Hallucinatory Theatres

Goldsmiths Art Research Symposium

12 – 14 May, 2014

The next symposium for Goldsmiths Art Research will address questions and discourses relative to hallucination, illusion and their theatrical embodiments, in sites of art production and otherwise.

This will be an opportunity to discuss the critical urgency of detangling the stigmatic tropes of hallucination / illusion, and qualifying their heterotopic, extra-aesthetic possibilities. As neurological research continues to inform the speculative hyperbole of accelerated technology and capitalism, assessing what defensive tactics exist against these affective mechanizations is crucial.

The employment of the theatrical in this examination serves to both deflate the ‘reality’ status of hallucinatory or narrativised control mechanisms (pathology, retail entrancement, ‘soft’ torture, etc), as well as to invoke the revolutionary tool-box of theatre itself in discussing alternative positions.

How might the fluid hyper-subjective characteristics of hallucination ooze into binding coordinations of the social? What role do embodiments of trance and ecstasy have to play within the aims of emancipatory projects? Further to this, how might empirical models of supra-sensorial states inform transformative tactics, counter to those implemented by (para)military, retail and
entertainment agencies?

Relevant to these and other questions, presentations, screenings and performances will consider various cultures and practices sympathetic to hallucination and other idiosyncratic states of perception, including ceremonial magic, psychedelic culture, liminal performance and discourses exploring synaesthesia and extra-sensory perception.



10.30 am Introduction – Joey Ryken
11.00 – 12.00 Mark Harris on Walter Benjamin and psychedelic consciousness
12.00 – 13.00 David Luke – Fragments of an anarchist psychology
13.00 – 14.00 Break
14.00 – 15.00 Daria Martin screening Sensorium Tests (2012), and discussingsynaesthesia and establishing empathy with the arts.
15.00 – 15.45 Andrea Phillips on Stengers and Federici; capitalism, feminism andwitchcraft.
15.45 – 16.30 Sharlene Khan on the masquerade of blackface in contemporary SouthAfrican visual arts.
16.30 – 17.30 John Cussans on Black Power and Voodoo Politics.


10.30 – 11 am Introduction
11.00 – 12.00 pm Bonnie Camplin on meta-theatrical art practice
12.00 – 13.00 pm Achim Lengerer – Layout for Hallucinatory Theatres Symposium(Working Title)
13.00 – 14.00 pm Break
14.00 – 15.30 pm Vanessa Desclaux (TBC)
15.00 – 16.00 pm Joey Ryken on hallucination as a tactical mode of knowledge production+ Demonstration: Hallucinatron 5000
16.00 – 17.00 pm Ryan Jordan on shaman-wood and performing audio-visual catharsis


10.30 – 12.30 Shezad Dawood speaks about his exhibition Towards the Possible Film,at Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Rd N1 7RW
14.00 – 16.00 Screening TBC

Bonnie Camplin‘s practice she broadly describes as the Invented Life and has included eight years as a para-theatrical producer, director, dancer and performer of experimental club nights in Soho London as well as work across the disciplines of drawing, film and video, performance, music and writing. She has shown in London and Internationally and her work has included collaborations with artists Enrico David, Mark Leckey, Lucy McKenzie and Paulina Olowska. She has lectured at Goldsmiths London, The Ruskin School Oxford, University of Manchester, The Architectural Biennale Venice and has participated in Jury work at the AA London. She was Professor of the Film-Class at Städelschule Frankfurt from 2008 to 2010. Most recent project (in collaboration with Kieron Livingstone and James Mullord) was devising and leading a workshop on the metaphysics of surveillance at Hayward Gallery London as part of the Wide Open School project. She is currently a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths College.

John Cussans is an artist, writer, independent researcher and educator. He is currently working a book project – Undead Uprising: Haiti, Horror and the Zombie Complex – which reconnects sensationalist misrepresentations of Haitian religion and culture to the historical actualities of the country.

Vanessa Desclaux is a history of art professor at the Ecole nationale supérieure d’art in Dijon. She is currently doing a PhD at Goldsmiths College of the University of London. She is also an independent curator. From 2006 to 2009, she worked for the Tate Modern as an assistant commissioner on several exhibition and performance projects and she worked for the exhibition programme of Bloomberg Space in London between 2009 and 2010. She also is the author of art essays and writes for specialized European press on a regular basis.

Mark Harris teaches critical studies on the BA and MFA at Goldsmiths College, London. Degrees include MA in Painting from The Royal College of Art, London; MA in Continental Philosophy from University of Warwick, Coventry; and PhD in Philosophy from Goldsmiths College, London.

In 2005 he received an Arts Council England Fellowship with the Long March Project, Beijing. Recent exhibitions of his work include State Fare (Wexner Center, Columbus, 2007), Utopian-Bands, (2 kolegas, Beijing, 2006), Morning Star (Country Club Gallery, Cincinnati, 2010), High Times at the Wellcome Collection, London (2011), London Open Whitechapel Gallery, London (2012), Sparrow Come Back Home at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (2014).

In 2009 he received a Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital Art Writers Grant. Published essays include “Pipilotti Rist’s Music” for the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, “Chelsea Hotel, March 14, 2008″ on Marcia Farquhar’s performance work, “The City Sings,” on Heather Phillipson’s video work, and “Marcia Hafif: Glaze Paintings”. He has contributed an essay to The Countercultural Experiment: Consciousness and Encounters at the Edge of Art, University of Minnesota Press.

He has curated exhibitions such as Educating Barbie, at Trans Hudson Gallery, New York, 1999; Bad Drawing–malevolent, misbehaving, misunderstood (2006) and Once Upon A Time In The Midwest (2007) at the University of Cincinnati; Star Maker, (with David Burrows) at E:vent gallery, London, (2009).

Ryan Jordan conducts experiments in derelict electronics, possession trance, retro-death-telegraphy and hylozoistic neural computation. He
builds crude instruments that replicate fundamental electronic components which are the foundation of current digital technologies. Performing these
live alongside high powered stroboscopic light he attempts to induce the hallucinatory and trance like states of the (oc)cult arts.

The performances demonstrate his self constructed hardware built with raw minerals and metals and then spiral sideways into practices reaching
beyond techno, burrowing through noise infested cybernetics, crude neuroscience, and distorted physiology in an attempt to piece together our
fragmentary daemons and split the nine-fold reality layers of human perception; from communing with the dead to disturbing the holographic
brain; from trance states to opening flicker portals in optic nerve fibres; these practitioners practice dark hypnosis in psychoactive hyperventilation clubs.

Ryan has presented his work internationally in a wide range of venues from art and academic institutions to derelict warehouses and squats at places such as Sight + Sound Festival (Montreal, Canada); LACMA (Los Angeles, USA); Subtle Technologies (Toronto, Canada); Transe(s) Symposium (Strasbourg, France); SPILL Festival (Ipswich, UK); Resonant Chamber (Riga, Latvia); FACT (Liverpool, UK); Belluard Festival (Friburg,Switzerland); CTM Festival: CTM.12 (Berlin, Germany); Pure Data Convention (Sao Paulo, Brazil); Piksel Festival (Bergen, Norway); ISEA (Istanbul, Turkey); and NEXT Festival (Bratislava, Slovakia).

He also runs noise=noise, a research laboratory and live performance platform aimed at developing a network of artists, programmers, and
researchers working in the areas of noise, experimental, exploratory, and outsider arts.

Sharlene Khan is a South African visual artist currently engaged in a practice-based PhD in Arts at Goldsmiths. Khan’s work often incorporates a range of media that generate installations and performances which focus on theintersectionality of race, gender and class in the socio-political realities of a post-apartheid, post-colonial society. She uses masquerading as a decolonising strategy to interrogate her South African heritage as well as the constructedness of identity via rote education, art discourses, historical narratives and popular culture.

Dr David Luke is Senior Lecturer in Psychology and joined the Department of Psychology and Counselling at the University of Greenwich in October 2008, having previously lectured in psychology at the University of East London, the University of Northampton and the University of Westminster. Dr Luke currently coordinates the courses entitled the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience, and Individual Differences and Abnormal Psychology, and also teaches research methods, criminology and forensic psychology, and functional neuropsychology for speech and language therapists. He is also Link Tutor for the BSc Psychology programme at New York College, Athens, Greece. Dr Luke was President of the Parapsychological Association between 2009 and 2011, and in 2011 received an Early Career Research Excellence Award from the University of Greenwich.

Daria Martin’s 16mm films aim to create a continuity or parity between disparate artistic media (such as painting and performance), between people and objects, and between internal and social worlds. Human gesture and seductive imagery meet physically mannered artifice to pry loose viewers’ learned habits of perception. Mistranslation opens holes for imagination to enter or exit.

Subjects such as robots, an archive of dream diaries and close-up card magic, are explored within isolated spaces such as the wings of a theatre, a military academy, or a scaled up modernist sculpture. These protective yet fragmented settings, full of seams and shadows, stand in for the capacities of the film medium itself, a permeable container that consumes and recycles the world at large.

Dr Andrea Phillips is Reader in Fine Art and Director of PhD programmes in the Art Department at Goldsmiths. Andrea lectures and writes about the economic and social construction of publics within contemporary art. Current publications include: How To Work Together (http://howtoworktogether.org/think-tank/andrea-phillips-how-to-work-together/, Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom, Studio Voltaire 2014), Remaking the Arts Centre (Cluster: Dialectionary, Sternberg 2014), Art as Property (Economy: Art and the Subject after Postmodernism, Liverpool University Press, 2014), Civic Building (David Adjaye University of Chicago Press 2014) Public Space (A Space Called Public, Walter Koenig 2013), Constructed Situation (Architecture as Situation, University of Edinburgh 2013), Art Work (Esther Shalev-Gerz: The Contemporary Art of Trusting Uncertainties and Unfolding Dialogues, Art & Theory 2013). Recent and ongoing research projects include: Curating Architecture, a think tank and exhibition examining the role of exhibitions in the making of architecture’s social and political forms (AHRC 2007-2009), Actors, Agent and Attendants, a research project and set of publications that address the role of artistic and curatorial production in contemporary political milieus (in collaboration with SKOR 2009-2012), co-director with Suhail Malik of the research project The Aesthetic and Economic Impact of the Art Market, an investigation into the ways in which the art market shapes artists’ careers and public exhibition (2010-ongoing), Public Alchemy, the public programme for the Istanbul Biennial 2013 (co-curated with Fulya Erdemci), Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures (in collaboration with Grant Watson and Iniva, AHRC 2013-2014), How To Work Together, an investigation into the social and economic values of contemporary non-profit arts organizations commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom and Studio Voltaire (2013-2015).

Joey Ryken is an artist and PhD Candidate based in London, UK. His work investigates contemporary uses of disorientation within cultures of containment, from shopping centres to military technologies, the disco to the torture chamber. Ryken has exhibited, performed and coordinated events in idiosyncratic locations throughout California (US) and in London (UK), as well as at major arts institutions, including Camden Arts Centre, London; The Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Gasworks, London; Artsway, New Forest.

Francisco Sousa Lobo is a Portuguese artist currently living and working in London. He studied architecture and illustration in Lisbon, and practiced architecture for ten years, before coming to London. In London he studied printmaking at the Royal College of Art, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Art at Goldsmiths. He is now mostly devoted to comics and fine art, and is a teaching assistant in art writing at Goldsmiths. Francisco also writes for academic and artistic purposes, in the fields of critical theory, fine art, and comics theory.

His comics are usually published in Portugal by Associação Chili Com Carne, both in Portuguese and in English. He has recently published The Dying Draughtsman in late 2013, and will have two new books coming out in 2014 (The Care of Birds and A Desert God).

The Care of Birds will be a 150 page comic on the life of Peter Hickey, an Irish birdwatcher and bird illustrator, and will focus on the love of children. It is purely fictional, as purity goes.

A Desert God will be a 60 page comic on a week Francisco Sousa Lobo spent in a Carthusian monastery in Southern Portugal, close to the town of Évora. It is autobiographical documentary, and as most of his comics, idea based.

Francisco Sousa Lobo has exhibited widely in the fields of art and comics, and his work is present in public and private collections in Portugal and the UK.