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  • Proceedings for the 9th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research is out now!

    The proceedings for the 9th Society for Artistic Research SAR International Conference on Artistic Research, at the University of Plymouth, April 11-13, 2018 is out now, containing my paper, 'Extispicy in the Everyday: An Exploration of Human-Environment Binaries Through the Gut'.

    The essay is a document of the workshop delivered at the in Plymouth which explored the conference theme, 'Regeneration: Artistic Research as a Process of Becoming' and particularly, as Donna Haraway (2016) would say, ‘a becoming with’. Drawing on the ancient practice of extispicy, divination using the entrails workshop participants enacted, experienced, and materially investigated theories of interconnectedness, which problematize thresholds between bodies, environment, and food to re-conceptualise these seemingly boundaried entities.

    The proceedings can be downloaded from the Research Catalogue, https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/512748/512749

    The editors are Geoff Cox, Hannah Drayson, Azadeh Fatehrad, Allister Gall, Laura Hopes, Anya Lewin, Andrew Prior.

    More information about the workshop and images can be found at this link:

    http://amandacouch.co.uk/#/extispicy-in-the-everyday-wks/4594279710

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  • TASTE (Law and the Senses) 2018 by Andrea Pavoni, Danilo Mandic, Caterina Nirta, (eds).

    I have a contribution in TASTE (Law and the Senses), 2018, edited by Andrea Pavoni, Danilo Mandic, and Caterina Nirta, published by the University of Westminster Press, London, which is out now. My piece is called, 'The Taste of Tongues', pp. 245-56.

    You can buy a paperback copy from all good booksellers, and also download free under the Creative Commons license, at https://www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/books/10.16997/book21/

    Taste usually occupies the bottom of the sensorial hierarchy, as the quintessentially hedonistic sense, too close to the animal, the elemental and the corporeal, and for this reason disciplined and moralised. At the same time, taste is indissolubly tied to knowledge. To taste is to discriminate, emit judgement, enter an unstable domain of synaesthetic normativity where the certainty of metaphysical categories begins to crumble. This second title in the ‘Law and the Senses’ series explores law using taste as a conceptual and ontological category able to unsettle legal certainties, and a promising tool whereby to investigate the materiality of law’s relation to the world. For what else is law’s reduction of the world into legal categories, if not law’s ingesting the world by tasting it, and emitting moral and legal judgements accordingly? Through various topics including coffee, wine, craft cider and Japanese knotweed, this volume explores the normativities that shape the way taste is felt and categorised, within and beyond subjective, phenomenological and human dimensions. The result is an original interdisciplinary volume – complete with seven speculative ‘recipes’ – dedicated to a rarely explored intersection, with contributions from artists, legal academics, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists.

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  • Wheat and Rush, Weave and Ritual: A Talk with Catherine Morland and Amanda Couch, at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading, Tuesday 16 October 2018, 12 - 1pm

    In this seminar at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading, on Tuesday 16 October, 12 - 1 pm, two artists discuss and enact their practice in relation to materiality, seasonality, craft and performance.

    Catherine Morland will talk about the journey her practice has taken since visiting the prehistoric landscapes and badlands of Turkana, Northern Kenya, and the pastoralist nomads who currently live there. Amanda Couch will explore and enact rituals which mark the autumn season, engaging vegetation deities, harvest amulets, and the history of the harvest festival, drawing on the MERL collection of straw work and corn dollies.

    Catherine Morland is an artist and children’s workshop leader. Drawn to prehistory, her practice explores reconnecting with materiality in ways common to the ancient and the contemporary.

    Amanda Couch is an artist and senior lecturer in Fine Art at UCA Farnham. She is interested in theories of interconnectedness and feminism.

    Together they are working on a project with three other artists which explores themes relevant to the MERL collection.

    The talk is free, but booking is recommended. to book and for more information go to, https://merl.reading.ac.uk/event/wheat-rush-weave-ritual/

    Part of the MERL Seminars: Land and Folk. Land and folk have often been portrayed romantically. They routinely play a part in stories of nationhood and identity.

    Our understandings of them are deeply rooted in the past yet still brought regularly to the fore in contemporary explorations of the countryside. This series of talks and discussions offers different perspectives on our complex relationships with people and place.

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  • Digesting Ritual: Food, Waste and the Body - A Multi-Disciplinary Seminar, Ritual and Banquet, Ivy Arts Centre, GSA, University of Surrey, Guildford, 6 July 2018

    I will be performing at the 'Digesting Ritual' event at the Ivy Arts Centre, GSA, University of Surrey, Guildford, convened by Dr. Adam Alston, Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies and Programme Leader, BA Theatre and Performance, on 6 July 2018, 13 - 18.30.

    The afternoon will host research papers and performance exploring relationships between the food we eat, the food we waste, and our bodies. The event broaches a range of topics including: food waste and motherhood in austerity Britain; excess, waste and enjoyment in molecular gastronomy; food, hospitality and hosting; and food, weather lore and climate change.

    The day concludes with my performance involving the procession, destruction and communal consumption of a gigantic pie cooked in a specially-prepared underground oven. I will aslo be showing other work, images and artefacts in the Ivy Centre which is part of the wider project of Extiscpicy in the Everyday.

    For more information and to book a ticket, go to http://gsauk.org/events/digesting-ritual

    13:00-13:30: Registration

    13:30-13:45: Introduction – Adam Alston (GSA, University of Surrey)

    13:45-15:00: Panel 1 – Excess, Waste and Spectacle

    - Paul Geary (University of Birmingham): “What a Waste! Essentialism, Excess and Enjoyment in High-End Cuisine”

    - Jodie Hawkes (University of Chichester): “Playing Kate (Her Royal Pie-ness): public performances of the family in austerity Britain”

    - Respondent: Patrick Duggan (GSA, University of Surrey)

    15:00 – 15:30: Break + Amanda Couch exhibition

    15:30 – 16:45: Panel 2 – Responsibility, Reciprocity and Ingestion

    - Steve Fossey (University of Lincoln): “Bites of Passage: Thresholds, Permeability and Hand-Fed Food for Thought”

    - Sarah Blissett (University of Roehampton): “Seaweed Weather Forecast”

    - Respondent: Rachel Hann (GSA, University of Surrey)

    17:00 – 18:30: Performance ritual & banquet by Amanda Couch

    Spaces are limited and booking is essential (employed £25; students/unemployed £10).

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  • ARTISTIC RESEARCH WILL EAT ITSELF - 9th SAR - International Conference on Artistic Research, University of Plymouth, 11-13 April 2018

    I will be presenting at this year's 9th SAR - International Conference on Artistic Research, 11-13 April 2018.

    'Artistic Research will Eat Itself' will be held at the University of Plymouth, where I will be running a workshop, 'Extispicy in the Everyday: An Exploration of Human-Environment Binaries through the Gut' to explore one of the conference themes, Regeneration: Artistic Research as a Process of Becoming.

    The provocation Artistic Research Will Eat Itself can be understood as a warning against the dangers of methodological introspection, or as a playful invitation to explore the possibilities of a field in a constant state of becoming. In this context, the ‘cannibalism’ of artistic research ‘eating itself’ embodies a dynamic tension between self-destruction and regeneration.

    For more information and to register for the conference can be found at http://sarconference2018.org

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  • Artists' Books Now: Here and Now - Event at The British Library, London. Monday 23 April 2018, 18:30 - 20:30

    I will be part of the event, Artists' Books Now: Here and Now is at The British Library to celebrate books created by artists.

    Books made by artists are made to stimulate thought, to inspire, and simply to give pleasure. This new series celebrates these qualities by thinking aloud with the books, their makers and their readers.

    Coinciding with World Book Night, this first event will explore the meanings and pleasures of artists' books, looking at the Here and Now of the world that they address.

    Participants include Eleanor Vonne Browne, artist and founder of bookshop and project space X Marks the Bökship, the visual artist and performer Lydia Julien, zine artist and librarian Holly Callaghan, the visual artist and graphic designer Danny Aldred, the artist and researcher Amanda Couch, the art librarian and researcher Gustavo Grandal Montero in conversation with the medieval manuscripts specialist Julian Harrison, and the artist and researcher John McDowall. More to be confirmed.

    Artists' Books Now is curated by the book artists and researchers Egidija Čiricaitė and Sophie Loss and the librarians Jerry Jenkins and Richard Price. Each event explores an aspect of the contemporary through a selection of books, presented in an accessible and enjoyable style by artists and commentators.

    Artists' Books Now: Here and Now is at The British Library, Monday 23 April 2018, 18:30 - 20:30 and is free. For more information and to book, visit https://www.bl.uk/events/artists-books-now

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  • On Innards | Publication with bookRoom at Small Publishers Fair, Friday 10 & Saturday 11 November 2017

    On Innards | Publication will be on the bookRoom press stand at this year's Small Publisher's Fair at Conway Hall, London, Friday 10 and Saturday 11 November 2017, 11am - 7pm.

    The Small Publishers’ Fair is an annual celebration of books by contemporary artists, poets, writers and book designers. It is held in Conway Hall in London’s Bloomsbury. Over 60 publishers from across the UK and around the world, readings and talks, special exhibition. Free and open to the public. For more information follow the links below:

    http://smallpublishersfair.co.uk

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  • 'Our Palaces of the Intestines' at Queering Ritual, York St John University, 4 November 2017

    'Our Palaces of the Intestines' will be my provocation for Queering Ritual at York St John University on Saturday 4 November 2017.

    Other provocations in the form or interforms of live performance, poetry, electronic writing, real-time media, film, participatory event, academic paper, experimental lecture, or other, will be by Nathan Walker, Cassandra Davis, Fulla Abdul-Jabbar, Sebastian H W, Lucy Cash, Crisis and Denial, Liesl King, Amble Skuse, Louie Jenkins, Virginia Kennard, Alexandros Papadopoulos, Jessica Worden.

    The provocations were proposed with the term Queering Ritual in mind either together as a phrase, or separately Queering/Ritual. The provocations will be shared by those interested in performance making and/or composition/intertextual/intermedia practices and from both makers and theorists.

    We identify with the term queering ritual in relation to a fluid heterogeneous attitude toward performance making and the practice and aesthetics of contemporary, multidisciplinary performance work. Queering ritual is also a lens in which to think through the composition of materials to create hybrid, subversive, augmented and indeterminate bodies, subjects, and territories.

    Queering Ritual on Friday 3 November 2017 will include performances by ATOM-r (Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality), Gary Winters and Claire Hind (Gary and Claire), and Saturday 4 November will include keynote by Roberta Mock (Professor, Performance Studies, University of Plymouth) followed by invited provocations on the theme. Chaired by Dr Kimberly Campanello.

    Tickets and further information:

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/queering-ritual-tickets-36514777683

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