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Date: Friday 03 May 2013
Time: 02.00 PM to 06.30 PM
Venue: Centre for Creative Collaboration 16 Acton Street London Greater London WC1X 9NG


Michelle Atherton and Becky Shaw
Peter Adey, Dales Holmes, Esther Leslie, Benjamin Noys

Test No. 1 takes the notion of BRUTE as a raw starting point, an approach to collaboration. We will explore the problem of an intellectually ‘cold’ position’, alongside ideas of force including heat, abrasion, friction, and compression. We want to address how the time and processes of force might relate to the allegedly more timeless and dematerialised nature of thought, to consider the conditions of force as applied to materials and upon the material of society. We are interested in banging some disparate things together: ‘Waking and burning, shocking and blasting’, as Rachel Moore describes Hollis Frampton’s work Nostalgia. We are trying to create an experience that does not demand participation nor assumes affect, but tries out the idea of a BRUTE methodology. MA/BS

This event is free, but places are limited to thirty participants.

Deadline for booking is 29th April.

To register, please email


  • 14.00 Registration, with accompanying art work by Dale Holmes
  • 14.30 Introduction – Michelle Atherton and Becky Shaw
  • 15.00 Peter Adey – 'Combustion': pandemonium, air, industry, and social change, as carbon turns to air, mixing with revolutionary fervour; war, blast, and vaporisation, as bodies occupy the air, with ecstatic levitators burning.
  • 15.30 Benjamin Noys – ‘Derailing the Train: Brutal Accelerations & Brutal Interruptions’
  • 16.00 Esther Leslie – a text drawn from her book Synthetic Worlds examining the violence of extraction, in the light of the German chemical industry’s use of coal for synthetic colour
  • 16.30 Tea/coffee
  • 17.00–18.00 Plenary
  • 18.00 Wine

Peter Adey is Reader in Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He works at the intersections of space, security, and mobility. He is author of Mobility (2009); Aerial Life: spaces, mobilities, affects (2010), and Air (forthcoming). He was the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2011.

Michelle Atherton is an artist interested in objectifying cultural phenomenon, often using transport systems as a starting point. Recent works include Dreams of Flying and Missed the Boat I & II, exhibited widely in Europe. Her research is supported by the AHRC. She is a senior lecturer in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University.

Dale Holmes is an artist and AHRC-funded PhD candidate in the Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. His current research develops a material philosophy grounded on non-anthropocentric strategies for making and staging art works. His work has been exhibited internationally.

Esther Leslie is Professor in Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck, University of London. Recent publications include
Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-garde (2002), Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry (2005), Walter Benjamin: Critical Lives (2007). She sits on the editorial boards of Historical Materialism, Revolutionary History, and Radical Philosophy.

Benjamin Noys is Reader in English at the University of Chichester. He is the author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (2000), The Culture of Death (2005), The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Theory (2010), and editor of Communization and Its Discontents (2011).

Becky Shaw explores the relation between objects and people, and ideas of objectivity and subjectivity. Recent works include 20 Euros, a work made for Terminal Convention at Cork Airport, and A: The Christmas Party a durational reading performed at Roehampton University, Terry O’Connor. She is Course Leader of the B.A.Creative Art Practice course at Sheffield Hallam University.

This event is part of Transmission, a project convened by Dr Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Dr Sharon Kivland, with the support of the ADRC (Art and Design Research Centre), Sheffield Hallam University, and HARC (Humanities and Arts Research Centre), Royal Holloway University of London. Transmission is an arena in which ideas of art practice are discussed and tested through an annual publication, a lecture series, and related research events in Sheffield, London, Dallas, and Berlin.

The Centre for Creative Collaboration (C4CC) is an initiative of the University of London, working in collaboration with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Goldsmiths, University of London, and Royal Holloway, University of London. C4CC supports new types of collaboration using the principles of open innovation, hosting projects and enabling multi-disciplinary working in an attractive and flexible space. C4CC brings together leading and innovative researchers from London’s universities and colleges, creative industry practitioners and freelancers, SMEs, and students.

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