18 November 2016

Quote of the day, yay!

“... a decision that would not go through the test and ordeal of the undecidable would not be a free decision; it would only be the programmable application or the continuous unfolding of a calculable process.”

-- Jacques Derrida, “Force of Law: The ‘Mystical Foundation of Authority’”, in Acts of Religion, ed. Gil Anidjar (New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 228–298.

16 November 2016

Practices of Love, Friendship and Other Obsessions @ Volksroom, Brussels

On Tuesday 13 September 2016 from 20:00, Xenia Taniko Dwertmann, Roni Katz, Elena Betros and myself hosted the the performative event Practices of Love, Friendship and Other Obsessions at Volksroom, Brussels.

Having met earlier this year in Berlin, the four of us each contributed elements of our work - past and present - creating an evening of interconnected acts; we performed iterations of our divergent practices with one another and the audience. Tunes before and after were by Thomas Proksch. Photo documentation Thomas Dupal.

Here's the introduction, written by Dwertmann, Katz and I:

We invited ourselves to a new city, then we invited others. We are hosting hosted. And here is where we insist. On the impossibility, the inappropriate and impertinent. This is an attempt. This is a rehearsal. A rehearsal of (all) sorts, to endlessly prepare for the inevitable. Since inevitably, boundaries are made to be crossed.

We could say that these practices are like the question-exclamation-marks, commas and period, the Doppelpunkt of our lives, addressing our work, and the world we inhabit. We ask ourselves and one another: What are the borderlines between our public and and our private, friend and lover, leisure and labor, between work, life and art? If we are at work all the time, what do we labor for? What about the nonproductive labor that happens in the most private parts of our life, shed away from the public, performed in households, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms. The kind of labor that one performs with oneself, or next to another. What happens when that private and invisible, secret thing is performed publicly? How can being publicly intimate be an act of caring for oneself in a community-constituting way? Who says where this belongs, and what is longed to be public? When practicing public intimacy, we slide through the confessional, the biographical, the social, the political, the paradoxical, the poetic. In the poetry of the paradox lies a radical intimacy with one’s own body, producing queer satisfaction on its own terms, making way for friction and conflict, fantasies, healing, shame, self-pleasuring, rage, panic, madness, obsessions, desires.

Is this labor, this language, leading anywhere?

I presented two pieces of writing. The first, read by me, was three short narrative vignettes taken from my contributions to Exquisite Consequences (2016), published on EFFE. The second was a text titled "A text by someone who could have done otherwise", written to parallel a work by Betros that was exhibited at West Space, Melbourne in 2014. Originally written in a script form, though intended to be read in private, the Volksroom event was a chance for this piece to be read aloud, with our four voices taking each line in turn.

For more info, you can visit the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/291288867909856/

Thanks to Roni, Xenia, Elena, Thomas and Volksroom for their welcome and trust.

8 November 2016

Mars Square Jupiter @ 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU

Back in August, a collaborative work I made with artist Elena Betros was part of an exhibition titled Mars Square Jupiter, held at 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU, and organised by Sydney artist Iakovos Amperidis.

Shaping a personal universe of mystic references, this group-show-as-solo-show included work by Amperidis (beside artist Doelow Da Pilotman and Amperidis' mother Themelina Platsis), as well as work by Sydney artist Del Lumanta, his son Ilya Amperidis, father Lucky Amperidis, and Betros and myself. We had spent our summer holiday on the Greek island Kalymnos, where Platsis grew up, and produced the piece Who's Iakovos? Who's Iakovos? (HD video, sound, 2016) as a result.

Running from 19 August - 5 September 2016, documentation of the show is now available online here: http://www.55sydenhamrd.com/mars-square-jupiter.

Thanks to Iakov, Themelina, Irini, and 55.

17 October 2016

Quote of the day, yay!

"Don’t wait for inspiration. Remember. Do not wait for inspiration. You don’t need to be inspired, to write a poem. You need to reach down and touch the thing that’s boiling inside of you and make it somehow useful."

-- Audre Lorde, as quoted by Ada Gay Griffin & Michelle Parkerson in "A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde", BOMB 56, Summer 1996.

2 September 2016

"Pale Like A Fish" by Ella Sutherland (2016)

On 8 July 2016, Sydney-based New Zealand artist and designer Ella Sutherland launched her book Pale Like A Fish in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Published by North Projects and Ilam Press, and printed by Gemma Banks on risograph, the paperback publication sits somewhere between an exhibition catalogue and an artist book.

Designed by Sutherland, Pale Like A Fish expands on her 2015 exhibition at North Projects, Boring month start to finish, the whole month (12 September – 17 October).

The book "brings together a series of contributions from artists, writers and designers, developing a territory to think about the navigation of text, language and design in printed spaces. The publication seeks to position the page as a space to work in and outside of commercial endeavors; looking at how the influence of gesture and narrative in understanding ‘typical’ reading spaces may include detour and occasion, rereading and exchange."

Inviting peers and collaborators to contribute, Sutherland's Pale Like A Fish mixes forms and formats including an essay by curator Sophie Davis, an interview with Newspaper Reading Club (Fiona Connor & Michala Paludan), poetry by artist and musician Dawn Blood, excerpts from an ongoing email correspondence between Sutherland and I (set in the typeface [Re]Scan, which she designed based on my handwriting), artist pages by Riet Wijnen, as well as drawings and imagery of Sutherland's dispersed throughout.

Printed to an edition of 200, you can obtain a copy for NZ$15 + postage by contacting North Projects at: info@northprojects.co.nz.

Many thanks to Ella.

ISBN 978-0-473-36239-3.

22 August 2016

Quote of the day, yay!

-- Eduardo Galeano, “Euroeverything,” in Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone, trans. Mark Fried (New York, NY: Nation Books, 2009).

15 August 2016

Dissect #3 - exhibition and journal contribution

To coincide with the launch of Dissect Journal #3, on Wednesday 17 August 2016 the exhibition Tell Me What You Have and I Will Know What You Are opens to the public at Unit 32, 2 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.

Curated by Dissect co-editor, Audrey Schmidt, the show is open 10am to 6pm every day from Wednesday morning through Sunday 21 August 2016. Facebook event!

Hosted in an Airbnb apartment in the centre of Melbourne during precisely the same dates as the Spring 1883 art fair in order to highlight a "fully managed artificiality," the location "speaks to the merging of public and private spheres." The exhibition includes "artists whose work focuses on ‘the body’: embodiment, the collective body, the body as an institution (‘the body corporate’), the body as vessel, as commodity and as site of production. In varied ways, the work featured engages with the intersections between subjectivity/identity, art, commerce, technology, critical theory and political activism as it relates to ‘the body.’"

The artists are: Anastasia Klose, Body by Body, Callan Bradley Hales, Cristine Brache, Eleanor Ivory Weber, Hana Earles, James Ferraro, Karen Finley, Katherine Botten, Katie West, Monica's Gallery, Natasha Madden, Phebe Schmidt, Quintessa Matranga, Rare Candy, Ruth O'Leary, Tanja Ostojić.

Though my name accidentally doesn't appear on this lovely handmade poster by Melbourne artist Natasha Madden above, I have a piece in the show, a revised version of a two-page text titled "Monica Lewinsky" that I wrote for my exhibition No Private Problems, held at M.I/mi1glissé earlier this year. The new text, "Instruction: Lie Down on the Bed and Read," invites you to do just that, and includes the custom typeface designed by Ella Sutherland based on my handwriting. You are invited to keep the A4 sheet once you have read it.

Edit: Install pics via Audrey Schmidt (with Ruth O'Leary & Phebe Schmidt work visible):

And more here: http://dissectjournal.com/exhibition/.

For those who aren't in Melbourne or cannot make the exhibition, I hope you will have the chance to obtain the 3rd issue of Dissect Journal, whose theme is also "the body." I have some artist pages, also from the above-mentioned Berlin project, including a new introductory text and the first publication of exhibited text-based posters and a photograph.

Edited by Audrey Schmidt, Chloe Sugden and Zoe Theodore, and designed by Clare Wohlnick, the issue includes contributions from: Philip Auslander, Dodie Bellamy, Eva Birch, Ramsay Burt, Travis Chamberlain, Amy Charlesworth, Andrea Fraser, Tim Gentles, Isabelle Graw, Amelia Groom, Aurelia Guo, K8 Hardy, Chris Kraus, Carol Que, Ander Rennick, Amelia Winata, Jarrod Zlatic, and many of the artists in Tell Me What You Have and I Will Know What You Are.

It will be a great read and can be pre-ordered online here, and will be available in good book stores.

Many thanks to Audrey.

14 July 2016

Sam Pulitzer @ Etablissement d'en face

I reviewed US artist Sam Pulitzer's self-titled Brussels solo show at Etablissement d'en face for frieze, which can be read here:


Thanks to Paul Clinton.

27 June 2016

Poetry & Noise @ West Space, Melbourne

This Thursday evening, 30 June 2016, at Melbourne's West Space, Molten Upset present an evening of readings and performances titled Poetry & Noise.

Poetry & Noise showcases the work of female artists and writers working with text, sound, music, and voice. Entry is free and doors open at 18:00, with the event commencing at 18:30. The program includes works by the following:

Aurelia Guo, Autumn Royal, Dawn Blood, Eleanor Weber, Elena Gomez, Hana Earles, Katherine Botten, Lisa Lerkenfeldt, Natalie Harkin, Papaphilia, Sophie Cassar, and Spike Fuck.

I was invited by the event's co-curators Lisa Lerkenfeldt and Autumn Royal to propose a work for the event, and the result is a new piece titled Holes, which incorporates pre-recorded audio components with live text/voice. The reading will be performed by Jessie Hall.

Many thanks to Lisa and Autumn for inviting me, and to Jessie for performing.

EDIT: Jessie Hall performing (photo: Lisa Lerkenfeldt):

EDIT: Two media pieces about the evening have emerged, one on the 3CR radio show Women on the Line, the other on a blog post by the organisers for Cordite Poetry Review.

13 June 2016

No Private Problems @ What's What, Lyon

This Thursday 16 June 2016 from 19:00, I will be presenting part of my project No Private Problems at Café Bellevue, 17 Cours Général Giraud, 69001 Lyon, France.

The evening is part of What's What, a month-long program of events hosted in a local bar and organised by the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon (ENSBAL) Post-Diplôme cohort of 2015-16 (Agathe Boulanger, Daniel Frota de Abreu, Signe Frederiksen, Jules Lagrange, Liv Schulman), directed by curator, critic and editor François Piron.

What's What invites artists, writers, directors and theoreticians to "share their work methods from behind the bar". On Thursday I will be presenting alongside Lyon artist Bérenger Delfour. Previously Yoan Sorin, Flora Moscovici and Kasia Fudakowski have presented their work, and the last half of the month sees Gwénaël Morin and Tristan Garcia at the bar.

Many thanks to the What's What organisers, to course manager Alain Ailloud and, in particular, to artist Signe Frederiksen for inviting me.

29 May 2016

On A Constructed World for Peeping Tom's Digest #4: Paris

About a year ago, I wrote about the Paris-based Australian artists A Constructed World in response to their round-table performance Like I talk to you right now (23 May 2015, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France).

ACW describe the performance (pictured below): 'In the luminous room of Antoine de Galbert’s collection of unassigned masks and headdress, amongst a removed shamanistic, ritualistic alterity, A Constructed World at Large present a hallucinating group and an open score about truth becoming negative. From a fragmented position inside language and outside of supervision the group considers the true and the false in a search for conversation that is both ubiquitous and invisible. And objects speak.'

My text, titled ACW: What Happened in the Performance Yesterday (for you)? What Occured? was commissioned by Peeping Tom and appears in their 4th digest exploring contemporary art scenes around the world, 'Paris: Le Grand et au-delà'. This bilingual (French and English) issue of the digest features 70 contributors and 'teases out an offbeat and distanced portrait of the Parisian and French scene'.

The launch of the publication is next Thursday 2 June 2016 at Shanaynay in Paris, from 18:00 to 21:00. See Peeping Tom site for more info, or the FB event.

Thanks to Geoff Lowe and Jacqueline Riva (ACW), to editor Caroline Niemant, and to translator Clémence de Montgolfier.

15 May 2016

In development: Vanishing Point

On 18 September 2015, Melbourne-based artist Shian Law, presented a showing of his new work Vanishing Point at Arts House's Meat Market venue in North Melbourne.

Currently in-development, the work is described as:

'a hybrid performance documentary exploring acts of self-preservation within an ephemeral art form. With a crew of filmmakers, choreographer Shian Law strategically captures, archives and fabricates the process of his collaborations with dance luminaries Deanne Butterworth and Phillip Adams. As the cameras historicise each artist the question emerges, “whose f*cking work actually is this?”'

I was invited by Law to write the text script for Vanishing Point, which is read out live by a narrator during the performance. An initial version of this text was presented for the 2015 showing, with the final, longer version in-development for the premiere in 2017.

An excerpt from my text:

What you have seen, heard and spoken could be revived at any moment. But how would you know if you had seen, heard, spoken it before? It will have changed, and you won’t even have noticed; it will have changed while you weren’t looking. While you were off doing something else, looking at something else. No need to keep looking here. This will lead somewhere else. You won’t even remember if what you were seeing, hearing or speaking was fake, whether it was a stand-in, or the real thing.

Many thanks to Shian for taking a chance on me. I am excited to continue working on this project, and to see its outcome in 2017!

18 April 2016

Psychoanalytic thought #003

Alenka Zupančič discussing sexual difference and ontology in an interview with Ran­dall Terada titled 'Sex, ontology, subjectivity' (2015), sourced from Mariborchan:

'The sexes are not two in any mean­ing­ful way. Sexu­al­ity does not fall into two parts; it does not con­sti­tute a one. It is stuck between “no longer one” and “not yet two (or more).” I would say that it revolves around the fact that “the other sex doesn’t exist” (and this is to say that the dif­fer­ence is not onto­lo­giz­able), yet there is more than one (which is also to say, “more than mul­tiple ones”).

[...] my claim is, fur­ther, that if we simply replace two with a mul­ti­pli­city (and claim that there are more than two sexes), we do not get out of this same logic of onto­lo­giz­a­tion. We affirm that there are many sexes, and miss the very onto­lo­gical impasse involved in sexu­al­ity. [...] It is not simply that we think onto­logy can­not begin with One (this point is not very con­tro­ver­sial), it is that we also think it can­not begin simply with “mul­ti­pli­city,” con­ceived as a kind of ori­ginal neut­ral­ity. This is the real core of this debate. I believe the altern­at­ive between One and the mul­tiple is a wrong altern­at­ive.

[...] the basic idea is this: onto­logy begins, not with One and not with mul­ti­pli­city, but with a “minus One” (Lacan talks of l’un en moins in Sem­inar XX). Mul­ti­pli­city is already a con­sequence of this para­dox­ical minus One, which is not, but struc­tures the field of what is. In this sense mul­ti­pli­city is never simply neut­ral, but biased by that ori­ginal neg­at­iv­ity, and hence ant­ag­on­istic. The way this struc­tur­ing neg­at­iv­ity (or onto­lo­gical impossib­il­ity as insep­ar­able from onto­logy) exists in the world is in the form of an impossible two, that is, in the form of sexual dif­fer­ence which can­not be onto­lo­gized, pos­ited in terms of dif­fer­ence between two beings, two onto­lo­gical entit­ies.

Sexual dif­fer­ence in the strictly Lacanian sense of the term is the way in which the minus One, as neg­at­iv­ity struc­tur­ing the realm of being, gets to be for­mu­lated within this very being as its point of para­dox­ical impossib­il­ity. My point is not: there are only two sexes, but rather: there is only the split, the ant­ag­on­ism. Ant­ag­on­ism is not simply ant­ag­on­ism between two things, but also, and more fun­da­ment­ally, what struc­tures the field in which these things appear.

You men­tioned Slavoj [Žižek]’s example from Levi-Strauss’s Struc­tural Anthro­po­logy, which is also a per­fect example of this dif­fi­cult, counter-intu­it­ive point accord­ing to which ant­ag­on­ism some­how pre­cedes the (two) sides of the ant­ag­on­ism. If the two vil­lage groups draw two com­pletely dif­fer­ent maps of the vil­lage, the answer is not to take a heli­copter ride and try to look from above at how the vil­lage looks “object­ively.” The point is, as Sla­voj said, to recog­nize that the two per­cep­tions of the ground plan are simply two mutu­ally exclus­ive endeav­ours to cope with this trau­matic ant­ag­on­ism, and they rep­res­ent an attempt by each group to heal this “wound” via the impos­i­tion of a bal­anced sym­bolic struc­ture cap­tured in their respect­ive ground plans.

Sim­il­arly, the nar­rat­ives about what is “mas­cu­line” and what is “fem­in­ine” are pre­cisely attempts at cop­ing with this kind of trau­matic ant­ag­on­ism by sta­ging it as a dif­fer­ence between two kinds of being. Which is why it is not enough to dis­miss “mas­culin­ity” and “fem­in­in­ity” as sym­bolic con­struc­tions (which they cer­tainly are), but one also has to recog­nize the real (the ant­ag­on­ism) that pro­pels, motiv­ates these con­struc­tions.'

11 April 2016

Text for Adam Cruces @ Galerie Joseph Tang

I wrote a text that has been included in Adam Cruces' solo show PASTEL, which opened on 17 March 2016 at Galerie Joseph Tang in Paris.

If you would like to read my text 'Pen, or, le stylo', please drop me a line and I'll send it through! EDIT: Exhibition pics and text available on Art Viewer!

The show runs through Saturday 23 April 2016, and has been called a 'must see' by Art Forum, so go check it out if you're in Paris!

Thanks to Adam for the invitation.

4 April 2016

Text for 'Real state' by Asta Meldal Lynge

London-based Danish artist Asta Meldal Lynge's first book Real state, published by Studio Operative, London (2016) is out now! Real state is designed in collaboration with Rory Gleeson, with text by Eleanor Ivory Weber.

Launched on Tuesday 8 March at a.m. in London, this Wednesday 6 April 2016 sees the Copenhagen launch, hosted by Motto at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. (Here is the Facebook event.)

There will be a screening/reading at 18:00 combining three moving image works by Asta Meldal Lynge - Camera Shake (2013), Site Seeing (2014), and Showhome (2015) - and a reading from excerpts of Real state texts by Eleanor Ivory Weber.

Real state
Asta Meldal Lynge
Text by Eleanor Ivory Weber
Design by Rory Gleeson with Asta Meldal Lynge
Published by Studio Operative
ISBN 978-0-9575223-6-7
216 x 279 mm, 128pp, softcover
RRP £22.00

From the press release: 'Real state is a visual essay that takes a critical stance towards the subjects of housing, urban development and image production. Employing video-stills, photographs and found images, it explores the social and political value of the image, in a specifically urban context, emphasising the fictions present in the (re)production of space.

[...] As the content is framed and re-framed, trackpad gestures are overlaid, ultimately bringing the stability of any image surface into question. This destabilising approach is mirrored in Weber’s text which combines excerpts from e-mail conversations, with differing registers of fiction, expanding on the disconnection between the idea of housing as a basic human need and it’s position within market logic and neoliberal ideology.

The title Real state alludes to the conditions of these systems, the power structures of governed entities and the business of real estate, while insinuating a difficult promise of something real or true to be revealed.'

For more information, and to order, click here: studio-operative.co.uk.

Book also available to purchase online at Antenne and Motto!

23 March 2016

SafARI - Internet Super Highway 2016

SafARI is the off-space or Artist-Run Initiative (ARI, hence the name) program timed to coincide with the opening weeks of the Biennale of Sydney, and aimed at showcasing the work of emerging and unrepresented artists. SafARI is hosted by independent Sydney venues and has a program of exhibitions, events, publications and online components.

I was invited to contribute something to the online program Internet Super Highway (ISH), organised by Kailana Sommer, Benjamin Forster, Jack Lanagan Dunbar and Emilia Batchelor.

ISH is a multi-faceted week-long program that runs twice over a fortnight, 14 - 27 March 2016, between the hours 21:00 - 09:00 AEST (that is, 11:00 - 23:00 CET).

The program includes amazing work by Australian artists including Lachlan Anthony, Elena Betros, Deborah Birch, Bonita Bub, Simonne Goran, Aurelia Guo, Megan Hanson, KK+JLD, Del Lumanta, Kate MacDonald, Rowan Oliver & Louise Dibben, Marnie Slater (NZ), Tosha Van Veenendaal, Emile Zile, and many more.

I selected some texts (by Michel Foucault, Keith Hart, Sarah Kane, Samo Tomšič) for download as part of 'Reading is free-ish' (Tuesdays 15 & 22 March), plus 'Tele ~ visions' (Sundays 20 & 27 March) includes a video recording of a reading I did in Sydney in 2014 as part of GOB fest.

You can download the full program here: http://www.ᔕᗅᖴᕱᖇᑊ.com/ISH/all/program.pdf

To access ISH (but only between 21:00 and 09:00 AEST, at all other times you will see the regular SafARI website), click:


18 March 2016

Quote of the day, yay!

"At the height of the Troubles, gay clubs were actually some of the only non-sectarian gathering spaces where Catholics and Protestants socially mingled without having to talk about it. Gay clubs and punk clubs — in the ’90s, it was raves. I guess middle-class areas have always been pretty neutral, and they still are today: art spaces and the university."

-- Mariah Garnett in conversation with Risa Puleo, BOMB Magazine, 3 March 2016

11 March 2016

General Fine Arts, Vol. 2, Issue 1

Finally, General Fine Arts, Vol. 2, Issue 1, published by Version House (Berlin) is online!

Edited by Tom Clark and themed "Values", this latest issue was launched on Tuesday 8 March 2016 at a.m. in London.

It features the work of: Adam Gallagher, Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe, Anna Zett, Beatrice Loft Schulz, Eleanor Ivory Weber, Imran Perretta, Jaakko Pallasvuo, John Hill, Josefine Wikström, Kalliope Maria Nagy, Karisa Senavitis and Kevin O’Neill, Malin Arnell, Kajsa Dahlberg, Johanna Gustavsson, Laura Guy and Fia-Stina Sandlund, Leila Kozma, Manuel Arturo Abreu, Marina Vishmidt, Martin Kohout, Nina Wakeford and Lily Keal, Owen G. Parry, Vincent Para, and William Kherbek.

I am chuffed to have an untitled text/polemic nicely placed between Nina Wakeford & Lily Keal and Jaakko Pallasvuo.

You can read it and everything else by clicking this link:


Many thanks to Tom.

25 January 2016

After the Eclipse V

This Thursday 28 January 2016 from 19:30 is the 5th After the Eclipse, a series of reading events initiated by Imri Kahn, Sarah M Harrison and Ebba Fransén Waldhör.

For number V, the speakers are:
Tommy Camerno, Natalie Häusler, Marlie Mul, Michael Runyan, Maria Votti, Eleanor Weber

Doors open @ 19:30 / Readings start @ 20:00 sharp

Am Flutgraben 3
12435 Berlin

I will be performing an excerpt from the work I’m really sorry to hear about your dead father, but there’s nothing we can do. Thanks to Imri for the invite :)

EDIT: Photo documentation :)

17 January 2016

Psychoanalytic thought #002

Samo Tomšič, author of The Capitalist Unconscious: Marx and Lacan (Verso, London 2015), recently gave a talk at the American University of Beirut, hosted by philosopher Sami Khatib.

Titled 'What is Repression?', the talk traces links between the work of Freud and Lacan in psychoanalysis and that of Marx in political economy, combined with a very interesting critique of Foucault. You can watch it here:

3 January 2016

Quote of the day, yay!

'Any egalitarian project, whether directed to the equalization of relations between the sexes, or between races, classes, or ethnicities, is, for Irigaray, antagonistic to the project of the specification of differences. Egalitarianism entails a neutral measure for the attainment of equality, a measure that invariably reflects the value of the dominant position. Egalitarianism entails becoming equal to a given term, ideal, or value. Irigaray's work on sexual difference, along with the writings of other feminists and antiracists focused on the work of specifying irreducible differences, problematizes any given norm by which sexes or races can be measured independent of the sexes and races thus measured. Equality in its most far-reaching sense involves the creation of multiple norms and the recognition of multiple positions and not the acceptance of a norm or value based on the dominant position, as most forms of egalitarianism entail. It is her anti-egalitarianism, her anti-essentialism and her refusal to privilege the present and the actual over the future and the virtual that mark Irigaray's unique and ongoing contribution to philosophy, and that are key elements of her understanding of sexual difference.'

-- Elizabeth Grosz, Becoming undone: Darwinian reflections on life, politics, and art, Duke University Press 2011, p. 148

15 December 2015

Psychoanalytic thought #001

From a great lecture given earlier this year by British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips for London Review of Books, titled 'Against Self-Criticism':

"Like a malign parent [the super-ego] harms in the guise of protecting; it exploits in the guise of providing good guidance. In the name of health and safety it creates a life of terror and self-estrangement. There is a great difference between not doing something out of fear of punishment, and not doing something because one believes it is wrong. Guilt isn’t necessarily a good clue as to what one values; it is only a good clue about what (or whom) one fears. Not doing something because one will feel guilty if one does it is not necessarily a good reason not to do it. Morality born of intimidation is immoral. Psychoanalysis was Freud’s attempt to say something new about the police."

Listen here:

Thanks to Amelia Groom for the heads up.

5 December 2015

In solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub

'There are many businessmen who own knowledge today. Consider Elsevier, the largest scholarly publisher, whose 37% profit margin1 stands in sharp contrast to the rising fees, expanding student loan debt and poverty-level wages for adjunct faculty.'

Read this open letter defending the right to, and sharing of knowledge for free and out of the hands of the Academic publishing monopolies!


'Share this letter - read it in public - leave it in the printer. Share your writing - digitize a book - upload your files. Don't let our knowledge be crushed. Care for the libraries - care for the metadata - care for the backup. Water the flowers - clean the volcanoes.'

20 November 2015

Quote of the day, yay!

'In appearance, speech may well be of little account, but the prohibitions surrounding it soon reveal its links with desire and power. This should not be very surprising, for psychoanalysis has already shown us that speech is not merely the medium which manifests — or dissembles — desire; it is also the object of desire. Similarly, historians have constantly impressed upon us that speech is no mere verbalisation of conflicts and systems of domination, but that it is the very object of man's conflicts.

But our society possesses yet another principle of exclusion; not another prohibition, but a division and a rejection. I have in mind the opposition: reason and folly. From the depths of the Middle Ages, a man was mad if his speech could not be said to form part of the common discourse of men. His words were considered null and void, without truth or significance, worthless as evidence, inadmissible in the authentification of acts or contracts, incapable even of bringing about transubstantiation — the transformation of bread into flesh — at Mass.'

-- Michel Foucault, 'The Discourse On Language', Social Science Information 10/2, April 1971, trans. Rupert Swyer

Thanks to Elena Betros for directing me to this essay.

22 October 2015

Athena Thebus: Demented Fury

Australian artist Athena Thebus' solo show Demented Fury opened at Brisbane's Metro Arts on Wednesday 21 October 2015.

I wrote an essay for the catalogue, which can be downloaded here,


or here,


Demented Fury runs through Saturday 7 November, and there is an artist talk at the gallery on Thursday 5 November at 6pm - check it out if you are in Brisbane!

19 October 2015

HOTLINE +61 (0)285 990 669

Please call the HOTLINE: +61 (0)285 990 669
A new service by editionless editions.

HOTLINE is a system that allows anyone to either leave a message or listen to the previously recorded messages (these are randomly spliced into a seamless loop). It is very simple to use, here are the instructions:

— Call the number +61 (0)285 990 669 and follow the prompts.
— The recordings are limited to 2 minutes in length.
— Silence at the start and end of messages is automatically clipped.
— There is no limit on how many recordings you can make, but they may not be played back consecutively.
— If you hang up without saving the message, it will be automatically discarded.
— Due to the open form, there is no way of crediting contributors, but if you can include it within the recording if you desire.

Conceived by Benjamin Forster, HOTLINE was launched on 30 September, and publicly trialed as part of the National Experimental Arts Forum in Perth, Western Australia, on 5-6 October 2015. It is ongoing.

HOTLINE is a rewarding project to contribute a message to, knowing others will hear it, and the experience of calling in simply to listen is somehow therapeutic. This is not a self-help project, but a phone call is cheaper than a psychologist. It's a nice feeling just listening with no expectation of response or performance. The anonymity is reassuring and the thought of all these other listeners/speakers contributing at given moments in their own lives is humbling. Silence on the phone doesn't have to be threatening, this is not call-waiting and you are not on hold. Give it a ring.

12 October 2015

Quote of the day, yay!

'Normcore, a term brought into use by self-defined “trend forecasting” group K-Hole, looks at the revolutionary potentials of sameness in a time when resistance strategies that rely on difference are increasingly coopted by neoliberalism’s make-over regime. Instead of difference, normcore moves into a post-authenticity that opts for sameness. So, if normcore is the understanding that “normality” doesn’t exist, and finds “liberation in being nothing special” (following K-Hole), then homonormcore is the understanding that there is no such thing as homonormativity — at least for the teen girls who create slash fiction. This, of course, does not mean that every gay marriage proposal and gay adoption is a revolution, but raises the issue that if individuality is now very much a regulating capitalist desire, then perhaps one way out of this conundrum is through a sameness that is not imitative and exclusive, but adaptable and expansive.'

-- Owen Parry, 'MPREG versus Homonormcore', The New Inquiry, 24 August 2015

7 October 2015

Text for West Space Journal @ Volume Art Book Fair 2015

I was commissioned to write a text for West Space Journal's stand at the inaugural VOLUME 2015 | Another Art Book Fair hosted at Artspace in Sydney 11-13 September.

WSJ editors Kelly Fliedner and Rowan McNaught initiated a trial where they invited writers to simply select an object and write something about it. This resulted in object/text pairs, whereby printed A4 texts were accompanied by a relevant or corresponding object. Both Fliedner and McNaught contributed texts, as did J Annear, Sarinah Masukor, and Isabelle Sully.

To read my text, 'A blue dress', click here:


6 October 2015

frieze blog: Postcard from Melbourne

I wrote a 'Postcard from Melbourne' for the frieze blog, which can be read here:


Thanks to Jennifer Higgie and Paul Clinton.

18 August 2015

Quote of the day, yay!

'The time and situation in which the performance takes place — a singular performance, any singular performance, which is the singular performance that I have in mind — does something that is beyond and that cannot be comprehended by the conceptual tools and analytical moves associated with the “postcolonial” as a scholarly practice. This is due to the fact that something happens, and becomes part of the performance as it happens, which the artist herself could not have anticipated and directed. This occurrence is contingent upon everything that is then/there: the audience, the artists, the technical staff backstage, the curators, the stage, the lighting, the seats, the space between the stage and the first row of seats, the in-room temperature, the outside temperature, what each one of us had for breakfast, how easy or difficult it was to get to the venue … it involves everything; it is about everything. It is about everything because it is about how each one of us then and there reacted or responded to the key descriptor of the performance: “making visible without making public.” This is the turn of critique when it comes out of books into the world, in this case the art world, corrupting the form in the process.


Making visible without making public, I learned while watching (I should say witnessing) [Yasmine] Eid-Sabbagh’s performance, when rendered in the aesthetic form, operates at the level of feelings, both physical and emotional. This practice elicits reactions, tears, laughs, nervous coughs, deadly silences … The art of making visible without making public corrupts the neat web of conceptual methodology that the postcolonial critic learns during academic training. It turns presentation into a confrontation. It is the move that renders one exposed in the moment of exposure because by breaking the polite/police rules of engagement, it also renders the rule-breaker unprotected by them.


Without a doubt, Eid-Sabbagh had already thought about the aesthetic effect of her postcolonial method. She later spoke on “the question of responsibility and how it comes together in the network of the art industry. Who do we speak for? Who are we to speak about the political? [Is] part of the violence [in] the institutional context? How could art exist outside of this context?” She asks whether “there would be a possibility for addressing something like violence in a different way.”


By staging a confrontation, it forges an aesthetic experience that recalls and exposes art’s own performance of the violence that is modern thought, precisely because of the in/difference between the stage and the museum as exhibition sites. Both offer precisely that which Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh’s performance refused (its corruptive move), which is the “ethical closure” effected by a reassurance of difference, namely, of a given distance between “I” (spectator/colonizer/Human Rights enforcer) and the “Other” (exhibit/colonized/victim). For that is precisely what has justified (as explanation, cause, or meaning) the violence done in the first place.'

-- Denise Ferreira da Silva, 'Reading Art as Confrontation', e-flux journal 56th Venice Biennale - SUPERCOMMUNITY, 13 August 2015

Thanks to Susan Gibb for pointing me to this essay.

10 August 2015

Text for 'Hybridize or Disappear', ed. João Laia (2015)

I was invited by London-based Portuguese curator João Laia to contribute to a publication he was editing to parallel the curated exhibition Hybridize or Disappear, held consecutively at two venues in Portugal: Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea - Museu do Chiado, Lisboa (9 April - 24 May 2015), and Paços do Concelho - Câmara Municipal do Porto (9 July - 18 September 2015).

Published by Mousse in June 2015, and yours for only 15€, Hybridize or Disappear contains contributions by museum directors David Santos and Paulo Cunha e Silva, as well as writers Stephanie Bailey, Rózsa Zita Farkas, Attilia Fattori Franchini, João Laia (ed.), João Ribas, Alex Ross, Andrey Shental, and myself.

The artists in the exhibition include Cécile B. Evans, Neïl Beloufa, Antoine Catala, Diogo Evangelista, Oliver Laric, Shana Moulton, Katja Novitskova, Laure Prouvost, and Magali Reus.

As Laia describes in the preface: '... this book aims to expand on the universe of the show, posing a wide set of questions that shape contemporary visual culture, rather than serving as a document or an archive. Through the lens of the “hybrid”, the commissioned texts look at different dimensions of our current condition, addressing ideas related to the circulation of identity and meaning in our mediated environments.'

My text is titled 'Disappearing the Straight Mind: Witches, Monsters, Zombies, Strangers' and appears on pages 41-49. It explores non-dominant modes of writing through the work of four white female writers, suggesting a parallel between the 'loss' of identity that occurs in the contemporary world of digital images (such as those employed by Catala), and these writers' attempts to step away from identification with dominance through their language. The text posits these modes, the 'loss' of authorship and of clearly recognised~identified language, as strategies to negate the mode of domination encouraged by competitive capitalism.

Many thanks to Australian artist Hamishi Farah for providing images to parallel the words. The 168 page softcover book is in both English and Portuguese, so I'm excited to say it's the first time my writing has been translated into another language.

Click here to download the essay: https://www.academia.edu/14816589/Disappearing_the_Straight_Mind_Witches_Monsters_Zombies_Strangers_-_catalogue_essay_Hybridize_or_Disappear_Mousse_Milano_2015

Many thanks to João for this opportunity. For more information on the project, read his essay 'Hybridize or Disappear: a bodily speculation on immaterial visual cultures' (pp. 17-23 of the book) over at Terremoto.

3 August 2015

Quote(s) of the day, yay!

"Cinemas were the dream palaces of the interwar working classes. Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo – screen sirens in ermine and pearls were rarely shown in domestic settings ... Celluloid film was made from the same chemical formula as viscose rayon. Stockings screened the flesh and giant fragments of body were projected in black and white on the silver screen.

In 1937, the novelist Elizabeth Bowen reflected on her own cinema-going habits, describing an experience of emotion, distraction, beauty, ‘unlikely energy … preposterous pattern … bright light, abrupt shadow, speed.’ She saw the cinema as an antidote for lassitude. Cinemas were built from new materials – ‘concrete succeeds stucco and chromium gilt’ – and ushered in new modes of perception. For Bowen, glamour is a key element of the experience:

'What do I mean by glamour? A sort of sensuous gloss: I know it to be synthetic, but it affects me strongly. It is a trick knowingly practiced on my most fuzzy desires.'

Knowingly subjecting oneself to glamour is not a form of stupor but a conscious fantasy. Synthetic dreaming has an emancipatory aspect. Bowen describes the bond formed between the audience and the giant stars projected on the screen as ‘inoperative love’ – a form of human intimacy that demands nothing of the spectator. In a society in which relationships are structurally unequal, entering a space where the strains of reciprocity are suspended provides respite from ‘the necessity to please, to shine.’

The challenge then is for the fuzziness of desire to come into sharper focus. A new collective might emerge from the darkened movie theatres, blinking their mascaraed lashes in the neon lights of a world that might be re-made in the image of the unfettered lives projected on screen."

-- Hannah Proctor, 'Synthetic Dreams: Gender, Modernity and Art Silk Stockings', Mute, 31 July 2015


"The wit and sharpness of Tim Burton is entirely missing in [Christopher] Nolan's obtuse movie. Indeed, as Andrew Klavan wrote in reference to The Dark Knight, Nolan's trilogy 'is a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war'. But the similarities between the latest Batman trilogy and the ideology of the Bush administration exceed the limits of the cinema screen. James Holmes's inability to distinguish between reality and movies mirrors the attitude of Karl Rove, the master of the American political imagination during the years of Bush's Holy War. When journalist Ron Suskind defended the prerogative of others in his profession to pursue the judicious study of discernible reality, the wizard of Republican campaign strategy responded,

'That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'

Is this a symptom of psychosis? Yes, it is. But it is not peculiar to Karl Rove. The sublimation of reality to simulacrum is the quintessential feature of semiocapitalism, the contemporary regime of production in which capital valorization is based on the constant emanation of information flows. In the psychosphere, reality is replaced by simulation."

-- Franco 'Bifo' Berardi, Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide, Verso, London 2015, pp. 23-24

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