Previously at the ICA - Events

Matthew Noel-Tod and Benedict Seymour, Can Dialectics Break Gravity?, 2014, HD video, colour, sound, 51 min 56 sec

Workshop: On Floating Bodies or Can Dialectics Break Gravity?

26 Jul 2015

This day workshop entitled On Floating Bodies or Can Dialectics Break Gravity?, provides the opportunity for artists and filmmakers to participate in two dynamic sessions led by artist Matthew Noel-Tod, with guest speakers artist Clunie Reid and artist and writer Benedict Seymour.

From the origins of the cartoon figure, puppets and stop-frame animation and the application of special effects from the silent A Trip to the Moon, 1902, by Georges Méliès, to the recent blockbuster Gravity, 2013, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, the sessions will look at the relations in moving image history between the unrecognisable body, weightlessness and the subjection of the individual to the forces of capitalism.

This will include a screening of Matthew Noel-Tod and Benedict Seymour’s, Can Dialectics Break Gravity?, 2014, HD video, colour, sound, 51 min 56 sec

René Viénet’s 1973 film, Can Dialectics Break Bricks? is a Situationist hijacking of the 1972 martial arts film The Crush. It delivers a verbal kung fu chop to bureaucratic socialism, post-structuralism, sexism, and cinema. Noel-Tod and Seymour’s film updates this strategy for the era of the CGI blockbuster and capitalist austerity.

A narrative of heroic astronauts is détourned to one of eternal non-reproduction, feminist polemics and situationist critique as a mash-up of Valerie Solanas’ S.C.U.M. Manifesto and Eduardo Rothe’s The Conquest of Space in the Time of Power is all that is heard in space. Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission… Half of North America just lost their Facebook… No-go for reentry.

Matthew Noel-Tod (born 1978). Selected exhibitions and screenings include: The Politics of Amnesia II, CGP London (2015), A Season in Hell 3D, Banner Repeater, London (2014) Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain 2008–2013, Tate Britain, London (2013), The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, Hayward Touring (2013), The Adverts, Canary Wharf Screen, LUX, London (2012), Bang! Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012), A Skvader, Norwich Castle Museum with Outpost Gallery, Norwich (2011), Blind Carbon Copy, Picture This, Bristol (2008), Nought to Sixty, ICA, London (2008). He is Senior Lecturer in Moving Image at University of Brighton.

Clunie Reid lives in London and is an artist working in digital imagery, mixed- media and video. Solo exhibitions of her works include Out There, Not Us Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2009), Peek A De Boom, Galerie Reinhard Hauff, Stuttgart (2009), Dumb Down, Get Dressed, Move Out Studio Voltaire, London (2010), Bodies Turn to Ash MOTinternational, Brussels (2015) and Project 8 at the Contemporary Art Society (2015). She has also taken part in Nought to Sixty ICA, London (2008), Karaoke Fotomuseum, Winterthur (2009), In The Event Of Suspicion Bielefeld Kunstverein (2010), Free New Museum, New York (2010) and Art Now at Tate Britain (with James Richards) (2010) and The Dark Cube Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012). Recent screenings include Les Fleurs du Mal BWA Wroclaw (2012), Alma Mater  (Lux touring programme of new British Video art) (2012), Stupidious South London Gallery (2014) and Film: Art Basel Miami Beach (2014). Currently she is guest editor for Bookworks for their upcoming series GSOH: The Rest is Dark. She is a Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins and is represented by MOTinternational.

Benedict Seymour is a writer, musician and film maker. He is Lecturer in Fine Art on the MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London, and an editor at Mute Magazine. He is currently completing a ‘non-reproduction’ of Chris Marker’s La Jetée using animated gifs in which neoliberal capitalism is figured as a self-cannibalising time machine. Other recent projects include composing the soundtrack for Melanie Gilligan’s film The Common Sense (2015), and providing dialogue for Matthew Noel-Tod’s Bang! (2014). He has written and made films about urban regeneration and gentrification as The London Particular (2000-) with David Panos; explored the links between financialisation and social reproductive crisis in articles and essays (Drowning by Numbers: The Non-Reproduction of New Orleans (2006)); and analysed the cultural logic of the crisis (Short Circuits: Finance, Feedback and Culture (2011); Notes on Normcore (2014)). His music has appeared on albums through Difficult Fun records, and his collaborations include Petit Mal (Crisis in the Credit System, 2008) and Antifamily (Antifamily, 2006).

Please note that some content in this event features nudity and strong language.


E.g., 31-07-2021
E.g., 31-07-2021