Previously at the ICA - Events

Hillary Koob-Sassen, Futuristic Mediterranean Lullaby from Transcalar Investment Vehicles, 2011-2014

Symposium: Liquidity

9 Dec 2015

Art flows, money flows, life flows. This symposium asks how these flows sustain or oppose each other and whether art can capture the axiomatics that bind these conjunctive and opposing forces together.

Every society in history has operated on the basis of flows and distributions. These processes contract or expand, quicken or slow to form auto-poetic structures of thought and social relations. Economies and socio- political systems channel life’s flows into objects, systems and processes.

Capitalism’s de- and re-territorialisation creates the most liquid system of all: infinite liquidity. But capitalism’s distributions are dysfunctional, as they channel wealth and power into the hands of the few, while impoverishing billions.  The central paradox is that while capitalism seeks to command flows, capital itself is the strongest force of the irrepressible desire to escape all limits. This is also the essence of money, a double-sided coin that operates as an infinite speed of liberation and is the measure of extraction and despotism.

Artists create pools or torrents, they speed up or slow down, contract and expand. They provide conduits for life’s deepest flows and create fluid surfaces across planes of signification.

How then do these machines for the production of flows relate to each other? Do artists and money capture the same flows? The conference examines how artists do not merely illustrate but seek to capture the axiomatics that bind these mutually metamorphosing flows together.

Organised by Andrew Conio


11.15 Introductions: Andrew Conio

11.30 – 12.00 Anastasios Gaitanidis, Psychoanalysis and Money

12.00 - 12.30 James Buckley, Liquidity and Money: Should making money be more like art?

12.30 - 1.00 Angus Cameron, Catalysing capital: liquids and early modern money

1.00 – 1.30 Philip Goodchild, Matter, money and time: three different kinds of liquidity

1.30 – 2.00 Discussion/Q&A

2:00 - 3:00 Lunch

3.00 - 3.30 Oliver Ressler, The Visible and the Invisible

3.30 - 4.00 John Russell, (tbc)

4.00 - 4.30 Georgios Papadopoulos, Economic Picnolepsy: The growing demand for liquidity and the disappearance of economic value

4.30 - 5.00 Ami Clark, (Live reading/performance) Low Animal Spirits by Ami Clarke and Richard Cochrane.

5.00 – 5.30 Hilary Koob-Sassen, (Screening) How to Conquer Infrastructure Space and Colonize the Scalar Niche.

5:30 – 6:00 Discussion/Q&A

Andrew Conio is Director of Fine Art in the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent. He has published academic papers on language, painting, the moving image, architecture, institutional critique and creativity.  Andrew is a video filmmaker and has a diagrammatic art practice. His latest publication, an edited collection, Occupy: A People Yet to come, was released in 2015.

Dr Anastasios Gaitanidis is a Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy and member of the Research Centre for Therapeutic Education (RCTE) at the University of Roehampton, He is also a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in private practice and a member of the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He has published several articles on psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in peer-reviewed journals and he is the editor of two books: Narcissism – A Critical Reader (2007) and The Male in Analysis - Psychoanalytic and Cultural Perspectives (2011).

James Buckley is a Financial Services transformation expert with over 25 years of experience working with over 50 organisations in the UK, the USA, across Europe and the Far East. He has worked with organisations functioning in very diverse political and economic models. James currently works with one of the largest Financial Technology companies in the world, FISGlobal.

Dr Angus Cameron is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a background in Art History, Human Geography, International Relations and International Political Economy. His research interests include: money, spatial praxis, inclusion/exclusion, cartography, semiotics, utopias, performativity/narrativity, materiality, alchemy, fools, devils, tricksters, witches and the element mercury. In addition to his academic work, since 2008 he has collaborated with Swedish performance artists Goldin+Senneby on their project Headless, as 'spokesperson/emissary' for the project - standing in for the artists at their public appearances at galleries around the world.

Philip Goodchild is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham. His books include: Deleuze and Guattari: An Introduction to the Politics of Desire (1996); Capitalism and Religion: the Price of Piety (2002), Theology of Money (2007); and On Philosophy as a Spiritual Exercise: a Symposium (2013).

Oliver Ressler lives and works in Vienna and produces installations, public projects, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. He has had solo exhibitions in major art spaces such as Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; The Cube Project Space, Taipei; Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk, Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; and others. A retrospective of his films took place at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in 2013. For the Taipei Biennale 2008, Ressler curated A World Where Many Worlds Fit. A traveling show on the financial crisis, It’s the Political Economy, Stupid, co-curated with Gregory Sholette, has been presented at eight venues since 2011. In collaboration with Ines Doujak, he co-curated Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom at Secession in Vienna in 2014.

John Russell was a founder member of the London-based art group BANK (1990-2000) and as part of that collective practice was responsible for the production of a series of exhibitions and artworks throughout the 1990s. Since 2000 he has worked both independently and collaboratively to produce paintings, films, large-scale digital images, publications and curatorial projects, at venues in the UK, Europe and the US. In addition, he has edited and designed three books, Frozen Tears 1-3, (ARTicle Press, 2003-2007) and written for publications such as Frieze, eflux and Mute Magazine. Recent projects include a solo show at Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York, Nov/Dec and the Lofoten International Art Festival in August–September (both 2015).

Georgios Papadopoulos combines economics and philosophical analysis with an exploratory artistic practice. His research gravitates around money and it's socioeconomic functions. Papadopoulos studied at the London School of Economics and the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He has worked at the Jan Van Eyck Academy, and at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 2012 was awarded the Vilém Flusser Prize for Artistic Research by the transmediale festival in Berlin. Currently he is in residency at the Helsinki International Artist Programme, where he has been developing his research on the new aesthetic of economic value.

Ami Clark is an artist and founder of Banner Repeater, a reading room with a public and digital Archive of Artists Publishing and project space on a working train station platform at Hackney Downs station, London. Ideas that come of publishing, distribution, and dissemination, that lead to a critical analysis of post-digital art production, are shared in her practice as an artist and inform the working remit of Banner Repeater. She has recently exhibited/curated works at Museo Del Chopo - Mexico, ICA, Hayward Gallery, Ithuba Gallery/Cuss Group SA (British Council connect ZA), David Roberts Arts Foundation, Camden Arts Centre and The Container, Tokyo. She teaches across the UK with a focus on post-digital art production and publishing.

Hilary Koob-Sassen's multi-media proposals navigate a specific path of optimism between multiple fields of inquiry. Core lyrical equations in the terrains of aesthetics, economics, biology and philosophy engineer the anatomy of changing figures in a changing landscape. Through this sculptural theatre of life in time, Koob-Sassen drags his camera, singing the adventures of human culture. Gathering a bouquet of language games, theories, techniques and characters, his songs, performances and films, make excursions into the model. His radical steel and marble sculpture illuminates the driving intention of his practice: To produce erroristic names for the future structure. His recent FLAMIN film Transcalar Investment Vehicles screened at The BFI London Film Festival, The Japanese Media Art Festival and won The European Media Art Festival Award.

In partnership with the University of Kent, School of Music and Fine Art


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E.g., 31-07-2021