Vision’s Bleeding Edge: Symposium on nonhuman vision, liquid and crystal intelligence and AI.

Tuesday 3rd July, 2018

4:00 PM – 10:00 PM 

 Lecture Theatre 1 / Courtyard Gallery, Royal College of Art

Kensington Gore, Kensington




Book here:


With talks from Esther Leslie (Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London) and Joanna Zylinska (Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London) and performances and videos by Anna Ådahl, Anja Kirschner, Lawrence Lek, Mayra Martin Ganzinotti, Anna Nazo, Emma Somerset Davis and Adam J B Walker.


Vision’s Bleeding Edge will explore the impact of the latest imaging technologies on human and nonhuman vision and the way contemporary art engages with and rearticulates these developments.


Performances and screenings by current RCA researchers will be in dialogue with talks by Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck and author of Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form (Reaktion, 2016) and Joanna Zylinska, Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths and author of Nonhuman Photography (MIT Press, 2017).


Esther Leslie will speak on the history and increasing ubiquity of liquid crystal technologies (in LCD TVs, computers and mobile devices) and the liveliness these bestow on the digital images they both display and ‘see’ – while Joanna

Zylinska’s talk on nonhuman photography and AI driven imaging will focus on the political underpinnings of the current AI debate and its impact on photography and art.


Their presentations will be followed by an extended conversation to which the participating artists, researchers and audience are invited to actively contribute.



4:15pm – screening | Di-Simulated Crowds (2018) by Anna Ådahl

4.30pm – screening | Geomancer (2017) by Lawrence Lek

5.00pm – performance | 6 Weeks in Kyiv (2018) by Adam J B Walker

5.20pm – performance | The Left Hand of Darkness (2018) by Emma Somerset Davis

5:45pm – refreshments

6:00pm – talk | Esther Leslie: Liquid and Crystal Intelligence

6:40pm – screening | Interference (2016) by Mayra Martin Ganzinotti

6.50pm – talk | Joanna Zylinska: Undigital Photography: The Warped Dreams of AI, Machine Vision and Deep Learning

7:30pm – questions and discussion

8:00pm – performance | Reset (2018) by Anna Nazo

8:15pm – screening | Riley (2018) by Anja Kirschner

8:20pm – DJing by Anna Nazo, drinks



Here… There….

Research / Sharing / Gathering
‘Here’…‘There’ / East & Southeast Asian Diasporic Art

An afternoon of presentations, crits, and discussion convened by Alexandra Chang (GAX, NYU) and Erika Tan to focus on current research and practice which connects East/Southeast Asian-Diaspora-Art

Friday 15th June
CSM,  Lecture Theatre E002, Kings Cross
1.20pm to 7.30pm

Participants include:
Alexandra Chang, Whiskey Chow, Pamela Corey, Oscar Ho,
Alice Ming Wai Jim, Annie Jael Kwan, Viet Le, Noel Ed De Leon,
Chun-yu Liu (Clare), Thomas Looser, Margo Machida, David Morris,
Cuong Pham, Will Pham,  susan pui san lok,  Karen Tam, John Tain,
Erika Tan, Josh Tengan, Sung Tieu, Katie Yook

With UAL student presentations by:
Chi Bagtas, Wai Kit Chan, Jan Chan, Hyun Ah Kwon, Tamzin Howard, Elizabeth Lee, Fei Li, Melanie Lehmann, Warudom Sombatkamrai and Srijana Gurung, Patrick Joseph, Moi Tran, Samboleap Tol, Mita Vaghela, Mathew Wang, Riko Yasumiya.


This is an internal UAL event.

All staff and students are welcome to attend.

No booking needed.

Come and join us for all, or part of this event.

Dr Mike Harkins

The Doctoral Platform at CSM is delighted to announce that Mike Harkins has successfully completed his PhD.
Mike’s PhD is entitled: Contemporary processes of text typeface design
Mike’s supervisory team is composed of: Professor Phil Baines, Dr Catherine Dixon, and Professor Janet McDonnell

Feminist Art Activisms and Artivisms

A Create/Feminisms event        2 July 2018, 11am-6pm
Registration: Atrium Grove Building and College Building Rooms, Middlesex University

Keynote Speakers:  Tanja Ostojic (artist, Berlin); Ewa Majewska (writer/researcher, ICI Berlin, Berlin/Warsaw); Christine Eyene  (curator, University of Central Lancashire)

This one-day conference aims to reflect on feminist activism and artivism in/through the many different kinds of contemporary art practices, campaigns and art projects and to explore the rich history of feminism’s innovative and diverse approaches and contributions to both art and politics. This is a feminist research event aiming to bring together artists, writers, curators and self-defined artivists and activists, academics and non-academics, theorists and practitioners.

How do the practices of feminist art workers and activists identify, comment, reflect, address and question issues related to changes in civil and political rights over their bodies; campaigns around health and social care and violence against women; in anti-nuclear and anti-militarist campaigns for the end of conflicts or for peace; in protests about women’s rights as workers, citizens, refugees or migrants; for LGBTQI rights; for disability rights?

2018 marks 100 years since women in the UK over 30 and with a property qualification obtained the vote. Beyond the fact of SOME women’s enfranchisement as citizens, many questions about women’s legal and political rights across the world remain, even though the UN has declared development goals and women’s rights as human rights a key goal for more than 40 years. How has feminism transformed in the last 50 years our understandings of art and activism in relation to struggles for women’s rights as human rights?
2018 also marks 50 years since the student occupation of Hornsey College of Art, which joined Middlesex University and 50 years since May 1968. One panel at this event will be dedicated to feminism’s role in art student protests, sit-ins, work-ins, occupations and alternative de-colonising pedagogies in the last 50 years.

In addition to the keynotes there will be 4-6 panels in the day.

This notice is also a call for papers of 10-20 min. presentations.

These could be case studies of feminist art practices, protest events or campaigns where visual analysis is key; position papers/theoretical arguments and/or practical pedagogic proposals are also welcome. Artists and curators discussing their views on activism and artivism are encouraged to apply. International comparative and cross-generational topics are welcomed.

Send your proposal for a contribution of not more than 200 words with contact details and a short outline about yourself by 29 May 2018 to Katy Deepwell

Papers from this call will be organised into 4-6 panels on the day.
All successful applicants to the panel will be announced with the full programme on 4 June 2018.
Limited funds from Middlesex University are available to support transport costs in the UK for those without institutional support whose papers are accepted. We regret that we cannot support costs of international airfares or accommodation for those attending this event.

Every member of the audience/participant at this event is invited to bring a poster to present in the lunch time session which can outline a campaign, a research project, their current work or a proposal for future work – and any form of art activism or artivism – whether or not their paper is accepted. Everyone who attended will be an active participant on the day.

Register here.
There is no charge for attending or participating in this research event. A lunch and tea/coffee will be provided.

It is organised by the Create/Feminisms Cluster in the Arts and Creative Industries Faculty at Middlesex University.
Contact: Professor Katy Deepwell, if you want to be involved.

Arts and Creative Industries Faculty, Grove Building

Middlesex University
Hendon Campus
The Burroughs,

AER 2018

Deadline 28 May 2018 (midnight)
The Art for the Environment International Artist Residency Programme (AER) was launched in 2015 by member of the UAL Research Centre for Sustainable Fashion and UAL Chair of Art and the Environment Professor Professor Lucy Orta.

In partnership with residency programmes across Europe, North America, and India, it invites artists and designers to explore concerns that define the twenty-first century – biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social economy, human rights – and through their artistic practice, envision a world of tomorrow.

3 new residency opportunities launch this week at:

NOTE: Applications are accepted from UAL graduates, postgraduates and recent alumni (within 12 months from graduation date).

Domaine de Boisbuchet
Design Architecture Nature
Lessac, France

Residency Period: 19- 25 August, 2018

AER is offering the opportunity to take part in an intensive 1 week workshop at the Domaine de Boisbuchet: Organic Solar Futures: Investigating Art + Energy Technologies led by Janet Echelman + Trevor Lee.

Domaine de Boisbuchet integrates innovative architecture and design into the splendid setting of a 19th century French country estate, offering a unique creative and collaborative environment for people of all cultures to share.

Boisbuchet’s intensive workshop programmes invest deeply in cultures that respect the past and build for the future, at the same time stimulating research that promotes a more sustainable relationship between the natural and the man-made.

AER at Domaine de Boisbuchet includes:

  • One-week workshops
  • Free accommodation and catering
  • Use of a shared-studio space
  • One round trip to Poitiers, France up to £150
  • Curator / critique feedback
  • UAL grant of £500 on completion of the residency and final report

Find out more and how to apply…

Associazione Culturale dello Scompiglio
Tuscany, Italy

Residency Period: 2 weeks in September 2018

The Tenuta Dello Scompiglio is an area of 200 hectares situated in the Vorno hills, near Luca in the Tuscan region of Italy. Historically the estate was a self-sufficient farm, cultivating olives, vines and fruit. In the last decades, it has been abandoned and nature has regained the upper hand.

The Progetto Dello Scompiglio residencies intend to re-establish a dialogue both with the present environment, with its natural and architectural elements, and with its history, seeking contemporary forms of interaction and responsibility, as well as relationships of interdependence, exchange and symbiosis, through the visual and performing arts.

AER at Associazione Culturale dello Scompiglio includes:

  • Two-week residency
  • Free accommodation and self-catering
  • Use of work / studio space
  • Production budget up to £300
  • Round trip flight Lucca up to £180
  • Curator / critique feedback
  • UAL grant of £500 on completion of the residency and final report

Find out more and how to apply…

Joya: arte + ecología
Almeria, Spain

Residency Period: 2 weeks between August –  September 2018

The not-for-profit arts organisation Joya: arte + ecología is an arts led field-research centre based at the farmstead of Cortijada Los Gázquez. The residency offers an ‘off-grid’ experience in the heart of the Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez in the north of the Provincia de Almería, Andalucía.

Residents will engage with the founders of Joya, taking part in their daily routines and living in a fully sustainable environment in respect of the cycles of nature. This family-home environment aims to facilitate, through production and collaboration, creative practice and critical thinking that manifests a discourse with the environment and sustainability.

AER at Joya: arte + ecología includes:

  • Two-week residency
  • Free accommodation and catering
  • Use of a shared-studio space
  • Participation in an open studio exhibition
  • Round trip flight to Alicante/Almeria/Granada up to £180
  • Curator / critique feedback
  • UAL grant of £500 on completion of the residency and final report

Find out more and how to apply…


Visual Pedagogies

IAVC Biennial Conference: Visual Pedagogies

13-15 September
London College of Communications,
University of the Arts London


The International Association for Visual Culture is pleased to invite you to its 2018 conference, titled “Visual Pedagogies.” The event takes place September 13 – 15, 2018 and is hosted by the London College of Communications, University of the Arts London.

Please check our website ( for further details, including a full line up of participants and registration information.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Call for Papers: Topographies of Sound

Muscle Shoals, Alabama, November 12-13, 2018
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio & Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa

This two-day symposium in Muscle Shoals, Alabama welcomes papers on the significance of landscape and geographical location for a range of American musical forms and their sonic architecture. In The United States alone, instances of this interrelation are legion, signaled for instance in genre monikers such as “Memphis Soul,” “Appalachian Folk,” “The Bakersfield Sound,” “The Paisley Underground,” and “Southern Rock.” Many are also the place names that immediately suggest the flavor of a particular sound: Laurel Canyon, Seattle, Woodstock, Harvard Square, and Music Row, to name just a few. On a more general level, entire regions have been invoked to describe the sonic texture of genres such as “desert rock” or “delta blues.”

Serving as much more than mythopoetic, evocative labels, these generic orientations reflect the impact of specific artists, musicians, producers and other personnel in specific spaces (studios, other recording environments) and places (towns, cities, rural areas) over time in complex, unpredictable and interchangeable ways. Although inevitably scratching the surface of this vast cultural cartography, the symposium Topographies of Sound invites presentations that reflect upon the vital connections between place, space, and music.

By locating the symposium in Muscle Shoals, and placing parts of the program sessions in the legendary Muscle Shoals Sounds Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, Alabama, we wish to address these aesthetic constellations in one of the environments where they have been most evidently of significance and pondered upon, while also paying tribute to a unique creative milieu in American recording history.

Possible themes might include (but are not limited to):

* Music and the poetics of place
* Landscape and the question of authenticity
* Regional musics vis-à-vis the national and the global
* Sound and socioeconomic context
* Artists intimately associated with a specific area or city
* Geographical places mentioned in songs
* Musical poetics and mobility, transportation, travel, (trains, steamboats, automobile, etc.)
* Urban and rural musics
* Music and identity politics
* The journey motif
* The importance of the geographical location of recording studios
* Case studies of bands & artists, albums in relation to concrete places
* Musical styles and the fetishization of real places
* American music in the context of an Aesthetic Imaginary
* The use of elemental, topographical, or nautical tropes
* Land and the grain of the voice

Conference Fee: $150 incl. wine reception at Hotel November 11 and studio tour at Muscle Shoals Sounds Studio.

We welcome abstracts (max 250 words) to and Deadline: June 10, 2018 





29 May 2018 at 18:30-20:00

Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium

An Afterall Event


Join American artists Glenn Ligon and Gregg Bordowitz for this special conversation

Glenn Ligon is renowned for his interpretations of American history and culture. His practice involves paintings, installations, videos and works in neon, with a particular focus on questions of language and identity.

For this special event, Ligon will be in conversation with the acclaimed artist and writer Gregg Bordowitz, marking the publication of Bordowitz’s new book on Ligon’s 1988 painting Untitled (I am a Man). The artists will discuss how Ligon’s work draws on the history of strikes by African-American workers as well as contemporary issues concerning representation, race and gender.

The event also includes an audience Q&A, and a book signing with both artists.

Glenn Bordowitz’s book Glenn Ligon: Untitled (I Am a Man) is published by Afterall Books in the One Work series, distributed by MIT Press.

This event has been provided by Tate Gallery on behalf of Tate Enterprises LTD​​

Design and Theories of Things Symposium

Sat, June 9, 2018 

10:00 AM – 6:30 PM BST

Design History Society, 70 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ



What do theories of things mean, to, for, and in design in both their historical and contemporary contexts?

This one-day symposium is is based on, and expands upon, the material collected in the volume Encountering Things. Design and Theories of Things by Leslie Atzmon and Prasad Boradkar (eds.) (London, Bloomsbury, 2017). The symposium brings together design theorists, historians and practitioners to examine and debate how designed objects are located in a larger nexus of theories of things. Panel and respondents’ presentations–which are varied and rich in case-studies–show how theory is relevant to those who are interested in the processes through which designed things come into being, and the ways that designed things and objects resonate with those who use them. The presentations offer insights into how things and objects are the central, inevitable media of design, and how design is, therefore, particularly consequential to the ways that things and objects fashion the world around us.

The symposium will be followed by a drinks reception.




Coffee, 9:50 to 10:15

Introductory Remarks, 10:15-10:30, Leslie Atzmon, Prasad Boradkar, and Betti Marenko

Morning Panel, 10:30am-12:30pm

  1. Dr. Betti Marenko. Contextual Studies Leader, BA Product Design. Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design Programme. Central Saint Martins, UAL

Filled with Wonder: Enchanting Androids from Cams to Codes(historical, 18th c.) Marenko compares eighteenth-century automata and contemporary Android devices–both actors in what she describes as an imaginative material genealogy of technology. Whether they are mechanical or digital, Marenko argues, these devices provoke questions about both the artificiality of life and the intelligence of machines. For Marenko, mechanical and digital devices juxtapose the intellectual capabilities of machines against the artificial nature of human life.

  1. Dr. Phil Jones. Graphic Design and Design History, Faculty of Art and Design, Arts University Bournemouth

The Graphic Thing: Ambiguity, Dysfunction, and Excess in Designed Objects (historical, late 20th c.) In this presentation, Jones focuses on how design artefacts enable human thought and action. He interprets Brown’s definition of things and objects through the lens of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s “embodied realism,” in which our bodies mediate the production of meaning. Jones presents examples that flesh out his ideas, including Paul Elliman’s typeface Bits, Mervyn Kurlansky’s Krazy Kaps, Stephen Johnson’s undergraduate project on emergence, Richard Olsen’s book Double Bind, and Muji objects.

  1. Dr. Claire Pajaczkowska. Senior Research Tutor, Fashion and Textiles, Royal College of Art

The Hole as the Thing: Ripped Knee Jeans 2017-8 In this presentation, which is about the current fashion for slit, torn, cut, or abraded ripped-knee jeans, Pajaczkowska discusses the functions of denim as a material and jeans as a thing that signify ‘wear’ and experience. This fashion invites design historians to conceptualise hyper-sociality as an object of both desire and knowledge. This presentation suggests that Darwin’s theory of Sexual Selection may help the methodological predicament.

  1. Professor Prasad Boradkar. Google and Industrial Design, Director of InnovationSpace /Co-Director of the Biomimicry Center, Arizona State University

Agency and Counteragency of Materials: A Story of Copper in India (historical, last hundred years) Boradkar considers the craftspeople of tambat ali near Pune, India, who over several generations have been fabricating copper coins, vessels, and religious statues from copper. Using hand tools and powered machines, the craftspeople exercise their creative agency on the copper to shape it into beautiful and useful things, while the material responds with a counter-agency that partially resists their efforts. Boradkar presents a visual and verbal exposition of the agency and counter-agency of copper through the biography of one unique vessel, a water carafe.

Respondent 12:30-1:00

Dr. Lina Hakim. Lecturer in Visual and Material Culture,Department of Critical and Historical Studies, Kingston University

Lunch 1:00-2:30pm

Afternoon Panel, 3:00pm-4:30pm

  1. Dr. Sarah Teasley. Head of Programme, History of Design, Royal College of Art

Policy as Designed Artefact: A Social Life of Things Approach(historical, 20th c.) Teasley’s paper analyses government policy as a design artefact, taking a social life of things approach. Her case study addresses an element of twentieth-century Japan’s industrial policy, designed to stimulate and support economic development in non-industrialised regions through design advising. Through this case study, the paper addresses methodological questions about understanding complex intangible artefacts such as policy within design history frameworks, and the opportunities and challenges provided by a social life of things approach.

  1. Dr. Adam Drazin. MA Culture, Materials and Design, Department of Anthropology, UCL

Things in Design Anthropology There has been a distinct ‘turn to the future’ in recent design anthropology. This turn is often characterised by work in which certain objects and things are understood as presencing potential futures, and negotiating how the expression of potentiality or opportunity relates to the expression of design responses and proposals. In this presentation, Drazin examines some of the implications of this anthropology of future things for social alterity, and how design conceives of the ‘significant others’ on whose behalf it so often works.

  1. Dr. Peter Hall. Graphic Communication Design Programme; Course Leader, BA Graphic Design. Central Saint Martins, UAL

When Objects Fail: Unconcealing Things in Design Writing and Criticism (historical, late 20th c.) Hall argues in this presentation that one way to put Thing Theory to use in design criticism is by analysing objects that have failed. When something fails, we want to know why, a question that immediately moves design criticism past its obsession with style, form, movements and biographies and into a mode of explication or unfolding. Failed objects expose the decisions, agendas, ingredients, affordances, translations, delegations and histories that were concealed in the glossy photographs, success testimonials and exhibited artefacts that are the currency of contemporary design.

Dr. Joe Moshenska, Associate Professor of English Language & Literature; Tutorial Fellow, University College, Oxford University


The Doctoral Platform at CSM offers PhD candidates the space in which to meet, share research, as well as co-ordinate, curate and participate in a variety of events.

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