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Friday, 10 October, 2:00 - 6:00

The Otolith Group, still from Otolith, 2003

ZONES OF CONFLICT have proliferated globally, designating an historically unprecedented condition of war without geographical and temporal limit, one confronting a 'terrorism' similarly without spatio-temporal boundaries. Artistic responses have included the documentation of military action, the memorialization of loss, activism against war, and conceptual analyses and contestations of military and media representations. But conflict has also sundered artistic representation, pressing the need for the reinvention of documentary strategies and the acknowledgment that conventional forms of realism are no longer adequate. Following seven years of the so-called 'war on terror,' we are now in a position to consider in what ways contemporary art has confronted social and political upheaval and “infinite war.”

Admission: Free, but booking is essential at
020 7749 1240 or email

Please join us for a free pre-workshop screening of select videos by participating artists on Tuesday, 7 October, 2008, 4:15-5:45. Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square. (Seats on a first-come basis)

An audio-visual recording of this event is available in Iniva's Stuart Hall Library.

Select texts related to presentations are available below.


    The Otolith Group was formed in 2002 in London and creates art works, curates exhibitions, programmes events and designs platforms for discussion of contemporary artistic practice. The group’s members are: curator, writer and artist Anjalika Sagar, who founded Multitudes, the independent news network established, in 2000, and moderates the Undercurrents list-serve; and Kodwo Eshun, a writer, artist and curator who is Course Leader of the MA in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and the author of More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (Quartet, 1998).

    Lamia Joreige is a video artist and painter who lives and works in Beirut. She uses archival documents and fictitious elements to reflect on the relation between individual stories and collective history, with a particular focus on the Lebanese wars and their aftermath. The author of two publications, Time and the Other (Alarm Editions, Beirut, 2004), and Ici et peut-être ailleurs (H.K.W., Berlin, 2003), she has presented her work in many exhibitions, such as Archive Fever (International Center of photography, New York, 2008), the 52nd Venice Biennal (Lebanese Pavilion, 2007), the 2nd Seville Biennale (2006), and Out of Beirut (Modern Art Oxford, 2005).    

• Lamia Joreige, "What we are left with," 2009. 

MP3 recording of Joreige's presentation

AMNA MALIK, The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL (London)

    Amna Malik is a lecturer in Art History and Theory at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London. She has published articles on a range of contemporary artists and art practices engaging with diaspora, cultural politics and psychoanalysis and is currently preparing a book-length study of “Black” British Art. Recent publications include “Conceptualising ‘Black’ British Art Through the Lens of Exile,” in Kobena Mercer (ed) Exiles, Diasporas and Strangers (2008) and “Surface Tension: Reconsidering Horizontality in the work of Iranian Diaspora Women Artists,” in Jonathan Harris (ed), Identity Theft: Cultural Colonisation and Contemporary Art  (2008). Malik is also Associate Editor at Third Text and a regular contributor to Art Monthly and Bidoun.

MP3 recording of Malik's presentation

JULIAN STALLABRASS, Courtauld Institute (London) 
    Julian Stallabrass lectures in modern and contemporary art, including political aspects of the globalised contemporary art world, postwar British art, the history of photography and new media art. The author of several books, including High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s (1999, revised edition 2006), Internet Art: The Online Clash of Culture and Commerce (Tate Publications, 2003), his writings have appeared in publications such as Tate etc., Photoworks, Art Monthly, and the New Statesman, and serves on the editorial boards of Art History, New Left Review and Third Text. He is currently curating the 2008 Brighton Photo Biennial.

• Julian Stallabrass's essays, The Power and Impotence of Images (2008) and Rearranging Corpses, Curatorially (2008), were written for the Brighton Photo Biennial 2008: Memory of Fire: The War of Images and Images of War.

    Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker, author, and guest professor in experimental media at Universität der Künste, Berlin. Trained as a documentary filmmaker in Tokyo and Munich, and holding a PhD in philosophy, she is the author of Die Farbe der Wahrheit: Dokumentarismus im Kunstfeld (The Color of Truth: Documentary Practice in the Artistic Field, Vienna 2008). Recently she has participated in Documenta 12, the 7th Shanghai biennial, the 2nd Seville biennial, and Rotterdam film festival and Amsterdam documentary film festival.

MP3 recording of Steyerl's presentation

Discussion will be moderated by organizer, TJ DEMOS.

MP3 recording of roundtable disussion.

*Image: The Otolith Group, still from Otolith, 2003 (courtesy: the artists)