The Finest Art Seminar Series Today (FASST 2016).
PanOptic Press | Little Tokyo Two Substation
Sunday 20 March 2016
The first seminar in our 2016 series featured three Brisbane based, internationally recognised, academics, published authors and practicing artists. Including Dr Laini Burton (Griffith University), Dr Courtney Pederson (QUT) and Michelle Xen (QUT) who together explored phenomena surrounding fashion, body modification and the post human condition. Held at the Little Tokyo Two Substation, 22 Petrie Terrace from 12 midday on Sunday the 20-3-2016, all reservations could quickly and easily be made through our EventBrite page (now disabled).
Dr Laini Burton is a Lecturer at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University where she convenes Studio Art and Honours within the Bachelor of Digital Media. Her research centres on body politics, bio-art and design, fashion theory, performance and body/spatial relations. Laini’s professional activities work across practice and theory where she both exhibits and publishes. Recent publications include essays in Fashion as Masquerade: Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty (University of Chicago Press) – co-edited with Professor Efrat Tseëlon, UK, and Professor Emerita Diana Crane, US, and The Body Beautiful: Identity, Performance, Fashion and the Contemporary Female Body (InterDisciplinary Press). She has forthcoming publications through InterDisciplinary Press, UK, and Power Publications, AU.
Motivated by the question: How might we ‘fashion’ our bodies in the future? this paper will reflect on a range of examples from cosmetic surgery and extreme body modification, scientific breakthroughs such as the successful bio-fabrication of human flesh, through to the design of wearable organs hosting synthetic life. In taking this discursive approach, Dr Laini Burton presents a talk that urges us to consider the ethical, material and aesthetic aspects of (re)designing ourselves.
By looking more closely at these fringe developments, then, we can begin to come to terms with the inevitable evolution of the human form that is appearing in the wake of a techno-scientific revolution. In doing so, we can acknowledge the materiality of the body as unstable, and address the fears that accompany the mutable body. Laini argues that, should we be so bold, we may yet configure a relational economy with synthetic life toward an unfixed, evolving politics of species-being.
Laini is also currently working on an exhibition that will coincide with the Commonwealth Games calendar of cultural events at the Gold Coast City Gallery in 2018. Tentatively titled ‘Fashioning the Body’, the exhibition will both celebrate and investigate the body as a cultural ‘medium’, asking: To what ends will artists and designers use technology to (re)design the human body in the future? Presenting a range of examples that span art, design and popular culture, it is this question that will be addressed in the first of the FASST series of talks for 2016. Browse and download a selection of Laini’s publications here.
Dr Courtney Pedersen is the Head of Visual Arts at QUT and a Senior Lecturer in Art History / Theory. Her research interests include the position of women in art, feminist methods in creative practice-led research, and visual arts pedagogy. She has also been a practicing artist for over 20 years, with her primary training in photography at Prahran College and the VCA. Courtney is currently a co-director of the feminist artist collective LEVEL, and serves on the boards of Eyeline Publishing and Boxcopy Contemporary Art Space in Brisbane. Browse and download a selection of Courtney’s publications here.
While we often think of body modification and a ‘posthuman’ condition as being contemporary phenomena, we can look to the avant-garde art and design of the early twentieth century as predictors of many of our current concerns. In both art and fashion, there was a keen interest in redesigning the body itself as a response to technological and social change. In this talk, Dr Courtney Pedersen invites us to consider the provocations that these practitioners raised and how many of their concerns are still relevant for us today.
Michelle Xen is a Brisbane based visual/sound artist, musician, and performer. A QCA graduate, Xen continued to complete a Master of Arts in Research within multidisciplinary practice, works in music production, composition and contemporary performance in relationship to her painting and video installation practice.
Michelle’s work synthesises colour, gesture, dynamic, timbre, volume, and field to create emotional and visceral installations, videos, paintings, sounds and songs. Her practice forms relationships between contemporary art practice, pop music and contemporary performance, creating a generative questioning of how we assimilate and balance cultural outputs.
Experiencing the body as a central generative axis of creative practice across pop music, fashion, contemporary art and experimental performance – as an interdisciplinary practitioner – this generative balance extends to working with competing, and often contradictory, expectations of component disciplines that may as a result hinder or, contrastingly, create productive tension.
As an artist and musician the body is expected to perform, reveal and create, yet can be constrained by the limitations of engrained and institutionalised value systems, aesthetic traditions and disciplinary languages. This discussion presents a range of understandings and strategies of interdisciplinary creative practice that utilise productive tension as a generative and destabilising device.
Feel free to peruse Michelle’s personal website here.
Panoptic Press in association with Little Tokyo Two Substation and Reach Media would like to extend our appreciation toward the following Brisbane based galleries, all of whom encouragingly support this initiative by providing a selection of books, catalogues, bookmarks and cards, both for sale and gifts to be handed out on Sunday the 20-3-2016 including:
The University of Queensland Art Museum: James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (Building 11), University Drive , The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Q 4067.
Heiser Gallery: 90 Arthur Street Fortitude Valley Brisbane Q 4006.
Milani Gallery: 54 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Q 4102.
Griffith University Art Gallery: 226 Grey St, South Brisbane, Q 4101
QUT Art Museum: 2 George Street, Brisbane, Q 4000.
Queensland Centre for Photography: PO Box 5848, West End, Q 4101.
The Institute of Modern Art: Ground Floor, Judith Wright Centre 420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Q 4006.
Panoptic Press is a converged media, cross sector collaboration between the disciplines of art, art history, philosophy, psychology and the creative industries. Through the development of an ecosystem of disciplines, allowing ideas and concepts to mingle and cohabitate, finding realisation and understanding through shared networks, Panoptic Press is designed to grow a critical voice throughout the broader arts sector. Philosophically we foster a wide community of arts accessible to the broader community. Affecting community engagement with the humanities and commerce, Panoptic Press is pleased to be associated with the following organisations.