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 International Day of Light – Symposium and Exhibition

16thMay 2018 

UAL, Chelsea Lecture Theatre and Morgue Project Space

TheInternational Day of Light– Symposium and Exhibition– brings together academics, artists and curators, with the aim of generating a forum for discussion on the interdisciplinary role of light in contemporary arts. The event is thought in response to the global initiative, lunched by UNESCO, focused on the appreciation of light in society.

Considering the historical relevance of light in arts and the modern discoveries in the scientific field, the question of how light is interpreted by contemporary artists and practitioners has become a matter of interest: How do artists represent light? How do technology and scientific discoveries inform artistic practices? How is light experienced?

The symposium intends to reflect on the intersections between light and arts, theories and practices, technologies and social implications. The exhibition Day of light will present a choice of art-works that, reflecting upon innovative practices and light-based technologies, configure light in between the visible and the invisible.

With the purpose of addressing a discussion on the contemporary understanding of light, this one day-event will celebrate the role of light in arts and culture.

Key Notes: Dr. Junko Theresa Mikuriya, Garry Fabian Miller in conversation with Melanie King


Fay Ballard, Kim Coleman, Maxence Effantin, Michaela French, Mariel A. García-Salinas, Maria Luigia Gioffre’, Dr. Cliff Lauson, Sandy Lee, Dr. Sharon Phelps, Peter Taylor, Tamara Tyrer, Robert Verrill, Sam Winston, Hao Zhang

Exhibiting artists: Victoria Doyle, Jenny Akerlund, Lisa Pettibone, Laura Santamaria, Louise Beer, Melanie King, Diego Valente, Sharon Phelps, curated by LUMEN

Convened by Sara Buoso, PhD candidate at CSM, Melanie King, PhD student, Royal College of Arts, the Light PG Reading Group, LUMEN

The International Day of Light Symposium and Exhibition is a one-day event, hosted at the Chelsea Lecture Theatre, University of the Arts, London, supported by UAL Community Project Fund and the Student Initiative Fund at UAL. 

Info: 16THMay 2018 – UAL Chelsea College – Lecture Theatre and Morgue Project Space – 9.30 am – 6 pm




making; Library Zine Workshops


Workshop series   16 MAY – 13 JUNE | CSM LIBRARY
CSM library invites established and radical zine makers to lead the series making; Library Zine Workshops. You will get a chance to see the CSM Zines Library, an ongoing project supporting visibility, inclusiveness and unlicensed knowledges within our library and then participate in a group zine-making activity lead by artists such as Rudy Loewe and Jacob v Joyce who will be leading a session on de-colonising drawing. Students can take a look at our full programme and visit Academic Support Online to book.

Lindsay Cooper: The Art of Rebellion


In 1977, Cooper co-founded The Feminist Improvising Group (FIG) with Scottish singer Maggie Nicols. FIG’s debut performance was at the “Music for Socialism” festival at the Almost Free Theatre in Soho, London in October 1977. Their pioneering and experimental act focused on female experience and the mundane through music and comedy.

Lindsay Cooper: The Art of Rebellion is an exhibition curated by Central Saint Martins MA students of the Criticism, Curation and Culture course. The exhibit includes never seen before archive material donated to University of the Arts London. Find out more.







Curated by Central Saint Martins’ MA Culture, Criticism and Curation students, CVIVS is an exhibition that uncovers the mystery of the Roman alphabet by going beyond its familiarity and examining the practice of lettering as an interpretation of ancient letterforms and as an aesthetic representation of language. Find out more.

Freedom From Within The Frame


It’s the year 1947, and a significant shift has started within the Central School of Arts and Crafts (which is now Central Saint Martins); William Johnstone, a Scottish, abstract painter-turned-educator, has become Principal. Recruiting artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton to teach, a level of esteem and creativity is brought to the school, reimagining the notion of an art education.

Curated by MA CCC students, Freedom From Within The Frame will demonstrate the aesthetic transitions that took place during this period and its lasting impact on the College.

Tools for Change : Activation Session


Workshop   WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL, 7 – 8.30PM |  MAKERVERSITY (WC2R 1LA)
Makerversity are running a two day hack to tackle air pollution using our community of designers, makers and technologists. Join them for the opening activation session where we will be learning insights from the latest research on the global perceptions on climate change, interrogating the brief, defining specific problem areas and beginning the ideation process. Find out more.

Creating Connections


Creating Connections is a regular networking event that brings together staff and postgraduate students from University College London (UCL) with representatives from community organisations, charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and statutory organisations. We have a mixture of themed discussions in small groups and the potential for more informal networking throughout the event with the aim being to find areas of common interest and encourage collaborative working. At this event there will be a particular focus on health, wellbeing and co-production in research. Find out more.

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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