Art + Copyright / Copyleft – a symposium

Here’s the programme for the symposium on art, copyright and copyleft that will take place at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, on June 16th. There will also be an exhibition of works by Bryan Eccleshall. All proceeds from the event will go to Bank Street Arts. £10 entrance fee, including light lunch and refreshments.

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Representing Migration

I’ve recently received the excellent news that I was successful in a funding bid to the SURE Network scheme to employ 6 University of Sheffield students to work as researchers over the summer on a project that will be led by myself, Sophie Watt (SLC, University of Sheffield) and Casey Strine (SIIBS, University of Sheffield). The project is about how migration, migrants and refugees are represented in the media and contemporary art.

The outcomes of the research will be an article and a short film about the project. In the longer term, we also hope to bring an exhibition of work by Francophone artists to Sheffield, which will explore the ways in which artists have sought to challenge some of the dominant tropes vehicled in press photography around the question of displaced peoples.

SUMMARY OF RESEARCH PROJECT

This research will explore how images of migrants and refugees shape public understanding and opinions of migration. Discourses around the threat posed by migrants and refugees to security, order, national identity and integrity have clearly impacted on the contemporary political landscape (for example Brexit, Trump’s election victory and the rise of populism and ethno-nationalism in Europe). As many scholars have observed, the media play a key role in both conveying and legitimising these political messages about migration. Less attention has been paid, however, to the specifically visual representation of displaced peoples and the impact this has on the public perception of migration – a gap this research will seek to address.
The criminalization and discursive ‘othering’ of migrants and refugees by the mainstream media has been the subject of rigorous and insightful academic research (Ibrahim & Howarth, 2015; Philo, Briant & Donald, 2013). In the field of visual studies, scholars working on so-called ‘atrocity photography’ have dwelled at length on matters such as the ethics of representing vulnerable subjects, the risks of voyeurism, the commoditisation of suffering, the ‘victimal aesthetic’ and what Sontag (1977) called ‘compassion fatigue’. Scholars from the visual arts (such as T.J. Demos [2013]) have explored how artists have challenged standardised visual constructions of migrants and refugees in their practice. The proposed interdisciplinary research project is among the first, however, to draw together insights from these various – yet intrinsically connected – areas of scholarship in order to think more closely about the ways in which migrants and refugees are constructed in visual media, and how these representations impact on opinion and understanding.
In the first instance, the research will identify recurring and dominant tropes in the representation of migrants and refugees. It will examine the use of formal, symbolic and paratextual elements in the visual construction of migrants and refugees, paying attention also to the ways in which the ‘figure of the migrant’ (Nail, 2015) is variously set in – or extracted from – the contexts of migration (such as environmental change, violence and conflict, human rights violations or deleterious socio-political and economic conditions). Techniques of image and discourse analysis will be used to better understand how images of refugees and migrants might solicit certain responses in viewers. We will also consider the ways in which artists have sought to both denaturalise and contest the political and affective viewer responses prompted by hegemonic visual discourse.
An analysis of the visual construction of displaced people in these images will be complemented by empirical research. Students will work with a focus group (including artists) to draw out their responses to – and reflections on – news photographs and selected artworks. Students will also seek to determine to what extent alternative images of migration (or self-representations by artists who are migrants/refugees) might mitigate or change participants’ responses to the dominant tropes afforded by press photography.

Art + Copyright/Copyleft : A Symposium and Exhibition

Call for papers

A symposium: Art+Copyright/Copyleft

June 16th 2017 at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield

11am – 4pm

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: 

Richard Taylor, Lawyer and partner at DLA Piper LLP, specialist in Intellectual Property

Professor Robert Burrell, Head of School of Law, University of Sheffield

There will also be an exhibition of works by  Bryan Eccleshall, June 16th (including private view in the evening) – June 17th 2017.

You can listen to Richard Taylor’s recent programme on BBC Radio 4, Copyright or Wrong? (including an interview with Bryan Eccleshall) here.

occursus and Bank Street Arts are pleased to invite proposals for 20-minute contributions (including, but not limited to, papers, presentations and readings) that reflect critically on the issues and practicalities of copyright and copyleft, with particular reference to the arts (broadly interpreted).

Abstracts (300 words maximum) for 20-minute papers or presentations and a short biography (100 words maximum) should be sent to Amanda Crawley Jackson (a.j.jackson@sheffield.ac.uk) by May 15th 2017. Decisions will be announced in mid-May.

To reserve a place at the conference, please email Amanda Crawley Jackson (a.j.jackson@sheffield.ac.uk). Please note that there will be an attendance fee of £10, to include a light lunch and afternoon refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits).  Attendance fees will be donated to Bank Street Arts.

Should you wish to purchase one of the works exhibited by Bryan Eccleshall on June 16th-17th, please note that 50% of the sale price will be donated to Bank Street Arts. Furthermore, should Bryan sell his recent work, After Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, in the course of this selling show, he will be donating 100% of the sale price to Bank Street Arts.  A catalogue of the exhibition, including prices, will be made available before and during the exhibition.

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10bn Talks – A series of events at the University of Sheffield for L2 Achieve More

Running between February 13th – March 3rd 2017, the 10bn Talks accompany an online course open to all second-year students at the University of Sheffield. Many of these events are open to the wider University and the public.

As one of the two academic leads working on Level 2 Achieve More: 10bn, I’m looking forward to hearing colleagues including Wyn Morgan, Tony Ryan, Megan Blake, Casey Strine, Tom Webb, Alastair Buckley, Cristina Cerulli, Jackie Labbe, Marco Viceconti, Annamaria Carusi, Paul White and many others talk about issues relating to a predicted global population of 10bn.

L2 students from all disciplines, faculties and departments at the University of Sheffield can sign up for L2 Achieve More here.

A population of 10bn? A series of events at the University of Sheffield, February 13th – March 3rd 2017

According to UN data, by 2055 the global population will have reached 10bn.

Level 2 Achieve More at the University of Sheffield is organising a series of events to accompany an online course aimed at second-year undergraduate students. Some of these  events are also open to the public.

To see what’s on, follow this link.

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Making Common Ground at Furnace Park: place, purpose and familiarisation

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I’ve been increasingly exploring the stabilities of place. In recent years writers on place have tended to emphasise place’s flux: the way in which it is a momentary, fragile assemblage of the varied intentions, actions and desires of those who happen to be present in (or otherwise having influence over) any seemingly coherent action-space. I get this kick against formalism, but I think that it tends to present place as too fluid. My recent projects have been examining various ways by which places become stabilised (and replicated). My recent article (details here) on the role of law in shaping the form and proliferation of the ‘classic’ cotton mill published in Geoforum earlier this year is an early outing on this. And now – after three years of gestation, my article co-written with Amanda Crawley Jackson of the University of Sheffield has been published in Social and Cultural Geography

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Edinburgh (March 2016)

We walked along the river and I don’t remember any of our conversations, just that it was good to walk. My memories of this trip – starbursts: the café where we ate éclairs; the weak morning sun coming through the thin yellow curtains in our rented house in Pilrig; Ocean Terminal – empty, bluntly lit, shops closed; figuring out how the buses worked and travelling over and over between Princes Street and Leith.

I had not remembered that the trees were leafless, their branches thickly crosshatched across a pale grey sky.

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