With Prudence Chamberlain, I played host for POLYproject 6 at the Literary Kitchen Festival 2014. Earlier acts in the week included Adam Mars-Jones, Evie Wyld, and Zoe Pilger, with cameos from the Itinerant Poetry Library, Adam Marek, Stuart Evers and Douglas Cowie.
As part of POLYply‘s project series, we were joined by Jennie Cole, Carrie Foulkes and press free press in the guise of Karen Sandhu & Ryan Ormonde with their new Aloneness project. The second half of the night was twanged into action with a great set by Ollie Evans and work from poet and editor Joe Luna, followed by a screening of Amy Cutler’s film-poetry and a reading from her chapbook Nostalgia Forest.
As a coda to the Generative Constraints conference, an evening of poetry, papers and performances was staged on 16th June at the Centre for Creative Collaboration. The event hoped to examine ways in which political action – both in terms of direct activism and critical arts practices – is enabled by and made possible through conflict. The promotional material also made mention of ‘investigating the potentiality of conflict in relation to practice and practice-based research. Is the stand-off an affective political engagement, or a moment of sympathy, an acknowledgement that each side might rather be elsewhere?’. And when you have rhetorical questions like that, it’s very much a BUILD IT, AND THEY WILL COME scenario.
The event featured great readings from poet, artist, martial artist and vanguardist SJ Fowler in dialogue with Professor of Sociology and Social Theory Sasha Roseneil; this was followed by academic Špela Drnovšek Zorko in dialogue with performance artist Season Butler, with attendant Hungry Hippo battles and envelopements.
Thanks to the committee for organising, and for all the …delegates? performers? In particular, please do visit the dedicated Greenham Common website that Prof. Roseneil pointed us towards during her talk.
Featured as part of Play! 2014, on 2nd June I exhibited some work pertaining to my thesis amongst Royal Holloway faculty and PhD students in the University’s Practice Gallery. This movable feast-apparatus exists to support ‘the presentation of practice-based research in the UK and beyond. In providing a new, cross-disciplinary platform for practice-based research investigations, the gallery aims to generate new dialogues, collaborations and interventions between academics as well as across academia and artistic communities’.
My theory and praxis (‘THEORY AND PRAXIS’!) always seems all the better for being unseen, because I am a fraud and a coward – the opportunity to account for my doctorate by filling a small backlit, bespoke frame with bloody feathers, anatomically-correct lies and Loch Ness press-cuttings felt like only a good thing.
The gallery comprised 12 units of sculpted furniture (‘Alice’ [a social space, a bench to sit on, a stage and a series of frames], ‘A Capella’ [two shelves and two chairs, meant to invite users to listen to music and encounter objects. There are two mp3 players and a two pairs of headphones and a variety of shelf spaces] and ‘Continuum’ [four shelves meant to display objects, and one of the shelves houses a 22″ screen with DVD player]).
Designed and built through a collaboration with Bartlett School of Architecture, my thanks to Nik Wakefield the curator for the opportunity, the Gallery’s designers and to my fellow space-mates Nisha Ramayya, Prue Chamberlain, Diana Damian Martin, Clare Booker, and Libby Worth & Julie Brixey-Williams‘ Step Feather Stitch.