Leah Gordon Artist Talk (Recording)

Here’s a link to the recording of Leah Gordon’s artist talk which I hosted at the Art House in Worcester in November. For those of you who don’t know Leah’s work, she is the co-curator of the Ghetto Biennale and an artist, photographer and writer with an impressive list of works, curated exhibitions, and books on her CV. She is currently in Kassel working with Atis-Rezistans on a Ghetto Biennale on-site project for documenta 15.

In Conversation with Logan Dandridge

I will be in conversation with the artist Logan Dandridge this Saturday at the Bawden Room, Jesus College, Cambridge between 6 and 9 pm. Tickets are free and you can book them here.

Logan is a filmmaker from Richmond, Virginia, USA and currently the Cavendish Arts Science Fellow at Girton College. Logan’s experimental approach to moving-image work connects Black experiences and the evanescence of memory with spoken word, sound and rhythm.  We will be discussing our shared interests in Black music, Afrofuturism, deep space, sci-fi, spiritualism, ritual, and communion in music and dance via Bill Gunn’s film Ganja and Hess, Aretha Franklin and Kendrick Lamar.

Beau Dick and the Ceremonial Art of Potlatch

I will be giving an online talk about the art of Beau Dick for the The Last Tuesday Society at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 19th January. Tickets are available here.

A hereditary chief and master carver from the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw) First Nation, Beau Dick was one of the most prominent and influential First Nations artists before his untimely passing in March 2017. His powerful sculptures, firmly rooted in the ceremonial culture of his ancestors, bridge the worlds of contemporary art, the potlatch traditions of the First Peoples of the Pacific North West and environmental activism.

Beau Dick and the Raven Transformation Mask Danced at the inaugural potlatch of Chief Alan Hunt, Fort Rupert, September 2016 (Courtesy Grégoire Dupond)

In the talk I will discuss Beau’s work in relation to the gift-giving, title-conferring and theatrical ceremonies that connect several First Nation groups in the Pacific Northwest, the legends behind some of his most powerful works and Beau’s copper-breaking actions against the Canadian government in 2013 and 2014

Leah Gordon Artist Talk

I’m very excited to be hosting an artist talk by Leah Gordon at the Art House in Worcester on Monday November 15th at 16.30. This will be an in-person talk to which the public is invited. It will also be live-streamed via the internet. To access the stream please book here. The talk is free.

For those of you who don’t know Leah’s work she is the co-curator of the Ghetto Biennale and an artist, photographer and writer with an impressive list of works, curated exhibitions, and books on her CV.

She is currently working on a project with Annabel Edwards called Monument to the Vanquished commemorating the peasants revolt, resistance to the enclosures acts and historical urban and rural rebellions in the UK.

Fiction Machines III (Online Event)

The third Fiction Machines event, organised by The Centre for Media Research at Bath Spa University, will take place this Thursday, July 1st, between 6 and 9 pm. The event is free and you can book your place here.

I will be presenting a proposal for a posthumous novel by Philip K. Dick written by an Artificial Intelligence.

Other speakers at the event will be Ami Clarke, Tony D. Sampson, Maud Craigie, Andy Weir, Distributed Cognition Cooperative (Anna Engelhardt, Sasha Shestakova), Richard Carter, Mikey Georgeson, Ada Hao, Harry Meadows and Charlie Tweed.

Atlakima Performance at Talbot Rice Gallery

Documentation of the first Atlakim (Dance of the Forest Spirits) performance outside of British Columbia, curated as part of the Pine’s Eye exhibition in Edinburgh in February 2020.

The event is introduced by Patricia Nolie who tells the story of the Atlikima. She explains how the dances, which are passed down hereditary generations through treasure boxes, allow participants to enter into the world of the ancestors. The Atlakim dance is part of Hereditary Chief William Hawkins Box of Treasures and was performed by ten members of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation.

Hereditary chief Alan Hunt introduces the dance in song, blessing the floor and guests with white feathers before leading the dance with his drum and voice. After the first sequence of dances Alan explains some of the sacred and cosmological aspects of the dances and the hereditary, marriage and naming traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw houses and clans. Later Alan tells the story of Baxbakwalanuxsiwae, the man-eater at the North End of the World, whose story is central to the Hamatsa tradition. Alan and Patricia then explain the importance of the central fire for potlatch ceremonies in the Big House.

Alan and Patricia are both members of the Hamatsa secret society whose regalia they wear.

BC Time-Slip Cannibal Metaphysics Talk (Pt.2)

This talk was given at Space Studios, Hackney in May 2019 as part of the Morphologies of Invisible Agents exhibition organised by SMRU (Social Morphologies Research Group).

In it I draw out correlations between Philip K. Dick’s VALIS revelations; the significance of the Ichthys symbol; temporal rupture and paranormal communication; insatiable hunger; the rites of the Hamatsa; and inter-species cannibal kinship.

This is the second half of a talk I originally gave during the BC Time-Slip residency at Dynamo Arts Association, Vancouver in August 2016.

Digging Deep into the Zombie Complex with J. G. Michael

I was very happy to have conversation recently with J G Michael on his excellent podcast Parallax Views. J.G. asked some excellent questions that allowed us to dig deeper than usual into the historical, psychological and contemporary political implications of the zombie complex.

In it we discuss conceptions of the soul in Haitian Vodou; its role in the revolution and later suppression; primitivism, negrophilia and the romance of revolutionary Vodou amongst avant-garde intellectuals; George Bataille’s ideas about revolutionary violence, excess and General Economy; the notion of somnambulistic trance in debates about cinema and mass media; Papa Doc Duvalier’s political use of Vodou during the dictatorship; and US-UK anti-Vodou Black Ops in the 1940’s and Cold War .

It was good to be drawn into a theoretical discussion about J.G’s interview with Frank B. Wilderson III, author of Afropessimism, and to air some grievances about Wade Davis, author of Serpent and the Rainbow (1985).