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Symposium – Doing Deceleration

Doing Deceleration Symposium 

Tuesday 4 July, 2017, 10.00 – 1.00

Nottingham Contemporary 

The imperative to ‘do deceleration’ is less a call to ‘slow down’, to withdraw or retreat from the process of production as such. Instead, the invitation is to explore ways in which we might disrupt or dislodge the pressure of acceleration: the ubiquitous demands to do more and more – faster and faster – that arguably underpin our contemporary culture of immediacy and urgency, of 24/7 access and availability, with its privileging of multitasking, perpetual readiness and ethos of ‘just-in-time’ production. In one sense, the requirement to do more and more can result in a reality of less and less, the cultivation of superficial engagement overriding the possibility of deep, sustained immersion, diminishing the potential of attention and concentration. How does the art school or even the artists’ studio respond to or alternatively refuse these cultural tendencies? How might the space-time of the studio or residency provide an alternative model for practice, perhaps even offer the conditions of resistance? Less the reactive manifestation of chrono-phobic anxiety, how might doing deceleration reveal rest and reflection as active components of artistic production, the practice of doing-nothing as complementary rather than oppositional to action? Here, radical deceleration does not involve the retreat towards the promise of a singular (slower) temporality, but rather has the capacity to reveal and bring into relation a plurality of micro-temporal co-incidings.

Speakers include: Henk Slager, Emma Cocker, Mick Wilson, Adrian Heathfield, Finn Janning and Danica Maier.



Nottingham Contemporary

10.00 – 1.00

10.00 – 10.15: Emma Cocker (Chair): Welcome and introduction to theme

10.15 – 10.25: Danica Maier, The Summer Lodge: a Place for experimental Making

10.25 – 10.45: Henk Slager, Exhausted Academies

10.45– 11.15: Mick Wilson: Institution Fatigue

11.15 – 11.30: Coffee Break

11.30 – 12.00: Finn Janning, To Love Slowly

12.00 – 12.30: Adrian Heathfield, Lifeworks

12.30 – 1.00: Questions and Reflections


PART II: at Nottingham Trent University 1.30 – 2.30: Lunch provided at NTU Atrium

3.00 – 5.00

The Doing Deceleration symposium continues in the fine art project spaces with more informal discussion sessions led by Summer Lodge participants Elle Reynolds (Artist and PhD researcher) and Christian Mieves (Artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, University of Wolverhampton) expanding on the concerns from the morning especially in relation to the future of the art academy, alongside the value of artistic process and the ‘dirty practices’ of the artists’ studio.