“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.
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)?
Centre for Medieval Studies, Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen’s Park, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
DAY 3: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11
Un/Session 6. Mash Notes
Co-Organizers: Helen Burgess (North Carolina State University) + Craig J. Saper (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Flâneur: David Gersten
*This un/session will run all day Sunday, Oct. 11 in the Great Hall, Centre for Medieval Studies, The University of Toronto, Canada.
We have long participated in signed or anonymous declarations of love and desire. Adderall 30mg even in our neoliberal institutions, peculiarly bloodless forms remain: the corporate pitch meeting, the grant proposal warped by our understanding of what the other (funding agencies) “wants.” Screw that. As Roland Barthes declares, “What love lays bare in me is energy.” This will be an online/offline un-session conducted all day Sunday, Oct. 11 in the Great Hall, Centre for Medieval Studies, featuring participants entering into the lover’s discourse, with documents both electrical and tactile. Updates and online components of this session will be found HERE.
Helen J Burgess (North Carolina State University), “MashBOT” (A twitterbot. With printer.)
What would a bot do if it could write a mash note? Let’s ask it. This project will craft some handmade lovebots on Twitter, and pair them with a small thermal printer.
Craig Saper (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), “TENT–a–tive Vision(s) for an Electric [Kool-Aid Acid] Press” (A manifesto.)
There is already a consensus in academia of the main values founding our Electric Press project in collaboration with punctum books. The scholarly (or creative) value is not determined by mode: printed on paper no longer the privileged mode of delivery. Major scholarly organizations and associations have constructed guidelines for peer-review and legitimacy of electronic and multimodal publications. Multimodal projects can also make available new tools, perspectives, and types of knowledge. Multimodal book-equivalents are still part of the history of the book and printing. Once we agree on these foundational values, then the next question is what specifically do we intend to publish. This paper will spend the majority of its time establishing the aspects of Electric Press’ focus. In general, that tentative focus of Electric Press has two general criteria. The works published will: engage in experimental research methods; explore the shift from print-literacy to electronic/Electracy rather than remediating the advantages of the printed-on-paper book in a pdf or other form that mimics and expands the book. The ethos of the Electric Press can be summarized by the revised slogan from The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (“Drop Out & Turn On”): “Drop In & Boot Up” . . . and to do so, you’ll need a TENT-a-tive vision.
Haylie Swenson (George Washington University), “Philia” (A radio podcast.)
I propose, as a labor of love, presenting my “paper” in podcast form. My dissertation considers the intimacies that arise at the intersection of human and animal death across pre-modern and contemporary literature. My podcast will tell the story behind the story, as it were; it will describe the emotional and tactile encounters I have had with animal vulnerability that underlie this project (an invasive insect I saved from being squished on the Metro; a fox that surprised me in a moment of contemplating my father’s illness; a baby mouse that died in my hand). Using the intimate medium of radio, I will tell these stories as a way of considering the fine line that divides the personal and the scholarly. A love letter to both radio storytelling and scholarship, my podcast will explore one possible, underutilized outlet for telling the stories — the sorrows and passions, the serendipitous encounters — that fuel our academic work.
Leslie King (Radford University), “Erased – Memories of a Forgotten Daughter” (A handmade book and digital counterpart.)
The memories come and go. Sometimes they manifest in a distorted form. To deal with her mother’s memory loss and how their relationship is changing because of this, Leslie King combines the creation of a handmade book and a digital publication that deconstructs it. The three-dimensional book represents tangible memory. The book is formatted as an origami blizzard book, which holds in its pockets King’s miniature drypoint etchings, words, and event proof in the form of photographs, receipts, and other odds and ends. In the book’s two-dimensional digital representation, the subject becomes distorted through its flattened nature and eventual pixilation loss, like memory, as time goes by.
Norman Hogg and Neil Mulholland, Confraternity of Neoflagellants (Concordia University + University of Edinburgh), “Thekarites (2014)” (A slideshow.)
Thekarites is a theory-fictional account of the life and death of the artist Paul Thek and his ‘Technological Reliquaries’. In this re-telling, Thek continues to confound the contemporary art scene after his death. Though his processual rituals Thek enacts a dismantling, relic-ing and radical redistribution of the self that floods the sensual hyper-economy with tiny Thekarites — clusters of affective agency or desire. Thek’s radical little ‘me-machines’ then lead a revolution from within the ‘internet of things’ pathing the way for the West’s ecstatic embrace of an animist future.
@neoflagellants Panel 141 @IMC_Leeds 6th July 2015: 11.15-12.45 Neomedieval Aesthetics in the 21st Century https://t.co/kIQwdwTUIA
Medieval archetypes such as pilgrimage, liturgy, anchoritism, relic-ing, alchemy, banquetry, palimpsesting, mumming, compagnonnage, gifting and commoning are popular practices and themes in contemporary art. Why are so many artists mobilising metahistorical anachronisms to explore their contemporaneity – recalibrating and reactivating a variety of premodern ideas as vehicles of renewal – in ways that are best described as neomedieval? This panel of artist-theorists will speculate on neomedievalism’s aesthetic potentialities, from the elasticated loops and folds it presses on our ideas about history, to the untimely visions of differing non-modern futures it can help us to invoke.
Artists: Thomas Aitchison, Antonia Banados, Tessa Berring, Kirsty Boutle, Kate Bowe O’Brien, Emma Bowen, Carolyn Burchell, The Confraternity of Neoflagellants, Anna Danielewicz, Tim Dodds, Soosan Danesh, Mark Doyle, Micha Eden, Joe Etchell, James Findlay, Brittonie Fletcher, Greg Fullerton, Andrew Gannon, Richa Goel, Keith Guy, Lydia Honeybone, Rebecca Horne, Irvine and Noble, Daisy Lafarge, Suzanne van der Lingen, Kate Livingstone, Stephen Kavanagh, Morgan Kinne, Mirja Koponen, Elizaveta Maltseva, Michele Marcroux, Alessandro di Massimo, Lara MacLeod + Peter Amoore, Angela McClanahan, Scott McCracken, Lesley McDermot, Magaret McGovern, Eilidh McPherson, Dylan Meade, Phoebe Mitchell, Kyle Noble, Anna Oberfeld, Robby Ogilvie, Ortonandon, Santiago Paulos Wood, Matthew Poland, Emma Potterill, Jordan Pilling, David Reid, Sat With Fruit, Cate Smith, Nectarious Stamatopoulos, Tara Stewart, Willem Venter, Devin Wallace, Gosia Walton, Susana Wessling
School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh (Hunter Lecture Theatre), 10.00 am
with Hans Abbing, Evangelos Chrysagis, The Confraternity of Neoflaggelants (Norman James Hogg and Neil Mulholland), Angela McClanahan, Georgios Papadopoulos, Stevphen Shukaitis, Marina Vishmidt
Taking its cue from debates surrounding the contested character of value in artistic production, this one-day symposium presents an interdisciplinary take on the issue by bringing together scholarship from the fields of anthropology, art and critical theory, Marxism and economics. Some of the areas that the participants will address include the following:
Aesthetic value and processes of urban regeneration
Speculation and art production
Ethical values and economies of affect
Emotional labour, entrepreneurialism and self-precarization
Carolyn Dinshaw (New York University): The Green Man and the Modern World
Patrick Geary (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton): European ethnicity: Does Europe have too much past?
Seamus Heaney (Nobel Prize-winning poet): Translating medieval poetry
Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia): The politics of medievalism
Felicitas Hoppe (Author and translator): Adapting medieval romance
Terry Jones (Author and broadcaster): Columbus, America and the flat earth
James Robinson (National Museums Scotland): Saints’ cults and celebrity: The medieval legacy
Other presentations selected from over 150 proposals by academics, writers, curators and musicians from 17 countries include:
Medievalism, masculinity, and authenticity in Game of Thrones; Spenser and the legacy of the later Middle Ages; North American High Crosses; Remembering Thomas Becket in Normandy; William Wright’s work for the Palaeographical Society; A Byzantine methodology for pop culture; The Middle Ages of World War I; Hermaphrodites, history, and the politics of intersex; How the 19th century still haunts the Middle Ages; Assisi’s May festival and its Fascist founder; The origins of the medieval commercial revolution in 20th-century war, exile, and genocide; The state and place of medieval studies in the university; The medieval imaginary in popular Brazilian literature; 19th- century replicas and the generation of visions of early medieval peoples; The 800th anniversary of the Studium generale of Palencia; Terrorism and the Medieval; Representing the Middle Ages in historical grand strategy computer games; Korean translation of Beowulf; The creation of medieval Scottish music history in the 18th and early 19th centuries; The comic medievalism of the internet meme; Antiquarian furniture and the ‘Modern Gothic’ in eighteenth-century Britain; Medievalism and “Touristic Capital”; What medieval sacramental theology has to say about marriage today; Alliteration in contemporary poetry; History by contact; Present uses (and abuses) of the term “Spain” related to the Middle Ages; Christianity, Islam and the persistence of mythmaking.
Any enquiries are welcome to email@example.com. Organisers: Claire Pascolini-Campbell, with Chris Jones (School of English) and Bettina Bildhauer (School of Modern Languages), University of St Andrews.