Transmission: Lise Autogena and Jack Tan – Tuesday 28 January 2020
Keywords are words or concepts of significance. Sometimes they are used as shortcuts to interpretation or expectation. Words (and concepts) have multiple and often contradictory meanings. They are not fixed, and there may be a struggle over their definitions. They change and flow or are blocked and fought over. They are employed, weaponised, or otherwise. This year Transmission asks its guest speakers to select eight keywords, words that provide a compass for their practice.
Transmission is an annual series of lectures and symposia, now in its eighteenth year, and is a collaboration between Fine Art, the Art & Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, and Site Gallery. Convened by Sharon Kivland in 2001, Transmission was developed collaboratively with Lesley Sanderson from 2001 to 2007 and with Jasper Joseph-Lester from 2004 to 2012. The series is now convened by Sharon Kivland and Julie Westerman, in association with Site Gallery. The lecture series has an annual theme, and involves all students in Fine Art, from undergraduates to PhDs.
Transmission is the passing of information via a channel, and this is the intention of the Transmission project. We enquire about the aesthetic and discursive forms required by practices in the field of contemporary art and theory that address sociality and subjectivity. It has encompassed a lecture programme, seminar discussions, an annual symposium, a print portfolio, four series of books: Transmission Annual, The Rules of Engagement, Transmission chapbooks, and five volumes of discussions/interviews, entitled Transmission: Speaking and Listening. These are published by Artwords Press, London.
PERFORMATIVE, DIFFRACTION, TRAGICOMIC, CLAY, ROMANTIC, LAW, ACTIVISM, PLEASURABLE
Jack Tan uses law, social norms, and customs as a way of making art. He makes performances, performatives, sculpture, video, and participatory projects that highlight the rules that guide human behaviour. He trained as a lawyer and worked in civil rights NGOs before becoming an artist. Recent projects include Four Legs Good (2018), a revival of the medieval animal trials for Compass Festival Leeds and V&A London, his Singapore Biennale presentation Voices From The Courts examining the vocality of the State Courts of Singapore (2016), Law’s Imagination (2016), a curatorial residency at Arebyte exploring legal aesthetics, a solo exhibition How to do things with rules (2015) at the ICA Singapore, and Closure (2012), a year-long residency and exhibition at the UK Department for Health looking at the liquidation of their social work quango. Tan was the 201/18 inaugural Art & Politics Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations, Goldsmiths College, London.
Site Gallery is Sheffield’s international contemporary art space, specialising in moving image, new media, and performance. Pioneering emerging art practices and ideas, Site works in partnership with local, regional, and international collaborators to nurture artistic talent and support the development of contemporary art. At the heart of what Site does is the connection of people to artists and to art, inspiring new thinking and debate through its public programmes and participatory activity. Through diverse programming, Site reveals the process of making art to invite its audience to engage, explore, and connect. In 2018 Site Gallery re-opened after a building programme which trebled the scale of its public area.