Monthly Archives: February 2016

Ireland in March and other concerns.

I will be travelling to Ireland in March to take place in the event below.

“Proposition: an Art of Ethics is a two day symposium which will take place at the Burren College of Art on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March 2016. The event is supported by Clare County Council, NUI Galway and the Burren College of Art and is co-organised by Michaële Cutaya, Katherine Waugh and Conor McGrady (Dean of Academic Affairs Burren College of Art).

Participants include: Iain Biggs, David Burrows, Vivienne Dick, Maria Kerin, Glenn Loughran, Seamus McGuinness, Aislinn O’Donnell, Ciaran Smyth, Susan Stenger, Judith Stewart, Suzanne Walsh.

“Spinoza’s ethics has nothing to do with a morality; he conceives it as an ethology, that is, as a composition of fast and slow speeds, of capacities for affecting and being affected on this plane of immanence. That is why Spinoza calls out to us in the way he does: you do not know beforehand what good or bad you are capable of; you do not know beforehand what a body or a mind can do, in a given encounter, a given arrangement, a given combination.”
Gilles Deleuze Spinoza:Practical Philosophy

This symposium gathers together artists, theorists and curators for two days of research and experimentation. All contributors have been invited to engage through their practice with ideas relating to a conception of ethics which differs substantially from dominant notions of morality. The starting point of the symposium – its founding ‘proposition’ – is philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s reading of Spinoza, given Spinoza’s extensive influence on recent artistic practice and thought around the ‘ethical’ in art. For Deleuze, Spinoza’s ethics was a “a long affair of experimentation” which re-conceptualised the relationship between life, thought and practice, and this symposium will attempt to foster such an ethos of experimentation in its content and structure – proposing ethics as a methodology in contrast to the rigid principles of morality. The many nuanced and singular methodologies required in artistic practice will be addressed in a variety of presentational formats by the invited participants: from art and music, film and writing to conversation itself. A continuous dynamic of responsiveness and discussion will be facilitated between both participants and attendees. Spontaneous forays into the surrounding countryside will also be considered.

In ‘Towards an Aesthetics of Ethics’ (Whitechapel/MIT Documents of Contemporary Art, Ethics, 2015) , Walead Beshty’s notes:
“While moral criteria are always external to the circumstances to which they are applied, the ethical is immanent to the site of its deployment […]A turn to ethics is a turn to the affirmative question of art, not art as negation, allegory or critique, but the description of an art that operates directly upon the world it is situated in; it is a definition of art that is not at all premised on representation.”

Nietzsche asked “What is the mode of existence of the person who utters a given proposition?” and this symposium will take what is often seen as the “minor” tradition of ethical thought, an ethics of immanent practice, as its foundational proposition, allowing in turn a multiplicity of other propositions to take shape and develop over two days.

The symposium is free to all and food and refreshments will be served.
For further details on participants and updated information please see:

I’ve not added to this blog recently because I’ve been preparing for this event, reading material for doctoral candidates, and working on two book chapters due in the late Spring. I hope to post more regularly again when I’m more on top of these commitments.