friends at the Winterthur Fotomuseum in Switzerland. The first one has just gone up…

In her short 2010 text “A Thing Like You and Me”, Hito Steyerl traces what she describes as a shift from an “emancipatory practice” that would be tied to the “desire to become a subject” (of, say, politics or history) to the emergence, today, of a “different possibility”: “How about siding with the object for a change? Why not affirm it? Why not be a thing?” This desire to side with the object is one that has been much echoed across large parts of the humanities and social sciences over the last decade. Indeed, from the influential work of Bruno Latour and Bill Brown’s ‘thing theory’, to various species of ‘new materialism’, object-oriented ontology and posthumanism – as well as in its reception by recent art practice – such a turn to the object is rapidly approaching the status of a new doxa for contemporary theoretical work tout court. In this blog I want to explore – in an inevitably rather sketchy way – some questions that are for me provoked by this desire to side with the object, and, in particular perhaps, with what it might mean for an account of the photographic image as a site of continuing debates concerning representation, abstraction and realism. …

Read the rest of the post here.

And more to follow…

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Driving Legacy Forward: Erik Kessels’ “Unfinished Father”

In the first of two collaborations with the excellent blog hosted by the Photographers Gallery in London, Jennabeth Talliaferro, a student on our MA Creative Writing: Writing the City, has contributed a short piece on Erik Kessels’ installation at the Gallery, Unfinished Father.

“Like legacy, photography is an overlapping of the past and present. In Erik Kessels’ work, Unfinished Father, the artist achieves simultaneous representation of these seemingly separate ideas. His father’s dilapidated and gutted Fiat Toppolino is juxtaposed with photographs of car parts orderly displayed. The viewer sees an old car whose former life and purpose are a mere memory.”

You can read the rest of Jennabeth’s piece here.

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Conference: The Hypothetical

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Saturday 25th-Sunday 26th June 2016
Room UG04, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

The Hypothetical: Institutions, Fictions, Environments

A hypothesis is literally a placing under, and thus a foundation or basis for an argument. As a foundation, though, a hypothesis is less than concrete; it is a starting point, a premise, a conjecture, a supposition. A hypothesis stands in a provisional relation to the known facts — may, indeed, fly in the face of the facts — and at worst can be described as a mere assumption or guess. A hypothesis, then, is a provocation. It demands investigation, testing, evaluation, perhaps refutation. A hypothesis has expectations.

The purpose of this conference is to interrogate the ramifications of the hypothetical in its philosophical, scientific, technological, historical, literary and artistic forms. How do the fictional, the conjectural, or the notional provide the operational conditions for new knowledge, new social and political forms, and new modes of describing the world? What are the temporalities that govern the hypothetical? How does the hypothetical put pressure on existing forms and practices, within and across the arts and the sciences? Are there limits — organisational, structural, ideological, disciplinary — beyond which the hypothetical collapses into the simply impossible? Or is the impossible an ideological bracketing of the emancipatory potential of the hypothetical? Alternatively, does the hypothetical run the risk of producing hypocriticism, a mode of reflexive and opportunist self-interest that merely reinscribes the position of the hypothesist?

Speakers: Claudia Aradau (King’s College London); Mark Currie (Queen Mary, University of London); Elizabeth Ellsworth & Jamie Kruse (by video link) (The New School, New York City); Mikhail Epstein (Durham University); Greg Garrard (University of British Columbia); John Richard Sageng (University of Oslo); David Wittenberg (University of Iowa).

View the conference programme here

Contact: John Beck j.beck@westminster.ac.uk
The conference is free but it is essential to register via Eventbrite

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Experimental Writing @ Carroll / Fletcher: Christian Bök

protein-13-sculpture

Monday 23 May 2016, 7pm, Carroll / Fletcher, 56-57 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8EQ
Tickets £5 available here

Christian Bök, an experimental poet and conceptual artist will discuss the intellectual foundation for his innovative experiment, The Xenotext – a work that required Bök to engineer the genome of an unkillable bacterium so that the DNA of such an organism might become not only a durable archive that stores a poem for eternity, but also an operant machine that writes a poem in response. The presentation will be accompanied by literary readings of poetry, produced in response to his research.

The talk will be followed by a conversation between Christian and the IMCC’s John Beck.

This is the fourth event in the Experimental Writing @ Carroll / Fletcher series. Organised by the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture at University of Westminster and Carroll / Fletcher, the series showcases contemporary developments in experimental writing and their relationship to the visual arts.

Christian Bök is a Canadian experimental poet and artist. He is the author of Crystallography (Coach House Press, 1994), a pataphysical encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and of Eunoia (Coach House Books, 2001), a work of experimental literature, which won the Griffin Prize for Poetic Excellence. Bök has created artificial languages for two television shows: Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley’s Amazon. Bök is also known for his performances of sound poetry (particularly the Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters). His conceptual artworks, which include books built out of Rubik’s cubes and Lego bricks, have appeared at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City as part of the exhibit Poetry Plastique. Bök is currently a Professor of English at the University of Calgary.

For more information, please contact either:
Kaja Marczewska: k.marczewska@westminster.ac.uk
or Asya Bachelis: asya@carrollfletcher.com

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Masterclass with Christian Bök

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Monday 23 May, 11:00 am-1.30 pm, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW.

We are delighted to announce a Masterclass with Canadian writer Christian Bök. The Masterclass is part of our Experimental Writing series and coincides with an event @Carroll/Fletcher later this month (further details will be available in due course).

This masterclass will introduce some of the techniques of Conceptualism, a school of writing that often uses technical resources on the Internet to explore the aesthetics of “the uncreative”: for example, the readymade writing of the unoriginal text; the mannerist writing of the constrained text; the illegible writing of the unreadable text; and the aleatoric writing of the authorless text. The class explores these four ways of writing so that participants might torque them to their own, otherwise “creative,” purposes.

Participation in the Masterclass is free but places are limited and registration is essential. While priority will be given to postgraduate students (both taught and research) and early career researchers, all applications are welcome!

For further information, please contact Kaja at k.marczewska@westminster.ac.uk

Registration: http://goo.gl/forms/9an5RDI9Y2

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Welcome to Carmen Caruso, Junior Visiting Research Fellow

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The IMCC is delighted to welcome Carmen Caruso as our visiting research fellow during the Spring and Summer of 2016. Carmen has a Ph.D. in Migration Studies (University of Catania), an MA in Gender Studies (SOAS), and a BA in Political Science (University of Bologna). She is a teaching assistant in Applied Ethics in the Philosophy Department at the University of Calabria (UNICAL). Carmen was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Gender Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where she developed a project on the Lebanese diaspora in the UK from a gender perspesctive. To date, her research has focused on three interrelated areas of inquiry: human mobility (with an emphasis on diasporas from the Arab world), identity and citizenship, aesthetics and the material and performative dimension of culture. Recently she has edited a volume on the city of Jerusalem.

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