A drawing of a clock with numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. The clock hands are made up of the word ‘confabulations’ A drawing of a clock with numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. The clock hands are made up of the word ‘confabulations’ A drawing of a clock with numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. The clock hands are made up of the word ‘confabulations’ A drawing of a clock with numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. The clock hands are made up of the word ‘confabulations’

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A drawing of a clock with numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. The clock hands are made up of the word ‘confabulations’ A drawing of a clock with numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. The clock hands are made up of the word ‘confabulations’ A drawing of a clock with numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. The clock hands are made up of the word ‘confabulations’ A drawing of a clock with numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9. The clock hands are made up of the word ‘confabulations’

SEASON 3

27.04.2022 – 19:00 EET

PfffffffffffT!

Taylor Le Melle

PfffffffffffT! This is what I say when I don’t know what (else) to say. As in "PfffffffffffT!, obviously” but also as in "PfffffffffffT!, I am not concerned”. I am not so much beholden to themes, rather I try to hold myself accountable to guiding principles. I also try to speak more about what I’m doing than what ‘I am’. My answer for ‘why’ is most often ‘because it’s what I enjoy’. Let’s talk about it. Let’s certainly talk about what I mean when I say I’m aiming to become a total system. If I forget, please someone remind me that I want to talk about T-shirts.

Taylor Le Melle writes, organises and produces objects using their training in art history, architectural theory and developmental psychology. Alongside their writing, recent work has included curating exhibitions, facilitating groups, building infrastructures, producing audio tracks, diagrams, and objects. Mostly they consider these latter three examples to be “draft objects.” In 2018, they became one of the founding directors of not/nowhere, an artists’ workers cooperative which is dedicated to supporting moving image practices and analogue technology. Through their publishing collective, PSS, they have edited and produced several collections of science fantasy and one poetry collection.

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13.04.2022 – 19:00 EET

A Labor Theory of Postmodernism

J. Dakota Brown

From the mid-1980s to the end of the century, the practice of graphic design underwent a series of technological, economic, and institutional transformations. Particularly among U.S. designers, the period is most vividly remembered for its formal experiments and theoretical debates. Postmodernists performed elaborate demolitions of established modernist conventions; in explaining the meaning of these departures, they frequently envisaged a new world of decentralized, non-hierarchical, non-linear communication.

Three decades later, what should we make of all of this? Do we inhabit the sort of future glimpsed by the postmodernists? Are we, after all, still modern? Or, instead, does our century represent something fundamentally different from both — perhaps even fundamentally worse? This talk will argue that, for all its exaggerations and missteps, the debates of the '90s still have something to teach us about the nature of our own work.

J. Dakota Brown studied graphic design at North Carolina State University and later pursued advanced degrees in critical and cultural theory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Northwestern University. His recently-completed doctoral dissertation situates graphic design practice in a broader history of labor, technology, and capitalism. Dakota currently teaches at SAIC and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also maintains an active design practice, with an emphasis on typographic systems for books and journals.

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28.03.2022 – 19:00 EET

On Gathering in Five Chapters

Mindy Seu

Mindy Seu has long been a gatherer. In its material and social forms, as a collection and event, gatherings serve as the intentional aggregation of resources for a specific community. In this lecture, Seu will discuss tools, indexes, and learning trails through five chapters: 1) Cyberfeminism Index, 2) ellipses and citations, 3) asterisks and collective publishing, 4) web-to-print tools, and 5) the Carrier Bag Theory.

Mindy Seu is a designer and researcher. She holds an M.Des with Distinction from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design with a focus in technology, and a B.A. in Design Media Arts from University of California, Los Angeles. As a fellow at the Harvard Law School’s Berkman Klein Center for the Internet & Society, she began the digital Cyberfeminism Index, which was later commissioned by Rhizome and presented at the New Museum. The printed publication Cyberfeminism Catalog is a 2021 recipient of the Graham Foundation Grant and will be published in Fall 2022. Seu has been a fellow at the Internet Archive, as well as a designer for 2×4’s Interactive Media team and the Museum of Modern Art’s in-house design studio. She has given lectures and workshops at Barbican Center, CalArts, Parsons, Pratt, RISD, Berkeley Art Museum, among others. Seu is currently an Assistant Professor at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts and Critic at Yale School of Art.

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16.03.2022 – 19:00 EET

Making Images Read as Lesbian

Laura Guy

In her own words, the American photographer Tee Corinne spent the 1970s ‘exploring ways to make images that read as lesbian’. Making images—as opposed to the more conventional phrasing of taking them— implied that there was both practical and creative work to be done. With her long-term friend and collaborator, and some-time lover, Honey Lee Cottrell, Corinne critically examined the troubled history of photographic representation and experimented with photographic techniques to confront an absence of lesbian representation. A burgeoning feminist press was integral to the work of Corinne and her contemporaries. In this talk, based on a book I am currently writing, I will examine the intertwined ideas of making and reading lesbian images made in the 1970s and '80s in order to think about how histories of queer photography are entangled with histories of queer design.

Laura Guy is a writer and curator based in Glasgow where she works as a lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. She is editor of Phyllis Christopher, Dark Room: San Francisco Sex and Protest, 1988–2003 (Bookworks, 2022) and co-editor with Glyn Davis of Queer Print in Europe (Bloomsbury, 2022).

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02.03.2022 – 19:00 EET

Queer Before Gay

Karol Radziszewski

In post-communist states, where a number of historical threads were broken or, in fact, never emerged, there has been an attempt to construct national identities anew and to create fresh narratives. Today, recent history, including art history, is being largely (re)constructed, as well as often tampered with. In my artistic practice I am particularly interested in such procedures, namely appendicising, rewriting and revising art history from the queer perspective. In my presentation I will take special interest in the ways in which archive-based art can have a political impact on our present and future, including its numerous aspects (i.e. cultural, social and sexual). My long term project titled Queer Archives Institute (QAI) will be offered as an example of this methodology.

Founded in 2015 the Queer Archives Institute is a non-profit informal artist-run organisation dedicated to research, collection, digitalisation, presentation, exhibition, analysis and artistic interpretation of queer archives, with special focus on Central and Eastern Europe. In my presentation I will present the different forms the QAI takes - from an exhibition to a temporary office, a publication, a performance, a lecture. I will reflect also on queer self-publishing practice taking as an example Polish Filo zine from the 1980s and my own DIK Fagazine mag.

Karol Radziszewski (b. 1980, Poland) works with film, photography, painting, installations and creates interdisciplinary projects. His archive-based methodology, crosses multiple cultural, historical, religious, social and gender references. Since 2005 he is publisher and editor-in-chief of DIK Fagazine, and has founded the Queer Archives Institute in 2015. His work has been presented in institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; New Museum, New York; VideoBrasil, Sao Paulo; Tokyo Photographic Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum and Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz. He has participated in several international biennales including PERFORMA 13, New York; 14th Baltic Triennial; 7th Göteborg Biennial; 4th Prague Biennial and 15th WRO Media Art Biennale.

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14.02.2022 – 19:00 EET

Ideal Dunya

Harsh Patel in dialogue with Rosen Eveleigh

Harsh Patel (b. Nairobi) is a graphic designer based in Los Angeles. “I formed my independent practice in the 'post 9/11' arena, after earning my BFA in design from the University of Texas, Austin. As an immigrant from a working background, communicating my experiences and values has always been the core of a tenable professional life. I believe that design studies should more clearly reflect globalization's broadening critical spectrum. The continuous blurring of lines dividing visual communication, commercial design, and what's deemed art requires a more accessible academic dialogue that is fluent in issues of responsible representation.”


SEASON 2

05.05.2021 – 19:00 EET

The World and Words Fuck Each Other

Nat Pyper

“FAGGOTS GALORE. WHIRLING LESBIAN DERVISHES. OUT COME THE FREAKS.”

So begins Fuzz Box Vol. 2 No. 5, a zine edited by Nicolas Jenkins in Montreal at the height of the queer anarcho-punk scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s. In an era shaped by the AIDS epidemic and its ensuing culture wars, violences, and oppressions, zinesters waged queerness as a weapon against bigotry and boredom. Join Nat Pyper for an erotic close reading and page-turning performance of Fuzz Box, the At War issue: an intimate encounter between publishing and desire.

Nat Pyper is an alphabet artist. In their work and writing, they use language as a sieve and they push the body through it. They make fonts, write sci-fi, design wearables for videos and performances, and research radical queer publishing histories. Their work has been shown at Chuquimarca Projects and Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, Printed Matter in New York City, and Vox Populi in Philadelphia. They received their MFA from the Yale School of Art. They are currently a 2021-22 HATCH Artist Resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition.

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21.04.2021 – 19:00 EET

Between Text and Object: Reading the ‘Monstrous Birth’ Broadsides

Eli Cumings

In sixteenth-century Europe, interest in so-called ‘monstrous births’ was rife. Infants with congenital abnormalities were displayed at fairs, outside churches and in their homes. The causes of their physical deviance were considered in medical and ethnographical works, as well as sermons, autobiographies, and a host of other texts. The tradition of interpreting infants in this way was, of course, not new. But in the early modern period, the discourse entered print for the first time. In this lecture I will reflect upon the consequences of this material fact, focussing my discussion on a small group of ‘broadsides’: cheap, mass-produced, single-sheet texts which were intended for a general readership. How did these texts articulate and transmit ideologies of bodily difference? What was the relationship between their form and content? How did they shape public notions of normalcy and deviance?

Eli Cumings is a doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge. Her work explores the representation of bodily difference in the textual culture of the Protestant Reformation, using the notion of ‘monstrosity’ as the point of departure. She is currently based in Berlin, where she will shortly begin a DAAD-funded research project.

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07.04.2021 – 19:00 EET

Feeling out T*FTS (Trans*FeministTechnoScience)

Loren Britton

Walking along a the uneven accountabilities of trans feminist technoscience and critical pedagogy: Feeling out TFTS (TransFeministTechnoScience) will be a lecture based in a not emerged (non-linear and between) timeline. Based in queer theory, trans studies, feminist technoscience and disability justice the lecture will be a remixing of different theoretical texts and artistic and design projects that have impacted me as an artist and researcher. Feelings will be prioritised and omissions are promised.

Loren Britton is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher tuning with practices of Critical Pedagogy, TransFeministTechnoScience and Disability Justice. Playing with the queer potential of undoing norms they practice joyful accountability to matters of anti-racism, collaboration, Black Feminisms, instability and transformation. With Isabel Paehr as MELT, they queer knowledges from computation and chemistry to shift metaphors of melting in times of climate change. Britton is an Associate Lecturer in Queer Feminist Technoscience & Digital Design at i-DAT at the University of Plymouth, UK; and an artistic researcher on the interdisciplinary project Re: Coding Algorithmic Culture within the Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems Research Group* at the University of Kassel, DE.

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24.03.2021 – 19:00 EET

Fugitive Forms

Luisa Lorenza Corna

Taking the lead from Fred Moten and Harney’s criticism of academia and call for dissident forms of knowledge production, this presentation will explore the lives and the work of a group of 20th century figures that enacted forms of fugitivity avant-la-lettre. We will adopt a notion of fugitivity intended both as a breaching of the institutional frame, as well as a desire to trespass the boundaries between theory and practice, different media, literary genres and ultimately art and politics. We will first examine how critic Carla Lonzi’s decision to leave the artworld and embrace separatist feminism, was paralleled by a transfiguration of her mode of writing, aimed at challenging the artifice of language. We will then move to the erratic literary production of 70s gay activist Mario Mieli, which we will examine in light of his political attempt to replace identity with a world of erotic abundance.

Luisa Lorenza Corna is an art and design historian teaching at Middlesex University. Her main areas of research are art, Marxism and feminism. She has written for various art and design magazines, amongst which Texte Zur Kunst, Art Monthly, Flash Art and Domus. She is completing an anthology of writings of the feminist art historian Carla Lonzi for Seagull. Her first monograph, tentatively titled Fugitivity and Militancy in Post-War Criticism, seeks to question the epistemological constraints of art history and academia, through recounting the lives and the works of a selection on critics that left the artworld in favour of direct political activity or independent pedagogical projects.


SEASON 1

09.12.2020 – 19:00 EET

Beyond Inclusion: Disability in Life and Design

Bess Williamson

Dr. Bess Williamson will share some key moments in historical and current practices of design that addresses disability. From origins in the post-World War II decades, to recent creative efforts, disabled people and their allies have identified the potential for design to align with ideas of social change and justice—but that this means confronting biases and resistance on local and global levels.

Dr. Bess Williamson is Associate Professor of Design History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA), where she teaches courses in the history of modern design, object theories, and disability studies in art and design. She is author of Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design and co-editor of Making Disability Modern: Design Histories, published this summer.

25.11.2020 – 19:00 EET

The Art of Activism: On Radical Practices of Solidarity in New York City’s Museums and Beyond…

Ayasha Guerin

Museums are places that are set up to out-survive us. They serve the public and are seen as important places in which a society can define itself and present itself. Museums solidify and legitimate culture…. this is why they have been such important stages of activism! The battle against the supposed neutrality of the Museum has been an ongoing artistic and political investigation. This talk will explore questions that art activism in New York City has raised about identity and the social politics of representation and appropriation in the museum. We’ll consider artistic practices of solidarity though a Black feminist lens, listening to images of protest in order to think through what a radical practice of coalition building might look like in art spaces.

Ayasha Guerin is an interdisciplinary scholar, artist and curator who lives between Vancouver and Berlin. She received her PhD in American Studies from New York University and is an Assistant Professor of Black Diaspora Studies at the University of British Columbia. Ayasha is invested in art practices that are also forms of activism—and believes a responsibility of the research profession is to make knowledge accessible through public action.

11.11.2020 – 19:00 EET

Collective Listening, Collective Dreaming

Amal Khalaf

Through listening moments, readings and sharing stories from projects developed over the last decade, we will think about how histories of radical pedagogy and practices of listening play a role in community practice and collective imagining. What are the ways that collective imagining can create alternative spaces for contesting power and advocating for new forms of relation? As an artist, organiser or designer how do you ground your practice in supporting collective desire? The challenge of including the arts and pedagogical practices meaningfully in research, organising and community initiatives is not new, but has grown more important in these crisis-ridden times. There is a need for more collaborative work embracing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and action.

Amal Khalaf is a curator and artist and currently Director of Programmes at Cubitt and Civic Curator at the Serpentine Galleries where she has worked on the Edgware Road Project since its inception in 2009. Here and in other contexts she has commissioned and developed residencies, exhibitions, workshops and collaborative research projects at the intersection of arts and social justice. Through Implicated Theatre (2011–2019) she has developed an arts and migrant justice program using Theatre of the Oppressed methodologies to create interventions, curricula and performances with ESOL teachers, hotel workers, domestic workers and other migrant justice organizers.

28.10.2020 – 19:00 EET

Standing on Both Shores At Once: Designers, Shapeshifters and Decolonial Futurities

Luiza Prado de O. Martins

Shapeshifters and tricksters are folkloric figures living at the intersection of different realities and universes — human and non-human animals, the living and the dead. They incarnate multiple ways of being and acting in the world, challenging hegemonic, colonial narratives of universality, scientific neutrality, and homogeneity, and compelling us to think instead in terms of metaphors, contradictions, and borderlessness. Feminist writer Gloria Anzaldúa wrote extensively about the necessity for the non-conforming subject to acquire abilities akin to those of the shapeshifter as a form of survival. The colonized subject, she contends, is a shapeshifter in nature, living and speaking from the borders of different languages, identities, and knowledges.

Starting from an engagement with feminist, decolonial, and anti-racist theories, in this lecture we will critically examine questions of positionality, objectivity, and universality design research, and how they relate to the cohesion of Western-centric systems of knowledge. Building upon these reflections, we will then speculate on the anti-colonial and counter-hegemonic possibilities offered by approaching the role of the design researcher as akin to that of the shapeshifter, and by understanding knowledge as composed by a multitude of lived experiences, ontologies and epistemologies between systems.

Luiza Prado de O. Martins is an artist and researcher working with questions of fertility, reproduction, coloniality, gender, and race. In her doctoral dissertation she approaches the control over fertility and reproduction as a foundational biopolitical gesture for the establishment of the colonial/modern gender system, theorizing the emergence of ‘technoecologies of birth control’ as a framework for observing—and resisting, disrupting, troubling—colonial domination. Her ongoing artistic research project, A Topography of Excesses, looks into encounters between human and plant beings in herbal medicine through the lenses of radical care. She is a co-founder of Decolonising Design.

14.10.2020 – 19:00 EET

A Wounded Fire: Queerness in Black Publications from the Harlem Renaissance

Silas Munro

In 1925, Alain LeRoy Locke was asked to be guest editor of an issue of Survey Graphic, the richly designed periodical covering sociological and political issues of the day. The issue, titled Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro, was Locke’s first publication wherein he connected an emerging generation of young black writers, poets, and artists, to what would be known as the Harlem Renaissance. The infamous issue became the basis for the seminal 1925 anthology The New Negro, which marked a shift from a focus on Black bodies to Black consciousness and Black thought.

The following year, a collective of young, black, and some queer artists would write, design, and self-publish FIRE!!, a publication devoted to younger Negro artists. FIRE!! was conceived by Langston Hughes and Bruce Nugent, both of who had work featured in The New Negro. They enlisted Wallace Thurman to edit the publication, and commissioned other black artists to contribute to its pages. The magazine’s varied content contained diverse genres, including essay, design, illustration, plays, and poetry. Tragically, the headquarters of FIRE!! burned down after the completion of the first issue, but not before its content made equally fiery controversy.

Silas Munro is a partner of Polymode, a bi-coastal design studio in the U.S. He creates poetic, and research-informed design with clients in the cultural sphere, and with community-based organizations, including Mark Bradford, MoMA, and The New Museum. Munro’s writing appears in Eye, Slanted, and W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America. He has been a visiting critic at MICA, RISD, and Yale University. Munro is an Associate Professor at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and Advisor, and Chair Emeritus at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

30.09.2020 – 19:00 EET

Publishing as Queer Praxis: Lesbian Feminist Infrastructures

Cait McKinney

In this book talk drawn form Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies (Duke, 2020), I outline how lesbian feminists in the U.S. and Canada approached publishing as an information practice key to establishing a foundation for their movements, and building more livable lives for lesbians. Focusing on newsletters, bibliographies and indexes, I show how activists created and circulating information as a world-making process when access to information was otherwise precarious.

Cait McKinney is Assistant Professor of Communication at Simon Fraser University, the author of Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies (Duke, 2020), and coeditor of Inside Killjoy’s Kastle: Dykey Ghosts, Feminist Monsters, and other Lesbian Hauntings (UBC, 2019). McKinney is interested in how queer social movements use digital technologies to build alternative information infrastructures. Their current research is on activist responses to early online content regulations; the intertwined histories of AIDS Activism and digital technologies; and the ways sexuality has been used to explain data and databases since the mid 20th century.