Static is the student-led journal of the London Consortium. Aiming to initiate interdisciplinary intellectual debate about paradoxes of contemporary culture, Static presents contributions from an international team of academics, artists and cultural practitioners. The materials, assembled for each issue around a theme, include analytical essays and articles, interviews, art projects, photographic images, etc.
Since 2012, it is accompanied by a sister blog, EcStatic.
STATIC 09: Buttons
‘Careful and curved, cake and sober, all accounts and mixture, a guess at anything is righteous, should there be a call there would be a voice.’
— Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons
The humble button encompasses ideas of connectivity, intimacy, relation, precision, production (on/off), kindness and smallness. Its origin in the Latin buttare, to thrust, and in the old French boton, bud, roots the button in a potentiality that stretches and plies its usage from metaphor to technology. The domesticity of the button, its closeness to our skin in clothing or its proximity in the home, the laptop, the TV remote control, the microwave, calls us to examine our relations to objects and the ergonomics of their interactions with us. As a mediator between man and machine, how does the button inhabit this interstice and what are the implications of their prevalence within the sphere of modern living? How do buttons function within digital culture? Buttons, too, can encapsulate very real threats; the detonation of nuclear warheads or the transmission of confidential information is only a button’s press away; they can contain and express our most strident political or aesthetic positions, but what happens when these buttons are in the possession of an enemy? They have become integral to the way we communicate: phone, email and the internet all require the push of a button to generate action. Playful and tender, the button functions as ornamentation and fastening, both aesthetic and practical.
We here at Static put forth the potentiality of buttons: a haberdashery of usages.
The submission deadline is 6 May 2012. Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Static welcomes diverse formats of submission – essays, articles, interviews, short stories, poetry, visual projects, graphic design, illustration, etc. Video and sound pieces will be included in the online version of Static 09.
Submission guidelines and further information about Static can be found at static.londonconsortium.com/submission.html.
Please contact the Editors at email@example.com if you have any queries regarding technical details before submitting your work.
This essay reflects on how perceptions of time may be altered after the sudden death of a child, and why inhabiting this sharply new temporality stops one’s habitual modes of telling. Neither tearful memoir nor testament of hope, the essay charts a vivid experience of such a suspended time and discovers an unsuspected intimacy between time and language. Although a life inside this ‘arrested’ time resists being described, it is neither exceptional or pathological; to outlive one’s child is historically common enough. But, because of this felt suspension of the usual flow of time which enables narration, it leaves few literary traces.
Published by Capsule Editions as an 80-page pocket book, this is the first in a series of stand-alone literary essays by leading contemporary thinkers and writers.
About the author:
Denise Riley is a poet and philosopher. Her non-fiction includes ‘Am I That Name?’: Feminism and the Category of ‘Women’ in History (Macmillan, 1988), The Words of Selves: Identification, Solidarity, Irony (Stanford University Press, 2000), Impersonal Passion: Language as Affect (Duke University Press, 2005) and, with Jean-Jacques Lecercle, The Force of Language (Palgrave, 2004). Her poetry has been widely published; a Selected Poems was issued by Reality Street in 2000.
About Capsule Editions:
Capsule Editions is dedicated to the revival of the literary essay, publishing new work by leading writers from a variety of fields. Capsule is edited by Edmund Hardy and James Wilkes. Graphic design is by Lina Hakim. www.capsuleeditions.com
Friday 27th January 7pm
BFI southbank gallery
A re-staging of Aura Satz’s ‘Ventriloqua‘ performance with thereminist extraordinaire Lydia Kavina playing the electromagnetic waves of a pregnant body. Referencing ventriloquism, as in ‘belly-speaking’, the body becomes a musical instrument, an antenna, a medium, through which a pre-verbal, pre-vocal otherworldly voice is transmitted. Meanwhile, a flame alphabet visualizes the sounds in a secret fire-code using a Ruben’s tube.
Consortium fellow Tom McCarthy is speaking in the symposium on Futurism and the Avant-Garde taking place at Tate Modern on 27th June 2009, to coincide with the recently-opened Futurism exhibition. His talk, entitled ‘These Panels Are Our Only Models for the Composition of Poetry, or, How Marinetti Taught Me How to Write’, asks what characteristics a genuinely Marinettian contemporary literature might have. Other contributors include Lutz Becker, Mary-Ann Caws, David Cottington, Alex Danchev and Matthew Gale.
On 7 May 1959, C. P. Snow delivered the Rede Lecture in Cambridge. His influential and controversial address on the subject of ‘The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution’ condemned the widening gap of knowledge and understanding between ‘literary intellectuals’ and ‘natural scientists’.
Fifty years on, The London Consortium is bringing together the Science Museum, Tate Modern, the Wellcome Trust and Birkbeck, University of London, in a three-day conference. The conference will consider whether Snow’s critique has been addressed by the increase in multi-disciplinary work and research and the emergence of new cultural forms. Have the distinctions between and within the two cultures become further entrenched? How have the terms of the debate changed?
Thursday 22nd January, Birkbeck, University of London. Room B01, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, London. 9.30am-5.30pm.
A day of academic papers from leading and emerging scholars in the field.
Keynote address: Professor Patricia Waugh (University of Durham).
Please contact Laura Salisbury to book a place: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 23rd January, Dana Centre, Science Museum, Exhibition Rd, London. 9.30am-5.30pm.
A day of lectures and discussion from leading figures in the arts and sciences.
Professor George Rousseau (Oxford University)
Dr Robert Bud (Science Museum)
Professor John Dupré (Exeter University)
To book a place, go to:
Friday 23 January, 6.30-8.00, Reception at the Wellcome Collection.
Saturday 24th January, Tate Modern, Bankside, London. 10.30am-5.30pm.
A day of public lectures and conversation from renowned figures in the field.
Marcus du Sautoy
Book tickets at:
The fourth annual Betting on Shorts short film competition, organised by Consortium students Ricarda Vidal, Irini Marinaki and Konstantinos Stefanis, came to a great climax on Friday 21st November 2008 at the ICA. The audience watched a programme of 17 wonderful short films on the theme of ‘Money, Money, Money’, which were simultaneously being seen in 12 other European cities – Athens, Barcelona, Bucharest, Istanbul, Maribor, Naples, Novi Sad, Paris, Poznan, Stockholm, Thessaloniki and Wiesbaden. The London jury chose as its winner Paul Cotter’s Last Hand Standing, finding it ‘perfectly conceived and executed, in such a way as to pack a full-length feature into 7 minutes’ and calling it ‘a film fable that educated its viewer out of cynicism into joy’. The overall winner across Europe was Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke’s Trotzdem Danke. Watch trailers from all the films in this year’s competition on the Betting on Shorts website.
Stephen Johnstone, Lecturer in Fine Art, Goldsmiths and Editor of ‘The Everyday’, the latest edition in the Whitechapel’s Documents of Contemporary Art series, considers the range of contemporary art engaged with the everyday, as well as its antecedents in Dada and Surrealism, Pop, Situationism and Fluxus.
Art’s turn to the ordinary is symptomatic of a desire to address things in the world, rather than the history and institutions of art, showing a recognition of ordinary dignity or the accidentally miraculous; an engagement with a new kind of anthropology; an immersion in the pleasures of popular culture; or a meditation on what happens, when nothing happens. The celebration of the everyday has oppositional and dissident overtones, offering a voice to the silenced and proposing possibilities for change.
Free. Booking essential
DEADLINE: 1 September 2008
Simultaneous Screenings in November 2008 in Athens, Barcelona, Istanbul, London, Maribor, Munich, Novi Sad, Paris, Poznan and several other cities in Europe and beyond
Awards: Special European Jury Prize
Various Local Jury Prizes
The Theme: Money Money Money
“Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. They have more money than we.” (Dizzy Gillespie)
We would like to invite filmmakers from around the world to submit short films (animation, music video, artist films, narrative, documentary etc.) up to 10 minutes on the theme “Money Money Money”. Think about the poor and the stinking rich, the stingy and the philanthropists. Think about what you could do with a million, but don’t forget what some people can do without a penny. You could explore capitalism, communism or globalisation. If you feel like it check out the price for a barrel of oil. If you think money can buy you love, then make a film about that. And what about haggling, gambling and shopping therapy? Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses but do better than them and send us the best film you can make!
What makes this contest different from any other short film contest is that the audience will be able to bet on which film will be the winner – however, bets must be placed before the screening. Trailers of the films chosen for BoSs 2008 will be streamed on our website and in the participating venues a week before the screening. In addition all contestants will be asked to write a short but informative blurb about their film and give some background information about themselves. This information, together with a still from the film will be available to the audience ca. 2 hours before the screening, when they will also be asked to place their bets.
Entry Procedure: The entry form with all required information accompanied by a DVD-preview copy should reach us by 1 September 2008. For preview only DVD copies will be accepted. If the original language of the film is not English, the preview copy should be subtitled. Please note that we can only accept one film per director.
Selection and Notification: As we expect to receive several hundred submissions we regret that we can only write to the selected filmmakers. If you have not heard from us by end of September 2008 please assume that you have not been successful this time.
Dispatch Costs: The applicant is responsible for the costs of sending the preview copy and, should the film be selected, also the screening copy. Preview copies can only be returned if the applicant provides a self-addressed and stamped envelope.
Please send your preview copy to:
“Betting on Shorts”
London Consortium – Institute of Contemporary Arts
12 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AH
Entry forms must be submitted electronically at www.bettingonshorts.com/form.html and must also be printed out and sent with the preview copy. For further information please do not hesitate to contact us at the above address or at:
Tel.: ++44 (0)20 7893 8669 ® Fax: ++44 (0)20 7930 9896
A Conference on Interdisciplinarity and Research
Saturday 31st May, Birkbeck College, University of London
Disciplinary boundaries can be both prisons and safety zones. We are often tempted to transgress the boundaries of our disciplines, but at what cost and with what consequences?
Consortium Projects and The Faculty of Lifelong Learning, Birkbeck College, invite proposals from post-graduate students for a multifaceted conference of papers, demonstrations and art work celebrating and critiquing interdisciplinary work.
Within and outside the academy there is increasing discussion of interdisciplinary work and practice, as well as those projects which describe themselves as trans-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary or anti-disciplinary. However, an overarching obsession with professional success, audience comprehension, evaluation criteria and funding streams seems to belie this apparent challenging of traditional boundaries. Whilst at the intersection of disciplines new and fascinating ideas, methods, and even disciplines are born, perhaps there is naivety in an interdisciplinary rhetoric?
Proposals are now being accepted for individual twenty-minute papers concerning the issue of interdisciplinary research. Participants may wish to outline the problems of working outside and across disciplines from a theoretical and methodological point of view, or present papers which demonstrate an inter or multi-disciplinary approach. Suggested topics, arguments and perspectives include:
• New methodologies and theoretical positions arising out of inter/multi/trans-disciplinary work
• Projects which cross the boundaries of the social sciences and humanities
• Innovative research approaches, including action research and practice-based work
• Defence of disciplinarity and critiques of interdisciplinary approaches
• Historical and theoretical engagements with interdisciplinary work (historical examples and socio-political contexts)
• Innovative approaches to the study of research objects (archives, interviews, cultural objects, events, performances, etc.)
Proposals of around 300 words and a brief biography, as well as queries concerning the conference, should be sent to email@example.com by 5pm on 28 March 2008.
Consortium Projects is a research, development and production agency comprised of current students and alumni from the London Consortium (Architectural Association, Birkbeck College, ICA, Tate, Science Museum).
The Faculty of Lifelong Learning, Birkbeck College offers over 900 modules across academic disciplines, attracting over 13,000 adult learners to venues across London.
The Arts and Humanities Research Council offers full-time awards for Research Preparation Masters degrees (such as the Consortium MRes) and Doctoral degree programmes (such as the Consortium doctoral programme).
Please be aware that completed AHRC applications for 08/09 awards must be received by the London Consortium office by 14th March 2008.
Further information about the AHRC Awards for UK and EU students is available under Financial Information
Static, the online journal of the London Consortium, launches a call for submissions for two forthcoming issues, Static 7 Catastrophe and Static 8 General http://static.londonconsortium.com/
STATIC 7 CATASTROPHE
“What happened, has not happened: thus spoke patience, that the end might not be hurried.” Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of The Disaster
The catastrophe takes care of everything: from Greek tragedy to sci-fi, from ethics to (an)aesthetics, from architecture to game theory, from opera to snuff. Static 7 aims to reconstruct the contradictions and oppositions of the catastrophic narrative, which is peripheral yet at the centre of all things, consigned to the past and always to be reinstated. Catastrophe is both a central cultural narrative and the point at which all narratives and cultures implode and disappear. The destructive topos par excellence, it has also been instrumental in the development of many of the concepts and categories, from psychology to history, ethics to aesthetics. Static 7 aims to pace the epistemic disaster zone, reading its debris through contributions which explore the notion of catastrophe in literature, architecture, art, politics, science, music and economics, drawing on sources as diverse as Aeschylus and Virilio, Kant and Beckett, financial risk analysis and nuclear reactor meltdown.
The submission deadline is 1 April 2008. Please send your queries and submissions to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Static 7 Catastrophe welcomes diverse formats of submission. Please contact the editors, Chrystalleni Louidzou, Jonathan McKay and Roger Orwell, regarding technical details before submitting your work. Submission guidelines and further information about Static can be found at www.static.londonconsortium.com.
STATIC 8 GENERAL
The general gender [Obs.] = The common sort (of people). (OED) Hamlet.
The general constitutes both the site of a universal quality as well as a collection of the particular. As an idea or shape, it is commonly understood as an inferior mode of description yet the general, uneasily allied with both despotism and democracy, wields an ambiguous authority of its own. Static 8 sets out to probe the power and authority of the general while recognizing the potential for open possibilities that lie in what might be referred to as the undefined, indistinct or even unexceptional. ‘Never alone / Did the King sigh,’ says Shakespeare’s Claudius ‘but with a general groan’ (Hamlet, III, 3). The King, like the military general, is someone who has overall authority but whose supremacy rests dubiously on the plurality and willed consensus of those whose voices are contained in his command. By what means does the general give form? Does it unite, highlight, corrode or simply blur the points of distinction? And what role does it have in the ethos of liberty and coercion? Bearing on the condition of the interdisciplinary in its implicit invocation of ‘General Studies,’ this issue of Static invites contributors to address the possibilities and paradoxes embodied by the general.
The submission deadline is 1 June 2008. Please send your queries and submissions to mailto:email@example.com
Static 8 General welcomes diverse formats of submission. Please contact the editors, Christien Garcia and Alice Gavin, regarding technical details before submitting your work. Submission guidelines and further information about Static can be found at www.static.londonconsortium.com.
Static is the online journal of the London Consortium, a collaboration between the Architectural Association, Birkbeck College, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Science Museum, and Tate.
See www.londonconsortium.com for more information.