Alex Pollard - 'Chrome Poulaine' - 2010

Goldsmith’s Art PhD Symposium

27-29 January, 2014

What does the political, legal and economic world-of-thought of the Middle Ages have to offer as a means of unpicking the founding rituals of late capitalism, its technologies and attendant flow of images?

Neo-medievalisms are becoming more commonplace in contemporary culture. Some critics have linked Neo-Medievalism to the current global political context of collapsing sovereignty and ‘divided loyalty’ (Bruce Holsinger and Hedley Bull).

Others have used the term to discuss a renewed interest in Marxist critique, perhaps as a way of understanding the late capitalist conditions of precarity and immaterial labour that have infused our lives (Hardt and Negri).

Objects and their networks are also linked to Neo-medievalist ideas. The Speculative Turn of philosophy opens up spaces for ‘future pre-moderns’.

References have also appeared within pop culture such as the recent album by the Kaiser Chiefs titled ‘The Future is Medieval’. We now seem to have a collective obsession with medieval role-playing games online (Erik Davis) and many of our mythic avatars are no longer left in the virtual realm (the high street fashion for the ‘onesie’).

This symposium showcases a mixture of performance, readings, lectures, art objects and video works by artists, curators and critics who in varied ways touch on the theme of neo-medievalism.


Neo-Medievalisms Programme

27-29 January, 2014


11.00- 2.00

Gasworks Gallery
155 Vauxhall Street
London SE11 5R

Nearest stations
Vauxhall: Victoria line and National rail
Oval: Northern line

Gallery visit to Late Barbarians the second exhibition of The Civilising Process, a year long programme of exhibitions and events at Gasworks inspired by Elias’s eponymous 1939 book, which looks at the development of the tastes, manners and sensibilities of Western Europeans since the Middle Ages.

Introduction to the show by curator Robert Leckie.


1.00 – 4.00

Chair – Robin Mackay

Intro to symposium by Roman Vasseur

Introduction to NeoMedieval themes by Neil Mullholland.

David Burrows and Simon O’Sullivan – Plastique Fantastique

5.00 – 8.00
5.00 Neil Mulholland & Norman James Hogg (Hogg via Skype)
In conversation with Alex Pollard.

6.30 Erik Davis- Cultural critic and author of Techgnosis. (via Skype)


Chair – John Chilver

10.30 -1.00

Robert Leckie – curator Gasworks Gallery – the Civilizing Processs

Sarah Lambert – Goldsmith’s History Department

2.00 – 5.00
Individual Video works and discussion:
Ramon Bloomberg – Glacis
David Ferrando Giraut – CATOPTROPHILIA

5.00 – 7.00
Closing event
Compiled video excerpts and drinks.

Artwork installed for duration of symposium:

Alex Pollard – ‘Chrome Poulaine’ – 2010

Christ Unlimited Redux –  (Video Sequence – work in progress)  Roman Vasseur