Editorial: Excess

Matthias Kispert

Nuclear Hallucinations: Fathima Nizaruddin in conversation with Iram Ghufran

Fathima Nizaruddin

Nuclear Hallucinations was screened in October 2019 as part of the AV PhD seminar events convened jointly by the University of Westminster and Goldsmiths. The documentary emerged from Nizaruddin’s PhD project at the University of Westminster and is centred around the anti-nuclear struggle against an ‘atomic power’ project in India. The film examines how comic modes and irony could be employed to undermine authoritarian knowledge claims within documentary cinema.

Welcome to the dry state: Dealing with alcohol prohibition in Nagaland

Joel Rodrigues

Nagaland is a province in India in which alcohol manufacture, import and consumption is prohibited. The Christian missionaries fervently sought to dissuade the Naga tribes from the consumption of the traditional brews. Together the Naga Mothers’ Association and the Naga Baptist Church Council actively pursued alcohol prohibition in Nagaland, which resulted in the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1989. However, alcohol is readily available throughout the state today if one knows where to find it. This article examines the relational modalities stemming from the law and its percolation into everyday life in order to understand the modern state in Nagaland through the agency and culture behind the enactment, promulgation and implementation of the law in the everyday. Through this article, I make the case for the study of provincial laws to gain insight into the ways in which the modern state is being reimagined in the postcolonial era under militarisation and within several restrictions imposed by the hegemonic state.

The body and the dataset

Pablo Antolí

This review of Trevor Paglen’s installation From ‘Apple’ to ‘Anomaly’ (2019) at Barbican Centre’s Curve Gallery borrows its title from Allan Sekula’s essay The Body and the Archive and it is framed by the biopolitics of photographic archives. Paglen’s work shows the political bias of image labelling and the dangers of invisible image processing.

Subject, memory and place: Jill Daniels in conversation with Matthias Kispert

Jill Daniels

Jill Daniels' essay films Not Reconciled and Breathing Still were recently screened at a Hyphen Conversations event at the University of Westminster. Not Reconciled, located in Belchite in northern Spain, explores the trauma of the Spanish Civil War. The project emerged from her PhD research at the University of East London. In Breathing Still, Daniels’ voiced flaneuse addresses the memory of Rosa Luxemburg as she roams Berlin’s streets and the city’s memorials while contemplating the rise of nationalisms past and present.

‘Miss, what should we do with this now?’ – Collaborative arts practice in the sixth form classroom

Terri Newman

Practice-based research is rooted in knowledge-making rather than knowledge-finding. We as artist researchers investigate the world through both actions within and action upon that world. In my own research, I investigate the pedagogy of collaboration through the process of art-making with others. Over the past five years, I have been developing inter-institutional research projects with young art and design students. During that time, we have been working with material, space and process. Through the collaborative development of artworks, we move from a space of not knowing to one of new knowledge. During this process, I have attempted to map the cartographies of these collaborations in order to unpack the value of this practice in secondary education. Problematically, the creation of artworks with others has led to the accumulation of often incomplete artworks that have fulfilled their pedagogical function. As a historical record of meaning-making, they may have value, but as objects of value to co-collaborators, they are outdated even as they come into existence. In this paper, I draw upon collaborative philosophies to explore the value of these neglected items and raise issues about their usefulness as pedagogical tools if the assessment of work at A Level is based solely on the assessment of students work created individually.

An excess of thought, or the thinking materials of research

Anthony Powis

Researching an elusive material like groundwater means working through intermediaries, patchy data, partial perspectives, and material traces. Each of these leaves its own residue on the product of research, and different modes of access offer different outcomes. In this essay, I consider these residues as moments of excess which sit outside the correlational bond between object and concept. I then apply the methodological concept of “research-assemblage” (Fox and Alldred 2015) to consider how particular episodes from my PhD fieldwork in Chennai belong neither to researcher nor subject but constitute other forms of thinking that affect research.

Artaud’s media of corporeal decomposition

Piotr Bockowski

Artaud’s performative methods investigate the corporeal origins of thoughts just before the first abstract concepts are probed by fragmented language expression. In his paradoxical struggle with his own cognition, Artaud uses language against language in order to describe many conflicted intensities within his body. These intensities were mobilised to fight each other long ago, preceding Artaud’s birth and without ever giving him a chance to establish his own identity. Artaud destroys words with his embodied poetry in a desperate gesture to give an account of awkward physiological processes that aborted the primal meanings. Spirits, minds and intellects are exposed as monstrous bastard children of some metaphysical defecation of unhuman bodily entities. The human body is an unintelligible chimerical multiplicity, identified by nothing short of unconditional cruelty against itself.

GLUT IS GOOD

Dellores Laing