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17/03/2009

Stewart Home on avant-garde and network platforms

The artist and writer Stewart Home has been invited to visit Cornwall in May, by University College Falmouth's iRes Research in Network Art and the University of Exeter's English department. As part of his visit he will give a lecture ‘On the avant-garde’ and a hands on workshop ‘Network platforms and collaboration’ to students of UCF.

Programme of events with Stewart Home

4pm Tuesday, 12 May, 2008
Lecture: On the avant-garde
The Old Chapel (Lecture C)
Tremough House
Tremough Campus

Taking up from some of the network 1990s humorous anti-capitalist groups covered in Mind Invaders, would it make sense today to form a Falmouth Psychogeographical Society, or revive the Kernow branch of the Association of Autonomous Astronauts? Has the currently active and London based International Necronautical Society taken the work of these earlier groups forwards, or has it reversed into antiquated literary and philosophical positions? So by looking at these groups and their relationship to the historic avant-garde, I’d like to move forward to seeing what a new group based in Cornwall might look like, and to start creating it.

10am – 4pm Wednesday, 13 May 2008
Workshop: Network platforms and collaboration
Library A, Woodlane Campus

A workshop designed to take forward the ways in which I’ve been working collaboratively on the web. It will draw on the joint “Tree Sex Girl Network” developed in 2007 with Paolo Cirio and Tatiana Bazzichelli, which was hosted via MySpace profiles and YouTube videos and was an entirely fake network of “bot girls” who claimed they liked making love to trees and listening to breakbeat. As part of the workshop we will produce blueprints (using video, photography and texts) for some new fake social networking profiles and critically reconsider the project’s characteristics.

There is a limited number of places (10) for the workshop. As it is anticipated that the workshop will be very popular, please book your place by sending an email by Wednesday 22 April to magda[at]falmouth[dot]ac[dot]uk. You will be notified if you have a place by Thursday 30 April.
We will provide few computers and video cameras, but participants are asked to bring their own if possible, as there will not be enough for everyone.

Stewart Home is an artist and one of the most innovative and unorthodox novelists writing in English. His ever-growing body of work has sought to rework genre-fiction of the 1960s and 70s through a deconstructive dialogue with erotica and critical theory. The result, in novels such as 69 Things to do With a Dead Princess, is a bewildering and dynamic interrogation of the novel form, and of cultural economy more generally. As Jenny Turner in the London Review of Books put it: ‘I really don’t think anyone interested in the study of literature has any business not knowing the work of Stewart Home’. Yet that is hardly to suggest that Home’s work fits into the ponderously academic, at all points engaging and evading the critical paradigms that we may try to throw at him.

More broadly Home is an (anti)art historian, chronicler of the forgotten avant-garde and activist. He was responsible for such episodes as the ‘necrocard’, the art strike of 1990-3, as well as the auteur of several short films. His most recent publications include: Memphis Underground (Snowbooks, London 2007), Tainted Love (Virgin Books, London 2005), Down & Out In Shoreditch & Hoxton (Do-Not Press, London 2004), 69 Things To Do With A Dead Princess (Canongate, Edinburgh 2002), Whips & Furs: My life as a bon vivant, gambler & love rat ‘by’ Jesus H. Christ (Attack Books, London 2000), Confusion Incorporated: A collection of lies, hoaxes & hidden truths (Codex, Hove 1999), The House of Nine Squares: letters on neoism, psychogeography and epistemological trepidation (Invisible books, London 1997).
Cranked Up Really High: Genre theory & punk rock (Codex, Hove 1995. New edition 1997).


iRes Research in Network Art at University College Falmouth is a dynamic research environment focusing on the ethical production and dissemination of cultural forms within network societies. Bringing together practitioners, theorists and communities of interest working across a broad spectrum of art, performance, design and media, iRes encourages the pollination of experimental ideas across disciplines.

University College Falmouth is the only independent Higher Education institution in Cornwall with the powers to award degrees in its own name. It has two campuses in Cornwall - at Woodlane in Falmouth and Tremough in Penryn (which it owns, and jointly manages with the University of Exeter) - and a third campus at Totnes in Devon, following its merger with Dartington College of Arts in 2008.

This merger created a new institution focusing on the expansion of Falmouth's expertise in Art, Design and Media and Dartington's expertise in Performance, paving the way for a new specialist Arts University in Cornwall by 2012 that will be unique to the South West.
For further information, visit www.falmouth.ac.uk

The University of Exeter's English department on the Cornwall campus is a leading centre of scholarly activity for the study of literature and cultures of identity, space and place. It is also the home of the Exeter Centre for Literatures of Environment and Sustainability (ECLIPSE). This lecture has been generously supported by the Exeter Annual Fund.

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