Futures #2 – David Burrows and Simon O’Sullivan: “The Myth-Functions of Contemporary Art and Philosophy”
Based on their recent book Fictioning (Edinburgh University Press, 2019) Burrows and O’Sullivan map out the practice of fictioning as a new field of study for art and philosophy. They define how ‘fictioning’ in art is an open-ended, experimental practice that involves performing, diagramming or assembling to create or anticipate new modes of existence. Burrows and O’Sullivan explore how fictioning can offer us alternatives to the dominant fictions that construct our reality in an age of ‘post-truth’ and ‘perception management’. Through fictioning, they look forward to the new kinds of human, part-human and non-human bodies and societies to come. At the end of the talk, Burrows and O’Sullivan will relate their thoughts about fictioning to their own collaborative practice, Plastique Fantastique, which they produce with Alex Marzeta and Vanessa Page and others.
David Burrows and Simon O'Sullivan work as Plastique Fantastique, a collaboration produced with Alex Marzeta and Vanessa Page and others including Mark Jackson, Motsonian, Benedict Drew. Through film, music and song, images, artifacts and performance, the UK-based group deliver communiques addressing precarious ecologies, nascent tech-life, animals that speak and and non-human agents. Recent performances and exhibitions by the group include Zero-City at IMT Gallery, London and SKEEN NITE TOO (COME) Rhubaba Gallery, Edinburgh in 2019; SKEEN NITE (COME) at Southwark Park Galleries 2018; Shonky, Hayward/South Bank Touring Show, Bury Museum and Art Gallery, DCA Dundee, MAC Belfast 2017-18; Castlefield Gallery Manchester, NEoN Digital Art Festival Dundee and They Call Us Screamers, TULCA Arts Festival, Nuns Island Theatre Galway in 2017.
David Burrows is Reader in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. He has contributed to a number of book projects and his exhibitions include Micro/Macro: British Art 1996–2002, Mucsanok, Budapest (2003); Take Me With You, Circulo des Bellas Artes, Madrid/Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2006); All Over the New Smart, FA Projects, London (2008); Waving From Afar, Star Space, Shanghai (2009); The Diagram Banner Repeater, London/Torna, Istanbul (2011); In Outer Space There is No Painting and Sculpture, Summerhall, Edinburgh (2014); The Birmingham Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2014) 17What the Frog’s Eyes No Longer Tells the Frog’s Brain, IMT London (2017), Landscapes of the Furture, Helsinki Contemporary (2018), Morphologies of the Invisible, SPACE London (2019).
Simon O’Sullivan is Professor of Art Theory and Practice in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmith College, London. He is the author of the monographs On the Production of Subjectivity: Five Diagrams of the Finite-Infinite Relation (Palgrave, 2012) and Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thought Beyond Representation (Palgrave, 2005), and is co-editor (with Henriette Gunkel and Ayesha Hameed) of Futures and Fictions (Repeater, 2017) and (with Stephen Zepke) of both Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New (Continuum, 2008) and Deleuze and Contemporary Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2009).
Autumn 2019’s Futures lectures:
Sep 12: David Burrows and Simon O’Sullivan
Sep 19: Jaana Parviainen
Nov 14: André Lepecki
About the Futures Series:
The Futures Series is organized by the master’s degree programmes in Choreography, Dramaturgy, and the Live Art and Performance Studies in collaboration with the Centre for Joint Studies at Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy.
The series proposes that we need to regard the future as plural futures. The futures often seem indeterminate or uncanny. It is precisely for this reason that we need to ask whether artistic practice, with its various modes of thought, has the capacity to approach such unforeseen possibilities of the emergent futures. How should we regard these futures, which ought to be an essential part of research in choreography, pedagogy and the performative capacity of art?
To ponder these capacities, we could see how the performative practices produce the visions and emergent futures and prehensions where artistic practices and thinking are not bound with ideologies, mediated truths or preconceived aesthetics. They are necessary alongside with contemporary science and theory, where prehension of futures are transversal and cross-contaminated. The proposal and experiments presented in this series aim to present how we could create space for thinking the indeterminate futures.
Burrows and O’Sullivan’s lecture is the second one in the Futures Series. The first one was held in spring 2019 with a lecture by Paul O'Neill.
The Futures Lecture Series is part of Visiting Experts Series.