The Process of Content: on a temporality in contemporary art
29th November 2014, Dundee
I’m delighted to have been asked to chair this panel discussion, at an event that responds to the Cooper Gallery’s current exhibition ‘Anna Oppermann: Cotoneaster horizontalis.’ Opperman’s fascinating work attempts to map processes of cognition, tracing loops of response, reflection and reiteration in her fascinating ensembles. As the gallery writes, “process formed an integral part of Oppermann’s practice and she carefully produced an archive of material documenting her production method. By drawing on the artist’s archival intention, the exhibition [explores] how to activate archival materials within a discursive exhibition situation and the role of new technologies in archival practices.” The speakers will share their insights into the art world and practices of Opperman’s time, the 1970s and 80s, and reflect on how her work speaks to our own historical moment. Among them will be Professor Martin Warnke and Carmen Wedemeye, who produced a digital archive in response to Oppermann’s complex ensembles, which can be accessed in the gallery, creating another context and iteration of her work. Details of the event can be found here.
As an offshoot of the ‘Scotland’s Collections and the Digital Humanities’ project, I’ve recently been involved with the establishment of a network for digital humanists across Scotland. The DHNetS is open to everyone with interests in this area, and welcomes alt-ac and professional members as well as academic researchers. We hope that it will provide a platform for events, training and collaboration in the years to come.
Scotland’s Collections and the Digital Humanities (2014)
A series of three workshops, funded by The Royal Society of Edinburgh, which brings together researchers, curators, archivists, librarians and collections managers to explore the future of digital research and engagement within Scotland. The workshops will be held on 14th February, 25th April and 5th September 2014.
Digital technologies present many exciting new avenues for humanities research and engagement with Scotland’s national collections. As well as enabling access to archival materials through digitization, they offer an emergent set of computational methodologies for the study of cultural artefacts, narratives and histories: from text mining large corpora in order to identify patterns and trends, and mapping networks of relations between objects, people and institutions, to creating dynamic visualizations that allow new perspectives on objects and data. At the same time, they enable data and findings to be shared globally and in innovative and engaging forms, breaking down the traditional distinction between academic research and public engagement. This series of workshops provides a forum in which to discuss these methods, the opportunities and challenges they present to those working in different sectors, and how they might be used to increase access to, knowledge of and engagement with Scotland’s collections.
The Bound Muse
I’m writing a monograph that explores the output of the network of small presses established by Modernist poets and artists in the inter-war years. Based on substantial new archival research, it brings to light the work of neglected figures such as John Rodker, Nancy Cunard and George Reavey, revealing the creative exchange between their different practices of writing and printing, and analysing the ways in which their work engaged the conceptual, political and aesthetic paradigms of modernism. The presses I’m focusing on all have links with the Parisian avant-gardes of the period and so the project also acts as a historiography of British modernists’ engagement with French Surrealism prior to the famous exhibition of 1936.
This project has been generously supported by an AHRC Early Career Fellowship, developed in partnership with the Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art, and by an Alfred W. and Blanche Knopf Visiting Fellowship from Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas.