As contemporary artistic practice has become ever more polymorphous and multispatial, large scale exhibitions have accommodated a wider array of emerging nonmodern epistemologies, materialities, and temporalities ‘in the middle’ (Latour, 1993, 47). As a critical means of considering contemporary art’s homologous non-modern, this paper refracts two influential global exhibitions of contemporary art – dOCUMENTA (13) and Il Palazzo Encyclopedia – through the lens of Medievalisms Studies. Medievalisms Studies’ challenge to the ‘simplified binarization of premodernacts and modern identities’ (Fradenburg, 1997, 213) invites deeper scrutiny of contemporary art’s knowledges, materialities, and chronopolitics. Developing the medievalist analogies of the compendium and the relic, I focus on specific exempla presented within the curatorial frameworks of two key biennale that offer a macro-cosmic discourse on contemporary art’s developing relations with knowledges, materials, and time. In unfolding anachronic materialist narratives, a nonmodern sensibility promised to liberate emerging art from the social constructivist paradigms that still dominate contemporary art. As a corollary of their nonmodern materialist epistemologies, the biennale that form my exempla also attempted to (dis)place the practices they curated through a polytemporality in which now-and-then and here-and-there areintertwined.
This book proposes ‘paragogic’ methods to re-imagine the art academy. While art schooling was revolutionised in the early 20th century by the Bauhaus, the author argues that many art schools are unwittingly recycling the same modernist pedagogical fashions. Stagnating in such traditions, today’s art schools are blind to recent advances in the scholarship of teaching and learning. As discipline-based education research in art eternally battles the perceived threat of epistemicide, transformative educational practices are rapidly overcoming the perennialism of the art school. The author develops critical case studies of open source and peer-to-peer methods for re-imagining the art academy (para-academia) and andragogy (paragogy). This innovative book will be of interest and value to students and scholars of the art school, as well as how the art academy can be reimagined and rebuilt.
MInTOone80Five (NOT Clickbait!) (2019)
Confraternity of Neoflagellants
A swampscape commission from Most Dismal Swamp
Features in Most Dismal Swamp 002: Whale Fall
Launch 29th March 2019, London
Whale Fall curated by Most Dismal Swamp
@baojiaxiang, Scrabulous Anomaly in the Re-write Department, Confraternity of Neoflagellants, Department of Decay, Lewis Den Hertog, Plastique Fantastique, Bianca Hlywa, AGF HYDRA, Marija Bozinovska Jones with MBJ Wetware, Natalia Janula, Alexandra Koumantaki, Peter Lee, Christopher Macinnes, Piano Princess, Hannah Rose Stewart, Marta Stražičić, Tea Stražičić, Theo Triantafyllidis, Jennifer Walton.
Whale Fall is the carcass of a fetid dataset by 19 artists working across digital media, installation, performance, fashion, music, film and theory-fiction. At Gossamer Fog, it is remixed and presented as a site-specific film installation.
It is a project by Most Dismal Swamp, an experimental art platform and record label simulating and exploring a contemporary ecology that has come to be defined by the hallucinatory entanglement of multiple logics, systems, temporalities, and realities: a mixed-reality paradigm; a pervasive, horizonless swampscape.
Whale Fall focuses on the diverse bodies emerging from and inhabiting this ‘swampscape’, and how they might pose challenges to orthodox conceptions of personhood, intelligence, corporeality, and life. Do these categories perhaps even harbour assumptions that erase difference and confine the possibility-space of human social, ethical, technological, intellectual, political development? In other words, might an uneven and combined heresy (a revision of the human) possibly emerge from the somatic mutations and social transformations native to the swampscape?
A version of Whale Fall can be watched online at www.mostdismalswamp.com. And a digital release of the music by Jennifer Walton featured in Whale Fall, entitled Winged // Dislocated will also be available via Most Dismal Swamp and across all major streaming platforms.
This exhibition has been made with support from Arts Council England.
Most Dismal Swamp is a mixed-reality biome, an art platform, a multi-scalar mystic fiction, a forecasting laboratory, a long tail, a transitional ecosystem, a party, a cognitive scaffold, a bad dataset, a curatorial MMORPG, a memeplex aggregator, a planetary weirding studio, and a record label.
It is a model for parsing, navigating, and elaborating a Dank Enlightenment: globally variable synaesthesia across multiple and simultaneous dimensions.
Flourish: Johnny Rodger & Irene McAra McWilliams
Memory, Will and Understanding II
Re-imagining the Art School
Thursday 24th January 2019 5.30-7pm
Bourdon Lecture Theatre
Glasgow School of Art
Re-imagining the Art School assesses the organisational development of the humanist ‘idea of the art school’ from the post-rationalist perspectives of constructivist and connectivist educational learning theory. It examines how recent internal (‘porous’) and external (‘para’) reforms have transformed the production of subjectivity in art schooling and pioneers the application of theories and methods of para-academia and paragogy in art education. It is the first book to be published on the future of the art school to develop an open access paragogy for artistic learning and research.
Reimagining the Art School will be published in 2019 by Palgrave Macmillan
Bourdon Lecture Theatre , Glasgow School of Art, Bourdon Building
Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ
Artists in the City: SPACE in 1968 and Beyond
Edited by Anna Harding
Designed by Modern Activity
Published by SPACE (Art Services Grants Limited)
Distributed by Cornerhouse Publications, HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN. Price £19.95
SPACE’s 50th Anniversary Archive Display
SPACE Mare Street, London
19 January – 17 March 2018
In celebration of SPACE’s 50th anniversary, a display in the project space presents previously unseen material from SPACE’s archive covering the years 1968-75 as well as photographs of early events and studio sites, capturing the founding years of SPACE and AIR, the Art Information Register which was the sister organization to SPACE. This material forms the basis of the book Artists in the City: SPACE in 1968 and beyond to be published in March.
The book launch event is set for Saturday 17 March, followed by a panel discussion with selected contributors at Whitechapel Art Gallery on Thursday 22 March.
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 chapter 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 chapter presents snapshots of organisational change at pivotal moments in the devolution of the arts in Scotland: 1971, 1979, 1992 and 1999.
These case studies provide a basis for critical analysis of the devolution of the visual arts since the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament. 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. Throwing SAC on the arms-length-bodies bonfire that has raged across R-UK, a centrist ‘creative economy’ model has been accelerated by the SNP.
In some respects, post-devolution Scotland is less devolved than it was in 1994 and, also, less democratically accountable. The chapter proposes that the Scottish Government may best unlearn the existing Union State apparatus by adapting the distinctive model of collaborative advantage that artists have developed to successfully govern their activities over the past 50 years.