Category Archives: Talks

The Unlearning Organisation: Cultural Devolution and Scotland’s Visual Arts 1967-2017 @ Scottish Society for Art History 2018 Study Day

The Scottish Society for Art History’s Study Day for 2018 is on the theme of Art Organisations and Institutions in Scotland. The event is hosted in association with Fine Art Critical Studies, The Glasgow School of Art, and will take place in the Reid Auditorium, GSA , on Saturday 10 February.

The study day will share current research and scholarship on art institutions, galleries, societies, collectives and support organisations in Scotland. The event will feature a selection of papers from a variety of different speakers, from academics and independent researchers, to curators and practising artists.

Tickets for the study day can be purchased online via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-organisations-and-institutions-in-scotland-ssah-study-day-tickets-39874340225

Neil Mulholland – The Unlearning Organisation: Cultural Devolution and Scotland’s Visual Arts 1967-2017

Building on primary research in CCA/GSA’s Third Eye Centre archive and interviews with key stakeholders, this paper elaborates the ways in which visual artists based in Scotland developed their own civic infrastructure in tandem with the devolution of state arts patronage from London to Edinburgh from 1967 onwards. It demonstrates how the Keynesian arms-length principal inherited by the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) generated a productive tension with nascent Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) in Scotland. With limited state support, artists successfully developed and ran their own platforms while the Scottish Arts Council founded and led more generously funded (competing) national and civic arts organisations.

Realising Tom Nairn and Bob Tait’s vision of a Scottish International, Scotland’s nascent ARIs bypassed official Scottish and British arts bodies, finding a blueprint and network for their activities in ARIs such as SPACE (London) and PS1 (New York City).

As a means of mapping means of production and systems of distribution over the past half century, the paper presents snapshots of organisational change at pivotal moments in the devolution of the arts in Scotland: 1971, 1979, 1992 and 1999.

Shift/Work : ISSOTL17, Calgary

Shift/Work : ISSOTL17, Calgary, Alberta, 🇨🇦

Directed by Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (Dan Brown) and Edinburgh College of Art (Prof Neil Mulholland), Shift/Work is a collective that composes workshops that cause participants to reflect upon and recalibrate processes of artistic learning. Key to this is an open engagement with practice (work) as a means of both generating and transferring new knowledge (shift). Our workshops enact new practices and collectively compose open educational resources for artists, art professionals, curators and art educators to adapt and implement. ‘Shift/Work’ is an iterative process, a rolling workshop that can be continually re-performed like a musical score. Given that SoTL generally does not feature in contemporary artistic practice or pedagogy, Shift/Work is distinctive and significant in its engagements with, and innovative contributions, to SoTL.

We will briefly outline the genesis and aims of Shift/Work in relation to SoTL and ‘educationally-turned’ contemporary artistic research, before focusing on Speculations, a participatory workshop composed at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop then play-tested as part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India (March 2017) and at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway (Sept 2017). In Speculations participants develop, learn and apply speculative methods, processes and practices that cannot be held, observed or enacted without taking risks or experiencing their consequences. Rather than simply reflect upon speculation and artistic research, the workshop actually generates new speculative-artistic methods through participatory action research.

Speculations offers a unique insight into Shift/Work’s ludic approach to workshops as reciprocal and enmeshed game-rules governing how actants interact. Playing the ‘game’ – Speculations – leads to the rules being revised and updated, offering fresh game-theoretic insights. Speculations is, thus, a paragogy, a ludic and ‘meta’ practice of peer-to-peer learning that is central to artistic learning. It is a heuristic to improve our understanding of how parameters calibrate and enable adventurous, creative play. In turn, it demonstrates that play does not just make learning fun, it is constitutive of learning. Speculations unravels and clarifies Shift/Work’s commitment to codifying playful paragogy in order to publish and distribute it as an open educational and artistic resource. This has invaluable implications for SoTL as an experimental paragogy that can transform the whole field of education.

http://www.shift-work.org.uk

@ShiftWorkESW

Shift/Work | Alberta College of Art & Design

@ACAD Alberta College of Art & Design – 1407 14 Ave NW, Calgary 🇨🇦 Tuesday v10th October, 1pm www.acad.ca

Shift/Work: Speculations

With Dan Brown, Neil Mulholland directs Shift/Work, a studio at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW) that composes scores designed to encourage players to reflect upon and recalibrate artistic learning. Key to this is an open engagement with practice (work) as a means of both generating and transferring new knowledge (shift). ‘Shift/Work’ is an iterative process, a rolling workshop that can be continually re-performed like a musical score.

Neil will outline the genesis and aims of Shift/Work in relation to the rise of paragogy and para-academia (the ‘undercommons’ of contemporary art and knowledge). He will then focus on Shift/Work’s development of Speculations, a participatory workshop collectively composed at ESW to be performed as part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India (March 2017) and at Teateret, Kristiansand, Norway (August 2017). He will demonstrate how to perform Speculations and provide a copies of its score as an open educational resource for artists to adapt and practise.

@ShiftWorkESW

Confraternity of Neoflagellants at Listaháskóli Íslands

10:00 Friday 30th September 2016 | Confraternity of Neoflagellants | Listaháskóli Íslands  11, Þverholt, Reykjavík, 105, Iceland

Neil Mulholland og Norman Hogg from Myndlistardeild LHI on Vimeo.

Neomedievalisms are cultural practices that breathe a bouquet of premoderns as permanent rehearsals of coming events. To the medievalist, medievalisms provide powerful indexes that reveal how post-medieval societies have variously imagined ‘little middle ages’ to suit current agendas. To the neomedievalist, however, medievalisms are theory-fictions that facilitate ludic speculation on non-modern futurities. Given its nonmodern condition, contemporary artistic practice has as much in common with the stasis of the middle ages as it does with the avant-garde of the 20th century. This lecture will present some of the ways in which The Confraternity have developed neomedieval materialisms with their own nonmodern lexicon, dense hypereconomic practices that combine production, transfer, consumption, humilitas and virtus.

The Confraternity will transfigure four scripts-into-flesh: When Transfiguration Became Commonplace, Thekarites, Mobilitas Loci (Muller Ltd.) and Let us know about anything wrong, or anything you don’t like about this review, and you could win a $50 Amazon voucher!

The Confraternity will also elaborate some of their curatorial projects (‘Thekaries’ / ‘Bokes’) and ways in which the quasi-neomedieval practices of their peers adopt ‘backward-thinking’ to develop possible premodern futures through a visceral, indulgent, lavish, liturgical and ludic materialism.

confraternityofneoflagellants.org.uk

Atelier: Richard Sennett ‘The Craftsman’

 

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Atelier Present:

Richard Sennett The Craftsman

THIS EVENT HAS SOLD OUT

Richard Sennett

Atelier warmly welcome Professor Richard Sennett, who will be discussing his seminal work The Craftsman at The University of EdinburghIn this book, he shows how history has drawn fault-lines between craftsman and artist, maker and user, technique and expression, practice and theory, and that individuals’ pride in their work, as well as modern society in general, suffers from these historical divisions.

Sennett’s research has explored how individuals and groups make social and cultural sense of material facts – about the cities in which they live and about the labour they do. He focuses on how people can become competent interpreters of their own experience, despite the obstacles society may put in their way. His research entails ethnography, history, and social theory. As a social analyst, Professor Sennett continues the pragmatist tradition begun by William James and John Dewey.

Shift/Work: Groundcourse | Roy Ascott

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The Groundcourse is a two year foundation led by Roy Ascott at Ealing (1961-64), Ipswich School of Art (1964-67) and currently at Beijing DeTao Masters Academy in Shanghai.

Groundcourse is a seminal educational experiment that is a key influence on Shift/Work. Prof Ascott will discuss Groundcourse before running a short exercise from it. This is a unique opportunity to experience the legandary Groundcourse at first hand.

Schedule:

1. Discussion of full Groundcourse programme, the theory behind it, and plenty examples of student outputs, both way back in Ealing/Ipswich and currently at De Tao.

Then comes the practice:

2. Each individual student will design and construct a machine that can calibrate changes in one’s individual environment and in one’s behaviour, producing for each user a severely limited repertoire of actions.

3. Organisms are identified, each consisting of five “calibrated” students , recognising their mutual dependancy in enabling the organism’s ability to produce  thought and action.

4. Each organism then to design and build an environmentally-situated  performative game.

5. Presentation: enactment of each organism’s game.

6. Organisms discuss their critical reflection of the process.

Professor Roy Ascott, Ars Electronica Golden Nica award winner, works with cybernetics and telematics on cybernetic art, focusing on the impact of digital and telecommunications networks on consciousness. He is President of the Planetary Collegium, and DeTao Master of Technoetic Arts at the Beijing DeTao Masters Academy in Shanghai. He is the founding editor of the research journal Technoetic Arts, an honorary editor of Leonardo Journal, and author of such the books as Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness.

Prof Ascott’s full biography can be reviewed here:

https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/roy-ascott and here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Ascott