Next LTS: Postgraduate Panel – Bruno Roubicek and Nik Wakefield, 4 February 2016

Our next London Theatre Seminar is a postgraduate panel featuring Bruno Roubicek (Birkbeck, University of London) and Nik Wakefield (Royal Holloway, University of London). It takes place on 4 February 2016 at 6:30 PM, in the University of London Senate House.

We hope to see you there!

Broderick, Louise, & Bryce



Mladen Stilinovic, photo from Artist at Work (1978)

Bruno Roubicek, Birkbeck, University of London: ‘Digging Through the Taskscape, a Poetics of the Neganthropocene’

This paper, drawn from my current research, argues that humans as a whole do not have an innate desire to dig up and consume oil, coal and gas. I do argue that humans have a desire to perform the task of digging earth and a desire to play out economies and ecologies that resist or challenge the economies that have led us to an ecological crisis. I examine Agnes Denes’s ‘Wheatfield – a confrontation’ in Manhattan in 1982 and ‘Wheatfield by Agnes Denes’ in Milan in 2015 to argue that the meanings and resonances generated by the performance of digging are more dependent on the political and economic contexts pertaining to the site of the performance and its duration than they are on who does the digging, who sees it, and how the earth is dug.

Nik Wakefield, Royal Holloway, University of London: ‘Sleep, Laziness and Making’

A connection between sleep, laziness and making can be established through an approach to both art and life that resists demonstrations of socially normative behaviour; and instead humdrums along in the minutia of the everyday where both art and life are causes without effects. In this paper sleep is the actual dozing of in his artist book Artist at Work (1978), a series of small photographs of the artist in bed, some with eyes closed, some eyes open and some with his back to the camera. Sleep is also here a state of life that problematizes empiricist certainty and therefore encourages a kind of creative criticality that not only attempts to imagine the qualities of the unknown but also affords attention to low-profile relations between areas that at first seem unrelated. That critical gesture is related to a lazy methodology. By refusing to join in with spectacular expulsions of energy, lazy thinking slowly and unnoticeably roams across borders. This is Stilinović’s only way to make art, as he writes in his 1993 text In Praise of Laziness, and it is also a gesture of resistance to that performance of being busy that is endemic to contemporary capitalism.