Friday, 19 June 2020

Vol 9 Writing Visual Culture now available

**ANNOUNCEMENT**
Volume 9 of Writing Visual Culture is now available online, as a PDF to download.
*It has some functionality that works best downloaded.

Just click:

Originally we were to launch Vol 9 at this year's symposium (25, 26 June) but it has been postponed to 8, 9 Jan 2021 so I am letting you know about it now.

This topic is on contmpoerary and historical artist and designer engagements with science

For more information
The symposium 'What the World Needs Now' will be preceded by a Contemporary Art Practice Research Group practice-led art film collaboration between artists and scientists based at UH on 7th Jan - the products of which will be shown during the symposium.

Also Vols 5-8 have been reformatted to enable easier navigation of a single PDF

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Call for Papers

TVAD Symposium 2020: June 25–26

What the world needs now is artists & designers engaging with science


Since the 1960s we have seen numerous art-science experiments, often initiated by artists. Inter- and multi-disciplinary collaboration has never been a simple process. Some argue this is due to disciplinary boundaries emphasized in our educational system. For others, the issue is a lack of attention to real differences in thinking and approach. From the point of view of science, art is useful when it illustrates already established scientific theories. For many scientists, art provides a useful gateway to the general public, employing aesthetics to seduce audiences into engaging with scientific ideas. It seems that many scientists labour under the idea that art is simply the equivalent of beauty, despite the fact that for more than 100 years, and at least since Dada, artists have challenged this idea.
Questions this conference asks include, what is the best that art-science collaborations can offer?
What can be achieved by artists working with scientists that cannot be achieved by artists alone, or scientists alone?
On the one hand, we ask what can scientists learn from artists?
On the other, is it the role of art to illustrate important scientific truths, such as, climate science?
In other words, what is the point of sci-art collaboration?

We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers from artists who collaborate with scientists, and from artists who work with scientific ideas. We would also like to hear from scientists who work with artists. If you're a historian or a philosopher interested in this area, this conference is also for you.

Deadline: April 17, 2020

Please send your proposals to Alana Jelinek, a.jelinek@herts.ac.uk, including a title and abstract of 250 words max and a short bio

Keynote speakers:
Artist, Fiona Curran (PhD) Royal College of the Arts, London, UK
Curator, Science Museum, London, UK, Dr Katy Barrett (PhD)

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Heritage and Aporia - by way of an essai



Heritage and aporia …
This is an essai, in the proper sense of the term, ‘a try’, about a configuration for the term Heritage, a chance to think about the concept and some of the ways in which the term might find not its definition but rather its dissolution within an expanded field of other disciplines: history, geography, politics, local and national policy on culture, certainly, but also psycho-geography and phenomenology and not least, in the conflicted lived experience of being surrounded by what has come before and our attitudes to it. This essai, then, is polemical and in its present form makes few scholarly claims. I set out my arguments first and then test the literature after.
Normally, there is a healthy distance between the subject of my research and my own position as a researcher. Were I an active participant in my academic home ground – the French Revolution – I would have been a Girondist.  I would have been there at the Champ de Mars celebrating with Helen Maria Williams and Wordsworth as the whole world came together to celebrate Liberty, Brotherhood and Equality.  Although here, we might pause. When I recently shared some of my research with art therapist colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire, some were intrigued by why I should spend so much time delighting in revolutionary politics. Were they not  some form of repressed lament for my experience of a failed left-wing project over my own lifetime? Quite possibly, Nietzsche wrote about this process of personal identification with the past and called it antiquarianism. Heritage’s own participation in the past is not uncontaminated by the tensions between how things might have been, how things are and how they may be again if the discipline of heritage gets its way.  When, for example, public address systems fracture the peace of the one-time landscape garden and now municipal park behind our home – as they too frequently do – a Bubble Rush here, an evangelical Christians’ meeting there – we find a clash between the ersatz capitalist consumerism I so roundly despise and my reading of Rousseau’s Emile, a pastoral ideal of peace and social and political content. But here too there are dangers, Rousseau’s fascism is never far from the surface; the idea that we all might find our place with the fasces of Nature is by definition exclusionary. (Note to self who has written about the fascist Rousseau?)
Let’s start with the material fabric of the place, what place exactly doesn’t matter that much. The street is very old; medieval in places. One wall in a nearby Thai restaurant frames exposed wattle and daub made about the same time Shakespeare wrote The Tempest. Like so many towns, this town peaked just before the construction of a nearby canal made its twenty or so coaching inns pretty much redundant and it has since fallen into gentile decline. But Pevsner still rated it as one of the finest period market towns of the early-eighteenth century. On an early spring morning as sunshine rakes across its western flank, the street’s façade is heart-stoppingly lovely. But this does only partial justice to the town’s fabric. Rock-solid oak gates of the early Tudor period bar the entrance to a parking-space for a hairdresser’s salon specializing in hair-straightening. The gate bears the scars of incaution as a succession of vehicles have failed to squeeze in a gap meant only for horses. The more recent past has been piled upon the older fabric of the town; and, inevitably, each layer has something to say about Heritage, already a polyglot formation… An eighteenth century shop front stuck on a seventeenth century building, a desire to avoid eighteenth century traffic by turning a house around so its new eighteenth century front faced inwards into a once chic little court. It’s an architectural gem but one now sullied by the spicy exhaust of an adjacent Indian Restaurant and mountain bikes belonging to the restaurant’s staff who leave far too late to catch public transport.  Old photos in the tea-shop down the road – and this too is nothing if not Heritage red in tooth and claw – show how the town’s high street flourished in the nineteenth century just before it was bypassed again in the twentieth century. A brutal New Town a mile to the south is now so old that it too raises further issues around Heritage. Sadly, its uncompromising modernism is now in the process of being swept away by housing developments and parts at least are surely worth preserving. It boasts the first multi-story car park in Britain and a lovely ceramic mural showing the town’s history: the quaint train-line that was axed by Beaching’s reforms in the 1960s, Henry VIII handing the town its charter. Here, half a century ago, we lived happily, freed from our north London slums and looked after by a National Health Service. If you are in any doubt about the town’s political credentials, look no further at the little parabolic arches that support fences around the New Town’s front gardens. They were based on those Le Corbusier designed for the Moscow Pavilion in 1922 and borrowed again later by MacDonald’s. For the moment however, the street exists in some kind of repose; recently cheered up by a make-over, replacing quiet tarmac with the clatter of cobblestones. Council-owned properties sit cheek by jowl with owner-occupiers and start-ups move in and out of vacant shops to get their businesses off the ground; some successfully other less so. But it is within the vignette of everyday life that the radically fractured nature of Heritage as a discipline shows its face. The thin line of catering workers and residents who turned back a rabble of fascist protesters raises a cheer but less so the make-over of a local restaurant that saw its eighteenth century door replaced by a Regency hardwood alternative from B&Q. But these too are among the most compelling parts of the town’s uncertain Heritage and the very stuff of aporia …
The street has its problems and these are written within the fabric of a contested heritage. We love our local church but not necessarily what goes on inside it, a happy-clappy form of Christianity articulated through the conduit of kids’ drawings of a rainbow nation and soft cushions where a medieval font once stood. Rather, I love it as an example of Norman architecture with its disproportionately large spire stuck on it 200 years after its completion to reclaim it back for the English after a brazen act of French, specifically Norman imperialism, that spread throughout the country after 1066. And we have very long memories. When the French moved into the farmers’ market a few years back, they were roundly abused, not racially because 1066 made sure that most of us share the same DNA, but cultural abused because the spirit of Albion so clearly spelt out in our pubs, its fare and the schedules played on its wide-screen TVs were inimical to our cultural fabric. There’s a failed antique shop too that serves as a UKIP (Heritage again?) outpost, displaying a faded photocopy of Tommy Robinson. There is more to be said, but the essai perhaps sketches out something perhaps of an agenda for the subject of heritage … 
Steven Adams  

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Trumpeting from the post-92s

This academic year, as the current group leader for Theorising Visual Art and Design (TVAD), I have decided to focus the programme of talks on the truly excellent research being conducted by scholars at University of Hertfordshire's School of Creative Arts.

This is not simply a nod to the REF (Research Excellence Framework) and the need to create IMPACT for our scholarship, but because I have found since coming to the University of Hertfordshire from the University of Cambridge how much class is internalised and enacted by many of those who work in the post-92 universities. For those outside the UK - or young - the post-92 universities were Polytechnics until 1992, and were therefore populated mostly by (white and male) working class lecturers and working class students from a range of backgrounds taking manual trades and related fields like art and design. Universities such as Cambridge crow easily - and with decorous aplomb - about their research successes. Many of my colleagues at Hertfordshire find this more difficult to do, assuming it is blowing one's own trumpet in all the wrong ways.

Across the School we have numerous scholars who have had their books published recently so I have decided to launch this year's talks programme with one by our Associate Dean for Research,

Dr Steven Adams will be talking about his new publication
Landscape Painting in Revolutionary France: Liberty's Embrace
(Routlege 2019)

 










‘Something happened and I wrote about it’
A review by Stewart Lee, 2015

Steven’s book looks at how we might deal with a tsunami of material when we write a book/thesis, an albatross around all our necks perhaps?  The book isn’t really about landscape painting, it’s is about space, fantasies about space flight and devil abduction and being buried alive: the ‘y’ rather than the ‘x’ axis of space. There’s even a bit about revolution and necrophilia. The project was an intimidating one but by turning to some helpful mentors – Aristotle, Freud, Foucault, Deleuze Nietzsche, Proust and TVAD colleagues – I found a way through it and enjoyed the adventure …


Future talks -
13 Nov 2019 - Stephen Hunt (UH Designer and UH DEd candidate) - On Creativity
15 Jan 2020 - Prof Grace Lees-Maffei
19 Feb 2020 - Dr Silvio Carta
1 Apr 2020 - Dr Alana Jelinek



Friday, 31 May 2019

Live Art at Artists, Designers and the Philosophers We Love

"UpSet"

18.30 duration 20 minutes during the Drinks Reception

Artist duo, Coop (Andrew James and Clio Lloyd-Jacob), use projection and shadow play, with recorded and live soundscape, to focus on issues of relationship, from conflict to co-operation, reflecting the broader patterns of human collaboration, and their mutability. 





20 June 2019

Another highlight of the symposium on 20 June 2019
Artists, Designers and the Philosophers We Love

Keynote by

Dr Kerry Power : How can diffraction support art-making process?

The application of diffraction in a theoretical context is supported by the physical phenomenon The physical phenomenon occurs around us just as light, sound or water for example encounter matter Picture a single light source illuminating an object and casting a shadow. The shadow fringe displays overlapping light waves that intensify at the edge. Similarly, waves of light can compete and cancel each other out, creating a diffractive pattern. This example can be used as a starting point to understand how diffraction can be used as a conceptual model and applied to knowledge formation (Barad, 2007).
In the keynote presentation, I work through Karen Barad’s (2007) theorisation of diffraction and interrogate my application as an art-making tool. My use of diffraction in this context demonstrates a combustible sum of melting, active, sifting and overlapping applications to embrace difference as co-constitutive or intra-active (Barad, 2007). My artwork is projected throughout the presentation to support this process.

Kerry Power works in the faculty of education at Monash University, Australia. She has taught early years, primary and secondary pre-service teachers educational research and art education. She is a practicing artist and researcher working primarily in the field of digital artmaking, educator virtual intra-action and new materialism.

£10 Tickets available
https://www.uharts.co.uk/whats-on/2019-spring-and-summer/artists,-designers-and-the-philosophers-we-love

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Abstracts : Artists, Designers and the Philosophers We Love

Responding to the open call on the theme: 'Artists, Designers and the Philosophers we Love'

Artists have long been interested in the field of philosophy; it has been subject to both fascination and scepticism. Artists are found quoting nuggets of philosophy as inspiration and as context for their work. For some, philosophers are names to conjure with, to add theoretical ballast to their perspectives, whereas for others philosophy is a vital of source of criticality, offering a new perspective on an individual's art and the context in which we find ourselves. For generations, artists have looked to philosophers of the Frankfurt School to understand the art-society-politics nexus and their role in it, and artists, such as Joseph Kosuth, engage with the Analytic tradition. In Art After Philosophy (1969) Kosuth responds to AJ Ayer.

Philosophy comprises one aspect of an art education at BA and MA levels, and for many, a Doctorate in Fine Art practice, requires a serious engagement with philosophy in addition to theory, history and other disciplines. Can artists contribute meaningfully to philosophy? Can there be a productive relationship between art practice and philosophy that goes beyond name-checking the Good and the Great, and merely illustrating a well-honed philosophical phrase? What is it for an artist to love a philosopher? In this workshop, we want to explore the relationship between art and philosophy from the perspective of practicing artists. Our aim is to examine how art can engage with, and contribute to the theoretical problems of philosophy, and offer a critical rethinking of philosophies re-imagined and interrogated through art practice. The symposium is open to both senior and early-career artists and scholars who are planning or conducting projects in philosophy and art.

20-21 June 2019
School of Creative Arts, College Lane, Hatfield

||  Tickets available through UHArts ||  £10 and nothing for students  ||

Thurs 20 June

16.15 Keynote
Dr Kerry Power (PhD) : How can diffraction support art making process?
Monash University | Melbourne | Australia
17.15
Teodora Sinziana Fartan : Hyper Chaos - Exploring New Media Art through the Lens of Science Fiction, Speculative Realism and Weird Science
MFA ; student | Goldsmith’s College | University of London
17.35
Stephen Sewell : The Impoverishment of Truth
Independent Artist | USA
17.55
Prof Simeon Nelson
: Process and Materiality - Solid Speculation in a Fluid World
University of Hertfordshire | UK
18.15 Q+A panel discussion
18.30 Drinks Reception

Fri 21 June

10.00
Kerry Purcell
: Risking Love - Encountering the universal through the local
University of Hertfordshire | UK
10.20
Dave Ball
: Doing Things Alphabetically - Sartre’s Autodidact and Tactically Absurd Practice
PhD candidate | Winchester School of Art | UK
10.40
Lisa Taliano : Disorientation Re/presentation
Independent Artist | USA
11.00 Q+A panel discussion
11.20 Break
11.40
Alison Pasquariello : Verbier Art Summit: a multi-directional exploration of Philosophy and Art
Verbier Art Summit | Switzerland
12.00
Shannon Forrester : Can painting be words? Can the philosophical be material?
PhD candidate | Royal College of Art | UK
12.20
Dr Anna Walker (PhD) : The haptic visual - making sense of the world through touch or being touched
Plymouth University | UK
12.40 ;Q+A panel discussion
13.00 Lunch
14.00
Chicks on Speed : Facing the Gesamtkunstwerk foot first
Prof Alexandra Murray-Leslie (PhD) | Trondheim Academy of Fine Art p;| Norway
Sophia Efstathiou | Postdoctoral Fellow in Applied Ethics | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Prof Tina Frank | University of Art and Design, Linz | Austria
14.20 Yamu Wang : A Reader’s Response to A Thousand Plateaus’ Introduction to Rhizome - & ICH & I & CH &
Zurich University of the Arts | Switzerland
14.40
Jaspal Birdi : Being connected is less costly than being engaged
Independent Artist | Italy
15.00 Q+A panel discussion
15.20 Break
15.40
Maria Patricia Tinajero : When Dirt Becomes Soil - Ecological Art Practices as a New Philosophy of Praxis in Age of the Anthropocene
PhD candidate | Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Art Philosophy in Portland, Maine | USA
16.00
Dr Sebastian Mühl (PhD) : On aesthetic indeterminacy
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Austria
16.20
Mimi Cabell : I'll work out tomorrow
Assistant Professor | Rhode Island School of Design | USA
16.40 Q+A panel discussion

17.00 end

Abstracts

Kerry Power : How can diffraction support art-making process?
The application of diffraction in a theoretical context is supported by the physical phenomenon The physical phenomenon occurs around us just as light, sound or water for example encounter matter Picture a single light source illuminating an object and casting a shadow. The shadow fringe displays overlapping light waves that intensify at the edge. Similarly, waves of light can compete and cancel each other out, creating a diffractive pattern. This example can be used as a starting point to understand how diffraction can be used as a conceptual model and applied to knowledge formation (Barad, 2007).
In the keynote presentation, I work through Karen Barad’s (2007) theorisation of diffraction and interrogate my application as an art-making tool. My use of diffraction in this context demonstrates a combustible sum of melting, active, sifting and overlapping applications to embrace difference as co-constitutive or intra-active (Barad, 2007). My artwork is projected throughout the presentation to support this process.

Kerry Power works in the faculty of education at Monash University, Australia. She has taught early years, primary and secondary pre-service teachers educational research and art education. She is a practicing artist and researcher working primarily in the field of digital artmaking, educator virtual intra-action and new materialism.

Teodora Sinziana Fartan : Hyper Chaos - Exploring New Media Art through the Lens of Science Fiction, Speculative Realism and Weird Science
This paper aims to explore the newly-formed grey areas where emergent new media art practices overlap with speculative realism tendencies, weird science ideologies and futuristic perspectives. Taking cues from thinkers such as Eugene Thacker, Simon O’Sullivan, Raymond Williams and Gilbert Simondon, this research aims to highlight the ways in which new forms of media art question, interpret and attempt to invent the future, both at a macro and micro level, sometimes even rethinking its entire ontological status.
With a particular focus on ideas of fictioning, fabulating and creating alternative imaginaries in order to disseminate what it means to be human today, or perhaps better said, in a vague tomorrow, this paper attempts to map the new speculative turn as reflected in new media art practice, whilst highlighting the influence of science fiction on speculative art tendencies. Ultimately, the aim of this research is to map the intertwining of speculative and weird realism with ideas such as O’Sullivan’s ‘science fictioning’ and new forms of computational and electronic media in order to highlight the ways in which these practices inform and enrich each other.

Teodora is currently a graduate MFA student at Goldsmith’s, University of London. Her research interests include speculative realism, materialism, the weird,the Anthropocene, theology in the technological context, myth-science, fictioning and sensing. Her previous work has been featured in exhibitions across Romania, Hungary, the UKand Australia, and features in both permanent and private collections. In 2016, she was shortlisted for the Australian Contemporary Art Awards for her exploration of the use of new materials within painting. Most recently, she has exhibited at the ‘Echosystems’ Goldsmiths Computational Arts Degree show in London, UK and participated in a panel discussing affect titled ‘Working Things Through and Feeling Things Out: Six Statements on Computation, Translation and Experience’ at the 2019 Transmediale Festival of Art Digital Culture

Stephen Sewell : The Impoverishment of Truth
I propose to discuss Roy Bhaskar’s critical realism and the need for artists to engage in the making of truth claims. Drawing on Bhaskar’s work the talk will first address the ways in which art/cultural production does not exist in an autonomous relationship to historical reality but is inextricably bound up in it. Furthermore it will highlight the fact that at any specific historical conjuncture there is always a dominant hegemonic power that structures the conditions of political, economic, and social practices. If this dominant hegemony is to be contested we need to be able to make claims regarding how it works to reproduce itself and maintain dominance, why it is insufficient, what an alternative project looks like and why it is necessary. Bhaskar draws on Marx and Althusser to make a case for the existence of an ontologically real space outside of our experience of it and the need for a depth model of ontology in order to discover and understand the structural forces/causal laws that determine our existence. Once discovered they must be made knowable through a dialectical relationship between epistemology and ontology. I will argue that the site of art/cultural production is precisely where these structures can be represented and made knowable in order to contest dominant ideological and hegemonic forces while avoiding the essentialism and relativism that has led to the current impoverishment of truth that marks our present historical moment.

Stephen Sewell is a Brooklyn-based artist, filmmaker and educator. He received his MFA from the University of Washington and is an alum of the Whitney Independent Study Program, Mountain School of Arts, and Art & Law Program. His works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and he has lectured and participated on panel discussions at Queens Museum, Pacific Northwest College of Art, MoMA PS1 Print Shop, and Cornish College of Arts. He currently works at the Whitney Independent Study Program.

Simeon Nelson: Process and Materiality - Solid Speculation in a Fluid World
I will highlight the influence of the process/organismic philosophy of A. N. Whitehead; his notions of pan-experientialism and critique of simple location, the Radical Empiricism of William James in which relations between things are as real and prominent as the things themselves including the observer, and other significant sources and inspirations including phenomenology, cybernetics and complex emergent systems.
The process view embraces the world, its relations, its process of becoming and crucially one’s own being in that same world simultaneously. This and the radical empirical view is that all elements, however one divides them up for convenience and conceptual clarity are intrinsically monistic. Subject and object, mind and matter are parts of the greater whole and are of the same stuff. Object needs subject in order to be so, and subject needs object in order to be so, both are abstractions distilled from experience. I will touch on how variations on this worldview in Neo-Platonism, Taoism and forms of animism have influenced my work.
Process Philosophy must be seen in relation to other schemas so as not to commit the naturalistic fallacy. I am thrilled by its grandeur but I am also attracted to atomism as a granular aesthetic and what I think of as an interface between allopoiesis and autopoiesis - the self-regulating governor of a steam engine.
I will conclude with creative limitation and freedom. I think limitation and partiality are necessary for meaning while freedom - a featureless rhizomatic hierarchy of infinite possibility imprisons the imagination; a bifurcated or otherwise striated topology gives much better grit: it is the very limitations of symbol, circumstance or material that bestow power.

Kerry Purcell : Risking Love - Encountering the universal through the local
In his 2009 book In Praise of Love, Alain Badiou begins with a description of some adverts for the French dating site Meetic that he encountered on the Paris Métro. These adverts carried the straplines ‘Get love without Chance’, ‘Be in love without falling in love’ and ‘Get perfect love without suffering’. This ‘safety first’ approach to love is symptomatic of a culture that turns away from ideas of the universal towards an identitarian position that one’s desires equate with what one is willing to accept in the other. Badiou argues that love offers the possibility of experiencing difference in its infinity. It is an encounter that can be painful, but the outcome can be a rupture with the established order (the self) that opens up a space for the radically new. Like Mallarmé’s lampbearer, Badiou argues that one must remain alert to the potential that love offers to challenge our deeply held beliefs of the immutability of our identities.
This paper will explore how Badiou’s thought offers a way of thinking about the idea of love as a ‘unique trust placed in chance’ (Badiou, 2009: 16). It will examine how such a stance can leave us open to individual experience as universality. How love of the other (be that another person, a piece of art, a book, a riot etc.) offers a possibility to encounter difference in its unbounded sublimity.

Dave Ball : Doing Things Alphabetically: Sartre’s Autodidact and Tactically Absurd Practice
The proposed paper presents my ongoing project A to Z, drawing parallels with the activities of the Autodidact in Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1938 novel Nausea. The presentation is informed by my practice-based PhD research into absurdity, which is driven through the “tactical” use of absurdity in my own work, situated within a wider field of contemporary art and philosophical discourse.
A to Z is a project begun in 2011 based on the premise of visualising every word in the Concise Oxford English dictionary in alphabetical order. Around 10,000 visualisations will need to be made, taking around 35 years to complete. 1,788 images have so far been made, the most recent being “damage”. The entire sequence of A, B and C-words were recently shown at a solo exhibition A to Z: The First Seven Years at Gallery Oldham, Manchester.
Sartre’s novel Nausea features a character known as the Autodidact, who is discovered to be reading the books in the library in alphabetical order. His absurdly systematic acquisition of knowledge is, for Sartre, a naïve humanist folly – a misplaced faith in the betterment of the self through rational learning.
Performed tactically, however, such absurdity can be reimagined as a form of critical practice. A to Z enacts exactly this kind of tactical absurdity, functioning less as Sartrean “bad faith” than as playful disruption. The work thus “thinks” philosophically absurd ideas in a context far removed from their existential origins. The presentation will be accompanied by images from A to Z
 
Dave Ball is an artist based in Berlin and Wales; he was educated at Goldsmiths College, London (MA), and the University of Derby (BA), and is currently researching the use of “tactical absurdity” in critical (fine) art practice at Winchester School of Art (PhD). He is represented by Galerie Art Claims Impulse, Berlin
 
Lisa Taliano : Disorientation Re/presentation
The human race has become a geological force. Ecological problems are no longer just an issue of our impact on the environment, they’re about our impact on the earth’s system. The magnitude of the accelerated transformation has turned ecological questions into questions of survival and has disoriented us in space and time. The newness of the situation and its complexity makes it difficult to fully know what the issues are. For that reason, philosophers like Bruno LaTour, Timothy Morton and Donna Haraway call on artists to work across disciplines to help visualize, come up with a new cosmology, myths, and representations of the world to render us sensitive to these issues.
This talk will focus on the success and failure of Bruno LaTour’s interdisciplinary performance lecture – Inside. The performance lecture is the result of his working with artists to find a new way of representing the world from the inside, as opposed to the world represented as a blue globe from outer space. Given that life exists within a very thin layer of activity on the earth’s crust, a feeling for the sensitivity of this skin is difficult to represent when you imagine it from the outside. We are not in a globe, we are on top of a very thin layer of the earth. Everything we see and encounter in life exist in this tiny critical zone. The artist’s role in the scientific/political philosophical situation will be to find ways to render ourselves sensitive to this layer.

Alison Pasquariello : Verbier Art Summit: a multi-directional exploration of Philosophy and Art
What structures will enable meaningful relationships between Philosophy and Art? What is the potential in establishing channels for productive discourse between the two disciplines? The Verbier Art Summit is an international non-profit platform for discourse, bringing together thought leaders and leading art world figures in Verbier, Switzerland. Each year, the Summit invites a group of speakers with a shared interest in an annual theme, in collaboration with a rotating museum director, for a weekend of dialogue. In this discussion, Project Manager at the Verbier Art Summit, Alison Pasquariello, will present on the impact of bringing together philosophers, artists and art world professionals into one dialogue.
At the Verbier Art Summit, philosophers have introduced academic concepts into the discourse surrounding art, deepening conversations whose philosophical grounding was once restricted to summarised quotes by the ‘Great’ philosophers. Terminology such as ‘indeterminacy’ and ‘ineffability’, having long been studied within philosophical disciplines, beautifully facilitated conceptual break-throughs among an audience of art world figures at the Summit. Yet what does the philosopher have to gain from these encounters, and how can cultural projects attract philosophers and keep them engaged? If art picks up where Philosophy ends, then we must ask—what is the role of Philosophy at art’s end?
Alison will review key examples of cross-disciplinary dialogues engaging with Philosophy through innovative approaches, in order to investigate the potentialities for collaboration within the Philosophy and Art symbiosis.

Alison Pasquariello graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Mathematics in 2015, where she conducted original research in Libreville, Gabon under the Karbank Fellowship for Philosophy Research. In 2017, Alison earned her Master’s in Logic from the University of Amsterdam, publishing her interdisciplinary thesis at the Institute of Logic, Language, and Computation on interactions between culture and cognition, with a focus on time. In November 2017, Alison joined the Verbier Art Summit team, where she is now the Project Manager. The Verbier Art Summit is a non-profit, international platform for discourse in a non-transactional context. The Summit connects thought leaders to key figures in the art world to generate innovative ideas and drive social change.

Shannon Forrester : Can painting be words? Can the philosophical be material?
These questions offer a way into imagining what art might offer philosophy and what philosophy might offer art. Art has been a major subject of philosophy, not because art is somehow uniquely ‘philosophical’ but because philosophy, perhaps especially new materialism, is uniquely art-like. New materialism examines the dynamic material of life and the universe. Reparative painting, a theoretical framework that traces ways of looking at and making paintings which seek to subvert marginalization based on race, gender, and sexuality bias, while also considering socio-political and psycho-emotional dynamics of the individual and the matter of their circulation in the assemblages that form existence. Reparative painting, the elemental matter that forms it and in a way becomes its voice through its human-material-conceptual formation, reaches towards an exit from dynamics of exclusion so prolific in the contemporary. If we consider Karen Barad’s description of matter as “… an imaginative material exploration of non/being, creatively regenerative, an ongoing trans*/formation. Matter is a condensation of dispersed and multiple beings-times, where the future and past are diffracted into now, into each moment.” we can begin to understand just how painterly new materialism might be, as painting transforms, subverts time, presents complexity, intensifies and disperses, puts experience, knowledge, and material in a dance echoing the fabric of life and the universe.

Shannon Forrester is an international artist working in the expanded field of painting and a practice-led researcher developing reparative turn theory in painting. Forrester has a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MFA Painting as well as a Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) from Boston University and is currently at RCA completing Reparative Painting, Identity, Society, and the Individual, a practice-led PhD dissertation. Their interdisciplinary work incorporates painting, curation, and writing at the intersection of WGS, new materialism, and cultural studies. It traces the potential of the reparative turn in painting, aesthetics, and narrative to subvert dynamics of gender, sexuality, and race that suppress human flourishing.

Anna Walker: The haptic visual - making sense of the world through touch or being touched
For this paper. I will explore an inextricable link between art and philosophy. In some instances, they are so intertwined that it becomes impossible to separate one from the other without a loss of sense, sensation and therefore meaning. Layering Derrida’s theories of spectrality upon Laura Marks’ exploration of the haptic visual I will discuss the Deleuzian concept: "when sight discovers in itself a specific function of touch that is uniquely its own, distinct from its optical function' (2005, p.109). I will also address the Freudian notion of Nachträglichkeit—the concept of deferred action, to experience what yet remains to come: a ghost of or from the future. The spectral for Derrida does not arise out of social or biological death, rather it emerges from a future absence where the ghost is neither present nor absent, but both at the same time—a presence negated by absence. In his words:
To haunt does not mean to be present, and it is necessary to introduce haunting into the very construction of a concept. Of every concept, beginning with the concepts of being and time (Derrida, 1994, p.13).
Phenomenologically, the haptic is a form of the visual that muddies intersubjective boundaries (Marks, 2002: 17), whilst psychoanalytically it is an aspect of the visual that moves between identification and immersion. Marks emphasises the tactile and contagious quality of haptic imagery as something viewers brush up against like another body. She writes: "The words contact, contingent, and contagion all share the Latin root contingere, ‘to have contact with; pollute; befall’’ (2000, p. xii). This paper will be accompanied by sound/ and or moving imagery.

Anna Walker, PhD, is an artist, writer and researcher working in multi-media, primarily sound and moving imagery. She was awarded an MA in Fine Art from Southampton University in 1998, and a certificate in Psychotherapy from CBPC, Cambridge, in 2010. An interest in the effects of trauma on the body, developed during her work as a psychotherapist, led her to a PhD in Arts and Media at Plymouth University, which she completed in May 2017. Her arts-practice balances the auto-ethnographic with the critical, utilising personal experiences to facilitate a greater understanding of memory, trauma and its wider cultural implications. She has been exploring trauma in her work for many years, how the body responds to overwhelming traumatic and stressful situations and how it reorganises itself to cope with or manage the trauma. Most recently research has focused on intergenerational trauma, i.e. what gets passed down from generation to generation. For example, the moving Image work: ‘Breathe Wind into Me, Chapter 1’ (2018-2019), exhibited as part of Making Space at Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, is a loosely, flowing, stream of consciousness that questions what arises physically and philosophically when life is stripped back to the bare essentials. She is a contributing researcher of Transtechnology Research at Plymouth University.

Chicks on Speed : Facing the Gesamtkunstwerk foot first
Our talk investigates the scope of common ideas about the human body through ‘gesamtkunstwerk’—all-embracing artworks that adopt and make use of many art-forms and disciplines. The collaborating authors from the fields of pop music, visualisation and philosophy suggest that philosophical concepts can be extended and expressed simultaneously through music, data visualisations, costume, choreography and performance, adding new faces to the meaning and expression of philosophical ideas.
We focus on common ideas around the feet, and how these become transfigured, found and founded into a series of art-and-science works: the series of Computer Enhanced Footwear (CEF) prototypeswe examine, demonstrates that gesamtkunstwerk provides a method to explore thepossible roles that the feet can have in society. We use fashionable costume design, pop music, dance choreography, visualization, scenography, kinesiology and 3D fabrication practices.
Resulting in a unified body of work, gesamtkunstwerk shows that shoes and feet are more than simply tools to help carry our bodies around. They can be reimagined through the act of performance and the application of audiovisual technology to make a statement, semantically communicate social-political concerns and facilitate free, spontaneous expression. Explorations of different founded concepts of the feet and footwear as activists, as citizens and liberators illustrate the vast potentials for the feet for social change.

Alexandra Murray-Leslie is an artistic researcher, performer, poly-artist and co-founder of the international art collective Chicks on Speed. Her current artistic research & practice explores designing, fabricating & performing computer enhanced footwear for a new theatrical, audiovisual expressivity of the feet. Alex’s work has been discussed in publications such as Creating Artscience collaboration (Schnugg, 2019), Explorations in Art & Technology (Candy & Edmonds, 2018), Akward Politics (Smith Prei & Stehle 2017) as well as periodicals such as New Yorker (2006), The Wire (2015), Art Forum (2013), Financial Times (2013) & New York Times (2002). Her work has been shown in major biennales, festivals and art institutes such as; Ars Electronica, ZKM Centre for Art and Media, 56th & 57 Venice Biennale, MoMA NY, Centre Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art Australia, Turner Prize Tate Britian, ArtScience Gallery Dublin & Singapore.

Sophia Efstathiouis is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Applied Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Sophia’s work develops philosophy and art-based approaches to responsible innovation, informed by her embedded humanistic research within scientific projects. Sophia has published on seaweed, systems biology and the use of everyday ideas in science as found science by analogy to found art. She has contributed with performance lectures in the Athens Biennale (2013, 2017).She is a Council member of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB).

Tina Frank is an Austrian designer, artist, and professor at the University of Art and Design, Linz where she is heading the Department Visual Communication at the Institute for Media. Since 1995 she has established three design companies, working for a wide range of clients creating websites, signage systems and album covers. As an artist, Tina Frank collaborates with musicians and creates audio-visual performances shown live all around the world, such as Ars Electronica, Linz; Centre Pompidou, Paris; ICC, Tokyo, etc. She received the Diagonale Prize for Innovative Cinema. Her current focus in teaching is on digital publications, data visualisations and synaesthetic experimentation.

Yamu Wang : A Reader’s Response to A Thousand Plateaus’ Introduction to Rhizome - & ICH & I & CH &
In this presentation, I would like to first shortly introduce my name and Maya, Mayu, Muya, Muyu, Yama, Yamu, Yuma, Yumu, an art work which was drawn from auto corrections of my name, either by a word processor or in people’s memory, as its combination of vowels and consonants seems rather unfamiliar to the alphabet system.
Then, the presentation will be followed by a reading of A Reader’s Response to A Thousand Plateaus’ Introduction to Rhizome, which shares my personal relation to the Rhizome text, as suggested in the title, and I believe, it is in itself a rhizomatic text.
& ICH & I & CH & was inspired by Deleuze and Guattari’s idea of “and.” “Ich” is the first-person singular pronoun in German, equivalent to English “I.” “CH” is the abbreviation of Latin “Confoederatio Helvetica,” meaning “Swiss Confederation,” the official name of Switzerland. As someone who mainly communicates in English, the experience of living in German-speaking Switzerland allows me to fuse the German “I” with an English component. Meanwhile, it also deals with my artistic subjectivity, which makes it possible to articulate the “I” in an exhibition context, is dependent on the institutional framework and support.

Yamu Wang has a particular interest, or sensitivity, in examining and exploring subjectivity and how it is conditioned by using her personal experiences as case studies. She works with installation, video, text, and performance; she also creates discursive situations where different social bodies can meet and talk. Language is a recurrent element in her works, may it be the subject matter, medium, and/or material in part because it conditions her very being. She considers herself a subject-in-process, both inside and outside the art field. The production process, as well as the condition, are often revealed thus in her works. She often wishes to employ the presence of the audience’s body in a certain way, and that constitutes an integral part of her work. A bigger concern for her is what the work does, in contrast to how they look, even though she is fully aware that their looks determine what they could possibly achieve.

Jaspal Birdi : Being connected is less costly than being engaged
Being connected is less costly than being engaged— Zygmunt Bauman
Technological innovations simultaneously create better understandings of our surroundings while impairing the distinction between illusion and reality. With social interactions increasingly lived through a screen visually crisp and informative as real-time and space; as history progresses, the ratio of implicit knowledge on the evolution/flaws/limits of technology decreases.
As a Visual Artist, I perform a painting process which seeks to eliminate the difference between a window and screen though glitches. Often playing with paint’s loose, chromatic, and photo realistic qualities versus rigid and realistic impressions of thinly collaged digital photography, my works reveal similarities and contrasts between the real and abstract: questioning the physicality of our realities—the value of time as it shapes our understanding of the space we live.
My research often begins visually, utilizing a ludic process I found with technology to draw attention to the machine extension of human hands as it reaches its breaking point and seems to imitate human ensitivity. Parallel to visual practice, I read works by philosophers to draw my attention to patterns within my documentation and experimentation which I feel are reflective of present day phenomena. In the occasion of the 2019 TVAD International Symposium, I would be eager for the opportunity to share how my visual research draws clarity from philosophy, most recently in particular, Zygmunt Bauman’s book Liquid Love

Jaspal Birdi is a multi-disciplinary artist inspired by dynamic environments she experiences in reality and virtually. Often mixing with photography with painting, Jaspal Birdi’s works question the physicality of our realities — the value of time as it shapes our understanding of the space we live. Holding a Bachelors of Fine Arts: Drawing & Painting from OCAD University, a Masters in Arts Management from Istituto Europeo di Design (IED), and a Specialization in Curating Contemporary Art from Venice School of Curatorial Studies, Jaspal Birdi has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Italy and Germany. Recipient of awards and honours such as the Arte Laguna Prize, Premio Stonefly, and Premio Francesco Fabbri, her works have been featured in publications such as Artribune, Exibart, Zoomers Magazine Canada, Corriere Della Sera, IO Donna, Repubblica, and BOOOOOM. Currently based in Milan, Italy, Jaspal Birdi is an artist in residence at ViaFarini

Maria Patricia Tinajero : When Dirt Becomes Soil: Ecological Art Practices as a New Philosophy of Praxis in Age of the Anthropocene
The 1970’s is a benchmark for when changes in our own ways of interacting with the planet could have made substantial difference nonetheless it seems that the environmental movement lost its opportunity. Is it too late today? This study does not provide a solution for the global environmental crisis. Rather, it is a point of reference to begin to imagine alternative philosophical frameworks to answer the trauma of the planet’s material substrates.
Ecological art practitioners are the stewards for aesthetic reclamation, remediation, and conservation of soil, and their goal is to develop ethical-aesthetic perspectives that engage art and environment through concepts, language, praxis, and theory to uncover the underpinnings and attributes that take place in soil. Through these embodied ethical-aesthetic perspectives ecological art practices are situated at the cracks left by the international environmental movement. I argue that redistribution is a material philosophical system, and that fermentation is its method for thinking, for acting, and for transforming soil’s material properties and, to access the potentiality for philosophical endeavours with soil. Fermentation and redistribution follow two axis, interconnectivity and urgency, contributing with new definitions and procedures to address the problem of soil’s sustainability. The analytic focus of redistribution through the process of fermentation activates emergent contributions to the fields of art, aesthetics and ethics by triggering the manifold processes of soil’s reclamation and remediation as part of a larger metabolic exchange and ecological thinking

Maria Patricia Tinajero is a visual artist and a PHD candidate at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Art Philosophy in Portland, Maine. Her academic and creative research focuses on social justice and the environment.Currently, Tinajero is researching ecological art practices and soil at the intersections of art, biology and philosophy. Tinajero is coauthor in several publications in the field of ecological sound composition and ecological art practices, including her most recent essay, “Ethical Grounds: The Aesthetic Action of Soil,” published in the anthology Art, Theory and Practice in the Anthropocene, edited by Julie Reiss, at Vernon Press. Tinajero received an affiliate fellowship from the American Academy in Rome for “Aqua Circular” (2010). In fall 2018, Tinajero was part of the exhibition “Making Migration Visible” at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art in Portland.

Sebastian Mühl: On aesthetic indeterminacy
Ever since artists in the 1960s (e.g. Marcel Broodthaers) started to use strategies of imitation, adaptation and fictionalization to adopt scientific protocols and their modes of visualization, science and philosophy themselves have become a matter of reflection, transformation and critique through contemporary art. But according an epistemological status to contemporary artistic knowledge production means to challenge the differences between art, philosophy and science. Artistic production reaches a point of indeterminancy when it mimetically tries to imitate the epistemological claims of philosophy and science. There should rather be an acknowledgement of the distinction between the theoretical, practical and aesthetic forms of experience and rationality. The determination of art is constituted by an aesthetic logic, differentiating art from non-aesthetic phenomena. Thus aesthetic experience does not relate directly to propositional understanding which is fundamental to scientific knowledge and philosophical argument. It rather breaks free with the determinations of theoretical experience and leaves thinking open to an infinite process of indeterminacy. Even though in the light of the recent rise of artistic research production in contemporary art as well as aesthetic epistemologies in contemporary philosophy, there remains a fundamental break between what we could call the „truth procedures“ (Badiou) of art, science and philosophy. An aesthetic experience of art thus undermines the clarity of any epistemological content potentially present in artworks. Where indeterminacy can be identified in the experience of art, it points towards the core of what an aesthetic experience ultimately means — namely the structural potentiality and negativity that challenges our determining (theoretical and philosophical) judgments. By discussing some recent examples of artistic research (e.g. the work of German artist Emanuel Mathias), my paper will try to clarify this argument by drawing on some theoretical assumptions of authors such as Alain Badiou, Christoph Menke and Martin Seel.

Dr. des. Sebastian Mühl is an artist and researcher based in Berlin and Klagenfurt, Austria. His research focuses on the political dimensions of contemporary practices and on the politico-aesthetic implications of artistic perceptions of modernity. He finished a phd thesis on the revival of utopian thought in contemporary art. The project was a critical research into modernological, participatory and art activist strategies in the visual arts since the early 1990s. His films and film-based visual art projects focus on the effects of the politico-aesthetic utopias of modernity. Sebastian is currently preparing a postdoc research project on „crisis as form“ in digital environments. Further research interests: Critical Theory, Aesthetics, Theories of Democracy, Artistic Research and Aesthetic Epistemologies.

Mimi Cabell : I'll work out tomorrow
I’ll Workout Tomorrow is a 33-minute video that uses as material 80 pairs of underwear, all size XS, from the Victoria’s Secret ‘Pink’ line — a junior line marketed to college age women. Additionally, I only purchased underwear on which language appears — phrases like “Hey Hey,” “I Want Everything And More,” “Unwrap Me,” “No Peeking,” “Wish You Were Here,” or “Cheers,” to name a few. I then interviewed multiple people and recorded their reactions as they sifted through the underwear. The video is comprised of selections from these interviews. For “Artists and the Philosophers we Love” I will screen a 10-15 minute excerpt of this video along with a brief presentation about the process of making the piece and the ideas that drove its production.
Without drawing conclusions, Workout is reflective and dialogical; it engages ideas of desire and performance, gender, sexuality, and capitalism’s co-option of cultural and political movements, and would work well in the context of other work in gender and queer studies, performance studies, and investigations into the influences of markets on cultural practices. The video is an ethnography, and the content points to work done by theorists like Angela Davis, Sara Ahmed, and Judith Butler. Ultimately, Workout represents an investigation into how one is both produced by a culture, at the same time as producing, co-producing, or re-producing that same culture

Monday, 20 May 2019

2019 TVAD symposium

Artists, Designers and the Philosophers We Love

Thurs & Fri
20 & 21 June 2019
School of Creative Arts  |  University of Hertfordshire
College Lane  |  Film, Music and Media Building  |  B01


Thurs 20 June
16.15 Keynote
Dr Kerry Power (PhD) : How can diffraction support art making process?
Monash University |  Melbourne  |  Australia

17.15
Teodora Sinziana Fartan : Hyper Chaos: Exploring New Media Art through the Lens of Science Fiction, Speculative Realism and Weird Science
MFA student  |  Goldsmith’s College  |  University of London

17.35
Stephen Sewell : The Impoverishment of Truth
Independent Artist  |  USA

17.55
Prof Simeon Nelson : Process and Materiality - Solid Speculation in a Fluid World
University of Hertfordshire |  UK

18.15 Q+A panel discussion

18.30 Drinks Reception

Fri 21 June
10.00
Kerry Purcell : Risking Love: Encountering the universal through the local
University of Hertfordshire |  UK

10.20
Dave Ball : Doing Things Alphabetically: Sartre’s Autodidact and Tactically Absurd Practice
PhD candidate  | Winchester School of Art  |  UK

10.40
Lisa Taliano : Disorientation Re/presentation
Independent Artist  |  USA

11.00  Q+A panel discussion

11.20 Break 

11.40
Alison Pasquariello : Verbier Art Summit: a multi-directional exploration of Philosophy and Art
Verbier Art Summit | Switzerland

12.00
Shannon Forrester : Can painting be words? Can the philosophical be material?
PhD candidate  |  Royal College of Art  |  UK

12.20
Dr Anna Walker (PhD) : The haptic visual: making sense of the world through touch or being touched
Plymouth University  |  UK


12.40  Q+A panel discussion

13.00 Lunch

14.00
Chicks on Speed : Facing the Gesamtkunstwerk foot first
Prof Alexandra Murray-Leslie (PhD)  |  Trondheim Academy of Fine Art  |  Norway
Sophia Efstathiou  |  Postdoctoral Fellow in Applied Ethics  | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Prof Tina Frank  |  University of Art and Design, Linz  |  Austria
 
14.20 Yamu Wang : A Reader’s Response to A Thousand Plateaus’ Introduction to Rhizome -
& ICH & I & CH &
Zurich University of the Arts  |  Switzerland

14.40
Jaspal Birdi : Being connected is less costly than being engaged
Independent Artist  | Italy 

15.00  Q+A panel discussion

15.20 Break

15.40
Maria Patricia Tinajero : When Dirt Becomes Soil: Ecological Art Practices as a New Philosophy of Praxis in Age of the Antrophocene
PhD candidate  |  Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Art Philosophy in Portland, Maine  | USA

16.00 
Dr Sebastian Mühl (PhD) : On aesthetic indeterminacy
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt  |  Austria

16.20
Mimi Cabell : I'll work out tomorrow
Assistant Professor  |  Rhode Island School of Design  |  USA

16.40  Q+A panel discussion

17.00 end







Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Speakers announced for TVAD conference

TVAD international symposium 

Artists, Designers and the Philosophers We Love

announce the exciting range of speakers and approaches that will be shared during the symposium on 20 and 21 June 2019.

Kerry Power - keynote
(Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)


Simeon Nelson  (University of Hertfordshire)

Yamu Wang  (University of the Arts, Zurich)

Sebastian Mühl  (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Institute for Cultural Analysis

Mimi Cabell  (Rhode Island School of Design Division of Experimental & Foundation Studies)

Teodora Sinziana Fartan (Goldsmiths University of London)

Jaspal Birdi  (independent artist, Milan Italy)

Anna Walker  (University of Plymouth Transtechnology Research)

Kerry Purcell  (University of Hertfordshire & PhD candidate)

Shannon Forrester  (Royal College of Art)

Lisa Taliano  (independent artist, New York)

Alexandra Murray-Leslie  (Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Alison Pasquariello  (The Verbier Art Summit, Netherlands)

Maria Patricia Tinajero  (PhD candidate Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Art Philosophy Portland, Maine)

Dave Ball  (PhD candidate Winchester School of Art)

Stephen Sewell  (independent artist, New York)

Speakers will perform their research as artists, others will conform to the traditions of delivering philosophical papers. 
The 2 day symposium offers a varied range of approaches and topics, from the rigorously philosophical to the performative and robust. 

The symposium begins 4pm on Thur 20 June and runs all day on Fri 21 June 2019.

Topics range from inter-disciplinarity to A.I., from science fiction to the anthropocene, and the philosophers we love include Karen Barad, Gilles Deleuze,  Judith Butler, Roy Bhaskar, Sara Ahmed, Raymond Williams, Jean-Paul Sartre and Alain Badiou.

Free for students and £10 for others, please book your place via UHarts

Thursday, 28 March 2019

A Life More Ordinary? TVAD Talk

With apologies to Dr Jessica Kelly for the title of this post (which I will explain below!) I wanted to share a snapshot of Jessica’s TVAD Talk research seminar yesterday for the TVAD Research Group at the University of Hertfordshire. This is reblogged from my research website graceleesmaffei.org 
Dr Kelly returned to the Hertfordshire to give a TVAD Talk having worked with us as a Lecturer in Critical and Cultural Studies for the BA Hons Fashion programme. While at Hertfordshire, Jessica kindly worked with me a co-curator of Writing Design: Object, Process, Discourse, Translation, the 2009 Design History Society conference, from which I edited Writing Design: Words and Objects as part of my Writing Design project.

Jessica left Hertfordshire ten years ago in 2009 after the conference, to take up a doctoral research position at our neighbours, Middlesex University, where she worked with supervisor David Heathcote on her PhD ‘“To Fan the Ardour of the Layman”: J. M. Richards, The Architectural Review and Discourses of Modernism in British Architecture, 1933-1972’. You can read the abstract of Jessica’s PhD here. In her thesis, Jessica reflected on Richards’ importance to the development of modern architecture in Britain, as an exponent of architectural criticism and the mediation of architecture and as a member of an extensive network of people involved in the architecture and media communities.
Since 2013, Jessica has worked at the University for the Creative Arts where she is currently Lecturer in Contextual & Theoretical Studies in the School of Communication Design at UCA Farnham. She is working on a research monograph developed from her PhD and contracted with Manchester University Press, Studies in Design and Material Culture book series so we can read more when the book is published in 2021.

I had previously heard Jessica speak about her research at the 2018 Design History Society annual conference, Design and Displacement, convened by Dr Sarah A. Lichtman at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City last September. For her TVAD Talk Jessica reflected on the development of her research since her time at Hertfordshire, focussed on the mediation of modern architecture in the mid-twentieth century. She outlined her work-in-progress, centred upon her monograph. In Jessica’s own words:

‘the book traces how architects and critics (in the AR and elsewhere) debated whether “public” opinion was something to be ignored, over ruled, negotiated with, placated or pandered to. The changing form and content of criticism offers a view into how Modern architects understood their work and conceived of their role in society.’
Jessica was clear that J.M. Richards believed that the public, meaning, for him, the middle class public, needed to be educated about architecture and needed guidance from architects and other experts and that the AR assisted in that effort. Richards’ views were influenced by the socialism of his wife Peggy Angus. His own influence waned, though, in the early 1970. In seeking to rehabilitate Richards’ reputation Jessica is conscious that his legacy was obscured by less diffident types, more colourful characters who dominated the discourse more readily. The title of my post is an attempt to capture this feeling.


Jessica’s TVAD Talk, which took place on Wed 27 March 1-2.30 pm, was filmed by Mikayla J. Laird and will be published on the University’s YouTube channel, Creative Arts playlist in due course.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Open call for Papers

TVAD International Symposium 2019

Theme: 'Artists, Designers and the Philosophers we Love'



Artists have long been interested in the field of philosophy; it has been subject to both fascination and scepticism. Artists are found quoting nuggets of philosophy as inspiration and as context for their work.

For some, philosophers are names to conjure with, to add theoretical ballast to their perspectives, whereas for others philosophy is a vital of source of criticality, offering a new perspective on an individual's art and the context in which we find ourselves. For generations, artists have looked to philosophers of the Frankfurt School to understand the art-society-politics nexus and their role in it. Other artists, such as Joseph Kosuth, engage  with the Analytic tradition: in Art After Philosophy (1969) Kosuth responds to AJ Ayer. Philosophy comprises one aspect of an art education at BA and MA levels, and for many, a Doctorate in Fine Art practice, requires a serious engagement with philosophy in addition to theory, history and other disciplines.

Can artists contribute meaningfully to philosophy? Can there be a productive relationship between art practice and philosophy that goes beyond name-checking the Good and the Great, or merely illustrating a well-honed philosophical phrase? What is it for an artist to love a philosophy?

In this symposium, we want to explore the relationship of art to philosophy from the perspective of practising artists. Our aim is to examine how art can engage with, and contribute to the theoretical problems of philosophy, and offer a critical rethinking of philosophies re-imagined and interrogated through art practice. The symposium is open to both senior and early-career artists and scholars who are planning or conducting projects in philosophy and art.

The Symposium will be composed of panels with 20-minute paper presentations, and roundtables with less formalized discussion inputs. Please indicate in your email to which format you wish to propose an idea. Panels and roundtables will then be formed based on the themes and submissions. We also welcome film, photo, or other media submissions as long as they respond to the theme and are within the time-frame of 20-minutes.

Please send your proposals to Alana Jelinek 
a.jelinek[AT]herts.ac.uk
(including a title and abstract of 250 words max and a short bio) 
by the 22 April 2019

When: 21 June 2019
Where: School of Creative Arts, College Lane, Hatfield
Keynote:
Kerry Power (Artist and lecturer)
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Confirmed speakers:
Hudda Khaireh (Artist, independent), on Political Philosopher Franz Fanon
Kerry Purcell (Lecturer, University of Hertfordshire
and PhD candidate), on Alain Badiou's Philosophy of Love
Alana Jelinek (Artist, University of Hertfordshire), on the Philosopher, Emmanuel Levinas.

 

Tickets now available - UHarts What's On