CADRE Lecture Series

he Centre for Art and Design Research and Experimentation (CADRE) at the University of Wolverhampton are pleased to announce the dates for our 2015/6 lecture series.

The lectures are run by the research groups within CADRE and are free and open to everyone to attend.

You can read about previous CADRE lectures by following these links: 2014/5 series, 2013/4 series.

CADRE Lectures 2016 - 2017


 

 Craig Brandist

 

Professor Craig Brandist: Stalinism, Neolibralism and the Reshaping of Higher Education in the UK and Beyond

Tuesday 11 October 2016,  6 - 7.30pm, MK045, MK Building, City Campus

While the rhetorical surface of Stalinism and neoliberal ism as socio-political projects and ideologies appear to be opposites, analysis that penetrates beneath the surface reveals a surprising number of continuities. Stalinist invocations of ‘socialism’ and neoliberal refrains about deregulation conceal a common drive to subordinate all state organisations more directly to the accumulation of capital, driven by international competition.  While the entire Stalinist and post-Stalinist economy was directed through the apparatus of the bureaucratic state, neoliberalism marshals the core institutions of the state to perform key tasks for capital that the private sector cannot achieve. The current neoliberal transformation of higher education provides a particularly clear illustration not only because there are clear parallels between forms of Stalinist organisation and those developing in Higher education in the UK and elsewhere (targets, metrics, ‘impact’ etc), but also because there is an implicit educational dimension to both Stalinism and the neoliberalism, aiming to create new types of subjectivity often referred to as the ‘new Soviet Man’ and homo economicus. The lecture explores the historical links between the two systems, both structural and cultural, their pathologies, and the characteristic forms of opposition that are generated.

cadre monkey

 

Professor Gary Hall: How to be inhuman

Tuesday 18 October 2016, 6 - 7.30pm, MK045, MK Building, City Campus

Many thinkers are currently attempting to replace the tyranny of the human with an emphasis on the nonhuman, the posthuman, and the postanthropocentric. Yet such “post-theory theorists” continue to remain intricately bound up with both the human and humanism in the very performance of their attempt to think through and beyond them. Regardless of what anti-humanist or nonhuman philosophies they profess – be they inspired by Marx, Foucault, Deleuze, Butler, Haraway, Latour or Laruelle – in their practices, in the forms their work takes, in the ways they create, publish and disseminate it, in their associated upholding of notions of individualism, individual rights, originality, property and so on, they continue to act in terms of a (neo)liberal humanist model of what it is to be a theorist, working as what are in effect entrepreneurs of themselves and of their own subjectivities. How To Be Inhuman will explore the possibilities for an inhuman mode of theory. This is theory that operates neither in terms of the human nor the nonhuman, the “I” nor the “we,” the private nor the public – nor indeed the collective. Instead, inhuman theory involves a form of communicating with the nonhuman that takes account of and assumes an intra-active relation with what is not human (be it animal, plant life, technology, the environment, the planet, the cosmos or other non-human entities and energies). The inhuman here is a form of acting, thinking, and working with the non-human, in other words: it is an “inhumanities” based on the performance of a non-unified, non-sovereign, non-essentialist subject, rather than the sovereign, unified, individual human subject of the humanities and of (neo)liberal humanism.

cadre - constantine sandis  

Professor Constantine Sandis: Action in Art & Ethics

Thursday, 20th October, 2016, 5:30pm – 7:30pm (Tea/Coffee at 5pm), MK045, City Campus
 
This talk is motivated by the thought that the things we say and do are to be distinguished from our acts of saying and doing them. I defend a particular way of conceiving this distinction before proceeding to argue for its importance to art and ethics. In particular, I hope to show that the correct evaluation of what one does or creates may part ways with that of one’s act of doing or creating it.  If the  implications of this corrective for ethics and aesthetics are as significant as I claim, then the philosophy of action should be accorded a far more prominent place within both fields than previously supposed.
 
cadre stephen mullhall

Professor Stephen Mullhall: Film & Philosophy : Digital Cinema & Moral Perfectionism

Thursday, 27th October, 2016, 5pm-7pm (tea/coffee at 4:30), MX004, City Campus (North)
 
In this talk, I want to retrace the discussion of the films of Brad Bird that I commenced in the third edition of my book 'On Film', so that I can extend it to include his most recent work, 'Tomorrowland: a World Beyond' (2015). Whilst his earlier work - particularly 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' (2011) - is preoccupied by the relationship between animated, photographic and digital modes of cinema, 'Tomorrowland' engages with the phenomenon of moral perfectionism, and in particular with a strand of that tradition of moral thinking that is central to American philosophy (in Emerson, Thoreau and Cavell), and so to American culture. I will argue that this film not only displays a sophisticated critical engagement with the continued relevance of perfectionist thought to contemporary American life, but also discloses and explores an internal relation between perfectionist aspirations and the medium of cinema. In this way, Bird's work allows me to confirm and reformulate my sense of the ways in which film and philosophy can converse with one another.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rawan Sharaf: Contemporary Palestinian Art Practices: Between Art Institutions and Alternative Structures - The Case of Qalandiya International.

Tuesday 22 November 2016, 6 - 7.30pm, MX004, City Campus

 

“In this lecture I will address Qalandiya International as an alternative model for contemporary art events. One that mimics international biennales, but is not controlled by the hierarchy of a single institution but rather by a democratic structure of institutional coalition that seeks to prevail amid the complexities of the Palestinian context to foster cultural events and debate, overcoming geographical fragmentation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Lorenzo Chiesa: Exalted Obscenity and the Evocation of Jouissance: Lacan on the Baroque

Tuesday 29 November 2016, 6pm-7.30pm, MK045, City Campus

 

Jacques Lacan pays considerable attention to the Baroque. In his works, he dedicates some intense passages to it, especially in a crucial lesson of his 1972-73 Seminar Encore, which could be regarded as a summary of his late teaching. In my lecture, I will explain why, for Lacan, the Baroque amounts to an ‘exhibition of bodies evoking jouissance’, which as such – quite unexpectedly – evidences a ‘filthy truth’ – the psychoanalytic truth of the impossibility of the sexual relationship, or, ontologically, the truth that being is not-One. I will then show how Lacan believes that the Baroque concomitantly exalts the obscenity of this truth, and thus somehow mitigates it. This will require an understanding of the Baroque as a unique episode in the history of art and architecture, one that highlights the dimension of the gaze, and that can be adequately appreciated only with reference to what, for Lacan, is the essence – and the eventual failure – of Christianity.

 

anthony quinn

Anthony Quinn: Art editors – a menace to the printed word

Tuesday 6 December 2016, 6pm-7.30pm, MK045, City Campus

 

This talk will set the spat between two of Britain’s leading typographers and designers in the context of the 1960s design revolution as Modernist design in magazines such as Queen, Town and Nova challenged traditional approaches and the new ‘teenager’ rebelled against what the jazz singer and polymath George Melly called ‘a grey, colourless, shabby world where good boys played ping pong’. It will then examine how the rise of the art editor has changed the look of magazines and newspapers and ask whether today’s emphasis on design has done more harm than good.

 

 

 liz goodman

Professor Lizbeth Goodman:‘Generation Touch: Hippocratic Innovation, Empathetic Education, and Creative Technology Innovation for Real Social Change’

Tuesday 13th December 2016, 4-5.30pm, MK045, City Campus

At an Ideas Salon in the Silicone Valley in 2013, a team of visionaries was brought together from industry, policy and academia to discuss, and to attempt to ‘solve’ two of the biggest global challenges: the broken state of education worldwide, and the broken state of major health services worldwide. I took part in a team given both of these challenges to solve in tandem, and have spent the past three years refocusing some of our SMARTlab team’s efforts on looking at the synergies and interoperability issues of the Connected Education and Connected Health agendas. The Hippocratic agenda iterates A Roadmap to Responsible Open Innovation for Education for ALL, outlined in this paper as a six lane superhighway to a more inclusive, healthier and more sustainable world economy based on the core idea of Hippocratic Oath- first do no harm. . as applied to the field of Education, from Early Years through to lifetime ‘relearning’.

 

This presentaton outlines the basic principles and philosophy of this new ethos, gives case studies of projects using new technologies which are gaining traction across the six lanes of the superhighway. The six lanes are: Creative Pedagogy and Empathetic Education &, Gender Inclusion & G-STEAM, Assistive Technologies and Inclusive Design for Diversity, Connected Health & Visualisation, 21st Century Statecraft & Knowledgecraft: Leaders who do not demand followers (what I call Kinaesthetics and Sensory Design for Generation Touch), and Climate & Cultural Change: towards a Plan C for the next next generation. Most importantly, this presentation argues that in the current era, when children in most developed parts of the world have been born into an assumption that every object should ‘perform’ like a screen, and respond to touch instantly, the project of early years education has to change to meet this assumption and to challenge it strategically, and with humour as well as a forward-looking understanding of the importance of touch and of empathy in education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CADRE Lectures 2015 - 2016


 

 

Caroline Archer: John Baskerville: international man of mystery

Tuesday 24 November 2015, 6 - 7.30pm, MK045, MK Building, City Campus

This talk is about John Baskerville – the complete printer, who did so much to progress the industry of his day. He created a typeface which bears his name; improved the printing press; helped produced the first wove paper; reconsidered the production of printing inks; and took a wholly new approach to the design of end papers. But he was much more than that – Baskerville was the embodiment of an Enlightenment man.

 

Dr Veronika Kapsali: Design with information - lessons from Biology 

Tuesday 8 December 2015, 6 - 7.30pm, MK045, MK Building, City Campus

The nature of information storage and management has altered dramatically from the time of the cave man to the digital revolution. The vast quantities of data generated by advances in information sensing and capturing technologies such as mobile devices have become a new commodity that can be exchanged, stored and mined. As we transit from analog to digital platforms, data management remains unaltered in biology. Information in nature is expressed through physical conditions, forms and structures from nano to macro scale. DNA is an iconic example of information rich material, slight differences in connections between the molecule’s double helix is what makes us different from each other.
 
A novel field of programmable systems is emerging that explores ways of introducing information into materials and structures through and for design. Initial outcomes promise to enable advanced life like behaviors such as self-assembly, self-repair and autonomous motion without circuitry, motors and electricity. This talk shares my initial thoughts, resulting from my recently completed publication titled: Biomimetics for Designers, on a shift toward information rich design that could enable us to do more with less in a way that does not trap resources or draw on depleting energy supplies.
 
 

Adorno and Popular Music

Wednesday 9 December 2015, 5.15pm - 7.00pm, MC228, Millennium City Building, City Campus
 
Adorno is one of the most savage critics of popular music. In this talk I re-examine his criticisms. In essence, he complains that popular songs have a top-down structure in which a fixed form is selected and then individual parts are slotted into that form. The parts are thus interchangeable; any part can be taken in and out without this substantially affecting either the other parts or the whole form. This contrasts to the kind of musical structure Adorno favours, in which parts generate form. Although Adorno made this criticism of popular music in the 1930s, I argue that it broadly applies to popular music since rock-'n'-roll too, or even better, using the example of the doo-wop hit 'Sh-boom' by the Chords. However, I then question the claim that musical 'parts' (e.g. individual notes, chords, bass-lines, percussion rhythms) are interchangeable. While it is true that they can to a considerable extent be swapped in and out these alterations fundamentally change the whole song to which the parts belong. I explain this using the example of Gary Numan and Tubeway Army's 'Are "Friends" Electric?' This suggests that after all popular songs are a kind of whole in which all the parts reciprocally affect and qualify one another. Given Adorno's own valorisation of musical wholes, then, there are grounds to value popular music. Adorno's criticism of popular music can be turned on its head.
 
 

Professor Helen Steward, Animal Freedoms and Free Will

Wednesday 27 January 2016, 5:30pm - 7:30pm, MC001, Millennium City Building, City Campus
 
The free will problem is traditionally thought to be a problem specifically about human beings. In this lecture, though, I will be trying to argue that many non-human animals also possess a certain kind of freedom - and that it is essential to understand these animal forms of freedom before we can properly understand our own. Usually, the big question about free will is supposed to be whether anyone could ever have done otherwise if determinism is true. I shall try to argue that the capacity to do otherwise is simply part and parcel of the capacity to do anything at all - that nothing can really count as a doer that cannot do other than s/he does. The capacity to do things in the sense relevant here is a capacity I call agency. I shall try to explain what I mean by agency, and then defend the claim that it is a power which many animals share.