Author Archive | Haidy Geismar

Media in Transition

A major international conference focused on the intersection of media art and technological change over time. How is this shifting the way museums operate and how conservation works?  

Tate Modern
Julia Scher Interviewed at SFMOMA as part of the Artist Initiative. Courtesy of SFMOMA.

Julia Scher Interviewed at SFMOMA as part of the Artist Initiative. Courtesy of SFMOMA.

18, 19 & 20 November 2015
Adult £180
Concession £120

Three artists, Susan Hiller, Runa Islam, and Hito Steyerl will launch Media in Transition with their keynote presentations. The conference will promote interdisciplinary in-depth discussions and lively debate about specific works of art including those by Joseph Beuys, David Lamelas, Gustav Metzger, Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, and Julia Scher
Hosted by the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Research Institute and Tate, this landmark event brings together the major institutions and thinkers at the forefront of responding to the needs of an important group of contemporary artworks.
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The Story of Seething & being a little bit Stupid

David Jeevendrampillai, UCL Anthropology

Image 1: The Story of Seething Exhibition. Jan - May 2015. UCL Anthropology (Photo Credit: Timothy Carroll).

Image 1: The Story of Seething Exhibition. Jan – May 2015. UCL Anthropology (Photo Credit: Timothy Carroll).

UCL promotes itself as a leading global university and frequently ranks amongst the top institutions in the world; it also houses the UK’s largest Anthropology department. The department has an international reputation as a leader in Anthropological research with a particular history and strength in material culture studies. Upon entering the department’s central London campus one is greeted by a reception replete with well-lit display cases which house exhibitions of current UCL research and items from the extensive and rich Ethnographic Collection.

In the final months of writing my PhD I was invited to organise an exhibition using the three main cabinets in the foyer of the department.…

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Unleashing the Chaîne Opératoire: Students’ experimentation with an old methodology.

Ludovic Coupaye, UCL Anthropology

Over the last five years, undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in the course emphatically called “Transforming and Creating Worlds: Anthropological Perspectives on Techniques and Technology” have been given as a short assignment the recording of a short task of their choice and present it in the form of a Chaîne Opératoire.

Originally developed by French anthropologist André Leroi-Gourhan, in the tradition of Marcel Mauss, and further developed by ethnographers such as Pierre Lemonnier, the Chaîne Opératoire is, ironically enough, more used by archaeologists (who, by definition, cannot see people doing things) than by anthropologists, who, per definition see people doing and making things and are supposed to participate themselves. In this assignment, students have re-appropriated this methodology as form of ethnographic and interpretative experiment.…

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Call for papers: The art market in a global perspective

Via Olav Velthuis, University of Amsterdam

28-30 January 2016, University of Amsterdam, Department of Sociology

The aim of this multidisciplinary international conference is to bring together theoretical perspectives (ranging from sociology, anthropology, art history, economics and geography) that help advance our understanding of how art markets function, while offering high-level qualitative and quantitative empirical contributions to their local and global articulations. We particularly welcome contributions on emerging art markets in countries such as China, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, India or Brazil.

The conference seeks to delve into the shifting relationship between established and emerging art markets through a series of paper presentation and keynote sessions, as well as panel discussions with expert practitioners from the field (gallerists, artists, collectors, museum directors), drawing on experiences from a variety of geographical contexts.…

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Occasional Paper 5: Mr Coperthwaite – a life in the Maine Woods

Anna Grimshaw, Emory University

Bill with magnifying glass

In 1960, Bill Coperthwaite bought 300 acres of wilderness in Machiasport, Maine.

Influenced by the poetry of Emily Dickinson and by the back to the land movement of Scott and Helen Nearing, Bill Coperthwaite was committed to what he called“a handmade life.”   For over fifty years until his death in 2013, he lived and worked in the forest. He was a builder of yurts, and a maker of spoons, bowls and chairs.

I met Bill Coperthwaite not long after I bought a house in Machiasport.   He was, of course, well-known to local people, many of whom affectionately recalled childhood adventures of exploring and working in the woods with Bill.   But he was also something of an international figure, drawing visitors to Dickinson’s Reach from different parts of the world.…

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From Home Movies to Homs

The amateur film is becoming a global visual lingua franca, a consequence of the conjuncture of the digital with new and widely accessible film technologies (notably the camera phone) and new methods of distribution (open access video platforms, typified by YouTube). Amateur film now saturates online media discourse as well as personal and social media communication. Its ubiquity is one visible example of the current radical shift in media systems, whilst the films themselves are both reshaping the formal language of the moving image and refashioning the representation, mediation, and even the construction of the self. In these three workshops we propose to examine the history and present state of amateur film, beginning with amateur films shot in the British colonies, and stretching through to the use of amateur film in the ongoing conflict in Syria.
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Popular Art and Portuguese Identity. Anatomy of an Exhibition

An event with Professor Anthony Shelton

Thursday 21 May 2015, 6pm, Room G01, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Between the 1920s-1950s, rural popular art became an important part of the government-sponsored re-creation of Portuguese national identity and history. Books and articles were written about popular art, films were produced on it and domestic and international exhibitions displayed it, creating a particularly Portuguese ‘taste’ that hid the dire conditions of poverty, suffering, and illiteracy that characterized many of its rural provinces. Sixty-five years later, UBC MOA (Museum of Anthropology) will open a major exhibition on Portuguese popular art. This talk will discuss the complex mixture of ideologies and philosophies, which underlie the representation of popular art and national identity during the dictatorship (Estado Novo), its re-accommodation after the establishment of democracy in 1974, and the challenges of curating an exhibition that deals with historical imaginations.…

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Guggenheim Wikipedia Edit-a-thon


This month, the Guggenheim Museum is proud to donate 100 images of artworks to Wikipedia, including selections from the museum’s collection by Edgar Degas, Paul Klee, and Vincent van Gogh. Join us at the Guggenheim to add information about these artworks and artists to Wikipedia, the world’s largest free source of knowledge.

The event is an opportunity to explore the history of the Guggenheim’s collection, the impact of these works within the artistic movements of their time, and their legacy and influence on future artists. Using these 100 images as a starting point, we invite you to help enhance the scholarship and understanding of key artists and works in the museum’s collection.

The program will begin with an overview of the Guggenheim’s founding collection and its development by Natalia Lauricella, Curatorial Assistant, Collections and Exhibitions, followed by a presentation by Wikimedia NYC president Richard Knipel about the impact of donating images of artworks to Wikipedia.…

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Landmarks: a review

Christopher Tilley, Department of Anthropology, University College London (


Robert Macfarlane Landmarks (2015) London: Hamish Hamilton, 387pp. £20.00 rrp

This is the fifth book by Macfarlane about British landscapes. The ‘landmarks’ of the title are not what one might expect: they are words. The book is about the power of words in place making. This reminds us that landscapes may be material topographic realities but they are simultaneously constituted in the mind. Traditionally, in academic debates, landscapes have been regarded as either reductively shaping the manner in which people think or blank slates on which people inscribe the way in which they think in more or less any way they like. In this respect their material topographies become mere backdrops to an understanding of the manner in which they are understood.…

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Social Museum Seoul: Review

Jane Yoonjeong Rhee, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL


“The Social Museum is a democratic space of civil society that envisions a neutral zone of values. We begin a chapter jointly to sympathise with our shared time, space, values, heritage, and the sense of indebtedness to the society.” (Translated from the Exhibition Text)

Social Museum is an annual conference that takes the museum as its conceptual parameters to capture and re-evaluate the urgencies in our society. The project is funded by Seoul City Hall and is part of the research program for the governmental plan of building Seoul Innovation Park in the centre of Seoul. In partnership with Seoul City Hall (Seoul Metropolitan Government), the development of the overall idea and the materialization of the event were led by the art director of Takeout Drawing & Museum, an alternative cafe-museum space located in Seoul.…

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