Category Archives: Paper

Confraternity of Neoflagellants | Mobilitas Loci (Muller Ltd.)

“If art can be said to reflect the conditions of the world in which it is made, art that engages with the vanguard technology of an era can perhaps be said to have a particular purchase on contemporaneous visions of the arc of the future.” Chris Wiley, Beginnings + Ends (post-net art), frieze, Issue 159, Nov-Dec 2013.

We will perform Mobilitas Loci (Muller Ltd.) a  multimedia audio-visual work. As neomedievalist artists based in Scotland and Québec, our collaborative work is often fabricated mid-Atlantic in a cloud-workshop using freeware. Where much post-net art tends to rework the forward-thinking modern/postmodern collectives of the 1960s and ‘70s, neomedieval artistic practice adopts ‘backward-thinking’, to identify and develop possible ‘premodern futures’ through a visceral, indulgent, lavish, liturgical and ludic materialism. Given its non-modern condition, contemporary artistic practice has as much in common with the guilds of the middle ages as it does with the avant-garde of the 20th century.

Set in a contemporary passion park, Mobilitas Loci (Muller Ltd.) entangles a number of medieval sources (from the Bestiary of Philippe de Thaon to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs) with the work of living and fictitious artists, knowledge-architects, Ponzi schemers, and philosophers (e.g. Alexandr Petrovsky, Amanda Beech, Ray Brassier, Adam Toffler, www.bobsacamano.dr). The A/V work takes the form of a bestiary entry on the dog-head Muller Ltd., a quasi-human protagonist in our theory-fiction thN Lng Folk 2 Go: Investigating Future Premoderns™ (Punctum, 2013). It is performed in a mixture of middle and modern Scots and middle American mall talk and includes cover versions of electronic voice phenomena recordings of the medieval dead and moving images of Muller Ltd.

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Unexpected Encounters with Deep Time: Enchantment

Thursday, 26th November 2015

Andrew Grant Lecture Theatre, Evolution House, West Port, Edinburgh College of Art

Organised by the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network

Earlier this year the discovery of homo naledi propelled enchantment into a framework of deep time. The speculation is that early human ancestors, perhaps from as much as 4 million years ago, may have ritually buried their dead in the dark Rising Star caves. The questions of when, where and for whom the world first appeared as enchanted have abruptly shifted from the 200,000 or so years of homo sapiens into a much longer past. Elsewhere, the deep future of enchantment can be gleaned from discussions around the future of nuclear waste. Will future descendants still be enchanted by this ‘new immortal’? If so how do present humans protect them from their own curiosity when conventions of communication are so closely embedded within shallow time? Looking closely at the implications of these questions reveal cracks in the shell of human exceptionalism. After all the questions around nuclear waste are often accompanied by the caveat that these descendants we seek to protect may no longer be human.  Yet enchantment is a concept tied to the core of the humanities. Stories of the loss of disenchantment remain central to definitions of modernity and the rise of secularism, and enchantment’s return, via claims of the rise of religious fundamentalism, is central to contemporary geopolitics. Within environmental literatures enchantment has been seen as a way of mobilising ethical responses on an increasingly damaged planet (e.g. Abram; Bennet) and critiqued for contributing to the forgetting of countless ‘unloved others’ (Rose & van Dooren).

Our series focus on ‘unexpected encounters with deep time’ emphasises the way that deep time is encountered in materiality of the everyday. Likewise Jane Bennet has stressed that enchantment arises, unanticipated, in the moment, in the “active engagement with objects of sensuous experience” (5).

The aim of this workshop is to explore what enchantment might become within a framework of deep time. We hope to explore questions such as:

  • How might deep time and enchantment reframe or challenge each other?
  • How are their ties to the everyday world to be understood?
  • How might deep time trouble the humanist frame within which enchantment has primarily been situated?
  • How might it disturb current understandings of the promises and perils of enchantment for environmental thought and action?
  • What are the political and ethical implications, positive or negative, of ‘enchanting’ deep time?
  • How might deep time queer the temporalities of enchantment (cf Burlein & Orr)?

Organisers: Michelle Bastian (michelle.bastian@ed.ac.uk) and David Farrier (David.Farrier@ed.ac.uk)

Confraternity of Neoflagellants | BABEL Session 3: Hermeneutics 2.0 | Toronto

neoflagamazonca4th BIENNIAL MEETING OF THE BABEL WORKING GROUP 

Centre for Medieval Studies, Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen’s Park, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

DAY 1: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9

SESSIONS // 1:30pm – 3:00pm

Session 3. Hermeneutics 2.0

Organizer: Anna Wilson, University of Toronto

Room 301, Centre for Medieval Studies

The need for extra-institutional community between mobile academic and para-academic workers and the sudden prominence of the Digital Humanities means that a great deal of professional activity and community formation is happening in online spaces that nurture new hermeneutics, new ways of knowing and of sharing knowledge. Several recent articles have reflected on how Twitter has been shaping academic discourse in Medieval Studies in particular; scholars who live-tweet are exploring the new hermeneutics that emerge when a 20-min conference paper is translated into 140 characters with hashtags. Less explored are the ways other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, Youtube, Vine, and many others shape the way their users present information, both through the formats they invite — the fanvid, the anonymous comment, best place to buy ambien online the emoticons, reaction gifs, lolcats, webcomics, image captioning — and through the norms of discourse and audience literacies that emerge from the communities that gather on these different platforms. This panel seeks to explore how academic work transforms, translates, mutates, or reframes itself when it emerges in the shape of an internet meme, a piece of fanfiction, a hover text. What is at stake in such a change, politically, professionally, emotionally, and academically? What are the affective currents surrounding these different hermeneutics and movement between them? Who reads, who benefits, and who is put off or ignored? What political aims may be served, or not, by embracing internet hermeneutics? Where are the limits and limitations of internet hermeneutics? Can we speak of an ‘internet hermeneutics’ at all? The five presenters will display, play, or read out something they have made that explores the conjunction of internet hermeneutics and academic scholarship. These will provide a jumping off point for an hour of discussion between panelists, moderator, and audience.

  • Kaitlin Heller (University of Toronto), “Live Anglo-Saxon Role Playing”
  • Norman Hogg and Neil Mulholland, Confraternity of Neoflagellants (Concordia University + University of Edinburgh), “Let us know about anything wrong, or anything you don’t like about this review, and you could win a $50 Amazon voucher!”
  • Jennifer Jordan (Stony Brook University, SUNY), “Graduate School, Academic Self-Care and Digital Communities”
  • Dan Redding-Brielmaier (University of Toronto): “Accidental Pedagogy: Tumblr”
  • Ariel Franklin-Hudson (Columbia University), “Metatext/Paratext: The Hermeneutics of Tumblr Tags”
  • Cai Henderson (University of Toronto): “Lay thine eyes upon it and thou shalt see that it is barren: Appreciation and appropriation of medieval art on Twitter”

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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 of Neoflagellants

As neomedievalists working in Scotland and Québec, our collaborative work is often fabricated mid-Atlantic in a cloud-workshop using freeware. Amazon is one of many labyrinthine online bazaars through which we have fabricated and distributed our work. Such platforms are ideal hosts for parasitic, para-artistic activities.

Since we were recognised in 2009, the Confraternity of Neoflagellants have persistently posted lavish and excessive reviews on amazon as an ongoing liturgical practice of person-object-veneration. The title of this project is Let us know about anything wrong, or anything you don’t like about this review, and you could win a £50 Amazon voucher! (2009-)

In Toronto we will perform one of many reviews that we have posted on amazon.ca Over-identifying with amazon.ca’s ethical values – a fluctuating mix of long-tail corporate-probes and subjectivity-surfing – we carefully elevate ‘item#s’ into neomedieval relics by scripting ‘object hagiographies’ in the form of marginalia, commentary and gloss. This is the neomedieval practice of relic-ing. An ever-expanding bestiary hosted by amazon.ca, Let us know about anything wrong, or anything you don’t like about this review, and you could win a $50 Amazon voucher! is an attempt to generate and embody a hypereconomic assemblage of practices, to become a hub that dissolves distinctions between production, transfer, consumption, humilitas and virtus.

Glossary:

Relic-ing: amazon is but one means of socially incubating person-objects via social networks. For us, this hypereconomic phenomenon closely resembles the pre-modern practice of ‘relic-ing’. The hypereconomy (Alexander Chislenko and Madan Ramakrishnan) emerged in the late 1990s as an attempt to quantify (and thus to subjugate) social capital as ‘situational’ knowledge: user-generated knowledge produced by prosumers for prosumers. In the booming Experience Economy of the 1990s, the virtus-value of goods and services would go up and down depending on the collective experience of their communities of users. Whether it be a free-range egg, a cordless power drill, a cluster of spa services, or an avatar’s high heels, the hypereconomic commodity was a relational hub in a network of inter-human (humilitas = the “human” downscaled) subjectivities.

Post-net art: Where much post-net art tends to rework the forward-thinking postmodern collectives of the 1960s and ‘70s, neomedieval artistic practice adopts ‘backward-thinking’, to identify and develop possible ‘premodern futures’ through a visceral, indulgent, lavish, liturgical and ludic materialism. Given its non-modern condition, contemporary artistic practice has as much in common with the middle ages as it does with the avant-garde of the 20th century.

La Confrérie de Neoflagellants

Montréal, Québec et Édimbourg, Écosse.

confraternityofneoflagellants.org.uk

@neoflagellants

La Confrérie de Neoflagellants a été fondée en 2009 par le Sergent-At-Bras Hogg et rejoint par Gardien des Vêtements Mulholland. Il s’agit d’une confrérie laïque et l’égalité des chances lié par chorégraphe.

Shift/Work Unlearning: Participatory Workshops for Contemporary Art Practice

The 4th International Visual Methods Conference, organized by the University of Brighton will take place from 16th September to the 18th September 2015 at the University of Brighton in Brighton, United Kingdom. The conference will cover areas like International Visual Methods conference will be an outstanding conference which will primarily focus on interpretation of visual methods. As we see, a wide array of visual methods used in participatory visual research including ‘Photo voice’, photo-elicitation’, ‘graphic-elicitation’, ‘mind mapping’, ‘concept mapping’ and all forms of ‘Arts-based research methods’. International Visual Methods conference will be organized to focus on all these aspects. The participants will be highly benefitted by the track sessions of this conference. They will be able to know about all the aspects of the concerned industry. It will be attended by the participants with great enthusiasm. 

http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/whats-on/sallis-benney-events/theatre-2015/september/4th-international-visual-methods-conference-2015

9:00-10:30 Thursday 17th September 2015 Session 4: Critical Perspectives on Visual Methodologies – M2 Brighton University,  Eastbourne, England BN20

Shift/Work Unlearning: Participatory Workshops for Contemporary Art Practice

Key themes:

  • Arts based visual research methods
  • Participatory visual methods

Key words:

  • Paragogy
  • Unlearning
  • Workshopping
  • PAR (Participatory action-research)
  • OER (Open Educational Resources)

Paper Abstract:

Shift/Work examines and reconfigures comprehensive workshop-based approaches to artistic production that are theoretically informed, practical and participatory. Shift/Work aims to establish a collective ontology for practice, creating process-led paragogy, critically reflecting upon the learning processes involved, and disseminating research on a share-and-share-alike basis. Key to this is an open engagement with practice (work) as a means of both generating and transferring new knowledge (shift). This experiential knowledge facilitates new practices and open educational resources for artists and art educators to adapt and implement.

In 2014, Shift/Work commissioned an artist (Leeds United www.leeds-united.org.uk) and designer (Crille Lampa www.crillelampa.se) to facilitate a three-day workshop at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Shift/Work Unlearning (28-30th May 2014) acted upon current discourses and practices that engage with the values of unlearning, deschooling, improvisation and amateurism.

Working in two groups, the participants, a mixture of artists, educators, curators and arts administrators, spent a day designing an unlearning process for their peers to experience on the final day. The workshop was subsequently evaluated by all involved and re-calibrated to run at the Malmö Art Academy, Sweden (12-14th September 2014).

We will analyse the two iterations of Shift/Work Unlearning as examples of how to design, evaluate and develop an iterative action-based approach to artistic learning that is at once theoretical and practical. We will draw upon relevant literature, discourses, practices and models of unlearning that enable and inspire artistic researchers to implement their own workshops.

Shift/Work: Performative Unlearning

Shift/Work: Performative Unlearning

Dan Brown/Neil Mulholland

Strand B: The Politics of Performance Alternative Zones: Uncovering the Official and the Unofficial in Fine Art Practice, Research and EducationParadox Biennial Conference, 9-11th September 2015, Poznan, Poland.

“It was immediately apparent to us that unlearning presented a paradox. Unlearning is an anti-foundational foundation from which to proceed. This makes it a provocative starting point for a workshop, given that workshops are so often predicated on ‘active learning’. Our question, therefore, was what would happen if participants (who we call Shift/Workers) were encouraged to reverse engineer the process of active learning?”paradox2015_poster_citylight-667x1000

Paradox Programme

The Unlearning Organisation

The Unlearning Organisation: Cultural Devolution and Scotland’s Visual Arts 1967-2015

This paper sketches out the ways in which visual artists based in Scotland developed their own 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 generated a productive tension with nascent Artist Run Initiatives in Scotland. With limited state support, artists successfully developed and ran their own platforms while the Scottish Arts Council developed and ran more generously funded (competing) national and civic arts organisations.

Following political devolution in 1999, Scotland’s Governments have revoked JM Keynes’ arm’s length Patron State model in favour of the New Labour experiment with structuration and creative economics that is Creative Scotland. A cross-party bonfire of hydrocodone the quangos fuelled by a populist revolt against ‘expertise’ and ‘excessive government’ in 21st century Britain has rapidly depleted the number of arms length bodies (ALBs) across the UK. This has meant that the centrist creative economy model has been continued by both SNP governments, to disastrous effect. The ALB bonfire has led to the centralisation of the arts (as well as local government and policing) in Scotland. In some respects then, post-devolution Scotland is less devolved than it was in 1994 and, also, less democratically accountable. Since the arts have been fully devolved to Scotland since at least 1994 (or 1967 as some might argue) further devolution of powers from Westminster would have no more or less impact upon this situation than full independence. Rather, remedying this quandary would involve Scotland’s Government rejecting duplication of the centralising tendency of UK Government (unlearning the habit of forming miniature versions of the existing Union State apparatus) and listening more carefully to artists in order to best support the democratic forms of governance that artists have developed themselves over the past 50 years.

NARRATING SCOTTISH DEVOLUTION:

Workshop 2:  31 August 2015, Macrobert Arts Centre, University of Stirling

Cultural Devolution as Paradigm & Practice (1999- present)

PROGRAMME

9.30 Tea/Coffee

10.00 Introductory: Recalling Workshop 1 and interim developments – Scott Hames

10.30 SESSION 1

Before and After 1999: Devolution, Change and Continuity

Kathleen Jamie

Craig McAngus

Gerry Hassan

12.00 Lunch

1.00 SESSION 2

Devolved Cultural Politics and Artistic Production

Neil Mulholland: The Unlearning Organisation: Cultural Devolution and Scotland’s Visual Arts 1967-2015

Carla Sassi

Aaron Kelly

2.30 Tea/Coffee

3.00 SESSION 3

Cultural Devolution as Policy Frame

Paul Cairney

Jean Urquhart MSP

Adam Tomkins

4.30 – 5.00 CONCLUDING ROUNDTABLE

Future research directions and questions

Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Creative Arts & Social Sciences

2/6/15 I gave two short presentations at the ISRF Workshop: Social Science as Communication #Summerhall #Edinburgh http://t.co/yikqyqNS4i on:

Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Creative Arts & Social Sciences

In recent years, there has been a growing concern with materiality as a field of enquiry across the arts, humanities and social sciences. Not to be confused with the field of ‘material culture studies’, or with ‘historical materialism’, emerging research calls into question the binarism and anthropocentrism of critical theory and the cultural turn. The ‘new materialisms’, in their different ways, speculate on how things are material, singular and/or entangled. They have radically redefined post-human politics, agency, corporeality, criticality, representation, and time. In response to these concerns, a group of colleagues from the University of Edinburgh’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences established an Atelier, a network of arts and social sciences scholars and staff from museums and art galleries in Scotland.

Aims:

Our meetings have foregrounded a number of ways in which disciplines within CHSS and our non-HEI partners each have their own protocols and methods for making material available for study in the form of objects. Yet, as we make radically distinct objects from the same material, what remains to be formulated within this multidisciplinary field are the concepts, equipment, and techniques that would generate the truly collaborative ability to fabricate common research objects.

How will the work be carried out?

Atelier members in Social Anthropology (SPS, UoE) and the School of Art (ECA, UoE) recently formalised their research processes, academic and non-academic partnerships in the form of a network project entitled Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Arts and Social Sciences. The aim of the network is to develop models of making phentermine and enquiry that can bring together often separate visual and material research practices within the social sciences and humanities through the creation of an ‘Atelier’. Our Atelier is a commons that allows us to make shared research ‘objects’ through collaborative research practices.  

A series of charrettes – participatory workshops involving interested colleagues across UoE and partners in the museum and gallery sector – will, in turn, focus on a particular object that will facilitate and contrast different methods of material enquiry. By engaging with ’things’ in the custody/field of our non-academic partners the charrettes will enable us to map and improve conditions for cross-disciplinary collaboration, shifting the emphasis away from doing research towards the creation of research objects. 

Juche: Art School State of Mind

Closing Keynote for CHEAD Regional Seminar on The Role of Contextual Studies in Art School Education, The Glasgow School of Art 16/4/2015

I specifically address how the Juche mentality operates internally in art schools. Key to this is the connection between the liberal use of the euphemism ‘integration’ in art schools and how it’s used to manufacture folk devils by opponents of multiculturalism. In this framework, ‘studio’ is implicitly presented as the righteous indigenous territorialised community and ‘context’ as other.

When departmentalism is considered as a community of practice ‘integration’ can be understood as a latent form of monculturalism and assimilationism, one aided by the monotechnic roots of art schools. This is anathema in terms of how knowledge is produced today.

Connected to this is the assumption that the art and design curricula are fine and just need tweaking. In fact, like any exceptionalist Juche-style regime, they are fundamentally flawed and need to be rebuilt from scratch. That can only happen through a radical transformation of the art school’s community of practice so that it is symbiotic with international communities of knowledge production.