“Untitled_Force, a fragment”
A practice-based investigation into the material qualities of digital media
26 February @ 5.00pm
My work explores the poetic threshold between the digital and the physical: at points where the incorporeal becomes material and tangible. At the heart of my work is the acknowledgement of a profound shift in material relations, from an industrial to a post-industrial society. I’m interested in how this shift into a digital age of information flow, this move from solid to fluid, affects us materially, perceptually and experientially.
My interest lies in the materiality of informatics, as conceptualised by Hayles (1999) Haraway (1991) and Munster (2006); and the haptic relationship between the material body and the “touch of the machine” (after Irigaray, (1985)). Within the project, the practice-based research creates a new way of thinking around the processes and production of digital media artefacts, and their relation to the performative, material body.
The interdisciplinary process interrogates the performativity of limitation and production, revealing the poetics within the lab environments of engineering and manufacturing. My interest also lies in the poetic disruption of scale and form that such computational processes reveal; thus opening our perceptions to new material ecologies and landscapes of data.
In this seminar I shall be focusing on one practice-based project, Untitled_Force, a fragment (2011-present) which explores the translation of blood through processes of microscopy, computational modeling and the material process of nylon 3D print. I use these forms to quietly unravel the logic of science and its quest for certainty and self-replication.
Katy Connor is an artist working with digital video, sculpture and installation, exploring the poetic threshold between the digital and the physical. At the heart of the work is the acknowledgement of a profound shift in material relations, from an industrial to a post-industrial society: how this shift into a digital age of information flow, affects us materially, perceptually and experientially. Her work has recently been exhibited at Transmediale Berlin (2013) and New York Institute of Technology (2013) and Hong Kong (2014) as part of the Lumen Prize. Recent UK solo shows include Permanent Gallery, Brighton and Plymouth Arts Centre (2011). In 2015 she will travel to the Arctic Circle as part of an art / science expedition. Katy Connor is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Experimental Media Research, Bournemouth University, supported by the AHRC.
www.katyconnor.com (for previous work / projects)
Big Dumb Ideas
A possible approach to musical recontextualisation
26 February @ 6.00pm
This presentation will focus on my current exploration into the ways in which pop songwriting aesthetics and ideas from other musical disciplines can be used to recontextualise each other. While the term ‘pop’ is used to describe myriad musical genres, from electronica to reggae, for me it represents a songwriting tradition – characterised by extreme brevity and tunefulness – that came of age in the1960s, and thrives on curiosity. From the Beatles’ long-standing interest in Indian art music, to Elvis Costello’s collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet, its best proponents always look outwards.
While pop may seem like the ultimate musical magpie, however, this isn’t without its difficulties. Key among these is the question of process and material. Pop music, with its insistence on “simple musical ideas that are easily memorised” (Timothy Warner), would appear to prioritise the creation of material above all else – the pop composer’s job is to produce the musical ideas that make up a song. This poses a stark contrast to many other schools of musical thought – minimalism or jazz say – which regard material as something to be messed with.
These are generalisations, but they highlight a tension between process and material that lies at the heart of my PhD. In this session, I will discuss the ways in which I am starting to tackle the issue, inspired by a wide range of sources, from the art historian Michael Bird to the contemporary classical composer Seán Clancy. My work is still very much at an embryonic stage, and I welcome the opportunity for feedback and discussion following the presentation.
Tom Wilson is currently studying for a PhD in Composition at Royal Holloway, under the supervision of Brian Lock. He is a vocational composer and performer driven by the desire to create music that doesn’t exist but should. Much of his recent compositional focus has been the project Freeze Puppy, which combines his love of classic pop songwriting (Lennon and McCartney, Ray Davies, Burt Bacharach), with an attitude of sonic experimentation. In this guise he has written and recorded five albums, and has toured extensively, appearing at venues such as the Whitechapel Gallery, the ICA, the Incubate Festival in Tilburg, and the Discorporate Festival in Dresden. He has also written pieces for many other musicians, including a percussion concerto for members of the Bristol Ensemble, and several works for groups operating under the CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) scheme.
Anxieties of the Historical Novelist
12th February @ 5.00pm
In this presentation I will discuss the process of writing a historical novel in regard to the particular difficulties inherent to the genre. I will concentrate on sources, authentication and incorporation, the nexus and use of which defines the outcome’s historical character.
Dimitris Melicertes has translated three books from English into Greek. His short story ‘Come Again’ was a finalist for the Cowley Literary Award in the category of fiction. He is working on a novel for the PhD in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.
The Blown Definitions
Towards a Poetics of the Dramatic Radio Poem
12 February @ 6.00pm
The dramatic radio poem foregrounds sound-sense, musicality, and the less ‘rational’ and translatable aspects of language. This, in combination with its public and collective nature, makes dramatic radio poetry an intriguing and challenging form for the poet. My thesis examines the case for a specific and definable poetics of the dramatic radio poem through critical analysis and creative practice. My creative and critical work demonstrates the ways in which the dramatic radio poem’s poetics is structured through its response to the medium and circumstances of radio broadcast: disembodied, evanescent voices experienced simultaneously in time and across delimited space. Drawing on the theories of Walter Ong, Julia Kristeva and Adriana Cavarero, my work investigates major preoccupations of the dramatic radio poem: the interaction of utilitarian and ‘poetic’ language modes, the function of ‘non-representational’ signs in creating, referencing and reinforcing cultures in common, and the utopian and dystopian implications of radio broadcast technologies.
This presentation considers the development of dramatic radio poetry in the 1930s and 1940s, focusing in particular on Ezra Pound’s radio operas and on the radio work of the French surrealist poet Robert Desnos. Dramatic radio poetry’s possibilities and constraints will be further explored through the presentation of extracts from my creative work in progress.
Kate Potts’ debut full-length poetry collection is Pure Hustle (Bloodaxe). Her pamphlet Whichever Music was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for a Michael Marks Award. Her poems have featured in a variety of magazines and anthologies – most recently The Best British Poetry 2013 (Salt). Kate teaches creative writing for Morley College and Oxford University’s Continuing Education department, and is working towards a PhD on dramatic radio poetry. She is co-organiser of the site-specific poetry event series Somewhere in Particular.