The Stuff That Matters Textiles collected by Seth Siegelaub
1 March to 6 May 2012

ValueCampOn Saturday 3rd March I visited Raven Row to see the exhibition of historic textiles collected by Seth Siegelaub over the past thirty years, for the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles (CSROT).

It was a thrilling to see, and read about the history of woven, printed textiles and embroideries from fifth-century Coptic to Pre-Columbian Peruvian, late medieval Asian and Islamic textiles, and Renaissance to eighteenth-century European silks and velvets, even Barkcloth (tapa) from the Pacific region (image left: tapa from Papua New Guinea) and Africa.

Its thrilling because, many of the fabrics are not behind glass. You could, although discrete signage encourages you not too, reach-out and touch them. This proximity to stuff, and the trust implicit in its exhibition, is thrilling

The headdresses are amazing!


I participated in Critical Practice's intense and provocative #ValueCamp

We are machines of evaluation, constantly attributing relative significance to things.............Values and evaluations, how are they made, and how are they made present?





Below is an short extract from A Shadow of Marx a chapter I wrote in 2004 for  Companion to Contemporary Art Since 1945 edited by Prof. Amelia Jones. The publication has an innovative structure, it mixes thematic sections with historical overviews, and is intended as a student 'primer'. This text looks through particular artworks to illuminate legacies of Marxist theory..............

A Shadow of Marx


Ms ChanIts June 16th 2001, and I'm standing behind a rope barrier with a crowd of people in a sloping field, on the edge of a village in Orgreave, South Yorkshire, England. On the other side of the rope are hundreds of people practicing how to perform a running battle. They shout at each other; one side charges and the other retreats, and then vice versa. Some are dressed as police officers. I can see riot gear, shields, snarling dogs and even horses, the others, the civilians, are all men dressed in slightly out of date clothing, from around the 1980s. A voice comes over a loudspeaker system and a number of small two-person film crews with digital cameras mingle with the participants.

Ms ChanAs part of the Samsung Art+Prize there will be a rare London screening of Museum Futures: Distributed, 5pm, 20th January 2012 at the BFI, Project Space, South Bank, London.

There will be an "in conversation" immediately afterwards with curator Mark Waugh of SUUM projects.

Free but limited capacity, booking advised

Museum Futures: Distributed - is a machinima record of the centenary interview with Moderna Museet’s executive Ayan Lindquist in June 2058. It explores a genealogy for contemporary art practice and its institutions, by re-imagining the role of artists, museums, galleries, markets, manufactories and academies.

* see a sliver of the recorded document

The project was commissioned by Moderna Museet Stockholm, Sweden, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2008.

Recalled from composite memory in 2061, Self Portrait: Arnolfini is a relational timeline of institutional self-consciousness. The complete timeline is being tweeted @SP_Arnolfini as part of the Samsung Art+Prize: 17th - 29th January 2012

Self Portrait: Arnolfini













address data spriteAs part of the Samsung Art+Prize, I  tweeted the whole of the data sprite timeline of Self Portrait: Arnolfini.  


Recalled from composite memory on the eve of our centenary in 2061, three relational threads are intertwined;

1. social and financial organisation

2. technological innovation

3. art and its institutions

The complete timeline of institutional self consciousness, 2061-1831; starts with riots.

You can read a data sprite snippet, or see the beautiful book designed by Stephen Coates, published by Arnolfini and available from Cornerhouse.



I contributed a presentation to the International Conference: Free/SlowUniversity of Warsaw in October 2011, and two month later a beautiful 430 page publication is out. Amazing! 

An English version of the written-up presentation, without footnotes, is here


Free/Slow University of Warsaw. Volume 4

Self Portrait: Arnolfini

Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December 2011

I will be in Plymouth to participate in the Finale Symposium for the British Art Show 7. With Tom Trevor, Director of the Arnolfini and using Self Portrait Arnolfini as our guide, we performatively inhabited 2061 and recalled from composite memeory, how we got there. 

 Singularity is overwritten by difference

With the evolution of assemblies for replication, singularity is overwritten by difference.

Everything is at once singular, everything can be narrated into singularity. Yet nothing is singular, everything can be bedded down into a flow of precedents and antecedents. The singular only exist at the level of the ideology, it disappears as we advance towards it. The singular is in essence a generic artefact, assembled from the minute and relative differences from within a defined series.  And this drive to replicate, image for image, object to object, sound to sound, word for word is how we make the know world; and, that world known to one another.

Read the symposium twitter stream

Thames, RotherhitheGates of Heaven


Sunday 20th November, on my way to the Critical Practice Walk and Talk at the Royal Observatory. The walk (we were to meet at at 1pm) started at the Prime Meridian, Longitude 0° Latitude 51° 28' 38 N........ even if it rained. The walk was entitled from Science to Culture........


Anyway, on my way there I stood stunned before the gates of heaven in Mile End, and the walk unfolded through banks of fog pierced by sparkling winter sun, like in a Turner painting. Beautiful.


See Man on a Plate

FSUWExhibition Experiments (working title) is a collaborative practice-based research project into histories of exhibition.  Students, staff, experts and others will together research the idea of exhibition as a bundle of technologies for display and exchange. There are an increasing number of academic publications and conferences in curatorial and exhibition history, although the premise of this project is research through practice; we will make things, and make things happen.

The project might construct key exhibitionary moments; for example architect Frederick Kiesler’s 1924 L+T System for museum displays; a fragment of El Lissitsky's Abstract Cabinet (destroyed by the Nazis in 1937) we may also re-enact projects such as op losse schroeven (Stadelijk Museum, 1969) the entrepreneurial Freeze exhibition of 1988, or maybe one of Rirkrit Tiravanija's convivial cooking exhibitions. 

These are mere suggestions - the plan would be to develop an exhibition of key exhibitionary experiments, collectively.  This will unfold through seminars and workshops before the Triangle ‘exhibitionary’ period, and during the physical construction of the exhibition itself. 

Exhibition: Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Art & Design

When: Monday 21st May – Wednesday 30th May 2012


See the project blog or



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