Steven Cottingham
Neo-necropolis (Superstudio x Rossi) (detail), 2018
Inkjet on newsprint. Courtesy of the Artist.

Saturday July 28, 2:00 pm

Join Artist-in-Residence Steven Cottingham and Programs Coordinator Laurie White for a reading and discussion.

In Zeros and Ones, feminist scholar Sadie Plant considers how the digital binary has extended across Western cosmology to characterise the world as a relation between activity and passivity. In this way, ‘male and female’ can be read not only as ‘one and zero’, but also as ‘figure and ground’. An alternative model can be found in Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s concept of smooth and striated space, where what matters most are the movements between states, rather than the states themselves.

In this public program, we will elaborate on figure/ground relationships in order to discuss and critically reflect on the works in the exhibition. Combining Plant’s observations with Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas allows the possibility of upending conventional modes of interpreting images, wherein the figure plays an active role posed against the passive surface, to consider ground as an actor in its own right.

Readings:

Plant, Sadie, Zeroes and Ones: Digital Women and the New Technoculture, (London: Fourth Estate, 1997): “Binaries” 32-25, “Holes” 55-57.

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus trans. Brian Massumi, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987): “The Aesthetic Model” 492-500.

Please email Laurie White for advance copies of the readings. Hard copies will be available on the day. We will read passages aloud at the session but familiarity of the readings in advance is preferable.

Steven Cottingham is an artist and curator based in Vancouver. His recent work investigates the spectral qualities of material culture and labour. He is the founder of the Calgary Biennial, an extra-institutional exhibition of contemporary art in public spaces. The most recent program, titled Atlas Sighed, endeavoured to appropriate commercial sites of the urban landscape, such as bill boards and bus shelters, in order to challenge conservative paradigms of image production. Cottingham holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia. His work has been included in exhibitions across the US and Canada, as well as several locations in Europe and Cuba. Laurie White is a curator and writer based in Vancouver whose research aims to locate ecological methodologies in artistic practice, theory and curation. A graduate student in Critical and Curatorial Studies and UBC, White has worked with the fifty fifty arts collective, Victoria, The Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, and documenta 14, Kassel. She recently curated We Built a House Out of The Things We Had Gathered at Or Gallery, Vancouver, which considered assemblage as a mode of ecological participation in the work of artists from Canada and Norway.

Laurie White is a curator and writer based in Vancouver whose research aims to locate ecological methodologies in artistic practice, theory and curation. A graduate student in Critical and Curatorial Studies and UBC, White has worked with the fifty fifty arts collective, Victoria, The Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, and documenta 14, Kassel. She recently curated We Built a House Out of The Things We Had Gathered at Or Gallery, Vancouver, which considered assemblage as a mode of ecological participation in the work of artists from Canada and Norway