‘Fishing for Zebedee’
I am becoming animal, a rocking horse, a ventriloquist’s emu, a felt frog who will never be a prince. The labyrinth I inhabit has multiple exits but only one entrance. How you come out of my maze does not depend on how you enter, you will be morphed. Charged by the planes of immanence your lines of flight will electrify and animate you. Suckling and entangling you become; bag puss, zippy, muffin the mule, bill and ben, lady penelope, lady lovelace and finally zebedee, boing! You fight the forces of abstraction to distraction and it is a draw. You perform, you happen, you dematerialise, you objectify, you are the subject, you are not. You will evolve, revolve, and dissolve some of those images of thought you have explored by constructing fleeting imaginary worlds. What will pull you back to the memory of crossing the singular threshold? Will it be through rosebudishness, madeleineness, or by the encounter with the idea that forces you to think differently? I will bring a spring, a wooden ball, a moustache, red, blue, yellow and black.
Taking in Vilem Flusser and Louis Bec’s Vampyroteuthis Infernalis as a ‘line of flight’ this paper uses the characters from the Magic Roundabout as luminaires in, ‘The eternal night of the vampyroteuthis [which] is filled with colours and sounds that are emitted by living beings-an eternal festival of colours and sounds, a son et lumiere of extraordinary opulence. The ocean floor is carpeted with red, white, and violet stone; there are dunes of blue and yellow sand, sparkling with pearls and fragments of molten meteorites. Forests, meadows, and plains of plant-like animals, beaming with colours, sway in the current with fanned tentacles. Wandering in their midst are giant iridescent snails, and whirring above them are swarms of crabs, flashing in silver, red, and yellow. It is a luxuriant garden that the vampyroteuthis can illuminate, on a whim, to enjoy its desserts in splendour.’ (Flusser & Bec 2000:35)
Symposium | Material Others and Other Materialities
September 30, 2016 12.45 – 6.15pm
Iklectik Art Lab, 20 Carlisle Lane, London SE1 7LG
In their short philosophical fable ‘Vampyroteuthis Infernalis’, Vilem Flusser and Louis Bec compare human existence to that of a deep-sea squid, the Vampyroteuthis Infernalis. In the process they raise questions about the relation of cognition, culture and sociality to corporeal anatomy and environment. Flusser and Bec’s ruminations form the background context and connecting thread for this symposium, which brings together 10 papers to explore questions of materiality and otherness, specifically in relation to art and design and media. All presentations take a point of departure from Flusser and Bec’s text to discuss an artefact in relation to the symposium’s themes. Register via Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/2bNPU0u
1. Phenomenological Materialities The Immateriality of Titian’s Pesaro Altarpiece | Ken Wilder, Chelsea College of Arts Circle or Oval?: Concepts, Non-identity and the Lifeworld | Johanna Bolton, Royal College of Art Things that Happen Again: Roni Horn and the Phenomenology of the Other | Andrew Chesher, Chelsea College of Arts Chair: Allan Parsons; Discussant: t.b.c.
2. My Body and the Body: The Other and the Alien My Neighbour, That Thing | Werner Prall, Middlesex University The Corporeal Witness in Katie Green’s Lighter than my Shadow | Dan Smith, Chelsea College of Arts Fishing for Zebedee | Mark Ingham, London College of Communication Chair: Amanda Windle; Discussant: t.b.c.
3. Digital Materialities
The Material Other in Fashion Making: The T-shirt | Douglas Atkinson, London College of Fashion Emergent Materiality: The Self and the Other in Material Dialogues | Virna Koutla, Royal College of Art Robotum Anthromorphum: of Virtual Assistants and their Networked Materialities | Michel Erler, London College of Communication The Nonhumanity of Planetary Computing, Metis, or how to live with Digital Uncertainty | Betti Marenko, Central Saint Martins Chair: Andrew Chesher; Discussant: Amanda Windle
For more details: informedmatters.wordpress.com