Tag Archives: speculations

Shift/Work [static] speculations

At SAW, Ottawa on November 9th 2019, the Confraternity of Neoflagellants (Norman Hogg and Neil Mulholland) will conduct a performance of Shift/Work [STATIC] Speculations, a score-scroll originally composed at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop to be performed at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale Biennale, India (March 2017). It has since been performed in Kristiansand (Norway), Malmö (Sweden), Edinburgh (Scotland) and Calgary (Canada).

Speculation is a ‘gesture that interrupts’ (Biesta 2017, 36); an ‘irritation’ (Ascott 2003, 145); ‘a corruption, a rupture of information’ […] ‘static, a parasite?’ (Serres and Schehr 2007: 3) The speculative parasite is one that stimulates paragogic play, materialising Shift/Workers’ learning expectations. In performing each other’s Speculations Shift/Workshops, Shift/Workers gain a metacognitive understanding of the speculative processes and challenges of artistic learning.

Scroll-score: To blackbox facilitation, Confraternity of Neoflagellants will scaffold play with a scroll-score, a minimal set of prompts that sets the parameters within which Shift/Workshop design is communally performed. Confraternity of Neoflagellants will be using a set of Speculations Playing Cards as parasites for interference, gestation, regurgitation and problem creation. Speculative materials, probes and props will be drawn directly from the pan-pan exhibition.

Shift/Work Speculations

Shift/Work: Speculations

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.

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What will we be ‘composing’?

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.

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NB: If you are able to particpate for only one day, please contact us to let us know.