The Multi-Modal Museum seminar, July 9th 2014

Wednesday 9 July 2014, 6.30pm – 9pm
The Boardroom, University of Westminster , 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Annual Museum Studies 2014 Public Forum
The multi-modal museum: new initiatives on access programmes for visually impaired people and multisensory provision in museums

Speakers include:
Marcus Dickey Horley, Curator, Access and Special Projects, Tate Gallery
Dr Alison Eardley, Dept. Psychology, University of Westminster

Chaired by:
Dr Peter Ride, MA in Museums Galleries & Contemporary Culture, University of Westminster

This forum, which is free and open to the public, forms part of the Johns Hopkins Masters Program in Museum Studies London Onsite Seminar 2014.

Further details and RSVP: Alan Morrison, Director, JHU London Onsite Seminar, email: morrisa1@westminster.ac.uk

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London Triptych reading group seminar

Simon Avery and Katherine M. Graham from our friends in Westminster’s Queer London Research Forum will be speaking to the Literary London reading Group about Jonathan Kemp’s London Triptych (2010) on Tuesday 24 Jun 2014, 6.00-7.30 pm in Senate House, Room 234. Jonathan Kemp’s novel charts the lives of three gay men, who all inhabit and explore London, but who do so in very different time periods. Covering 1894, 1954 and 1998, London Triptych interrogates what it means to be a gay man; what it means to be at the mercy of the law; and how London itself might be seen to facilitate a particular relationship between art and identity. The novel also asks readers to consider form, and the three narratives wind through London and through history, creating striking resonances across these times and the city.
A selection of extracts and the Afterword from the novel are available for download through the dropbox links below. Or you can get a copy from Gay’s the Word bookshop on Marchmont Street, which we are reliably informed is the only queer bookshop left in the UK .
Extracts: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nmmiuk5flldo38r/Extracts.pdf
Afterword:https://www.dropbox.com/s/104ny599ynrrmzs/Afterword.pdf

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Michael Nath’s British Story – published July 2014

Order your copy of Michael Nath’s cracking new novel, British Story, now!
Details at: http://www.route-online.com/all-books/british-story.html

What’s haunting Kennedy? He believes that literary characters exist just like you or me, but he’s getting nowhere trying to prove it. His Falstaff project is an embarrassment; Barbara’s wanting a baby; there’s that trouble from last autumn; he can’t even tell a story. His fortunes change when he’s befriended by Arthur Mountain, a larger-than-life Welshman with a peculiar take on history and a grand distaste for the modern world. Together with his trainspotting wife, snooty secretary and trusty machete, Arthur opens Kennedy’s soul.

Philosophical, frightening and hilarious, British Story is an adventure in imagination and a rallying cry for wonder. With this witty and critical examination of contemporary life, Michael Nath has called up the lost spirit of resistance. The stoplines are operational!

There will be a launch party for British Story in an upstairs room of a Central London pub that is a key setting in the novel. Monday 23 June, 6pm. It will be an epic literary evening. If you are in the vicinity and would like to join us for a drink, we’d love to see you. Email Route for further details: info@route-online.com

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Reading: Simon Perril at the ICA, Thursday 19th June

The idea of cinema in the mind of a painting: poetry, film, collage

Thursday 19 June, 6.30pm
ICA Studio, The Mall
, London 
SW1Y 5AH
Free admission

As part of IMCC’s Print Screen: Writing and the Moving Image series, poet Simon Perril will be reading at the ICA next Thursday, followed by a drinks reception. All welcome.

Simon is a poet, critic, and programme leader for Creative Writing at De Montfort University, Leicester. His poetry publications include Archilochus on the Moon (Shearsman 2013), Newton’s Splinter (Open House 2012), Nitrate (Salt 2010), A Clutch of Odes (Oystercatcher 2009), and Hearing is Itself Suddenly a Kind of Singing (Salt 2004). He has also published in magazines such as P.N. Review, Jacket, Poetry Wales, Shearsman and Angel Exhaust. He is the editor of The Salt Companion to John James and Tending the Vortex: The Works of Brian Catling, and has also written on Tom Raworth, J.H. Prynne, John Tranter, and Peter Riley, among others. For the last decade he has made visual collages, and has a collage ‘novel’ in progress called Under Austerity Rubble, Ancient Bird Folk Lay Future Eggs.

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Whitechapel Salon this Thursday 12th: Digital Futures

Thursday 12 June, 7pm-9pm
Clore Creative Studio, Whitechapel Gallery, London E1 7QX

The Whitechapel Salon: The Future of Theory III: Digital Futures

How does the digital radically transform art ‘theory’, and vice versa? With guests Professor Gary Hall (Director of the Centre for Disruptive Media at Coventry University, and co-founder of Culture Machine and Open Humanities Press) and Dr Cornelia Sollfrank (new media artist and Lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design). Chaired by Dr Marquard Smith

Tickets £8/6 concessions (£4 Members). Booking is essential.

Book your ticket at: http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/shop/product/category_id/1/product_id/1915

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Alex Warwick Does the Monster Mash…

Alex Warwick’s review of David McNally’s Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism is currently up as a freebie on the Radical Philosophy site. Read or download here: http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/web/do-the-monster-mash

“It is no longer necessary to begin, as it might have been ten years ago, by pointing out that we live in Gothic times, and going on to detail the Gothic’s many and various manifestations in contemporary culture. Even the bluntest of critical responses have moved beyond ‘mankind’s deepest fears’ – though often not much beyond them – to recognition of more than an idea of unchanging human nature. Part of the problem lies in the sprawling category that Gothic has become, perhaps always was, in its blurry designation of architectural form, novelistic subject matter, visual effect, subcultural style, musical genre and metaphorical trope. Because of the jumbling together of different phenomena, Gothic is everywhere and nowhere. Indeed, this is partly the point of David McNally’s book: that, as he says, ‘the essential features of capitalism, as Marx regularly reminded us, are not immediately visible … we are left to observe things and persons … while the elusive power that grows and multiplies through their deployment remains unseen, uncomprehended.’  [Read On...]“

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Book Launch at Architectural Association, Friday 6 June

Architecture Against the Post-Political book launch

Friday 6 June 2014, 6.30pm
The Book Shop, Architectural Association
36 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3ES

A general welcome to the launch of two books edited by our friend Nadir Lahiji at the Architectural Association in London: Architecture Against the Post-Political: Essays in Reclaiming the Critical Project (Routledge, 2014) and The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy With Architecture (Bloomsbury, 2014)

Join Nadir in conversation with the IMCC’s David Cunningham, along with other contributors to the collections, including Douglas Spencer, Libero Andreotti and Uta Gelbke.

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Call For Papers: The Anarchival Impulse

To mark the launch of Mnemoscape Magazine – edited by two former students at the IMCC – which coincides with the ten years anniversary of the publication of Hal Foster’s essay ‘An Archival Impulse’ (2004), the editors would like to prompt a reflection on the notion of the ‘anarchival’.

‘An Archival Impulse’ has establish itself as a seminal essay tackling the emergence of a specific archival tendency in contemporary art. However, as Foster noticed, this trend could perhaps be better defined as an ‘anarchival impulse’. The first issue of Mnemoscape Magazine would like to return to Foster’s early intuition and propose an epistemological shift in the study of archival art practices, one that privileges their anarchival disposition, while speculating on the positive and liberating aspects of forgetting.

Submissions are invited of single-authored or joint papers, interviews, reviews of art exhibitions and art projects that are concerned with the anarchival impulses. Send a 300 words abstract and CV to: mnemoscape@gmail.com  Deadline: 30 June 2014

http://mnemoscape.wordpress.com/magazine/

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Welcome to Rowena Clarke, Junior Visiting Research Fellow

The Institute is delighted to welcome Rowena Clarke as our Junior Visiting Research Fellow for Summer 2014.

Rowena is a doctoral student at Boston College in the United States where her research is focused on the cultural production of space through literary and filmic texts. She is particularly interested in popular genres and forms, and the role they play in helping to construct postwar conceptions of home, particularly in relation to suburbia and social housing. While at the IMCC, Rowena is hoping to carry out research on the British comic book 2000 AD, and on J.G. Ballard’s suburban fiction.

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CSD Accelerationism Workshop, May 23rd

From our friends in the Centre for the Study of Democracy:

Accelerationism: A Workshop
May 23rd 2014, 11.00-4.30 (Closed Workshop), 6-8 (Open Plenary)
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

The Centre for the Study of Democracy invite you to a workshop on the emerging theme of ‘accelerationism’ – an attempt to recuperate the liberating potential of reason, technology, and modernity. In the wake of ongoing economic, environmental, and social crises, accelerationism argues that the proper response requires unleashing these potentials from their current strictures, and avoiding tendencies towards localism, primitivism, and romanticism. Accelerationism seeks to name a general disposition already underway in disparate fields such as politics, philosophy, science, engineering, and design.

This workshop aims to open and extend a discussion on accelerationism: bringing together the supportive, the sceptical and the curious to debate the philosophical underpinnings and political implications of the concept as well as ‘actually existing accelerationisms’. Speakers include: Benjamin Noys, Patricia Reed, David Cunningham, Helen Hester, Benedict Singleton, Richard Barbrook, Ben Woodard.

This will be followed by an open plenary in The Boardroom at Regent Street entitled: ‘Occupy the Future: Is a Promethean Politics Possible?’, with Nick Srnicek & Alex Williams (authors of Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics), Rachel Armstrong and Craig Gent (Plan C).

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Photography and Abstraction May 9th Programme Announced

Photography and Abstraction: A Symposium

REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. Apologies – we have been inundated with an unexpectedly large number of RSVPs and can no longer fit in any further attendees.

Friday 9 May 2014, 10.00 – 6.00 (followed by drinks)
Room 501, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

PROGRAMME:

10.00 Coffee

10.30-12.30 Panel 1

Mark Dorrian (Edinburgh), “Medium/Violence/Abstraction”
Andy Fisher (Goldsmiths), “On the Scales of Photographic Abstraction”
David Bate (Westminster), “Daguerre’s Abstraction”
Chair: David Cunningham (IMCC)

12.30-1.30 Lunch

1.30-3.30 Panel 2

Clare Birchall (King’s, London), “Aesthetics of the Secret”
Peter Adey (Royal Hollway), “Capture and Testimony in the Art of Levity”
Ella Chmielewska (Edinburgh), “Writing Between the Photograph and Abstraction”
Chair: John Beck (IMCC)

3.30 Coffee

4.00-6.00 Panel 3

Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths), “Photography After the Human”
John Roberts (Wolverhampton), “Ideation and Photography: Critique of Laruelle’s Concept of Abstraction”
Chair: Sas Mays (IMCC)

6.00 Drinks

Free Entry. All Welcome. RSVP: cunninda@wmin.ac.uk

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Janine Rogers seminar and masterclass

Westminster’s Centre for the Study of Science and Imagination has a visiting scholar in residence immediately after the Easter break. Professor Janine Rogers will be with us from Canada and will be giving a seminar on the importance of literature for science writers, including a discussion of Chaucer and Brian Cox, on Monday 28 April at 5pm in the University of Westminster’s Regent Street building (room UG05), and a masterclass on form in literature and science scholarship on Wednesday 30 April at 3pm in Wells Street (room 206).

Further details on the SCIMAG website here: http://www.westminster.ac.uk/scimag/events

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Natural History of Memory Inaugural Seminar

The Natural History of Memory Inaugural Seminar (hosted by the Cultural Memory Seminar Series, sponsored by the Department of English, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies, University of Westminster)

17th May, 11 am – 4 pm. Room G37, Senate House, University of London.

Speakers:

Professor Anna Reading (King’s College London), ‘Where Do Clouds Come From? A Natural History of Digital Memory’

Dr Frank Uekoetter (University of Birmingham), ‘The Boll Weevil, the Post-Slavery Plantation, and the Global World of Monoculture’

Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (UCL), ‘London Submerged: Eco-Fictions of a Vanishing Present’

Chairs: Drs Lucy Bond (Westminster), Rick Crownshaw (Goldsmiths), Jessica Rapson (King’s)

The Natural History of Memory explores the ways that environments register and mediate the memories of catastrophe and injustice. Moving beyond Walter Benjamin’s conception of natural history as the naturalization of historical events and their representation in teleological fashion, the project examines the manifold imbrications of landscape and the lived experience of violence over time. While memory studies typically positions historical sites and landscapes as the places where past catastrophes unfolded, this project understands these environments as the very media through which these disasters took place, lent agency and co-opted by the perpetrators of those events, thereby enabling their occurrence. Challenging the construction of ‘nature’ as a passive canvas for the inscription and organization of history, this research seeks to develop an environmental literacy for reading (or reconstructing) memory where landscapes and experiences have become indistinct. The Natural History of Memory thus frames strands of research that seek to examine environmental agency in both catastrophic events and their remembrance.

The Natural History of Memory Partner Institutions: Goldsmiths University of London, King’s College London, University of Westminster, and University of Ghent.

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The Art School and the Culture Shed book

John Beck (University of Westminster) and Matthew Cornford (University of Brighton) have been tracking down and photographing the sites of British art schools for around five years. While many towns in the UK used to have a dedicated art school, now there are only a handful left; most of the buildings have been repurposed or, in some cases, demolished. This 48pp book, published by Kingston University’s Centre for Useless Splendour, is the latest bulletin from their ongoing project. While there is a historical side to Beck and Cornford’s investigations that seeks to situate the history of art education in the UK within a broader cultural history (the massive impact of art school education on postwar British culture, for example), there is also, the book argues, a contemporary relevance to seeking out old art school buildings. Instead of educational institutions dedicated to the study of art and design, British towns are now more likely to contain signature gallery and museum buildings intended, in part, to contribute to local regeneration, heritage, and/or tourist agendas. What does the decline of the local art school and the rise of the ‘destination’ art gallery tell us about changing ideas about the function of art, its possible civic purpose, and the relationship between participation and spectatorship? What can old buildings tell us about new ones? How did the ‘creative economy’ come to replace ‘art school’ as a descriptor of local cultural value and why does it matter?

For a copy of the book, please contact Dean Kenning, Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University (D.Kenning@kingston.ac.uk).

For further information on Beck and Cornford’s art school project, email John Beck (j.beck@westminster.ac.uk) or Matthew Cornford (m.cornford@brighton.ac.uk).

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Photography and Abstraction: A Symposium, May 9th

Photography and Abstraction: A Symposium

Friday 9 May 2014, 10.00 – 6.00 (followed by drinks)
Room 501, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Participants include:
Peter Adey (Royal Holloway)
David Bate (Westminster)
Clare Birchall (Kings)
Ella Chmielewska (Edinburgh)
Mark Dorrian (Edinburgh)
Andy Fisher (Goldsmiths)
John Roberts (Wolverhampton)
Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths)

Hosted by:
John Beck, David Cunningham, Sas Mays (IMCC, Westminster)

There are at least two ways in which photography might be said to address abstraction. The first is at the level of appearance: photographs that are not recognisable as straightforward representations. This mode of abstraction might include the deployment of modernist strategies of abstraction; photographs that appear to be abstract due to issues of scale, such as aerial or microscopic images; the direct capture of light without a camera; the combination of photographic images with other media; the use of found images; the manual or electronic manipulation of images; the framing of images to stress formal arrangement.

Alongside this category of abstract photographs or photographs that depict abstract form, a second dimension to the relationship between photography and abstraction is associated with issues of the visible and the invisible. This involves photography’s capacity to give form to unseen relationships and to register otherwise undetectable currents, flows, and networks. How does photography visualize the real abstractions of capitalism? In what ways are photographic images deployed to capture and control data through, for example, electronic monitoring devices? How is the indexical function of the photograph mobilized in order to serve as evidence across a range of scenarios, including military and police action, juridical, biopolitical, and radical political modes of representation? Can, then, photography address and give visible form to the quasi-ontological abstractions that structure economic and social relations? Finally, is there a relationship between the two scenarios outlined above? In other words, what, if any, is the relationship between non-figurative images and photography’s political, institutional, or theoretical histories?

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Roundtable on Violence, March 26th

Wednesday 26 March, 2014, 1 -3 pm
The Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, University of Westminster, Wells Street, London W1T

On Violence: A Roundtable
With David Cunningham, Harriet Evans, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Ben Pitcher

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Crowds and Violence seminar, March 19

Wednesday 19 March, 2014, 1 -3 pm
The Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, University of Westminster, Wells Street, London W1T

Illan rua Wall (Warwick)
“Crowds and Violence”

Dr Illan rua Wall is an Associate Professor in the School of Law, University of Warwick. His current research focuses upon the relation between law and disorder. Thinking about Occupy, the Indignados and the many current sites of unrest, it begins to develop the novel field of the ‘law of disorder’. This is not simply a collection of the various different legal apparatuses that repress or capture disorder, rather the ‘law of disorder’ thinks about law through and as disorder. He has published on critical legal theory, theories of constituent power, the Arab Spring, protest and transitional justice in Colombia, theories of human rights and revolt, and new Andean constitutional apparatuses. Illan is one of the editors of the blog www.criticallegalthinking.com, and is on the editorial board of Law and Critique, and the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Critical Globalization.

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Art and the Second World War seminar

The next Group for War and Cultural Studies seminar may be of interest to IMCC followers:

Wednesday 19 March 2014, 6 pm – 8 pm, Room 156
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Monica Bohm-Duchen
Art and the Second World War

Art and the Second World War is the first book in English to provide a comprehensive and detailed international overview of the complex and often disturbing relationship between war and the fine arts during this crucial period of modern history. With ample illustrations, this talk will examine the art produced in reaction to the Spanish Civil War (often viewed as ‘the first battle of World War 2′), and then looks at painting, sculpture, prints, and drawing in each of the major combatant nations, including Japan and China. It will also place wartime art within its broader cultural, political, and military contexts while never losing sight of the power and significance of the individual image and the individual artist.

Monica Bohm-Duchen is an independent writer, lecturer, and curator. Based in London, she has worked for such leading institutions as the Tate, the National Gallery, and the Royal Academy of Arts. Her many books include After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art. She teaches a course on art and war at Birkbeck, University of London, and at New York University in London.

Entrance free. To reserve a place, please R.S.V.P. Dr Caroline Perret: C.Perret@westminster.ac.uk

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Archives for the Future: An Art and Visual Culture Conference, March 29

Saturday 29th March 2014, 9.00-5.00
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Organised by Mnemoscape with the support of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture and the International Association for Visual Culture.

Keynote Speakers: Francis Gooding (Birkbeck) and Uriel Orlow (Westminster)

Archives are becoming increasingly fetishized and (an)aestheticized in contemporary art practice and academic discourse. Archives have generally been considered as conservative institutions aimed at preserving the past in the present – and so perpetuating the traditional structures of power. In contrast, this conference is interested in bringing to light the generative and creative side of the archive. How can archives be used to generate the ‘new’ and to convey possible alternatives to the present status quo? How can we turn archives from historical records into instruments of future planning and agencies of radical thinking?

Full programme now available at: http://archivesforthefuture.wordpress.com/programme/

For any further information about the conference, please contact the conveners, Elisa Adami and Alessandra Ferrini at mnemoscape@gmail.com

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Rescheduled Seminar on Blanchot and the Phantom Limb, March 12

Wednesday 12 March, 4pm
Room 106, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T

Monika Loewy, Goldsmiths
“The Problem with Unity: Body Identity Integrity Disorder, The Phantom Limb and Maurice Blanchot”

Body Identity Integrity Disorder (BIID) is a condition in which a person desires to amputate a limb because she feels that it does not belong to her body. A phantom limb can be identified when someone who loses a limb feels as though she still has one, which causes her pain. Together, the phantom limb and BIID syndromes foreground examples of individuals who cling to fictional concepts of wholeness as a result of their perceived incompleteness. This paper connects these situations to an idea central to poststructuralist thought: that language is composed of false images of unity that hide its negation, the eternal referent. The paper explores this relationship through the writings of Maurice Blanchot, arguing for a conceptual framework through which language can be seen as a physical and mental coping mechanism – a compensatory system that offers a tentative ‘presence’ to the unknown or the absent signified. Developing these thoughts through Blanchot’s essay “Orpheus’s Gaze” (1982), it is argued that like the text and the limb sufferers, Orpheus lives in a broken body that is both present and absent at once, implicating the referential structures of language in (traumatic) encounter with the physical body.

NOTE: This seminar was originally due to take place in February but had to be rescheduled due to the tube strike. Apologies again for the inconvenience.

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