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What Is Object-Oriented Aesthetics? Robert Jackson In Conversation with Francis Halsall

Harry Clarke Lecture Theatre, National College of Art and Design, Dublin
Monday March 4th 2013 6PM

MA Art in the Contemporary World, Dublin is delighted to host arts writer, theorist, software developer Robert Jackson in conversation with Francis Halsall.

Discussion themes: What is Object Orientated Aesthetics, and how does it affect existing theoretical ideas about aesthetics, the politics / autonomy of art and the role of the artist?

Moreover what kind of other theoretical problems does the ‘object’ pose for artworks built using relational systems, networks and code practices; the theoretical uptake of which have tended to dematerialised the art object completely?

Robert Jackson is an arts writer, theorist, software developer. He is an associate editor for the open access philosophy journal Speculations, and writes for art blogs and He’s completing a PhD at University of Lancaster.

No advance booking. Capacity is 100 on a first come basis.

For more information contact Francis Halsall at

Latitudes Talk

Presented as part of Dublin’s twinning agreement with the City of Barcelona, Mariana Cánepa Luna and Max Andrews, Barcelona-based curatorial office Latitudes, will speak about their project entitled ‘Incidents of Travel’ (Casa del Lago, Mexico City, and Spring Workshop, Hong Kong) for which artists developed day-long city tours as a form of expanded studio visit. They will be joined by Sean Lynch, artist and Aisling Prior, independent curator and chaired by Amanda Ralph, Course Director, MAVIS at iadt. This talk is supported by The LAB Gallery, Dublin City Council Arts Office.

Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Tuesday 12th March at 2pm

Mark Francis in Conversation

Kerlin Gallery in association with MA Art in the Contemporary World (NCAD, Dublin) presents:

A conversation between Mark Francis and Francis Halsall.

On Thursday, 28th February at 5pm, a public conversation will take place between artist Mark Francis and co-director of MA Art in the Contemporary World, Francis Halsall at the Kerlin Gallery on the occasion of the opening of “Calibrate’, an exhibition of new work by Mark Francis.

The talk will be approximately 45 mins long and will be followed by the opening reception of Calibrate.

This talk is one of an ongoing series arranged collaboratively between the Kerlin Gallery and MA Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD. Previous talks have featured Liam Gillick, Isabel Nolan, Elizabeth Magill and Norbert Schwontkowski.

Mark Francis’ new body of work Mark Francis looks outwards, taking as points of pictorial reference the graphic interpretations of data received by radio telescopes as part of astronomers’ efforts to chart distant zones of the cosmos. Such scientific advances in the power of perception have for Francis come to present vital challenges — and opportunities — for the practice of painting.

Francis Halsall is Lecturer in the History/Theory of Modern & Contemporary Art at National College of Art and Design, Dublin where is co-director of MA Art in the Contemporary World. He writes regularly on aesthetics, art history and contemporary art.

For more information visit:


Recent MA ACW graduate, Ruth Clinton, and collaborator Niamh Moriarty, launch the first full presentation of their collaborative art practice at Pallas Projects at 6pm on Friday March 1st. ROTATOR comprises of an exhibition and a series of events all of which are inspired by an investigation of the architecture and geographical surroundings of Pallas Projects/Studios. Highly recommended.

A lake formed from an abandoned, water-filled excavation, and the underground course of the river Poddle meet under the pull of the moon in Ruth Clinton & Niamh Moriarty’s first large-scale presentation of their collaborative practice: ROTATOR – an exhibition and series of performances and events by the Irish artists. ROTATOR emerged from Clinton and Moriarty’s collaborative investigation of the architecture and surroundings of Pallas Projects/Studios. The works will connect the gallery to the city and emphasise the physical and historical depth of place through engagement with some of Dublin’s hidden topographies. The site is located on an island that is perched between two strands of the living, breathing waterway: the river Poddle. Here, viewers are invited to steal a glance at an otherwise hidden artificial lake, a disembodied tour (transported from the crypt of St. Michan’s Church) and an endlessly descending red-brick wall.

The programmed events will weave together a narrative of local history, folklore and classical myths. For example, the Giant Balor, whose eye was catapulted from his skull to burn a gaping hole in the earth where it fell; the river Poddle rising to flood St. Patrick’s Cathedral where it flows directly along the aisle; and the Pallas crater that lies south of the Sea of Vapours on the moon, once thought to be a vast ocean.

The site of Pallas Projects/Studios and its environs are the protagonist in this exhibition, as the artists peer through walls, under floors and along pipes into Dublin’s gloomy depths. Storytelling, alongside a detailed research process, attempt to convey the viewer along Clinton and Moriarty’s visions of eternity. Through fanatic acts of resurrection and preservation, they enact humanity’s struggle against overwhelming natural forces, asking how we can look beyond our limited perception of infinity. This question is approached in ROTATOR through a mimetic play between artists, medium and subject: signs of perpetuity recur at each level of apprehension of the work. ROTATOR is one of an ongoing series of exhibitions in the new Pallas Projects/Studios at The Coombe, where invited artists are afforded an extended – up to one month – preparatory period in the project space, allowing them to attempt a leap, to consider, experiment and test the relationship between studio and exhibition practice.

Events scheduled during the show include :
08/03 & 15/03: A selection of short archival documentary films will be screened twice in the artists’ studio. Places are limited so please book ahead by contacting

22/03: Michael O’ Rourke, philosopher and co-founder of the Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, English professor and Director of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the George Washington University will discuss ROTATOR in relation to aspects of their own work. This will take the form of a tour, led collaboratively with the artists. The talk will be open to the public.

27/03: A performance scheduled to coincide with the full moon. Places are very limited so if you would like to attend please contact to be entered into a lottery.

Ruth Clinton and Niamh Moriarty are artists working collaboratively in Dublin. Recent exhibitions include Miracle on Crofton Road Street, The Drawing Project, Dun Laoghaire, 2012; Stoneybatter River Walks, The Joinery, 2012; Darklight Film Festival, LOFI VFX Programme 2012; Prelude to Nothing, The LAB, 2012; Resort, Portsalon, Co. Donegal, 2012 and Days on End, Sonic Arts Festival, Cork, 2012.

Pallas Projects/Studios 115–117 The Coombe Dublin 8, Ireland Preview 6–8pm, Friday 1 March 2013 Gallery hours 12–6pm, Thursday–Saturday

The Joinery Fundit Campaign

The Joinery in Stoneybatter have recently launched a Fundit campaign to allow them to put in place the money necessary to run their programme over the next few months. The Joinery is a fantastic DIY music and art space and well worth any support you can afford to give. Full details on the campaign can be found here:

The Joinery are also running an event today (Saturday 23rd Feb) called Cowtown which will feature music, art, literature and all sort of craic in the vicinity of Arbour Hill. A group show of local artists will take place in the venue itself (Adrian Duncan, Marta Fernández Calvo, Emma Haugh, Leslie Cullinan, Bláthnaid Ni Mhurchú and Roisin McNamee) and there will be music from Si Schroeder, Cian Nugent and E+S=B. Full details of that can be found here:

Winter Resort

Winter Resort is an artist led expedition to the Scottish Highlands in March of 2013.

For Winter Resort, the artists will stay in a Mountain Bothy and endure harsh climatic conditions with an endeavour to remain on site until the project is realised and resolved. The artists will travel with no materials making the human mind in isolation the subject of the event. Due to the very remote location, the work will be without an audience. Although the artists will have prepared for this mission, the outcome is unpredictable. Winter Resort is a follow up project to Resort, an event that took place on a trail that ran from a cliffside down to a beach, in Portsalon, Donegal, May 2012.

Participating Artists:

Roisin Beirne – Clare Breen – Andreas Kindler Von Knobloch – David Lunney – John Ryan – Tom Watt

Beyond Gallery Walls: A Street Art Blog

Laura Masi writes her second installment of Beyond Gallery Walls: A Street Art Blog, for the Art in The Contemporary World website:

Windmill Lane is definitely one of Dublin’s iconic spots for street art especially Graffiti. This area is apparently the most graffiti covered location in Ireland. Windmill Lane is found just south of City Quay and is quite a spectacle once you turn the corner and witness its full rich, colourful, glory. Continue reading…

David Ross: The Art World is Dead

“The ‘Educational Turn’ and other Detours: Art, Curating and the Academy – Distinguished Speaker Series”hosted by the School of Art History and Cultural Policy (University College Dublin) and the Faculty of Visual Culture (National College of Art and Design) with support from the Irish Museums Association, begins with renowned Art Museum Professional and Educator, David Ross in conversation with, Director of NCAD, Declan McGonagle.

The following statement is taken from the series’ website:

The Art World is Dead

This lecture is free and open to the public: RSVP is required
Friday, 22 February 2013
National College of Art and Design
4 p.m.

(in conversation with Declan McGonagle, Director, NCAD)

Chairman of the MFA: Art Practice program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, David A. Ross has a 40-year career as an art museum professional and educator.

Career highlights have included curatorial and senior leadership positions at the Everson Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, and the University Art Museum at UC Berkeley; and directorships at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum, and at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Ross was also the Co-Founder and President of the Artists’ Pension Trust (a pioneering financial planning program for working artists), has lectured at various universities across the country, and has served as juror and commissioner at a broad range of international shows and exhibitions (including Documenta, the Venice Biennale, and The Carnegie International).

Known for his willingness and proven ability to work within museums undergoing periods of significant transition, Ross has successfully rebuilt staff, public programs, collections and exhibition schedules, while enhancing the reputation and community support for the institutions that he has served.

Organisers – Curators Talk at the Back Loft

6.30pm-8.30/9pm the 15th of February
the Back Loft, Saint Augustine St. (off Thomas St.), Dublin 8

This will be an evening hosted by Salon d’Exploration. It will be a series of short talks by practising Event Organisers and Curators. These will include Brigit Mc Cone, Ciara McKeon, Ciarna Hackett, Jennie Guy and Johnny Rayge. The curator of the Salon d’Exploration, Róisín Power Hackett, will also give a short talk on her experience of organising and curating this exhibition. The Organisers and Curators will talk about the projects, events and exhibitions they’ve been involved in. They will also focus on giving advice about organising and curating to anyone interested.

As part of this event the Back Loft will host its Salon Café , which will serve wine, beer, tea, coffee & snacks. For more information on the Salon d’Exploration art exhibition please check out

Brigit Mc Cone has been engaged in curating and organising at the Back Loft. She currently coordinates the Mamushka Dublin performance art night at the Back Loft.

Ciara McKeon is presently the Assistant Curator of Visual Arts at the Project Art Centre. She was also a coordinator of Unit 1, a live art performance event at the Exchange Dublin.

Ciarna Hackett is the Site Assistant at the Back Loft. She has curated Anti Racism Network exhibitions.

Jennie Guy is a practicing artist as well as writer and curator. She was an assistant curator of Gracelands, a screenings/sculpture/performance event that is part of EVA.

Johnny Rayge is an event organiser. As part of Salon d’Exploration he will be organising a music and poetry event (Monday 18th). He currently runs Dublin Underground Beat, an open mic night in the International Bar.

Róisín Power Hackett is the organiser-curator of Salon d’Exploration. She is currently doing an MA Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD and is interning at the Back Loft.

Space Of Appearance: Sunday Exhibition Schedule

The first part of our Space Of Appearance event is now done and dusted. Our 32 participants gathered in the Joinery last night and over the course of a slightly chaotic evening of debate and argument they selected the one thing that will form the basis of our exhibition programme on Sunday. The object that emerged victorious in the end was Denis Kehoe’s marionette. We’d like to thank our participants for bringing their objects and for entering so enthusiastically into the spirit of the evening. Big thanks are also due to everyone who came and watched the proceedings. Last but not least we extend our deepest gratitude to our MC for the evening, the inimitable Robert Jecht, without whose administrations it would certainly have been a quite different event.

Our exhibition programme for Sunday 10th of February is as follows. It kicks off at 12 and will continue on until 9 in the evening so everyone is welcome to drop in whenever they like and stay for as long as they want.

Space Of Appearance
Sunday 10th of February 12PM-9PM
The Joinery, Arbour Hill, Dublin 7

12-1pm Sara O’Brien
“It is but one fragment…”

For one hour, thirty-two different objects will sit amidst a collection of references and be variously reconfigured within the exhibition space. This will allow a confluence of diverse associations and contextual possibilities that people may draw from to make sense of these objects – both individually and collectively. This short exhibition plays on the multiplicity and instability of meaning that objects can evoke, drawing on the poststructuralist idea of meanings as ‘myths’, which are constructed and then continually reconstructed. The meanings attributed to these objects will thus be contingent upon each individual’s own points of reference and the specific moment in which they encounter the object(s).

1-2pm Roisin Hackett
The Language in a Thing

The curator will act as a plinth for the object. As the plinth she will talk about the object for her hour-long show. The curator’s human experience of the object will be contested and the object will be analysed as a thing in itself.

2-3pm Ciara Hickey

From the French provenir, “to come from”, the word provenance refers to the chronology of ownership or location of an object from its point of discovery/ creation to the present day. This contextual information is used to establish the authenticity and assign value to an object. This information is often enhanced by stories or unverifiable accounts of the object.

This hour long event will highlight the aspect of storytelling, mythmaking and fictions that are involved within the process of authenticating and assigning value to objects. These notions of provenance, ownership and storytelling will be posed in relation to contemporary art.

3-4pm Hugh McCabe
Objects and Arthood

Recent years have seen an increased interest in philosophical notions from speculative realism concerning the nature of the object among artists, curators and writers on art. In this panel discussion we will ask what it is that approaches such as Graham Harman’s Object Oriented Philosophy (OOP) offer the artworld. Is this a passing fad driven by a desire to be hitched to the latest theoretical bandwagon, or do OOP and its philosophical cousins offer a genuinely useful set of conceptual tools to help us in the task of making, curating and thinking about art?

Participants: Adrian Duncan, Paul Ennis, Barbara Knezevic and Isabel Nolan
Chaired By: Hugh McCabe

4-5pm Maeve-Ann Austen
Same, Same, But Different

“Its easy to assume people are conforming when we witness them all choosing the same option, but when we choose that very option ourselves, we have no shortage of perfectly good reasons for why we just happen to be doing the same thing as those other people; they mindlessly conform, but we mindfully choose”. – Sheena Iyengar, The Art of Choosing

5-6pm Clare Turley
Close Encounter with an Alluring Object of a Very Contentious Nature

This exhibition is designed for those who wish to take a closer look at an object of some mystery and contention. The staging, which incorporates additional possessions, acknowledges our conflicting inclinations to both parade and protect cherished objects. It further raises the question of whether we can assume another’s perceptions of an object and appreciate in it the same qualities they do.

6-7pm Suzanne Walsh

Deep in its interior,
What dreams of ashy origin,
stir the shadows of its end,
what flickers back and forth
between withdrawn and unseen?
Consume tomorrow’s order
Exhaust desire’s ruin
And when the trap is opened,
Let the bait transcend.

7-8pm Renata Pekowska
Trace of Appearance

“In contrast to the historian, who looks for design and causality, the antiquarian searches for material evidence of the past. Yet at the same time, the antiquarian searches for an internal relation between past and present which is made possible by their absolute disruption. Hence his or her search for is primarily an aesthetic one, an attempt to erase the actual past in order to create an imagined past which is available for consumption.”
S. Stewart ‘On Longing’

8-9pm Laura Masi
Passages of Dust and Display

“Dust brings a little of the world into the enclosed quarters of objects. Belonging to the outside, the exterior, the street, dust constantly creeps into the sacred arena of private spaces as a reminder that there is no impermeable boundaries between life and death.” Celeste Olalquiaga, The Artificial Kingdom, 1998.

The urban environment reveals a curious tradition of private displays made public through the presentation of objects within windows. These objects sit in view of those who pass by and probably become forgotten and motionless as they collect dust. Just as decaying buildings, the kitschy objects placed in windowsills share a bond of being neglected yet still having permanence. This one-hour exhibition explores the blurring of private and public display while emphasizing modes of personal expression through fetishlike objects within the urbanized domestic realm. Many of the objects and structures we neglect yet internally value, provide comforting pleasure due to its mere existence, even after the dust settles.

Competitive Call for Participants: FORMER WEST

Competitive Call for Participants: FORMER WEST
Research Congress and Learning Place
17th-25th March, 2013

MA Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD is delighted to offer 4 places at the FORMER WEST Research Congress and Learning Place. In the framework of the 4th FORMER WEST Research Congress: “Documents and Prospects”, participants will collaborate in a unique experimental education encounter — the “learning place”— taking place at the House of World Cultures in Berlin from 18 to 24 March 2013.

Successful participants will have all conference fees and accommodation covered.
NB: Participants must make their own travel arrangements, but we are also happy to assist with possible fundraising options. This opportunity is open to current and former students of MA ACW and currently enrolled NCAD Ph.D. students.


Applications will be assessed by a statement of interest and accompanying CV (both in PDF) sent to by 4pm Fri 15th Feb, 2013. For any information contact Francis Halsall ( ) or Declan Long ( ) directly.

Further Information

The 4th FORMER WEST Research Congress brings together discursive, exhibitionary, and performative propositions in an attempt to identify “documents” and “prospects” – artworks, thoughts, texts, films, events – utilizing the method of “composition” as proposed by philosopher Bruno Latour,  to suggest new ways to imagine the world and rethink prospects for the future. It is part of the long-term contemporary art research, education, publishing, and exhibition project FORMER WEST (2008-2014), and the fourth research platform, following Congresses in Utrecht, Istanbul and Vienna. FORMER WEST is aimed at a critical reinterpretation of post-1989 histories and speculates about global futures by casting new light on contemporary art in relation to developments in society and politics.

The FORMER WEST ‘learning place’ is conceived as a unique environment for learning and intellectual exchange: In lectures, film screenings, performances, seminars and symposiums 100 international students from various disciplinary and cultural backgrounds, will be given the opportunity to acquaint themselves with important discourses in cultural theory, fine arts and art history, to actively engage in critical debates and to liaise with some of the leading scholars, curators, artists and critics in the field. Moreover, by actively participating in workshops and group activities, students will be encouraged to build lasting international networks across a range of disciplines. In the course of seven days the students will work together in small groups to produce tangible artefacts of their joint learning experience and their newly-created knowledge that will be presented to the public on March 24th 2013 at HKW.

One of the main objectives of the ‘learning place’ is to actively involve young people from various national and cultural backgrounds and invite them to Berlin. HKW is striving to make this possible through collaborations with other institutions worldwide. We are establishing ties with active partners who are supporting our project by selecting interested students, preparing them for the intellectual propositions of FORMER WEST through workshops and readings, managing the travel arrangements, and mentoring them throughout the project. Through these collaborations many students will be given their first opportunity to travel to Berlin and participate in such an exceptional event.

So far HKW has been able to establish a network between relevant institutions who are actively involved in the field of the FORMER WEST discourse such as Södertörn University (Sweden), the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Denmark), the Art Academy of Banja Luka (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Birzeit-University (Palestine), WHW (Croatia), the Architecture Syndicate (Greece), 4am Forum for Architecture and Media (Czech Republic), (Hungary), Walking Theory (Serbia), Freedom Square (Macedonia), the Peace Institute (Slovenia) and the University of Barcelona / Art, Globalization and Interculturality Research Group (Spain), the Royal College of Art (UK), the Zuercher Hochschule der Künste (Switzerland).

Please find the official invitation for the 4th FORMER WEST Research Congress: “Documents and Prospects” and the learning place and further information on the concept and the content in the pdf below.

In addition the FORMER WEST online archive offers extensive documentation and materials on all previous FORMER WEST events, exhibitions, seminars and conferences.

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