Wellcome Collection, 16th June, 10.30-1700
As humans, we have an ability to empathise with one another. Reading emotions and sharing them are integral to our survival and social cohesion. But why is it that objects can also spark these feelings in us? When we watch puppets, what triggers our emotions? Is it their movement or is it simply the stories they tell? And can we be just as moved by everyday objects?
None of these questions have straightforward answers, but in this unique event we’ll uncover the latest science exploring the mysteries of empathy in puppetry and elsewhere in culture.
The morning will start with an extract of Blind Summit’s critically acclaimed performance The Table, followed by discussion about the relationship between puppeteers and puppets. Satellite performances will happen over lunch, followed by a discussion about the ways we relate to objects in the afternoon.
Consortium Director Steve Connor, author of Paraphernalia: The Curious Lives of Magical Things (London: Profile, 2011), will give a talk at this event entitled Feeling Things. Mistrusting our conventional mistrust of the attachment to material things, it will consider some of the emotions that objects help or even teach us to feel – disgust, curiosity, and tenderness. Perhaps, without objects, we would never learn how to love, or love to learn.
£20 full price/£15 concession including a full day of discussion and performance as well as lunch and refreshments.
To book, please call 020 7611 2222.
On 29 Feb, visiting speaker Hillel Schwartz will be giving a talk titled ‘The Noise of Almost Nothing’.
All are welcome to this attend this joint School of Arts/London Consortium event, which is organised by the London Sound Seminar.
Hillel Schwartz is the author of Making Noise: From Babel to the Big Bang and Beyond (New York: Zone, 2011) and The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles (New York: Zone, 1998).
The talk will be held in the Keynes Library, Room 114, 43 Gordon Square, 4.30–6pm, 29th February.
The London Sound Seminar offers an opportunity for research students and faculty in London to explore issues relating to the history and theory of all forms of sound-making and auditory culture.
Wednesday 1 February, 4.30-6.00 pm [Rm 113, 43 Gordon Square]
‘The Soundproof Study: Victorian Professional Identity and Urban noise’ in John M. Picker, Victorian Soundscapes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp.41–81 [also look at pp.15–16 from Ch.1]
Wednesday 15 February, 4.30-6.00 pm [Rm 113, 43 Gordon Square]
Emily Thompson, ‘Noise and Modern Culture, 1900–1933′, in The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900–1933 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002), pp.115–168
Wednesday 29 February, 4.30-6.00 pm [Rm 114 – Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square – NOTE DIFFERENT ROOM].
‘The Noise of Almost Nothing’ – talk by Hillel Schwartz (author of Making Noise)
Wednesday 14th March, , 4.30-6.00 pm [Rm 113, 43 Gordon Square]
Friedrich Kittler, extracts from Gramophone, Film Typewriter and forthcoming chapter ‘The God of Ears’ (on Pink Floyd’s ‘Brain Damage’) [selections TBC]
To subscribe to the London Sound Seminar mailing list: from the email address you wish to subscribe with, send the following command within the body of the message to firstname.lastname@example.org: SUBSCRIBE LONDONSOUNDSEMINAR Firstname Lastname
We will use the list for announcements of meetings and events, and it can be used for discussion too. To send an message to the list, simply email email@example.com
Come along to this month’s Science Museum Lates on Gaming (on 28th September from around 7pm), where the Consortium speaker will be Rob Gallagher.
Science fiction meets fictional science
Many videogames borrow narrative and aesthetic tropes from science fiction. But as a medium that combines representation and simulation, digital games are also capable of supplementing science fiction with ‘fictional science’, of implementing made-up physical laws that promote a reconsideration of our relationship with science and technology.
Maya Deren: 50 Years On
BFI, Oct 4th – Oct 12th 2011
Curated by Elinor Cleghorn; a collaboration between BFI and the London Consortium
Fifty years after the death visionary filmmaker, theorist and proselytiser Maya Deren, the art and influence of one of experimental cinema’s most inspiring and charismatic figures is celebrated and explored. This dedicated programme of screenings and events includes ‘Maya Deren: New Reflections’ (Saturday 8th October) a one-day symposium exploring Deren’s legacy through the lenses of visual art, choreography, anthropology and film theory.
For full programme details and to book tickets please visit the BFI link here
Two events dedicated to reading the matter and metaphors of waste and value, in and through spaces, objects and language.
Rubbish film double-bill
Friday 29th July
6pm – 9pm
B20 Main Building
London, WC1E 7HX
Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine, 2009)
The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
Saturday 30th July
B20 Main Building
London, WC1E 7HX
Keynote – Professor Steven Connor
Respondent – Professor Esther Leslie
Henderson Downing (Birkbeck) – “No Shit, Sherlock”: Psychogeography and Other Rubbish Theories
Natalie Joelle (Birkbeck) – The Back Art of Things: Gleaning and Picking in Agnes Varda’s The Gleaners and I and Lucy Walker’s Waste Land
Lisa Mullen (Birkbeck) – Undead Toys: When Objects Refuse to be Rubbish
Terri Mullholland (Oxford) and Sian Thomas (Poet) – The Things that Remain: The Abandoned House as Archive of Poetic Memory
Daniel Rourke (Goldsmiths) – On Kipple and Things
Rosemary Shirley (Sussex) – Keeping Britain Tidy: Litter and Anxiety
Jon Tee (Birkbeck) – ‘Sound, Noise… Rubbish? Ballard’s “The Sound-Sweep”, Musique Concrète and the “Music for Magnetic Tape Project”‘
Tony Venezia (Birkbeck) – “There is no real magic” – George A. Romero’s Martin as Rustbowl Fantasy
Will Viney (London Consortium) – ‘Unproductive and Uninhabited’: Wastes of Place and Time
James Wilkes (London Consortium) – Follies, Ruins, and Fossils: Paul Nash’s Swanage Photographs
Chairs: Dr. Brian Dillon (Kent); Zara Dinnen (Birkbeck); Matt Wraith (London Consortium)
The symposium will be followed by a wine reception.
Both events are free.
The London Consortium presents:
Anthony Julius, Is There Anything to be Said for Censorship?
July 7, 6:30pm
Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium
Millbank, SW1P 4RG
Anthony Julius is the chairman of the London Consortium and one of the UK’s most prominent litigation lawyers. He was head of the law firm Mischon de Reya’s litigation department for ten years and served on the management board from 1985-1997. As the Firm’s senior solicitor-advocate, he has appeared in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal and acted for many high profile clients. He is renowned for defending Deborah Lipstadt in the David Irving Holocaust denial trial, as well as representing Princess Diana during her divorce. He is now at the forefront of the firm’s work in public advocacy. Anthony was a member of the Faculty of Law of UCL for three years and is now a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of several major books, including T.S. Eliot: Anti-Semitism and Literary Form, Transgressions: The Offences of Art, and most recently Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. Anthony is Chairman of the Jewish Chronicle newspaper and Vice-President of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
This is the final talk in the London Consortium’s summer term Visiting Speakers series. It is free and open to all, but please RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org to secure a place.
Tom McCarthy on Robbe-Grillet: Thursday 9 June, 7:00pm at the Institut Francais, 17 Queensberry Place, London
tickets and information here.
Words on Mondays with Robert Coover: Monday 13 June, 7:00pm at Kings Place, London N1 9AG
Discussion with Robert Coover, John Banville, and Tom McCarthy.
tickets and information here.
Electra presents Dirty Literature Series: Thursday 16 June, 7:00pm at the National Portrait Gallery
Francesco Pedraglio and Tom McCarthy
Tickets and information here.
Calling All Agents: A symposium on the work of Tom McCarthy
Birkbeck College, Univeristy of London, 22-23 July
Calling All Agents: A symposium on the work of Tom McCarthy’ is the first academic symposium on the work of British novelist Tom McCarthy. This event will feature papers on McCarthy’s three novels, Remainder (2005), Men in Space (2007) and C (2010), as well as his role as General Secretary of the International Necronautical Society, and his relationship with the Tintin series. The day will conclude with a reading by and Q&A session with McCarthy.
Registration and information here.
The London Consortium presents:
Professor Beatriz Colomina
Towards a New Posthuman Architect
Wednesday June 1st, 7pm
The Royal Institute of British Architects, Lutyens Room
66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD
Air travel was revolutionized in the late1950s with the arrival of commercial jetliners. Le Corbusier saw the collapse of traditional space and time as nothing less than the emergence of a new kind of human. En route to India, in his favorite airplane seat, he notes: “January 5, 1960. I am settled in my seat by now acquired number 5, -alone, admirable one-man seat, total comfort. In fifty years we have become a new animal on the planet.” This posthuman is an animal that flies; the airline network is its “efficient nervous system,” its web covering the globe. The hyper-mobile architect is a symptom of a globalized society in which humanity will be necessarily transformed.
Beatriz Colomina is Professor of Architecture and Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. She is the author of Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (MIT Press, 1994), Sexuality and Space (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992), and Domesticity at War (ACTAR and MIT Press, 2007). Recently she curated with a team of Ph.D. students from Princeton the exhibition “Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X-197X.” The catalogue of the exhibition, co-edited with Craig Buckley, has just been published by ACTAR. Her next research project is “X-Ray Architecture: Illness as Metaphor.”
This is the inaugural talk in the London Consortium’s ongoing visiting speakers series.
Please RSVP for free attendance: email@example.com
£5 on the door, pending availability, for unconfirmed guests.
On the 17th of March the Barbican Art Gallery presents an evening of duets, taking a cue from works by Laurie Anderson and Trisha Brown on the same theme. In this event, Aura Satz presents new performance works using acoustic devices such as a Chladni plate and a sound sensitive flame.
Performances from 7 to 10 pm. Tickets and other information may be found here .
A series talks will take place at the AA in the months of January and February.
Mark Cousins will lecture on Technology and the Subject from 5.00-6.00 on the following Fridays: 28 January,4 February, 11 February, and 25 February. Cousins is Director of Histories and Theory at the Architectural Association, and a founding member and Senior Fellow of the London Consortium.
On selected dates, immediately following these lectures, invited artists will discuss their work as well.
Peter Welz: 28 January 6.30-8.00. Welz has worked with the choreographer William Forsythe, transforming his bodily rhythms with video, photography, drawing and sculpture, into a three-dimensional portrait.
Hito Steyerl: 11 February 6.30-8.00. Steyerl is concerned to loosen ‘documentary’s complicity with dominant forms of a politics of truth’ in the examination of the relations between the global economy and film. She focuses on the image as a restless and transitory object, subject to violent dislocation in what she calls ‘the vicious cycles of audiovisual capitalism’
Jeff Kipnis in conversation with Tobias Rehberger: 25 February 6.30-8.00. Jeff Kipnis is Professor of Architectural Design and Theory in the School of Architecture at Ohio State – a curator, filmmaker, designer, architectural critic and theoretician. Rehberger has been called a conceptual sculptor who invents tasks for others to carry out.
Entrance is free
Architectural Association / 36 Bedford Square / London
For more information, please see here
In the first three months of 2011 a series of four talks will explore the nexus of ‘sound’, ‘noise’ and ‘music’ from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. In the context of a bourgeoning sensitivity to the auditory across a range of disciplines, these talks will consider how particular formulations of these interdependent notions transform ‘sound’ from an isolated attribute of sensory experience into a embedded, ecological means of world-inhabitation.
As has been an ongoing tradition for the London Consortium, the series will be held in the Wheatsheaf pub (25 Rathbone Place, W1T 1DG) – a favourite of 1930s writers such as George Orwell and Dylan Thomas – a venue that will also provide a great opportunity for continuing informal discussion following each paper.
The current series has been organised by London Consortium and Birkbeck College postgraduate students Matt Clements and Jonathan Tee, and is also associated with the London Sound Seminar. It is free and open to all.
If you would like more information about these events please contact: Jonathan Tee (jonathantee [at] cantab [dot] net) or Matt Clements (m.clements [at] bbk [dot] ac [dot] uk).
Wednesday, 19th January, 7pm
Eric Clarke – ‘Musical Meaning: an Ecological Approach’
Eric Clarke went to the University of Sussex to read for a degree in Neurobiology, and graduated with a degree in Music. In 2007 he was elected to the Heather Professorship of Music at Oxford, and is currently an Associate Director of the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music. For 10 years he was a member of the improvising string quartet The Lapis Quartet. Eric Clarke’s research embraces a number of areas within the psychology of music, music theory, and musical aesthetics/semiotics. He is the author of a recent monograph on listening (Ways of Listening. An Ecological Approach to the Perception of Musical Meaning OUP, 2005) and co-editor of a volume on Empirical Musicology (OUP, 2004). He has also published more than 60 papers and book chapters on music related topics.
Tuesday, 1st February, 7pm
David Toop – ‘A Sinister Practice: The Uncanny Space Between Improvisation, Composition, Live Performance and the Digital Domain’
David Toop is a composer/musician, author and curator who has worked in many fields of sound art and music, including improvisation, sound installations, field recordings, pop music production, music for television, theatre and dance. He has published five books, including Ocean of Sound, Haunted Weather, and Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener. He has released eight solo albums, including Screen Ceremonies, Black Chamber and Sound Body, As a critic he has written for many publications, including The Wire, The Face, Leonardo Music Journal and Bookforum. Exhibitions he has curated include Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery, London, Playing John Cage at Arnolfini, Bristol, and Blow Up at Flat-Time House, London. Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts London, he is a Senior Research Fellow at London College of Communication.
Wednesday, 16th February, 7pm
Henry Stobart – ‘Saturating the Soundscape? Conceptualizing Sound and Silence in the Andes and Beyond’
Henry Stobart is Reader in Music/Ethnomusicology in the Music Department of Royal Holloway, University of London. His research has principally focused on indigenous music of the Bolivian Andes; examined from a wide range of perspectives. His books include the monograph Music and the Poetics of Production in the Bolivian Andes (Ashgate, 2006) and several edited volumes: The New (Ethno)musicologies (Scarecrow, 2008), Knowledge and Learning in the Andes: Ethnographic Perspectives (co-edited with Rosaleen Howard; Liverpool University Press, 2002), and Sound (coedited with Patricia Kruth; Cambridge University Press, 2000). He is currently working on a monograph provisionally entitled Digital Indigeneity and has been invited to write a theoretical volume on ethnomusicological perspectives to Music and Environment.
Tuesday, 1st March, 7pm
Karin Bijsterveld – ‘Car Sound Ecologies: A History of Listening to and in the Automobile’
Karin Bijsterveld is historian and professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society Studies, Maastricht University. She is author of Mechanical Sound: Technology, Culture and Public Problems of Noise in the Twentieth Century (MIT Press 2008), and co-editor (with José van Dijck) of Sound Souvenirs: Audio Technologies, Memory and Cultural Practices (AUP 2009). With Trevor Pinch, she is working on The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies. She has recently been awarded with a NWO-VICI grant for the project Sonic Skills: Sound and Listening in Science, Technology and Medicine, 1920s-now.
Creating an ethereal resonance between sound and vision, ‘Sound Seam’ begins by enticing the viewer through the mouth of a series of gramophone horns, like a portal into another place and time. The film invokes the idea that every surface, in particular parts of our anatomy, is potentially inscribed with an unheard sound or echo of voices from the past. The process of exposing these hidden sounds is mirrored by the various processes associated with record cutting, record playing, overwriting and erasing technologies, as the seemingly infinite grooves are seen spinning and distorting at high magnification, with a dizzyingly hypnotic effect.
‘Sound Seam’ is created by Consortium fellow Aura Satz with funding from the Wellcome Trust Arts Award grant scheme. It runs as a single screen projection in the Forum at Wellcome Collection from 9 December 2010 to 16 January 2011. For more information see the Wellcome website.
A small publication with contributions from Steven Connor and Tom McCarthy will also be available during the exhibition.
According to the critic Laurence Rickels, ‘every point of contact between a body and its media extension marks the site of some secret burial’.
On 4 December at 2pm artist Mark Leckey and novelist and Consortium fellow Tom McCarthy discuss the importance to their own work of the three-way relationship between selves, technological media and practices of mourning.
Patrick Keiller’s film Robinson in Ruins, released on 19 November, is one of several outcomes of a three-year, AHRC-funded research collaboration between Keiller, Doreen Massey, Patrick Wright and Matthew Flintham.
On Saturday, 20 November at 17:20 the film will be screened. Following the screening, the co-researchers will present their shared project. Through its study of a landscape, the project challenges commonly-held assumptions about the current economic and ecological crises: about market forces, commodification, and the terms of belonging in an age supposedly characterised by mobility and displacement.
Please see link below for additional information:
Mark Cousins’s Friday Lecture Series begins Friday October 22nd, at 5pm in the AA Lecture Hall. It is entitled ‘Technology and the First Person Singular: Homer and the voice’. You can find more details here. The following Friday, October 29th, his talk is entitled ‘Technology and the First Person Singular: Inscription and Spacing’ – more details here. Further dates for this series will be November 12th and November 19th for which you should refer to the AA website for more information.
Patrick Wright will discuss his new book Passport to Peking (published by Oxford University Press 27 October) with the journalist and historian Neal Ascherson at the London Review Bookshop. The conversation will be held Thursday, 21 October at 7.00 p.m. The book, which has been described as a hodgepodge of literary styles: travelogue, cultural history, and comedy, details the story of four British delegations setting off to Beijing in 1954 at the invitation of then Chinese prime minister, Chou En-Lai. The Bookshop is located at 14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL, near Holborn tube station.
TURNTABLE TABLEAU, a film performance, Sun 9 May, 5pm
ICA – Live Weekend 1 – Performance etc (produced by David Gryn)
Consortium teaching fellow Aura Satz presents a talking book ventriloquist act, followed by a live soundtrack to her recent film ‘Sound Seam’, performed Alex Baker, Frances Scott and and Consortium students Lina Hakim, Roger Orwell.
‘Sound Seam’ is a film featuring abstract imagery of close-ups of gramophone grooves, giving voice to the idea that every surface, in particular parts of our anatomy, is potentially inscribed with an unheard sound or echoes of voices from the past. The hypnotic film uses microscopic close-ups of gramophone grooves, wax and acetate shavings, phonograph cylinder recording and erasing technology, as well as footage of the anatomy of the ear, where inner ear hair cells have been animated to look like a sound groove, and a gold-plated cochlea spirals like a shellac disc. Presented at the ICA as a silent film, accompanied only by the surface noise of crackle, the performers enact a live sculptural sound-track, a spiraling multivocal counterpart, a cornocupia of voices recounting a tale of mourning and technology, a forensic love-story of sorts in which the voices overlap, echo and pre-empt each other. The layers of voice-overs narrate a tale which draws on Rainer Maria Rilke’s text ‘Primal Sound’, where he reflects on the possibility of playing the coronal suture of a skull with a phonograph needle. The cinematic stage is animated by a voice-over carousel, a spinning tableau vivant, a canon of voices amplified by horns set on a rotating stage.
‘Sound Seam’ premiered at the AV festival in Newcastle in March 2010 as a complex filmic multi-channel sound installation in collaboration with Aleks Kolkowski, featuring 20 original phonograph and gramophone horns, a number of hearing trumpets, and an 8ft auxetophone horn on loan from the Discovery museum in Newcastle. The installation will tour to the Wellcome Collection in London in December 2010. The film was funded by the Wellcome Trust, and was produced during an artist residency at the Ear Institute, UCL.
Artist’s Series (supported by the London Consortium)
Architectural Association: 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES
Friday 12th February ALFREDO JAAR 6.30-8.00
Jaar explores the public’s desensitization to images and the difficulties art has in representing genocides, epidemics, and famines. He is concerned with different strategies of communication to make images visible. For the installation of Let there be light : the
Friday 5th March EYAL SIVAN 6.30-8.00
In an investigation of the way in which memory is used for political purposes Sivan works with the idea of an archive common to victims and perpetrators – in this case Palestinians and Israelis. His films include Slaves of Memory (1991); The Specialist (1999) using footage from the trial of Eichmann in
Monday 8th March MARCEL ODENBACH 6.00-8.00
Odenbach is one of
Friday 12th March TOM McCARTHY 6.30-8.00
McCarthy is a writer and artist. He won the 2008 Believer Book award for his novel Remainder. He has also published Men in Space and his third novel C will appear later this year. His International Necronautical Society is an on-going art project which surfaces in a number of forms. The discussion will focus on the relation between literature and film. Remainder is being made in to a film; McCarthy has written some script for Johan Grimonperz’ Double-Take; and C contains a big film-strand. Tom McCarthy lives and works in
Andrew Brighton and Teresa Gleadowe have put together a five week seminar series for London Consortium students on Curating Modern and Contemporary Art
These will be held on Wednesdays (10am -12pm) on the following dates:
13 January – The Objects of Curation: Art and its Markets /Curating Contemporary Art since the 1960s
20 January – Some current texts
27 January – Hanging Tate Modern
3 February – Artists, Galleries and Curators
10 February – Curating Contemporary Art
The series will focus on a number of issues, addressing questions such as: How do curators decide what to exhibit and collect? What considerations guide the collection and display of works of art in museums of modern and contemporary art? What factors shape the exhibition programmes of galleries of contemporary art? What are the considerations? Are they, for instance, aesthetic or historical or to be answered by audience research? And in practice what are the constraints and obligations at stake in a publicly funded museum or contemporary art gallery? How do visitors, artists, the art market and the media figure in curators’ discussions? Are some forms of art and visual practice beyond the museum curator’s consideration?