The LYC Museum & Art Gallery and the Museum as Practice


Call for Papers

Proposal Deadline: Sunday, 21 October 2018 at 11:59 pm GMT

Date of symposium: 6-7 March 2019 at the Manchester Art Gallery and University of Manchester. The symposium will be preceded by a walk-through of the exhibition Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition, curated by Hammad Nasar, with Kate Jesson, and an evening of specially commissioned artistic interventions, on Wednesday 6 March 2019 at Manchester Art Gallery.

This symposium is organised by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (PMC) and University of the Arts London (UAL), in collaboration with Manchester Art Gallery and the University of Manchester. The symposium is convened by Hammad Nasar (PMC), Lucy Steeds (UAL), and Sarah Victoria Turner (PMC).


The LYC Museum & Art Gallery (LYC Museum), located in the village of Banks astride Hadrian’s Wall, showcased the work of more than 320 artists between 1972 and 1983. Its transformation from dilapidated farm buildings into a hyperactive space for art was the single-minded effort of artist Li Yuan-chia (1929–1994), whose initials gave the museum its name. Artists shown ranged from local artists (Andy Christian, Susie Honour) to totemic national figures (Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth) and contemporary artists, now of international renown (Lygia Clark, Andy Goldsworthy), but then barely known in Britain.

Li bought the farm buildings from his friend and neighbour, the artist Winifred Nicholson. Transforming them into the LYC Museum consumed Li. He built most of it himself—undertaking all building, plumbing, and electrical work. At its peak, it hosted four new exhibitions a month; each accompanied by a catalogue that he designed and printed. Apart from galleries, LYC Museum had a children’s art room, library, performance space, printing press, communal kitchen, and garden. It was an open space for the multiple possibilities of art.

The artist Shelagh Wakely, who exhibited at the LYC Museum in 1979, saw the Museum as “a work of his [Li’s]”. It was an example of social practice before such a thing was named and tamed. And after its closure in 1983, it became the site of Li’s remarkable experimentation with hand-tinted photographs.

A stylised reconstruction of the LYC Museum lies at the heart of the Speech Actsexhibition – and embodies the possibility of a museum as both an artwork in itself, and as a vehicle for shaping collective stories and cultivating communities.

This symposium proposes a consideration of the LYC Museum as an extension of Li’s pioneering participatory art practice; for example, he was one of six participants in Popa at Moma: Pioneers of Part-Art, at Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1971.

Moreover, the symposium highlights the role of the LYC Museum as a site from which to explore the questions of how friendships inform shared practices, generate work, and circulate stories. The networks and practices that the LYC Museum enabled and enriched have yet to be studied widely. For example, his friendship with the concrete poet and Benedictine monk, dom sylvester houédard, or the pioneering sound artist, Delia Derbyshire – Li’s assistant, and briefly partner, at the LYC Museum (1976–77).

This symposium invites contributions that consider the LYC Museum in the context of Li Yuan-chia’s wider practice, and the role of friendships and affinities in the development and functioning of the LYC Museum. Proposals are welcomed on specific case studies, as well as those that frame a broader enquiry into the role of museums; and the place of friendships, affinities, and networks.


Possible themes for exploration could include, but are not limited to:

Museum as artwork: how does the example of LYC sit within wider histories of the museum as art work, and artists as proposers of alternative models for art (e.g. Tania Bruguera’s‘Arte Útil’ or Rasheed Araeen’s manifesto for ‘Art Beyond Art’) – across time and geographies?

Exhibition histories of the LYC Museum & Art Gallery: what does the mix of exhibitions and events reveal about the notion of ‘art’ being showcased and supported at the LYC Museum? How might we understand LYC in light of the exhibition histories for Li’s other work?

Participatory Art and Li Yuan-chia: how does the Museum fit within Li’s wider practice? And what does the LYC Museum contribute to wider considerations of Participatory Art practices?

Staging friendships: Li’s career was shaped by his involvement in artist groups in Taipei (Ton-Fan Group), Bologna (Punto Group), and London (Signals). How might we understand the LYC Museum in relation to these, or other collective artistic practices?

Constructing a Cumbrian Cosmopolitanism: the LYC Museum was established in a community with rich artistic and craft traditions – Audrey Barker, Eejay Hooper, and Winifred Nicholson were all Li’s friends, supporters, and neighbours. How did place and community inform the LYC Museum? And what comparative rural case studies might be brought to bear productively?

Research methodologies: what forms and methodologies allow art historical enquiries into friendships and sites? What complementary disciplines may expand our understanding of how art, artists, museums and publics operate and interact?


The symposium is equally interested in issues of theory and practice.


LYC is Me.

LYC is all of You.

  • Li Yuan-chia

To Submit

Please submit the following by 11.59pm on 21 October to, listing ‘LYC Museum’ as the subject line:

  1. A 200-word abstract written in English
    2. Short, 1-page curriculum vitae with complete e-mail, phone, and mailing address

    Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. Final papers will be delivered in English.

There will be some travel and accommodation funding for speakers.

Final entries will be reviewed by the symposium convenors:
Hammad Nasar, Senior Research Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre
Lucy Steeds,Reader in Art Theory and Exhibition Histories, Afterall, University of the Arts London
Sarah Victoria Turner, Deputy Director for Research, Paul Mellon Centre




We thought you might be interested in Daylighting, a four-day programme of events coming up here at Wellcome Collection. Throughout the programme we will explore the interconnections of art, activism, performance, politics, health and print, with a live printing workshop, discussions, readings and collective writing. For full details of the programme have a look at the website:

All the events will consider how we can challenge existing archives and systems of knowledge, change narratives and amplify new voices. At Daylighting’s core is the production of DAYLIGHT, a collaborative artwork in the form of a newspaper that explores the presence of womxn through their art, thinking and speculations.

We thought list members might be particularly interested in these two events:

Index as Time Capsule

Friday 19 October 2018

14:00 – 15:30

Join this discussion led by the founders of the Women of Colour Index Reading Group, who will talk about this unique archive that charts the emergence of women of colour artists during the 1980s and 1990s. For some of these people, the Index is the only written record of their work. This session will be focused on British artist Joy Gregory, who will join us to discuss her current work and how the Index acts like a ‘time capsule’.


Archives and Womxn’s Knowledge

Friday 19 October 2018

15:30 – 17:00

Join Wellcome Collection archivists and librarians as they share specially selected materials from our collections. View images and read texts that highlight the ways that womxn are included, excluded, catalogued and classified. There will be a panel discussion about systems of classification and how we can rethink the archives we have inherited.

Free limited tickets available online


Eva Bensasson PhD completion

The Doctoral Platform at CSM is delighted to announce that Eva Bensasson has completed her PhD.     

Eva’s PhD is entitled: A Photographic Enquiry into the Politics and Poetics of the Boundary of an Urban Development Site     

Eva’s supervisory team is composed of: Susan Trangmar (DoS),  and Graham Ellard.

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,

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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