RCA only

AcrossCHS College-Wide Symposia

5 February 2018 to 7 February 2018


Memory and the Future

Monday 5 February
Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Battersea

Howard Caygill (Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Kingston), Clair Le Couteur​ ​(artist), Jennifer Martin (artist), Michael​ ​Newman (Professor of Art Writing, Goldsmiths)​ ​and Yanwen Xiong (artist)

In the film La Jetee (1962) by Chris Marker a man who has become a prisoner in the aftermath of World War ​III is called upon to time travel into the future by virtue of his vivid relationship to memory. The final paradox embedded in the film is the character witnessing the moment of his own death. This impossible instance exemplifies the complex ways in which time and the image might be configured outside pre-determined schema. In this forum the speakers have been invited to meditate upon contemporary issues of time consciousness and ways of thinking about the idea of the future.

Convened by Jonathan Miles

Futures Past and Present

Monday 5 February
Lecture Theatre 1, Kensington

Barry Curtis (Tutor, CHS Architecture) and Richard Watson (Futurologist and Tech Forecaster, Imperial College) 

Studying the past has to involve not just the way that people represented their own present but the vision they projected of their own future. Every era had its own version of the future which is not necessarily our present. Every present contains within it the remains of discarded futures from the past. Looking into the history of these futures can help orient us in the always necessary task of preparing for our own and invites us to reflect on the strange nature of the prediction business.

Convened by Matthew Wraith

Solitary Pleasures

Thursday 7 February
Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Battersea
10.30am – 5pm

Katrien Jacobs (Associate Professor in Cultural Studies and Programme Director MA Visual Culture Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Whiskey Chow (artist and RCA SU Co-President), Claire Pajaczkowska (Senior Research Tutor, RCA School of Design), Emily​ ​Pope (artist and writer), Josh Leon (artist and writer), Marq Smith (Curator, Editor-In-Chief Journal of Visual Culture, UCL Institute of Education), Charan Singh (artist and writer),​ ​Despina Zacharopoulou (performance artist) 

This symposium is looking to extend and challenge conceptualisations of gender, sexuality, eroticism and gratification, and to interrogate and celebrate masturbation as a taboo and popular pursuit. It anticipates the upcoming Solitary Pleasures exhibition at the Freud Museum London (April 2018) and will include presentations by the curator of the exhibition as well as academics, artists and writers. We will be considering the human story, both ancient and modern, of our complex sexual, erotic, and intimate encounters with ourselves and one another by way of masturbation as an all-inclusive practice – gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, trans, queer, +. And we’re hoping to celebrate masturbation as a ‘solitary pleasure’ (not a ‘solitary vice’) but also as a pleasure that’s mutual; shared between couples, lovers, and strangers in ways that redefine the possibilities of desire and eroticism.

Convened by Chantal Faust and Jo Pickering