We got the autumn season off to a great start last weekend! Thanks to Anca Baciu and Mandy Wong for curating, and to everyone who came along on the art crawl from Marylebone to South Kensington on Saturday. We started off with Allora & Calzadilla at the Lisson Gallery, where we wondered how the exhibition lives up to the political critique in the press release. Looking at Wade Guyton‘s work at the Serpentine, we wondered how the large-scale digital prints on stretched canvas or digital prints arranged in display cases are “pioneering painting techniques that explore the impact of digital technologies”. We more or less came to the conclusion that this could be justified by referencing the work’s engagement with formalist concerns such as flatness, surface, illusion etc. We got utterly exhausted by the V&A LGBTQ Tour, which was delivered with energy and enthusiasm. We unanimously applauded this excellent initiative, but were disappointed at the emphasis on anecdotal stories about celebrities.
Many thanks to School of the Damned for inviting is to the First Alternative Education Open Day! It was a privilege to be part of this excellent landmark event together with other alternative art schools. We covered a lot of ground in a relentless series of workshops, met new people, exchanged ideas, played games and had a great time. Many thanks to Maria Christoforatou for preparing and facilitating our workshop, we collected participant responses and we’re putting those together to share. In the meantime you can download the handout with A4 poster.
Our next event is the book club on Michel Foucault’s essay Of Other Spaces, facilitated by Dasha Loyko and hosted at Unison, a former lifeboat turned project space by Anastasia Freygang “to create a shifting pocket of inquiries”. We’re meeting at Yurt Café, located next to Limehouse station before we walk to the boat moored nearby. For more information, to download the text and book your place please visit the page.
[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS] OCTOBER 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.
IMAGE CREDITS ART SKOOL CO-OP. Poster by Sophia Kosmaoglou. [SYMPOSIUM] #20 Foucault: Of Other Spaces. Flyer by Dasha Loyko. Daniel Clowes  Art School Confidential. Eightball #7, Nov 1991.
In this compelling book, Jared Diamond, professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, takes us on a journey to show us how past and contemporary civilisations have collapsed. This session will focus on Chapter 2, ‘Twilight at Easter’ which narrates the archaeological discoveries of Easter Island, the most isolated inhabited place in the world.
Easter Island is renowned for its ‘Moai’ (headstone statues), however both, the reason for their erection and the building methods are still somewhat a mystery to us. The legend tells that the Moai were created to conserve the ‘mana’, the energy from a wise chief, to bring fertility over the tribe.
Research has shown that slaves built the beautiful statues that now are a tourist attraction; amputated hands that were found under some of them speak of the human cost. There is evidence that the Moai altars were a source of competition between different tribes and that many sculptures were destroyed in moments of conflict and war. Not only human lives were sacrificed, but also all natural resources of the island fell victim to the ambitious constructions. One could argue that parallels can be found to the contemporary transnational competition for the biggest skyscraper.
Climate Change is one of the most pressing challenges of humankind today. According to the latest UNESCO report the international community has only 12 more years to act upon the ongoing changes, yet an unwarranted, paralysing optimism persists. How can we learn from Easter Island’s civilisation which caused their own tragic end? How must the person have felt who cut down the last tree of the Island?
In this session, we will discuss the history of Easter Island and its similarities to our contemporary society. It will be led by Tere Chad who has visited the Island twice and has collaborated with Cristián Arévalo Pakarati for her Jewellery Project ‘Fusión-Haka Piri’. Cristián is an Easter Islander archaeologist and designer, Co-Director of Easter Island Statue Project, who contributed with her research to Diamond’s chapter.
How can a society choose complete deforestation in order to construct sculptures?
Why did representation become more rational and minimal during times of crisis?
Which role played fertility and the representation of the vulva.
Why is iconography repeatedly binary?
What are our contemporary Moais (stone sculptures)?
How is the arts scene in Easter Island nowadays?
How can society be so fragmented on only 163,6km2?
Alter Us is an emergent London based multidisciplinary collective that attempts to question and offer solutions regarding our contemporary context. Their concerns relate to the challenges presented by the Anthropocene, sustainability, disconnection, individualism, Artificial Intelligence, inequalities, among others.
Wondering God: A study in Nomadic Spirituality / Morris Berman
Deshumanización del Arte / José Ortega y Gasset
The Naked Ape / Desmond Morris
Easter Island / Jo Anne Van Tilburg
Touch / David Linden
Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power / Byung – Chul Han
Monthly reading group for artists, researchers and anyone interested in the intersections between art practice and critical theory. Everyone is welcome to propose a text and facilitate the reading group. Please book your place and download the shared document. For more information and an archive of previous events please scroll down.
Free & open access
The reading group is free and open to everyone who wants to join as long as they commit to the reading. Please register and arrive early, doors will close when we reach maximum capacity. Don’t forget to download the shared document and bring a hard-copy to the book club. Please consider donating to help cover our expenses and keep us going. Alternatively, you can donate via this link.
Discussion & decision-making
Texts are selected by group consensus on the basis that they reflect on the relationship between practice and theory. This includes a broad variety of texts, from philosophy to politics and aesthetics to science fiction – there is no limitation.
Facilitating the book club
[SYMPOSIUM] is a supportive community of peers who discuss and unpack their research interests. All participants have the opportunity to facilitate the book club on a text of their choice. If you would like to propose a text, you can start preparing right now:
 Decide on a text that you want to discuss.
 Do some background research and write a short introduction to provide some context, from your own perspective. When was it written? Why was it written? Who wrote it? Was it a response to something else? Why are you interested in the text? How does it relate to, or inform, your practice or your research?
 Pace the reading. How long is the text? If it is short, can we discuss the entire text in a 2-hour book club? If the text is long you may need to divide it up between two or more sessions.
 Write down some questions that you would like to bring to the discussion. Suggest some further reading and an image or two, with captions.
 Download the infosheet and send us your proposal.
For our first event in December we’re heading to leafy Crystal Palace for a [STUDIOCRIT]. Join us this Saturday, 3 December to view the work of Johanna Kwiat and discuss Tampering, survival and the everyday. This event is free but due to limited capacity booking is essential.
On Friday, 9 December we’re reading The Four Similitudes from The Order of Things by Michel Foucault (1970) at [SYMPOSIUM]. This discussion will be chaired by Penelope Kupfer. Please note that this event is taking place at MayDay Rooms.* For more information, to book your place and download the text please follow the links.
There’s no [ARTCRAWL] in December 2016 while we have a winter break but it will be back again on the last Saturday of the month from January 2017.
*The Field will be closed during the next couple of months for renovations and maintenance. If you know any free or affordable venues for our events in the meantime please let us know.
[STUDIO CRIT] Johanna Kwiat: Tampering Saturday, 3 December 2016, 14:00–16:00 19 Farquhar Road, London SE19 1SS
Rail: Crystal Palace, Gipsy Hill
Free, please book your place
In December we’re heading to Crystal Palace to view and discuss the work of Johanna Kwiat. After graduating from Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, Johanna studied Fine Art at Working Men’s College in London. She is based in London and currently works from ASC studios. Johanna is a co-founder partner of Art Brixton.