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The Speculation

Tuesday 12th July

In the current economic and political climate, the old cliché rings true: the only certainty is that there is no certainty. In such times, existing models and familiar territories can no longer be relied upon, a situation that is especially pressing within the fields of art practice and research, given government prioritization of STEM subjects within universities and the decrease in arts funding outside academia.

Whilst it is all to easy to become despondent in such gloomy times, by contrast the Visual Arts research area will seek to speculate upon new directions and alternative possibilities, exploring a troubling grey area, a critical terrain vague which might disturb the smooth landscape of what is already named and known. This work develops out of an already extant research cluster in Visual Arts, which has hitherto focused upon ideas of irresolution, doubt, deferral, uncertainty to explore the potential of remaining ‘Still Unresolved’, but is intended to help us shape the future direction/s of Visual Arts research, and to further develop conversations, collaborations and other projects with colleagues across the School of Art and Design and beyond, as these ideas intersect with other disciplines.

In July 2010, we gathered as members of the Summer Lodge to have A Conversation about the relationship of making, teaching and researching: in 2011, The Speculation, our one day event will allow us to consider afresh the ways in which our work as artists, teachers and researchers might find and create new opportunities, sites, networks and forms of exchange.

Staff from the School of Art and Design, postgraduate/doctoral students, student interns and practicing artists from the city and beyond as well as those from other disciplines including archaeology, fashion trend forecasting, architecture, etc. will work alongside one another, to explore speculation in practice and theory. We want to challenge the more dominant (but now failing) models of speculation such as banking or the market. We want to explore what art practices might offer to recuperate a different set of values for this term.


10.30am TEA/COFFEE Lecture Theatre 7

10.45am Welcome and Introduction
Joanne Lee: Artist, Writer and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, NTU

11:00am Morning session
PechaKucha presentations

Presenters: Will Bowden (Associate Professor of Roman Archaeology, Nottingham University), Emma Cocker (Artist, Writer and Senior Lecturer NTU), Dr. Nick Flynn (Programme Leader Applied Criminology, Community and Criminal Justice Division De Montfort University) Alice Gale-Feeny (Intern and 3rd Yr Fine Art student NTU), Rebecca Gamble (Artist and Research Student NTU) Dr. Jonathan Gilhooly (Brighton Based Artist and educator) Prof. Julian Henderson (Professor of Archaeological Science, University of Nottingham), Sally O’Reilly (Writer), John Plowman (Artist, Curator and Co-director Beacon Art Project), Tim Rundle (Design Trend Forecaster, Principal Lecturer, Programme Leader Fashion Marketing Management & Communication), Niki Russell (Nottingham based Artist/Producer and member of REACTOR), Nicola Streeten (Illustrator, co-director of Laydeez do Comics and co-director of Beacon Art Project)

1:00pm – 2:00pm LUNCH

2:00pm Sally O’Reilly, Speculates

2:30pm – 3:30pm Plenary – a chance for participants to reflect on the presentations & raise issues for discussion.