Monday, 21 February 2011

tripping up

 ... in the forest. while momentarily on the sofa. which shadow will it be?

 thank you, sam, for the tripping!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

light and shade. round 2

leads to this. in unspecified dimensions.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Whatever happened to the future: Art, autonomy and self-employment

at 10th Floor
12.30 Tue 15 February 2010
Central Saint Martins Charing Cross Road Site, London

the content as per poster - after having had to cancel the original date in December.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Affect and the politics of austerity

- published a couple of months back, it was good to revisit it in discussion tonight.

Affect and the politics of austerity: an interview exchange with Lauren Berlant. Variant 39/40, Winter 2010,

See the whole issue of Variant here.

Lauren Berlant's blog is here

the issues raised tonight: the opportunism of nostalgia. the political strategy of nostalgia. shaming in academic discourse. and the need to consider the rewards of being seen as a shamed subject.

there's more in it. but that's for another discussion. soon

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Next victim please or how to be a human being

Next victim please or how to be a human being

Saturday 12th February 2011
CCA, 2pm-4pm


The Interview / Die Bewerbung
(1997, 58min, subtitles: English)

Harun Farocki's The Interview fixes a wry, critical gaze on interview training courses for the unemployed. The objective is to teach them how to put 'the soul at work' (Berardi). Farocki's typically lucid film gains a crucial insight into the involuted processes through which potential employees make themselves 'labour-ready', examining how interview training scenarios teach people how to 'correctly' think and feel, and how the subject is disciplined for the realm of work.

"In the summer of 1996, we filmed application training courses in which one learns how to apply for a job. School drop-outs, university graduates, people who have been retained, the long-term unemployed, recovered drug addicts, and mid-level managers - all of them are supposed to learn how to market and sell themselves, a skill to which the term 'self management' is applied. The self is perhaps nothing more than a metaphysical hook from which to hand a social identity. It was Kafka who likened being accepted to a job to entering the Kingdom of Heaven; the paths leading to both are completely uncertain. Today one speaks of getting a job with the greatest obsequiousness, but without any grand expectations." Harun Farocki


The Strickland Distribution will screen Farocki's The Interview and facilitate a discussion of the film afterwards in relation to labour and welfare. The search for a new social subject in the neo-liberal age has led to a series of new terms to designate labour: 'affective', 'immaterial', 'precarious', 'cognitive', 'non-productive', 'creative', 'playbour', 'the knowledge economy'. In the context of a low-wage economy and the most severe welfare cuts since the post-war consensus, The Strickland Distribution want to open up these categories to critical discussion through a close reading of The Interview.

The Strickland Distribution is an artist-run group supporting the development of innovative and independent research in art-related and non-institutional practices. Art-related includes research forms that directly implement artistic practice as a means of research method. Non-institutional includes forms of grass-roots histories, social enquiries and projects developed outside of academic frameworks and by groups and individuals normally excluded from such environments. The research will be developed through commissioning of new projects, dissemination in publications, exhibitions and events, networking to build links between groups and practitioners internationally, and evaluation through public discussion and peer review. The Strickland Distribution will operate in the public sphere and seek to stimulate and contribute to public education, discourse and debate around the topics and themes addressed through its projects.

free but ticketed, available from CCA Box Office : 0141 352 4900

Comparison via a Third / Harun Farocki
Wednesday 16 February - Thursday 3 March 2011
11:00am - 6:00pm: FREE
Venue: CCA 1 / CCA 2 / CCA 3
Ages: all

More info:

Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)
350 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow G2 3JD 


Eliminating Labour: Aesthetic Economy in Harun Farocki - Benedict Seymour, MetaMute

'The Flexible Personality', Brian Holmes, 2002.

The Precarious Reader, Mute magazine, Vol 2, 2005.

Proposal for an inquiry in Call Centers - Kolinko
hotlines - call centre | inquiry | communism

Beyond Aspiration: Young People and decent work in the de-industrialised city
Discussion paper, June 2009, Andrew Cumbers, Gesa Helms and Marilyn Keenan

To Banker, from Bankies
Incapacity Benefit: Myth and Realities
Chik Collins, with Janice Dickson & Mary Collins (Clydebank Independent Resource Centre)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

all that it is not

'all that it is not' - the common result of what i do. here, rather prosaically, the first attempt to turn some charcoal sketches from outdoors to indoors. an attempt at a bit of hue. only to find that GREEN is - how could i forget - the wrong kind of hue for most things green.

disregard the wrong paper. disregard the small scale.

in addition to the common observation on GREEN i did however  discover that powder is the wrong surface quality. i am after waxy, shiny, glossy. now - that was a surprise. in combination with my hunch - that wasn't any more than a half-thought until drumhill 1 and 2 - that it's the light i need to put down for these drawings.

the waxyglossyshinynogreenpastel light will give the direction for my next round of 'all that it is not'.

drumhill 1, charcoal/pastel on a2 canson