All posts in Talks

Talk Recording: T.J. Demos

T.J. Demos – Radical Futurisms: Insurgent Universality, Solidarity and Worlds-to-Come
A talk programmed by NEPN held on Zoom on 24 June 2021.

 

 

T.J. Demos Talk, 24 June 2021. Programmed by NEPN from NEPN on Vimeo.

With reference to three international examples of contemporary art—those of Thirza Jean Cuthand, The Otolith Group, and Black Quantum Futurism—this short talk discusses current modelings of radical futurisms and worlds-to-come that refuse surrender to capitalist realism. Where radical imagination meets radical praxis is in the material forces of solidarity, the political form of belonging, more than ever necessary today in the collective battle against international fascisms and global neoliberalisms. While acknowledging the bankruptcy of Eurocentric universalisms, this presentation defends approaches to insurgent political formations beyond identitarian fragmentation, including a political aesthetics of abolition—ultimately of racial and colonial capitalism.

T.J. Demos is the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. Demos is the author of numerous books, including Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017); Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016); The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013) – winner of the College Art Association’s 2014 Frank Jewett Mather Award – and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013). Demos co-curated Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, at Nottingham Contemporary in January 2015, and organized Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in 2014. During 2019–21, with the Center for Creative Ecologies, and as a Getty research institute scholar, he’s working on a Mellon-funded research project, art exhibition, and book project dedicated to the questions: what comes after the end of the world, and how can we cultivate futures of social justice within capitalist ruins? His new book, Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing was recently released by Duke University Press.

SHIFTS: Photography in the 21st Century Museum

Image credit: Panos Kokkinias, Yiannis (2016), Archival inkjet, 80 x 122 cm © Panos Kokkinias, courtesy of the artist and Xippas Gallery, Paris, Geneva, Montevideo.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021, 13:00 (British Summer Time)

This short discussion, convened on Zoom, will examine the shifts affecting the programming, commissioning and collection of photography by art and photography museums, in the UK and internationally.
On the occasion of the publication of Alexandra Moschovi’s monograph A Gust of Photo-Philia: Photography in the Art Museum and in the context of NEPN’s SHIFTS project, invited curators will explore how their institutions address current developments in photographic and curatorial practice and the ways museums can engage diverse publics and support photographers.

Confirmed speakers:

Matteo Balduzzi, Curator, Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.

Alexandra Moschovi, Associate Professor of Photography and Digital Media, University of Sunderland, UK.

Thomas Seelig, Head Curator and Director of Photography, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany.

Marta Weiss, Senior Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

The event is supported by the University of Sunderland and Arts Council England.

We are delighted to announce that Leuven University Press and Lieven Gevaert Series will be offering a generous discount off the publication ‘A Gust of Photo-Philia’ to those attending this event.

BOOK TICKETS FOR THE EVENT HERE

Please let us know if you have any access requirements by emailing: nepn@sunderland.ac.uk


Shifts: Photography, Environment, Action


Thursday 24 June, 6.30pm.
Friday 25 June 2021, 9.30am – 4pm.

Join us across two days for talks and discussion on Zoom, exploring the role of photography in communicating the environmental crisis and approaches to sustainable practice.
We hope to stimulate discussions about photography, radicalism and activism, including its relationship to aesthetics, sustainability and ecology, impact and reach, collectivism and voice.

Produced by NEPN with photographic artist and researcher Marjolaine Ryley.

Please contact: nepn@sunderland.ac.uk with any access requirements.

Thursday 24 June, 6.30pm.
Join us for a talk by leading cultural theorist and art historian T.J. Demos.

Chaired by Professor Mike Collier, University of Sunderland.

BOOK A TICKET FOR THE TALK BY TJ DEMOS HERE

Radical Futurisms: Insurgent Universality, Solidarity, and Worlds-to-Come

With reference to three international examples of contemporary art—those of Thirza Jean Cuthand, The Otolith Group, and Black Quantum Futurism—this short talk discusses current modelings of radical futurisms and worlds-to-come that refuse surrender to capitalist realism. Where radical imagination meets radical praxis is in the material forces of solidarity, the political form of belonging, more than ever necessary today in the collective battle against international fascisms and global neoliberalisms. While acknowledging the bankruptcy of Eurocentric universalisms, this presentation defends approaches to insurgent political formations beyond identitarian fragmentation, including a political aesthetics of abolition—ultimately of racial and colonial capitalism.

T. J. Demos is the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. Demos is the author of numerous books, including Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017); Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016); The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013) – winner of the College Art Association’s 2014 Frank Jewett Mather Award – and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013). Demos co-curated Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, at Nottingham Contemporary in January 2015, and organized Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in 2014. During 2019–21, with the Center for Creative Ecologies, and as a Getty research institute scholar, he’s working on a Mellon-funded research project, art exhibition, and book project dedicated to the questions: what comes after the end of the world, and how can we cultivate futures of social justice within capitalist ruins? His new book, Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing was recently released by Duke University Press.

Friday 25th June 2021, 9.30am – 4pm.

Join us for a day of presentations and discussion with photographers and artists, Hannah Fletcher, Edd Carr, Sabina Sallis, Michele Allen and Shahidul Alam.

We aim to provoke discussion and ask questions about practice and sustainability – materials and materiality; radicalism and activism; and the role of photography and the image in visualising the environmental crisis.

There will be space for participant discussion to ask – What could sustainable photography look like? As a sector, as a practice – concepts, aesthetics, ethics and materials. What do we do next?

BOOK A TICKET FOR THE 1 DAY SYMPOSIUM HERE

Speaker bios coming soon.

This a free event or pay what you can. To make a donation, which will enable us to programme more events please click HERE.

Image: Untitled (Pollard), 2019, from The Weight of Ants in the World © Michele Allen.

Partnership event:

Plants and Protest: Or How to Grow your Art and Eat it! – Marjolaine Ryley

Dilston Physic Garden – Saturday 3 July, 1pm-5pm

Ignite your imagination into the incredible potential of plants – discover how growing and gardening can be an act of resistance, protest and hope.
First, is an introduction to artists working with living materials – with humour, innovation and insight – in areas of ecology, growing and sustainability. This includes my own practice-based PhD research – ‘A Delicious Garden’ with vegetal interspecies encounters.
Then, enjoy practical demonstrations on how to develop skills in basic growing/ horticulture.  These include – how to compost successfully (even on a small scale), getting started with veg, a guide to growing micro-greens and an introduction to plant propagation (i.e. how to make plants for free!). Some microgreens and seeds will be available to take home.

Be empowered with the knowledge and skills in horticulture – one of the most useful and hopeful gifts at this time. The session is planned to include practical demonstrations underpinned by horticultural theory – be inspired to take the first steps!

Attendance is £20 with all proceeds to Dilston Physic Garden. Booking here: https://dilstonphysicgarden.com/event/plants-and-prints/

Marjolaine is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Sunderland and a PhD researcher at Newcastle University. Her practice encompasses photography, creative writing, plant-made imagery and participatory practice to explore the horti-counterculture, politics and collaborative plant-human encounters in the vegetal world. She is currently Artist in residence at Dilston Physic Garden and has an RHS Level 2 qualification in Horticulture. She enjoys getting muddy in her experimental allotment/laboratory.

An taster on-line version of ‘Plants and Protest’ will run at lunchtime during the Photography, Environment, Action symposium on 25 June.

Image: Sorrel © Marjolaine Ryley

Shahidul Alam in conversation with Professor Arabella Plouviez

Black and white image on a black background. Pictured is a campaigner for democracy in Bangladesh

Join us for an online conversation with Shahidul Alam on Thursday 18 March at 2.30pm (GMT). The event will be chaired by Professor Arabella Plouviez, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland.

To book a place please follow this link to the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/speaking-truth-to-power-shahidul-alam-tickets-144207048163

For over four decades, Shahidul Alam has pursued a vision to change representation of the ‘Majority World’ and to exploit the power of photography to affect social, environmental and political change.

Shahidul’s work has been shown across the globe and he has won several international accolades. In 2018 he was the recipient of the Lucie Award and named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. In 2019 he received the ICP Infinity Special Achievement Award and he was the 2020 recipient of the CPJ International Press Freedom Award.

Alam’s book of ‘My Journey as a Witness’ was described as “The most important book ever written by a photographer” and his new book ‘The Tide Will Turn’ published by Steidl, with photographs by Alam and pioneering Bangladeshi photographers and text by Arundhati Roy and Alam is in the New York Time’s list of “Best Art Books of 2020”. Alam’s retrospective ‘Truth to Power’ is currently touring the US to critical acclaim.

Shahidul is a long-standing Visiting Professor of photography at the Northern Centre of Photography, University of Sunderland and a long-term collaborator of NEPN.

This event is programmed as part of SHIFTS, a new project for NEPN which will explore photographic practice in the context of global shifts and pressing issues affecting the making and dissemination of photography.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and the University of Sunderland.

Image: Smriti Azad, 1994 ©Shahidul Alam.

Wideyed Agri[Culture] Book Launch Recording – 7 October 2020

 
A talk and book launch of the publication Agri[Culture] with Wideyed programmed in collaboration with NEPN and the Northern Centre of Photography. With contributions by Jill Cole, Director of Northern Heartlands as well as Dr Menelaos Gkartzios, Reader in Planning and Rural Development from the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University.

About Agri[Culture]:
Agricultural shows have been part of British farming life for centuries. The smaller shows last for just one day while the largest cover a whole weekend, but all have in common contests for best livestock, cake, craft, owner and vegetable competitions. Whatever their size, these annual events are important meeting places for local communities, but they also attract participants and audiences from across surrounding regions, briefly drawing together urban and rural people in celebration of shared agrarian heritage.

Agri[Culture] began in 2018 with Wideyed photographers Lucy Carolan, Richard Glynn, Louise Taylor and Nat Wilkins collectively focussing on the annual agricultural shows taking place in the North Pennines area of England where they live. A version of their work was first exhibited in Wyoming and then toured back to its source, appearing at selected agricultural shows along the Allen, Tees and Wear dales during the 2019 season. The travelling exhibition combined contemporary photography with archive materials, and creative writing by members of the NorthPens Writers Group. It invited everyone to consider the culture of rural traditions by serving as a stimulus for conversations about our agri[cultural] identity and sense of place in past, present and future.

Agri[culture] – the book – celebrates the culmination of this 2 year project.

www.wideyed.org

NCP and NEPN Connect Series: Wideyed ‘Agri[Culture]‘

Please join us for a virtual book launch with Wideyed collective via Zoom on Wednesday 7 October at 4.00pm (BST/UK time).

To attend please email: amanda.ritson@sunderland.ac.uk and joining instructions will be emailed
shortly before the event.   
This event will have British Sign Language interpretation.

Wideyed will talk about their work and publication Agri[Culture] and we will also be joined by Jill Cole, Director of Northern Heartlands as well as Dr Menelaos Gkartzios, Reader in Planning and Rural Development from the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University.

Agricultural shows have been part of British farming life for centuries. The smaller shows last for just one day while the largest cover a whole weekend, but all have in common contests for best livestock, cake, craft, owner and vegetable competitions. Whatever their size, these annual events are important meeting places for local communities, but they also attract participants and audiences from across surrounding regions, briefly drawing together urban and rural people in celebration of shared agrarian heritage.

Agri[culture] began in 2018 with Wideyed photographers Lucy Carolan, Richard Glynn, Louise Taylor and Nat Wilkins collectively focussing on the annual agricultural shows taking place in the North Pennines area of England where they live. A version of their work was first exhibited in Wyoming and then toured back to its source, appearing at selected agricultural shows along the Allen, Tees and Wear dales during the 2019 season. The travelling exhibition combined contemporary photography with archive materials, and creative writing by members of the NorthPens Writers Group. It invited everyone to consider the culture of rural traditions by serving as a stimulus for conversations about our agri[cultural] identity and sense of place in past, present and future.

Agri[culture] – the book – celebrates the culmination of this 2 year project.
The launch – postponed in March – marks the end of the traditional show season.

Wideyed is a North East based photography collective that undertakes local, national and international projects, and creative collaborations leading to the production and innovative dissemination of new works. Over the decade since it was founded, its members – Lucy Carolan, Richard Glynn, Louise Taylor and Nat Wilkins – have received awards and bursaries, undertaken artist residencies, worked on commission, and exhibited from England to South Africa.

wideyed.org / @wideyedphotos

NCP and NEPN Connect Series: Helen Marshall

 

Image from Helen Marshall's 'The People's Moon' installation at Piccadilly Lights

Please join us for a talk by Helen Marshall via Zoom on Thursday 2 July at 2.30pm.

To attend please email: amanda.ritson@sunderland.ac.uk and joining instructions will be emailed shortly before the event.  

This event will have BSL interpretation.

Helen Marshall is an award-winning visual artist based in London, United Kingdom. Her practice is rooted in photography, storytelling and new technology, often situated outside the gallery or museum. She set up The People’s Picture in 2016, an artist-led design studio delivering giant photo mosaic commissions in the public realm. The People’s Picture combines thousands of photographs to tell a story, commemorate an important occasion or bring attention to important social issues. Her portfolio includes exhibitions and commissions for The Horniman Museum, The National Memorial Arboretum, BBC Television, Tate Britain, The Photographers’ Gallery, Financial Times and Canary Wharf Group.

Helen’s work is held in private and public collections.

Helen will be speaking about both the creative development and the production of key projects of ‘The People’s Picture’ studio.

www.helenmarshall.co.uk

https://thepeoplespicture.com/

Supported by Advance HE: Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

Image: ©Helen Marshall/The People’s Picture from The People’s Moon

NCP and NEPN Connect Series: Julian Germain


Please join us for a talk by Julian Germain via Zoom on Thursday 4 June at 2.30pm.

To attend please email: amanda.ritson@sunderland.ac.uk and joining instructions will be emailed shortly before the event.  

This event will have BSL interpretation.

It could be argued that all of Julian Germain’s work is ‘social’, founded on relationships and collaborations as well as on engagement through photography, exploring themes that affect people’s lives. He often utilises archival, found and domestic images alongside his own, reflecting on photography’s place in society as well as exploring its deep connections with time and memory. He will discuss the evolution of a range of projects that explore ideas of shared creativity, of looking to the future as well as the past, of being socially, politically and artistically relevant and of the importance of connecting with people.

Collaborative projects include No Olho da Rua (with Patricia Azevedo, Murilo Godoy and street dwellers from Belo Horizonte, Brazil) – a series of ‘zines featuring selected themes from the No Olho da Rua Archive (as well as edits by guest curators) are currently being published by Mörel; The Ashington District Starnewspaper (with people who live, work, study or are from the ex-mining town of Ashington, Northumberland). Other work includes For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness, published by MACK, exhibited at Baltic, Gateshead; Classroom Portraits, published by Prestel, exhibited at theNederlands Fotomuseum.

Instagram: @juliangermain
web: juliangermain.com

 

Supported by Advance HE: Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

Image: ©Julian Germain


NCP and NEPN Connect Series: John Kippin and Nicola Neate

Join us for a conversation with John and Nicola on Thursday 21 May at 3.00pm with staff and students from the Northern Centre of Photography.
They will be joining us from North Uist in the Outer Hebrides where they have been living and making work for over 12 months, as part of a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.

We will be talking about how they are making work and adopting new practices and there will be a short film available shortly beforehand to stimulate discussion.

There are a few spaces available to wider NEPN.
To attend please email: amanda.ritson@sunderland.ac.uk and joining instructions will be emailed shortly before the event.

This event will have BSL interpretation.

We are inviting questions from the audience, you can email these in advance or you can pose these during the conversation using the Chat function.

For more information about John and Nicola’s current work in North Uist please visit their blog here:
https://inthisdayandage.org/in-this-day-and-age/

Supported by Advance HE: Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.

Image ©John Kippin and Nicola Neate.

Observe, Experiment, Archive EVENTS

Alongside the exhibition at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Observe, Experiment, Archive has a series of events investigating the themes raised within the exhibited works. During November 2019, you will have an opportunity to attend artist-led talks, a family based workshop day around the theme of space and more informal gallery walk and talks.

Artists Talk: Observing the Changing Natural World
15 November, 1pm – 3pm – Special Exhibitions Gallery, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Free/No booking required


Image: Management/Polled, Doon just the job (CH2305) from Sire, Maria McKinney 2016.

Photographer talk and discussion with renowned photographers Robert Zhao Renhui and Maria McKinney.

Maria McKinney is a visual artist based in Dublin. Her work explores the impact of human intervention on the natural world, often bringing together unusual contemporary materials and traditional craft techniques. She was awarded a Wellcome Arts Award in 2015 to produce Sire which she further developed during a residency at University College Dublin in 2016. A selection of works from Sire are presented within the Observe Experiment Archive exhibition.

Robert Zhao Renhui is a Singaporean artist, whose practice intersects with and is closely informed by science, in particular, zoology. His work addresses man’s relationship with nature, and related issues of morality and ethics, paying close attention to how our attitudes assumptions about the natural world are often shaped by institutions of authority and the media. Robert’s photographic project of 2013, A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World is presented within the Observe Experiment Archive exhibition.

Supported by Arts Council England and Culture Ireland.

 

Exhibition Walk and Talk: Observe, Experiment, Archive
16 November, 11am – 12pm – Special Exhibitions Gallery, Level 2, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Free/No booking required


Image: World Goldfish Queen from the series A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, Robert Zhao Renhui 2013.

*This talk has BSL interpretation*

Exhibiting artists from Observe, Experiment, Archive will give a guided walk and talk in the exhibition space.

 

Exhibition Walk and Talk: This is What I See – Marjolaine Ryley
16 November, 2-2.45pm – Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
Free/No booking required


Image: The Bud, from A Gardener’s Daughter, Marjolaine Ryley 2018.  

*This talk has BSL interpretation*

Marjolaine Ryley will give a guided walk and talk in the exhibition space.

 

Talk: Joseph Swan: A New Vision
22 November, 2pm – Pottery Gallery, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Free/No booking required


Image: LM.3 from Light Matter, Liza Dracup 2019.

A free public talk about Sunderland born chemist and inventor Joseph Swan, in relation to light and photography by photographic historian Dr Carol McKay and photographic artist Dr Liza Dracup.

Most people know Joseph Swan as the inventor of the incandescent light bulb. Few know he was also a photographic pioneer, an entrepreneur and businessman, with connections far and wide. We’re celebrating this story in Sunderland, the place where he was born and grew up and where he encountered photography for the first time.

Liza Dracup is a photographer based in the north of England.  Making work by unconventional photographic means, her experimental practice extends beyond the hours of daylight, drawing her into a world lit by artificial light. She is in pursuit of an alternative vision, one that de-familiarizes the once familiar. Her photographs reveal details, sensations and simplified forms, which were once invisible or concealed.  Placing emphasis on the extraordinary properties of the ordinary, her work creates an enriched idea of the northern landscape and its natural history.
Dracup’s wider research extends to re-positioning a wide-range of historical collections-based research material across photographic, artistic and scientific disciplines, which also underpinned her PhD at the University of Sunderland (2017).

Dracup is best known for Sharpe’s’ Wood (Impressions Gallery, 2007), an innovative series of large-scale colour landscape photographs made between dusk and dawn. Major recent commissions including Chasing the Gloaming (2011), Re:Collections (2013) and Landmarks (2016).  Dracup’s work was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2012) and the Prix Pictet (Earth) Photography Award (2009).

This event is part of the Being Human Festival, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, taking place 14–23 November and programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Observe Experiment Archive and Canny Sunderland talks series organised by the University of Sunderland. 

 

Space Rocks! Art and Astronomy Family Day
23 November, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Do you love stars and space?

Get inspired at our Space Rocks family event with a day of hands-on art and science talks and activities.

Work with visual artist Helen McGhie in an astronomy art workshop to make space rock photograms and clay meteorites with potter David Partington. Helen will give a talk about the inspiration behind her photographic work with Dan Monk from Kielder Observatory.  Find out about different types of light in an interactive workshop with the experts from Kielder Observatory. Participate in hands-on demonstrations of lasers and lenses, diffraction glasses, infra-red cameras and ultra violet sensitive beads.

This event has been funded by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Tickets for the science and art workshops are FREE but must be booked in advance.

For more information, timings and bookings please visit the Museum website HERE.

Please note some sessions have minimum age guidelines.

Helen McGhie is a visual artist based in Salford (UK).  Her practice explores the empirical nature of darkness through photography and the moving image.  She is currently investigating the act of astronomical observation at Kielder Observatory in Northumberland for her practice-led PhD, Stargazing at the ‘Invisible’: Photography and the Power of Obscured Light,’ which she is undertaking at the University of Sunderland.

 

Talk: The Polluted Seas and the Transformative Power of Photography
26 November, 6pm – 8pm – Holmeside Coffee, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Free/No booking required


Image: SOUP: Bird’s Nest by Mandy Barker 2011.

Join us for talks with Mandy Barker, photographic artist and Matt Barnes from the Marine Conservation Society. *Please note date change*
Meet at Holmeside Coffee for refreshments from 6.00pm. The talk will commence at 6.30pm.
Mandy Barker is an international award-winning photographer whose work involving marine plastic debris over the past 10 years has received global recognition. Working with scientists she aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans whilst highlighting the harmful affect on marine life

and ultimately ourselves. Barker’s work has been published in over 40 countries as she seeks to engage broader audiences in the environmental movement. She is a recipient of the 2018 National Geographic Society Grant for Research and Exploration, was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Award SPACE 2017, nominated for The Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize 2018, and nominated for the Magnum Foundation Fund.

Matt Barnes is Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager (NE) for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The MCS is the UK’s leading marine charity, working to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected. Our seas are under immense pressure: too many fish are being taken out, too much rubbish is being thrown in and too little is being done to protect our precious wildlife. MCS’ vision is for seas full of life where nature flourishes and people thrive.