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.
DOWNLOAD Friedrich Nietzsche (2003/1872). The Birth of Tragedy. Blackmask Online. Chapters 1, 16, 17, 23 and 24 (please note this starts from Chapter 1 after the introduction by Nietzsche titled an ‘Attempt at self criticism’ (1886) further down on the PDF under the title the Birth of tragedy).
The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche’s first book, published in 1872 when he was 28, is both a historical study of the origins of Greek tragedy and a complex and compelling argument for the necessity for art in life.
In the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche describes two competing impulses in Greek culture – the Apollonian and the Dionysian.
Apollo as the god of the plastic or representational arts of painting and sculpture, is associated with beauty and order.
Dionysus in contrast is the god of the non-representational art of music, and associated with flux, mysticism and excess. Through music man is given a true glimpse into the nature of life, and the dissolution of individual identity in communion with nature.
While the Apollonian artist is associated with light and clarity, the Dionysian offers an insight into the darker side of life, a confrontation with the pain and destruction of existence.
Nietzsche argues that these forces and artistic tendencies which were in conflict were merged in Attic tragedy with the combination of the musical chorus and poetry. He believed the combination of these states produced the highest forms of music and tragic drama, which not only reveal the truth about suffering in life, but also provide a consolation for it.
While this mixture of competing forces was richly realised in Attic tragedy Nietzsche traces how the arrival of Socratic culture which prioritised the purely intellectual and rational led to the destruction of myth and the art of the tragedy.
In the second half of the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche uses this framework as the basis of a critique of the rationalism of late nineteenth-century German culture.
In its wide-ranging discussion of the nature of art, science and religion, Nietzsche’s argument raises questions about the vitality and nature of culture in a secular, rationalist modern world.
It contains themes that will remain important in Nietzsche’s later work – including the ‘will’ (an ultimate force which determines human life which will become in his later work the ‘will to power’) and, as he sets out in his preface to the second edition, a critique of Christianity and modern science as forms of belief that he argues do not bring man close to the real meaning of life.
It also contains the roots of arguments that have proven to be some of Nietzsche’s most influential. It’s critique of rationalism in western culture links it to modernism; in it’s focus on dreams and the origins underlying latent content it also seems to have links to psychoanalysis; and in his search for the unknown origin behind avowed or accepted ones it also presages the work of post-structuralists such as Derrida, whose own work depends on disputing of accepted interpretations and origins.
The birth of tragedy has become one of Nietzsche’s best known and most influential books and a source of a challenging rich argument for how aesthetic experience relates to the meaning of life and other questions that remain central to the practice of art and criticism today.
What is the Apollonian and Dionysian? Is this opposition the right one?
Are there other forces that need to be considered? and is it relevant in interpreting art today?
How does rationalism and science shape modern culture?
What role can myth play in culture now?
Is aesthetic experience the only truth in a secular world?
Where is the Apollonian and Dionysian in modern culture? Does the Dionysian need revival?
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.
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.