Jackie Haynes
Are you reading me? Over.

Decommissioned is a site specific and site responsive art practice-based PhD research project which began within group residency project ‘Doremifasolasido’ at Florence Art Centre, Cumbria in August 2016. The work was installed and remains in the scrapyard adjacent to the decommissioned Florence (iron ore) Mine, marking the start of my ongoing connections with the materiality of the site and the organisation who run it.

The states of temporal and material flux within the site signalled and became rich territory for an active exploration into Karen Barad’s ‘important questions of ontology, materiality, and agency’. Her essay “Posthumanist Performativity’ was taken to aid my endeavour of making work which was both odd and at odds with the site. My ambition was for the work to present itself rather than being representative of anything and by anything, word-based articulation after the event in particular.

Frances Williams
Hiding Rooms: Some thoughts on artist strategies for staging disappearance

Frances will take images and quotes from the work of Gregory Scholette as a starting point for an essay which explores visibility in terms of the performance of free speech. They will explore this topic through two unusual examples of participatory arts practice, both of which seek to undermine the premise that transparency best enables free speech. These examples can be read as forms of dramaturgy, (the study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performance) an idea which draws on Irving Goffman’s earlier notion of The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

Gary Simmonds and Dale Holmes
Visibility of painting through digital relay

Painting as dialogue. Painting as a message.

Using the shared language of abstract painting, Dale Holmes and Gary Simmonds have set out to relay images of paintings made in their studios as a form of dialogue, through the digital and analogue. The work was made visible through the small screen of a smart phone. This visibility is constrained and mediated through technology. The interaction was framed by the language and understanding of texting technology.

Chella Quint
StainsTM – Making the invisible, visible

The biggest menstrual issue reported in schools in surveys shared in 1992 and 2012 was the fear of leaking blood in school. In more than 20 years little has changed. Since the beginning of the disposable menstrual product industry, companies have tried to sell their products using the fear of leaking blood through clothes, using stains and shame as leverage.

Chella’s work provides an outlet for people to make the invisible, visible. By including menstruators on the margins , other aspects of invisibility also are given the space to be made visible, and there is often an intersectional empowerment evident for those who might normally fall between the cracks of most of the mainstream menstrual discourse.

Andrew Osborne
Shut down LD50

Over the past year the gallery has hosted high-profile speakers from the American “alt-right”, including people who promote white supremacy, eugenics and violence against immigrants. Materials produced by the gallery have consistently drawn on fascist traditions ranging from 1930s Nazi aesthetics to contemporary “neo-reactionary” politics.

The gallery is using the cover of the contemporary art scene and academia to legitimise the spread of these materials and the establishment of a culture of hatred. LD50 even managed to infiltrate Goldsmiths University in South-East London, just before the gallery’s events and shows became openly racist. In the past year, LD50 has been responsible for one of the most extensive neo-Nazi cultural programmes to appear in London in the last decade.

Andrew Jeffrey
Moss Valley – Visibly Poor

For the past year Andrew has been visiting The Moss Valley in Sheffield on a weekly basis to write on site, concentrating on writing about the non-human animals that he has encountered. Moss Valley is part of Sheffield’s green belt, containing Ancient Woodland classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest; it is also used as a site for agriculture, permaculture and animal husbandry and is part of the area designated as suitable for fracking. As such it is a site characterised by a number of competing discourses: environmental, scientific, economic, managerial and political.

He will present some writing which uses open form poetry, found text, poetics, journal entries and literary criticism; it works with spatial layout to ensure that each genre of writing is visibly entangled by encounters with other discourses and genre. The layout enables the writing to explore The Moss Valley as a site of processual encounter as well as allowing contestation of the various discourses which aim to delimit and control the site. It also aims to encourage the reader to be involved in the generation of meaning by connecting with the text in different ways, giving a sense of the writing’s involvement in wider cultural meanings.

Cyril Eshareturi
The Silences Framework as a tool for exploring marginalised perspectives

The Silences Framework was devised for use as a vehicle for exposing additional viewpoints in studies revolving around sensitive subjects and marginalised perspectives. Cyril’s presentation conveys the use of The Silences Framework in the provision of a nurse-led intervention for custodial community based ex-offenders.

‘Screaming Silences’ as exposed were located in the subjective experiences of ex-offenders known as the ‘listener’ and the social and personal context in which their experiences occurred. Crucially, The Silences Framework as used sought to acknowledge and redress the balance of power relating to ‘what and whose’ experience count in a research study.

Epistemologically, the generation of knowledge using the framework necessitated an anti-essentialist perspective which was interpretive in nature. Thus, the intent was to arrive at what constitutes as truth from the lived experiences of the individuals researched.

It is hoped that this presentation will facilitate understanding by unravelling the process of using The Silences Framework to underpin applied research and concurrently contribute to the wider use of the framework in research with other marginalised groups.

Hannah Ebben
The Construction Of (In)Visibility In Cultural Representations Of Autism

Hannah’s work considers the way in which the term ‘autism’ is used in an everyday context and what this could tell us about power relations behind claims to the truth on the condition. Ultimately, such critical considerations of discursive practices surrounding the concept of autism aims to empower people who identify as autistic themselves, as their voices have long been regarded as scientifically unproven and impossible.

This presentation deconstructs the binary opposition between the visible and the invisible disability, by focusing on how two case studies from 2011 anticipate on social expectations of the visibility of autism.
The CBBC Newsround special “My Autism and Me” renders the abstract topic of autism comprehensible for younger viewers, whereas the Hollywood film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close encourages speculation on the condition of the protagonist.

Rose Butler
Following Brexit and the Creeps

Rose is an artist, doctoral scholar and senior lecturer in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University who works with video, photography, animation and interactive media.

Her doctoral research examines the ethics and politics of looking considered through art practice and surveillance methodology. For nine months in 2016, Rose observed Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Act pass through the Houses of Parliament. The European Referendum and the political events and shifts that followed, punctuated the passage of the bill and the emphasis of the research. More recently Rose has visited the new ‘anti migrant wall’ at Calais funded by the UK.

Rose’s research interweaves personal account of her field trips with the narratives of historical novels, literature and biographies that create a commentary on the contemporary political situation.
She is currently working on a new project Noise, made from footage documented covertly on analogue devices, whilst observing the Investigatory Powers Act in Parliament.

Daniel Bacchus
Approaching Presence in VR

Daniel’s presentation will critically examine current research undertaken from a variety of disciplines that attempts to define and measure a sense of presence in virtual environments using virtual reality and multi-sensory technologies.

He will suggest relevant philosophical perspectives on the subject, highlighting alternative approaches and the difficulties in defining an invisible, intangible and elusive individual sense of presence.

Daniel will suggest how virtual reality platforms could be used to contribute to a discussion on the creation of presence, using unique experiences themselves to draw out a sense that consistently evades language.