Date: Thursday 23 May 2019
Location: University for the Creative Arts, Falkner Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7DS
Times: 10am-7pm

Migration, the flows of materials, and gentrification are pressing areas of interest to artists and filmmakers working with participatory practices in a globalised, neoliberal context. Common to these practices is a concern with spatiality, acknowledged as a key register of politics and social inequality. This one-day symposium aims to bring practitioners together to open a dialogue on approaches to the spatiality of the movement of peoples, materials, and communities in moving image and photography.

Responding to the gentrification of Lower Manhattan in the 1990s, the art historian Rosalyn Deutsche suggested that space is “political, inseparable from the conflictual and uneven social relations that structure specific societies at specific historical moments.” (Deutsche 1996 cf Lefebvre 1992) For Doreen Massey, space is constructed by narrative and the unfolding of personal and community identity (Massey 2005). More recent analyses have explored the data of spatiality. (cf Forensic Architecture; Kurgan 2013; Paglen 2018) Artists and filmmakers have used all these approaches and more in their work. This symposium aims to share practices that encounter and engage with fluid contemporary space.

The three panels of this symposium are schematically:

MIGRATION – artists working with themes of dislocation and place; the dislocation of narratives; and participatory practice.

MATERIALS / RESOURCES – artists working with the movement and use of materials in the global economy; issues of resource exploitation; waste; toxicity; exploitation of labour; de/re-colonisation.

COMMUNITY CHANGE – artists working with gentrification; social and spatial segregation.

Keynote speakers:

Christine Molloy, Desperate Optimists
Professor Alison Blunt & Dr Olivia Sheringham, Queen Mary University of London

Call for papers:

This one-day symposium at UCA seeks 20-minute contributions from artists and filmmakers responding to the above broad panel themes. We encourage a diversity of practices and presentation forms.

If you would like to present at this symposium, please send abstracts of 250 words maximum for 20-minute presentations; a biography of 100 words maximum; and any technical requirements for the presentation to:

Stephen Connolly –
David Rule –

Deadline for abstract submission: 31 March, 12pm (UK time)

Presentations to be confirmed: 12 April 2019