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A collaborative symposium on heterotopias and finding “other spaces”

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Thursday 19th November 2015, 10;30am - 5pm . Held at: no.w.here project space, first floor, 316 - 318 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AG. Places are still available - to book a space please follow this link
Places are still available - to book a space please follow this link


A collaborative symposium on heterotopias and finding “other spaces". Presented by no.w.here and The Weight of Mountains.

This is a one day event for artists, filmmakers, activists, citizens, academics, adventurers, free thinkers, and instigators. It is part of a longer term plan for applying thoughts on pivoting, evolving and moving from one “space” to another. Finding alternate worlds, hard truths, and rallying against spatial injustices.

In the context of the gentrification of Bethnal Green, the redevelopment of Tower Hamlets and the forthcoming eviction of no.w.here, this event proposes the nomadic structure of the global film collective: The Weight of Mountains, as an invitation to join us in finding out how other spaces can and do exist: in film, in art, in collective action, in (and out) of this world. Our aim is to build community, to find immersive and collective ways of living, and to unify attempts to create a new structure for us to work and live within. To harness a physical and determined ability to make another art world possible.

Accelerated by discursive input from Ayesha Hameed, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andy Conio, Peter Johnson, Karen Mirza and Melody Woodnutt we are bringing together passionate ideas that react to Foucault’s heterotopia to ask: How can we craft our own utopian ideals, heterogenic structures, heterotopian dreams, and existential ethics to co-exist with/against/despite/around capitalism? Can we build defiant and creative solutions in the face of chaotic challenges?

Please register https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/another-art-world-is-possible-a-collaborative-symposium-on-heterotopias-tickets-18435457951 for tickets early in order to secure a limited place.

-Melody Woodnutt
Artistic Director, The Weight of Mountains.

-Karen Mirza, James Holcombe


Andy Conio
Andrew Conio in an artist, writer and activist. He organised public debates and gatherings at Occupy St Paul’s in London, worked on the information tent and is a longstanding member of the Occupy Economics Working Group. Andrew is Course Director of Fine Art at the School of Music and Fine Art at the University of Kent. Andrew has published on a range of subjects including language, the moving image, architecture, painting, Institutional critique and creativity. His latest publication, an edited collection Occupy: A People Yet to Come is available from Amazon or can be downloaded at the Open Humanities Press.

Ayesha Hameed
Ayesha Hameed's practice includes performance, video and writing, and examines contemporary borders and migration, critical race theory, Walter Benjamin, and visual cultures of the Black Atlantic. She is the Co Programme Leader in Fine Art and History of Art in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University of London.

She is currently working on a project called Black Atlantis which rereads the jettison of slaves overboard the slave ship Zong in 1781 through a speculation made by the Detroit electronic band Drexciya that slaves thrown overboard adapted to life underwater to form an eponymous underwater Atlantis.

Hameed recently completed a project entitled Performing the Border. Its first phase was a series of performances designed with migrant justice groups to make visible and audible the secret violence faced by an asylum seeker living in church sanctuary. The second phase was a series of theatre of the oppressed workshops held in the Banff Centre for the Arts and Sarai in Delhi that explored how the border is performed and embodied by the border guard and migrant. Her recent publications include contributions to FORENSIS: The Architecture of Public Truth (2014), The Sarai Reader (2013), Savage Objects: Inhuman Political Alliances (2012), TateETC (2010) and Photoworks (2011). Recent exhibitions include Forensis at the House of World Cultures in Berlin and Monitor Reruns at the Images Festival in Toronto.

Peter Johnson
Most of Peter’s early career involved teaching in further education colleges in London, Liverpool and Bristol. His first job was at the then West Ham College – not too far from the present location of no.w.here. As a mature part-time student, Peter returned to study and researched for an MSc in Cultural Studies and a multidisciplinary PhD at the University of Bristol. His thesis On heterotopia explores Foucault’s concept with specific reference to the spatial and temporal configuration of modern cemeteries and contemporary gardens. Peter now works at Bath Spa University teaching politics and sociology and runs the web-site Heterotopian Studies. He has published several peer-reviewed articles on Foucault, space and heterotopia. Peter’s most recent research has involved exploring the relationship between heterotopia and art.

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, LLB, LLM, PhD, is Professor of Law & Theory at the University of Westminster, and founder and Director of The Westminster Law & Theory Centre. He is regularly invited to talk in institutions around the world and holds permanent professorial affiliations with the Centre for Politics, Management and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School since 2006, and the University Institute of Architecture, Venice since 2009. Andreas has been awarded the 2011 OUP National Award for the Law Teacher of the Year, and has since been invited to join the Judging Committee. His research interests are interdisciplinary and include space, bodies, radical ontologies, post-humanist studies, critical autopoiesis, literature, psychoanalysis, continental philosophy, gender studies, art theory, and their connection to the law. Andreas is also a practicing artist, working on photography, text and performance under the name of picpoet. His recent art publication is called a fjord eating its way into my arm, published by AND publishers, London. His academic books include the monographs Absent Environments (2007), Niklas Luhmann: Law, Justice, Society (2009), Spatial Justice: Body Lawscape Atmosphere (2014), and the edited volumes Law and the City (2007), Law and Ecology (2011), Observing Luhmann: Radical Theoretical Encounters (co-edited with Anders La Cour, 2013), and Knowledge-creating Milieus in Europe: Firms, Cities, Territories (co-edited with Augusto Cusinato, 2015). Andreas is the editor (with Christian Borch) of the Routledge Glasshouse series Space, Materiality and the Normative. He is currently preparing the Environmental Research Method Handbook (with Victoria Brooks, Elgar, 2016) and the Routledge Research Handbook on Law and Theory (2016), as well as completing a monograph on Material Justice (2017).

For over 10 years no.w.here has worked in London as a community project, open artist platform and film laboratory built on the historical legacy of the London Filmmakers Co-Operative. We have held a space for the production of artists film works, as well as critical reflection on artists moving image work through screenings, events, performances and publications. no.w.here is run by a small group of cultural workers who place a value on education, resistance, collaboration and free expression and has always rooted it's work and projects in an open, pedagogical, and non-hierarchical way. no.w.here functions as an extension of an artists studio space, with a nominal sum for a yearly membership which enables open access to the resources held here, supporting an expanding and contracting diverse community of makers contributing to the multiplicity of work produced and screened within the site of no.w.here.

At the core of the no.w.here collective are artists Karen Mirza, Brad Butler, and James Holcombe.

Since 2007 Mirza and Butler have been developing a body of work entitled the Museum of non Participation. The artists have repeatedly found themselves embedded in pivotal moments of change, protest, non-alignment and debate. Experiencing such spaces of contestation both directly and through the network of art institutions, Mirza and Butler negotiate these influences in video, photography, text and action. Recent solo exhibitions include The New Deal at the Walker Art Centre (2013), Performa 13 (2013), Derin Devlet (Deep State) Galeri NON (2014), and The Unreliable Narrator, Whitechapel Gallery (2015) In 2014 they were nominated for the Artes Mundi 6 Award for artists engaging with a social practice.

For over 10 years James Holcombe has been slowly evolving a unique material-based practice via no.w.here's production resources and hand processing laboratory. James films combine elements of chance, accident, luck and improvisation via a deep philosophical, political and material engagement with archaic photochemical processes. James' most recent work, Tyburnia, is an exploration both of the re-appropriation of one of the most notorious gallows execution sites in Britain by contemporary property developers seeking to re-establish the name Tyburnia as a premier destination for the oligarchs, as well as what has forgotten, suppressed, and re-appropriated as 'London Dungeon-esque' spectacle by a nation keen to distance contemporary power from it's historical antecedents.

For 'Another Art World is Possible' no.w.here will articulate conversations around how the manifold readings of heterotopias might aid a de-materialisation of no.w.here from semi state dependent small business to truly independent, equitable and radical outpost for the production of truly unconventional cinema and artwork, built upon shared ideas, resources, historical antecedents, laughter, and a reconfiguring of time and space.

The Weight of Mountains
As a nomadic structure, The Weight of Mountains contributes to ideas of what is possible in the absence of continued, reliable, or urban / contextual physical spaces. This may be due to raising property costs, scarcely available/suitable urban locations, commercial gentrification, lack of financial resources, or particularly in this case: the strong drive of artistic relationships with the periphery. 
Heterotopian concepts begin to open new possibilities within the imagination to question how this structure does and does not relate to realities; if an immersive and dislocated filmmakers residency can exist as a ship, a mirror, or a form with and of itself that creates divergences in the human experience of the world as we know it.

Image below: The Weight of Mountains Logo


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