Category Archives: Writing

Aphid Hour: a podcast companion to an essay on Donna Haraway

This is a companion piece to  an essay that I wrote for the Sydney Review of Books on Donna Haraway’s latest book and some of her recent talks and lectures.  I put together an edit of a number of podcasts that discuss various aspects of aphids and their ecologies. The idea is to get some sense of the complexity of ecological forces that are operating on the aphid and that shape its evolution in various ways. Continue reading Aphid Hour: a podcast companion to an essay on Donna Haraway

Postulates of Brain Sculpting

Contemporary neuroscience has provided us with insights into the functioning of the brain that have the potential to inform new modes of creative practice. In this article I discuss how recent developments in the areas of brain plasticity and the occupational specialization of brain processes can open a field of investigation that will involve the deliberate ‘sculpting’ of the neural medium. The art-historical context for this article is performance and performative video work in which the body is conceived of as the artist’s medium.  I draw on the scientific literature in order to outline a postulates of brain sculpting which allows us to see the brain as a medium that can be sculpted through specific forms of creative practice. Continue reading Postulates of Brain Sculpting

The Curse of Formalism

As a teacher I’ve sometimes seen students who are making interesting and chaotic work have the life sucked out of it by a curator or lecturer who asks them to reduce it to some kind of minimalist/formalist essence. On one level this article is a defense of the brilliantly chaotic, a mode that can take many forms and rarely gets the kind of in depth thought and critical attention it deserves. Continue reading The Curse of Formalism