1. Diverse methods, diverse communities of practice
2. Externally-facing ’University of Dissensus’ [Readings: 1997]
3. Immediation, 1:1, live
4. Fluid, adaptive co-learning
5. Cooperative and collegiate
Speculations is a two day Shift/Workshop. Speculations will be collectively composed and play-tested at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop on the 3rd and 4th of March 2017, a participatory action-research workshop ordained to fabricate speculative artistic research methods.
We will compose a workshop in which participants develop, learn and apply speculative artistic research methods. It is crucial that the genesis of this workshop is, in its own right, speculative. Our speculative process encourages artistic practices that cannot be held, observed or enacted without taking risks or experiencing their consequences. To this end, Shift/Work: Speculations will be collectively composed.
Speculative methods may include, but are not limited to: abduction, syncretism, forecasting, futurism, divination, becoming-rites, probing (making and employing actants), paradisciplinarity, ‘pataphysics, hyperstition, theory-fiction, mythopoesis, fabulation, fictioning, (mis)management, gaming / playing, versioning, licensing, servicizing, technés / technoetics, extended cognition (ExC), imaginative propositions, paper architecture, thought experiments, proposing, lateral thinking/feeling/knowing, weird-ing, speculative realism, mangle-practice….
Who are the Shift/Workers?
A compagon of ‘composers’ – comprising artists, curators, designers, musicians, producers, educationalists, social anthropologists, philosophers and futurists – will join us at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in March 2017 to scribe and audition Speculations. Working in three groups, participants will compose three iterative workshops. The three groups will then rotate, each participating in the workshops composed by their peers. Our post-workshop re-calibration of the three workshops will translate them into one workshop. Shift/Work will direct this ‘calibrated’ workshop at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at the end of March 2017.
At the time of writing, we may only speculate on the form Speculations will take. We speculate that the workshop will enable participants to compose, experience and evaluate an iterative, action-based, peer-to-peer learning experience that is both theoretical and practical. We expect they will learn how their speculations (and their attendant risks and uncertainties) are co-affective upon the experiences of their peers. Like previous Shift/Workshops, Speculations will enact relevant discourses, practices and models of artistic paragogy to enable and inspire participants to adopt speculative methods and implement their own workshops.
We hope that you can come to ESW to take part in the composition phase of this workshop.
Project Space, Patrick Studios, East Street Arts, St Mary’s Lane, Leeds, LS9 7EH
What’s a studio & how do we use one?
In conjunction with the No Working Title project: Inventory of Behaviors
A One Day Symposium
Monday 6th February
In a climate of economic instability, and at a time when artistic practices are continuing to diversify, the symposium aims to explore a number of modes of studio practice. How does exposure to different models of the studio within art school impact on how artists use a studio upon graduation? How do studio groups differ in their support of artist’s practices? What is the relationship between artists and their assistants?
Speakers include a number of prominent art educators; studio groups from a range of different cities; artists and academics who will discuss the practices of artists who employ teams of assistants within their studios.
11.00 Martin Newth Programme Director of Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts
11.20 Juan Cruz Dean of Fine Art, Royal College of Art
11.40 Neil Mulholland Shift/Work, Edinburgh College of Art & Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop
13.30 Adam Townend & Serf, artists studios and project space, Leeds
13.50 Annie Carpenter & Rogue Artists Studios, Manchester
14.10 Adam Phillips & The Northern Charter, artists studios and project space, Newcastle – Dawn Bothwell
15.30 Jenny Dunseath Author of ‘Artist Boss: Anthony Caro’s studio assistants and issues of legacy in British Sculpture’
15.50 Phil Mayer Ryan Gander’s studio manager
16.10 Jon Wood (TBC) Research Curator, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
16.50 No Working Title – Jo Addison and Natasha Kidd
More specifically, in attunement with neo-animist configurations of the ‘non-human turn’, this paper evokes a cosmology in which aesthetics is not limited to the sensual relations between human self and world but instead describes a synesthetic hyper-economy through which all selves inscribed or enfleshed, animal, vegetable or mineral, represent, translate and interact across the otherwise separate realities they inhabit. As anthropologist Eduardo Kohn argues, a subject, self or mind does not produce signs but is in fact an emergent product of semiosis, of the way it represents the world and is represented by others in the world. In other words a self is a “loci of enchantment”—the non-anthropological outcome of aesthetic processes. Thinking aesthetics in this way intervenes provocatively with the notion of ‘visual literacy’ since it requires a non-symbolic conception of representation as a “open whole” that cannot be confined within human linguistic frameworks.
The Confraternity pursues their speculative cosmology through their ongoing fascination with the enchanted iconicity of medieval sacramental practices such as body part relic-ing. The ritual elevation, translation and sometimes humiliation of ‘person-objects’ epitomizes the dynamic interrelations between corpus and textus, likeness and presence and confounds the hierarchical segregation of ‘representing subject’ from ‘represented thing’.
The A/V presentation takes the form of an alt-future parable, following the synesthetic adventures of an independent broker of sensual exchange. Part corporeal, part corporate and part commodity, Muller Ltd. is a journeying apprentice, or ‘Junior Solution Aligner’, who is pursuing the ultimate ambassadorial title of ‘Universal Travel Adaptor’ by immersing itself in increasingly ‘alien’ centers of experience. As the parable unfolds Muller Ltd’s ‘powers of feeling’ increase dramatically, but only at the terrifying cost of dissolving its own corporeal branding (its iconic ‘equity’) into the synesthetic matrix. The parable thus takes a speculative look at the precarious integrity of visual literacy as it expands its territory into the non-cognitive or ‘illiterate’ realm of the non-human sensorium.
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.