CEBE Upcoming Research Seminars

Wednesday 26th April, 1pm

With Dr Ricardo Sodre (Centre for Advanced Design Engineering)

A View on (Automotive) Engineering at BCU

This presentation brings up topics of current interest in Automotive Engineering, especially engines and alternative propulsion systems, energy recovery systems, the use of renewables, electric and hybrid vehicles. In the context of Engineering at BCU, some ways to develop these and other technologies in research and teaching activities at CEBE will also be discussed.

Wednesday 17th May, 1pm 

With Gavin Smart, Deputy Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

Housing supply and affordability: New ideas for future strategies

This presentation will consider the dimensions and consequences of the current supply and affordability challenges facing housing in the U.K., and in England in particular. Building on this attempt to describe and understand the nature of the problem the presentation will then explore possible policy changes and practical solutions that could help to more effectively address affordability and drive up housing supply.

 

For more information and to book your place at any of the seminars please contact Ian McDonald.

CFP: Centre for Chinese Visual Art (CCVA) 10th annual conference

ccva hd

Thursday 12 and Friday 13 October 2017

School of Art, Birmingham City University

Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BX, England

Call for papers: Chinese art outside the art space

The Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University aims to foster new understandings and perspectives of Chinese contemporary arts, design and visual culture through interdisciplinary practices and theoretical studies. During its first decade, CCVA has established a unique position in the UK to pioneer the research in the field. We are now convening this two-day Annual Conference to invite researchers, curators, art historians, critics and artists at all stages of their careers worldwide to contribute to the topic, marking the 10th anniversary of the Centre.

Historically, in China, ‘art outside the art space’ can be understood as both a cultural and a political proposition. From a cultural point of view, the notion of public ‘exhibition’ is entirely Western, whilst in the Chinese tradition of literati art for example, artworks were made, shared, and appreciated within the form of scholarly ‘elegant gathering’ (yaji), which was essentially a kind of private (rather than public) event within secluded (rather than institutional) spaces. From a political perspective, the ‘outside-ness’ immediately relates to the ‘unofficial’ status of contemporary Chinese art from its early development. For example, the first Star Group exhibition in September 1979 – generally acknowledged as the very first show that marked the beginning of contemporary art in China – was staged in a small public park just next to the China National Art Museum, outside the legitimated and official art space. Today, the situation of Chinese art taking place outside the museum and gallery spaces continues, but with a completely different momentum and agenda.

Art has been produced site-specifically for the spaces other than art institutions in China, including those of working venues, shown in a range of alternative spaces beyond galleries or museums, and has ‘happened’ in the public sphere and become political or social ‘events’, or artistic ‘incidents’, as a special form of ‘exhibition’. Creative curatorial and artistic strategies have been developed to respond to the constraints of art institutions, censorships and at the same time, to push the boundaries of art. Focusing on art made, displayed, performed or executed outside the conventional venues of art museums and galleries, this conference not only offers a unique perspective to understand Chinese art in the contemporary context, but also, more importantly, it aims to critically reflect upon the understandings between art and art exhibition, between artistic productions and audience perceptions, and between art and our daily life.

We invite papers from innovative and interdisciplinary perspectives to develop new understandings of Chinese contemporary art. The following series of relationships in the context of Chinese art and culture is seen indicative, but not limited to the discussions:

  • China’s art museums, galleries and alternative spaces
  • Curatorial strategies and artistic responses beyond institutional spaces
  • Exhibitions, events and incidents
  • Art production, dissemination, participation and reception
  • Performance and performativity
  • Art and everyday life
  • Contemporary art and censorship

Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words, a 100-word biography, contact information and any institutional affiliations, by 31 March 2017 to ccva@bcu.ac.uk, with a subject titled ‘10th Annual Conference’. Any general queries should also be directed to ccva@bcu.ac.uk. Conference presentations should last no more than 20 minutes. Successful proposals for conference contributions will be notified in early April 2017. Invited full papers should be completed by 28 February 2018, to be featured in Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Intellect) as a special issue in autumn 2018.

Conservatoire public research seminars

Here are this year’s public research seminars by Birmingham Conservatoire. All are welcome to attend.

TUESDAY 14 MARCH

3.30–5.00 p.m.

Arena Foyer, Conservatoire

Dr George Kennaway (University of Huddersfield)

Diseased, or Just Vulgar – What is it about Vibrato?

Of all the topics that recur in discussions of historical performance, vibrato remains the most controversial. Whether missing when presumed needed, or present when held to be historically uninformed, it provokes reactions that would never be aroused by, say, contrametric rubato, arpeggiated chords on the piano, or even portamento. In this seminar George Kennaway, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield and professional cellist, looks again at reactions to vibrato and advice on its use from the eighteenth century onwards, not primarily to establish the considerable historical evidence for its restrained use, but rather to explore the feelings surrounding it: vibrato is often criticized as a lack of taste, a disease (or depravity), or as a sign of lower social class. Such terms invite wider speculation about the delimitation of musical discourse. Examples will be drawn from instrumental playing and singing, and reference will be made to modern vibrato controversies as well as historical sources.

 

Health PhD student wins prestigious grant

Well done to Laura Maguire, a third year PhD researcher in the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences who has been awarded a prestigious grant from the British Sociological Association to hold a postgraduate research event next year. The bidding process was very competitive and the grant is a considerable achievement.

The event will be called ‘It’s a Family Affair: Researching with Families,’ which will reflect on the dynamics of researching with families and/or while with family of your own. Laura herself is a mum of 3.

More details about the event will be announced in the new year.

Contemporary Art Practices and Knowledge Production in the Middle East – 24 November

Research seminar: Contemporary Art Practices and Knowledge Production in the Middle East

24 November, 2016, 2pm-4pm at International Project Space, School of Art

Speakers:  Bashir Makhoul, Larissa Sansour and Shadi Habib Allah.

Convened and moderated by Jonathan Harris and Anthony Downey

In a globalised cultural economy, it would appear that art as a practice is increasingly called upon to do something, especially when it comes to making sense of history, conflict, revolution and upheaval. In a period broadly defined as one in which we are experiencing a global crisis, contemporary art is also viewed as a document for producing socio-political, if not historical, knowledge (be it of globalisation, revolution, armed conflict or injustice). These issues remain key to any formal critical analysis of contemporary cultural production within and about the Middle East, nowhere more so than when we consider how visual culture from the region has been historically legitimized through the media-friendly symbolism of conflict.

Throughout this research seminar, international artists, including Bashir Makhoul, Larissa Sansour and Shadi Habib Allah, will consider these issues in relation to their individual practices. Are artists, we will enquire, increasingly expected to produce work that refers to a socio-political landscape, creating, in turn, media-friendly ‘sound bites’ of information that are available for global consumption? Can art, moreover, produce forms of knowledge that disavow the superficiality of such ideas? And if so, what kind of knowledge?  This is not, of course, a region-specific issue, and there are international dimensions to these questions of cultural interpretation, critical agency and institutional legitimacy that will be further examined throughout this research seminar.

The event will be convened by Jonathan Harris and moderated by Anthony Downey, and will include film-screenings and individual presentations.

There will be an opportunity for a Q and A with the artists, following the presentations.

Artists Biographies  

Bashir Makhoul (b. 1963) was born in Makhoul in northeast Galilee, by then assimilated into Israel. He is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham City University and an artist of international repute. He has exhibited widely around the world and took part, with a show titled Otherwise Occupied, in the Venice Biennale in 2013. More recent shows have included Floating Free at the Palestinian Art Court (al Hoash in partnership with Birzeit University Museum) in 2015. He is also the author, with Gordon Hon, of The Origin of Palestinian Art (Liverpool University Press, 2013) and the editor of Palestinian Video Art: Constellations of the Moving Image (Palestinian Art Court — al Hoash, 2013)

Larissa Sansour (b. 1973) was born in East Jerusalem, Palestine, and now lives and works in London. Her work is interdisciplinary, utilising video, photography, sculpture and installation. Central to her practice is the tug and pull between fiction and reality. In her recent body of works, she uses science fiction to address social and political issues in the Middle East. Recent solo exhibitions include New Art Exchange in Nottingham, Mosaic Rooms in London, Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen, Turku Art Museum in Finland, Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Wolverhamptom Art Gallery and DEPO in Istanbul.

Shadi Habib Allah (b. 1977, Jerusalem, Palestine; lives and works New York) works with modes of navigation across circulation networks of people, technologies, objects, images and economy to examine ideas of use and value and the structures that hold them in place. Working across film, sculpture, drawing and installation, each project defines its own terms based on research and physical engagement. His work has been exhibited at the Palestine c/o Venice at the Venice Biennale (2009), Art Statements Art Basel 43 (2012), and the New Museum Triennial (2015), amongst other venues. His Films have screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Courtisane Festival Belgium and the 40th Norwegian Film Festival.

 

Convenors

Professor Jonathan Harris, PhD, studied art history at Sussex and Middlesex Universities in England (1980-86), and completed a doctorate on the visual arts in New York in the 1930s (published as his first book in 1995 by Cambridge University Press). He has published 20 books and over 200 journal and magazine essays on modern and contemporary art. Harris’s most recent book was The Utopian Globalists: Artists of Worldwide Revolution 1919-2009 (Wiley-Blackwell 2013). His forthcoming book is The Global Contemporary Art World: A Rough Guide (Wiley-Blackwell 2017). With Menene Gras and Bashir Makhoul he is the editor of Contemporary Art in Global Asia (IB Tauris, forthcoming 2017). His work has recently focused on global art worlds in India, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Palestine.

Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa within the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University. His research focuses on contemporary art practices and the politics of cultural production in the Middle East and across the Global South. Recent and upcoming publications include Don’t shrink me to the Size of a bullet: The Works of Hiwa K (Walther König Books, forthcoming, 2017); Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (Sternberg Press, 2016); Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2015); Art and Politics Now  (Thames and Hudson, 2014); and Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practice in North Africa and the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2014).

Conference stories: Art of Management and Organisation (AoMO)

By Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas

At the beginning of September 2016, I travelled with three other members of BCU staff: Dr Geof Hill, Tracey Cutler and Dr Martin Eley, to the IEDC-Bled School of Management in Slovenia, to attend the 8th Art of Management and Organisation conference. The conference describes itself as a vibrant global community of praxis – including both scholars and practitioners and the 2016 conference theme “Empowering the intangible” required delegates to seek out novel ways of exploring, feeling and expressing aspects of management, leadership and daily organisational life through the arts.  Dr Geof Hill (HELS) was co-convenor with Dr Cathryn Lloyd of one of seven conference streams (Making the Intangible Tangible, focusing on stories as a process of organisational and management enquiry.

This is my story of AoMO … (with contributions from Geof, Tracey and Martin).

Wednesday

A full day of travel, from Sheffield to Bled (via a three hour wait in Vienna) gives me plenty of time to anticipate what’s ahead.  I’m an educational/social geography researcher, a stranger to the academic disciplines of business and management.  I’m also a poet, but I have little experience of using arts-based methodologies in academic research.  So I’m intrigued by the prospect of being among those whose identities as artists are inextricably bound up in their academic enquiry.  I’m looking forward to a rare opportunity to talk to other practitioners of dérive, a ‘walking methodology’ that I adapted and used in my own doctoral research.

aomo-body-maps

Thursday

A day for acclimatising: – to late summer temperatures in the unexpectedly high twenties; to a conference venue with a view – IEDC looks out to the stunning Lake Bled and surrounding mountains; to the culture of AoMO – international, multi-disciplinary, creative.  AoMO 2016 is a conference, but not as I know it!  There is an AoMO artist in residence – Emmanuel Guy, a French Canadian management academic – and woodworker.  Emmanuel will create a chair from locally sourced wood (ash) during the conference.  Instead of conference packs, packets of coloured plasticine are placed on every chair and delegates encouraged to create something with it while listening to the opening keynotes.  On Thursday afternoon Geof and Tracey participate in a Dance and Leadership workshop– sadly no photos are available!  Geof is getting ready for running his conference stream tomorrow.  He tells me: ‘This is a big stream, it’s been a struggle to put it all together.  The thing about conferences is that people are usually there for themselves, not really caring about others, but if a stream is strong enough, you can win them over to “the conversation” and they’ll see the value of being part of something more communal.’

On Thursday evening, the 140 delegates are driven to Radovljica, a Slovenian town with a medieval core, six km from Bled.  Our seats are interspersed with the orchestra’s to experience Beethoven’s Violin Concerto Op 61 through virtuoso violinist Miha Pognačik’s technique of ‘performance disruption’.  A thunderstorm rumbles overhead and it briefly pours with rain.  We emerge, hungry,  into the town square two hours later!

Friday

The Story stream starts promptly at 9am – Geof proves to be a demon timekeeper!   I present mid-morning, on Organisational Cartographies, based on my doctoral research.  The air of creativity and experimentation with method must be starting to rub off on me – I experiment with moving around the room as I tell my research story and I’m more aware of the visual and tactile nature of my research materials.  I’m pleased with how it goes and the questions afterwards.  Later sessions in the stream tackle body maps, different kinds of narratives, blues and jazz …!  It’s a full day – I catch a brief glimpse of the lake through the trees during a coffee break!  It’s refreshing that participants in all the sessions I attend are fully engaged.  No one has a laptop or phone on their desk, no one is tweeting, Googling or checking their mail, which tends to happen at most of the conferences I attend.

My own adventure with practice continues in the evening when I drag myself away from a pleasant supper with my BCU colleagues to brave the AoMO 2016 Poetry Slam where I perform a couple of my poems.  It’s an initially terrifying but ultimately rewarding experience won by an astonishing performance poet from the US.  Somehow I come a distant second and am delighted (even more so when I learn I’ve won a T-shirt!).

aomo-me

Saturday

Tracey and Martin’s turn to present today.  Tracey presents her early doctoral research on stories within CPD using the PechaKucha method – the art of concise presentation.  She shows twenty images, each for twenty seconds, talking along to the images as they advance automatically.  ‘It was a brain rush!  I’d use it again as a presentation method, but I’d do it differently,’ she says afterwards, pleased with how her work was received.  ‘People are really into the stream, willing to share experiences and ideas.’  Martin’s conducts live research on whether and how stories catalyse changes in management practice.  Afterwards he is delighted.  ‘Brilliant!  People wanted to get involved.’  I ask him how he’s finding the conference.  ‘It’s different!  I’m from a traditional management background, a scientific approach to management.  To have that intermixed with the art of management is … really dynamic.’  His favourite moment of the conference so far has been the blues and jazz session.  ‘It is meaningful in an organisational context, it made me think again, it jolted my mindset.’

By the end of Saturday, Geof is delighted with how the stream has gone.  ‘We’ve had seven strong streams at the conference, but the Story stream seems to have drawn people in.  It’s gone even better than I imagined.  And coming as a group with BCU colleagues has been a new step for me.  I feel a sense of pride because we’re delivering in a way that says: this is BCU, we’re creative, we’re out there … I think we’re excellent ambassadors for BCU here.  Then there are the personal relationships with colleagues – so I feel both a professional and personal pride.  I celebrate what each of you – my colleagues – are doing, so that’s exciting!’

Sunday

The last day of the conference.  Workshops continue through the morning and I participate in a lively discussion of dérive as a methodology and assessment tool and share ideas and references with academics from Iceland, France and Australia.   At the final plenary Emmanuel Guy’s ‘chair’ is unveiled – unfinished but clearly a chair!  The conference host, IEDC Director Danica Purg, thanks the organisers, the administrators, the caterers as well as the delegates.  We are treated to the Bled speciality cream cake (kremsnita) and Slovenian wine before all we go our separate ways.

Monday

I repeat the long journey across Europe in reverse, travelling from Ljubliana’s tiny airport with its flights to Moscow and Warsaw, via the vast transportation hub of Frankfurt airport, to Heathrow.  Again, I have plenty of time to think.  I reflect that there are real benefits in following one conference stream throughout, becoming involved in ‘the conversation’.  And I’ve really enjoyed   attending AoMO with BCU colleagues from across the university, getting to know people outside of our usual environment and providing mutual support.   Most of all, conferences provide thinking time, too rare in our daily routines but always enriching for our work at BCU.

CEBE Research Spotlight – 13 September

CEBE research spotlight returns!

Tuesday 13 September, 1pm-2pm, MP490

Presentation by Louis Durrant (Centre for Resilient Environments)

These sessions are informal meetings of postgraduate research students where a presenter will discuss their experiences as a research student, their current research, challenges they are currently facing, and give away some tips as to how to succeed as a research student. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions, discuss etc. – these are informal sessions which give you the chance to share experiences. For those who are less confident, these sessions are great opportunities to practice speaking in front of an audience.

Please contact Ian McDonald for further information.

CEBE research seminar – 28 September

CEBE Faculty new staff research seminar

Wednesday 28 September, 12.00-1.30pm, MP203, Millennium Point

With Dr Franco Cheung (Centre for Integrated Design & Construction)

Dr Franco Cheung’s seminar will explain the work he has done in the recently completed research project, Collaborative BIM-enabled learning platform for low impact schools, funded by InnovateUK. He will explain the background of pre-designed school market and how the application of BIM in pre-designed schools improves the model development process, the services and products including the development of an energy usage comparator tool to give feedback for actual energy use.

For more information and to book your place please contact Ian McDonald.

Call for papers: Cine-excess 10th annual conference at Birmingham City University

The 10th International Conference and Festival on Global Cult Film Traditions: Cine Excess X

Cult Genres, Traditions and Bodies: A Decade of Excess

The Big Screen (Birmingham City University)

10th-12th November 2016

Call for Papers

Over the last 10 years, the Cine-Excess International Film Conference and Festival has brought together leading scholars and critics with global cult filmmakers for an event comprising a themed academic conference with plenary talks, filmmaker interviews and UK theatrical premieres of up and coming film releases.

Previous guests of honour attending Cine-Excess have included Catherine Breillat (Romance, Sex is Comedy), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers), Roger Corman (The Masque of the Red Death, The Wild Angels), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, King of the Ants), Brian Yuzna (Society, The Dentist), Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria) Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), Franco Nero (Django, Keoma, Die Hard II), Vanessa Redgrave (Blow Up, The Devils), Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust, House on the Edge of the Park) Enzo G. Castellari (Keoma, The Inglorious Bast***s), Sergio Martino (Torso, All the Colours of the Dark), Jeff Lieberman (Squirm, Blue Sunshine) and Pat Mills (Action Magazine, 2000 AD).

Cine-Excess X is hosted by the Birmingham School of Media at Birmingham City University, and will feature a three day academic conference alongside film industry panels and a season of related UK premieres and retrospectives taking place at screening venues across the region.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the conference Cult Genres, Traditions and Bodies: A Decade of Excess reconsiders some of the key debates around cult film genres, traditions and modes of representation that have influenced the development of the annual Cine-Excess event over the past decade. At the same time, the event looks forward to the future development of cult film studies by dissecting new perspectives that are now dominating this area of study.

In their early influential studies of ‘outlaw’ film formats such as the slasher cycle, melodrama narrative and ‘skin flick’, theorists such as Carol J. Clover and Linda Williams identified a cinematic and sensory response to excess, which linked unwieldy film genres to unruly representations of the human body and even more unconventional reactions from their subcultural audiences.  While such studies proved pivotal in identifying the potentially subversive features of key cult film cycles, more recent accounts have expanded this scope of analysis to consider a far wider range of global film formats, whilst also assessing the stylistic, performative and representational strategies that come to dominate such startling visions. The explosion of interest in graphic comics, transmedia and online platforms has further extended the theoretical interest in cult genres, traditions and bodies, by widening the scope of enquiry beyond the cinematic medium to other areas of activity which warrant further investigation.

In order to explore these themes further, Cine-Excess X will consider a wide variety of cult media creations including key case-studies of cult activity from film, television, literature, comics and digital media.  A number of international filmmakers associated with key cult genres will be in attendance at Cine-Excess X to discuss their work and interact with academic speakers.

Proposals are now invited for papers on a wide range of cult film genres, traditions and strategies of representation. However, we would particularly welcome contributions focusing on:

  • Cult visionaries: contemporary creativity at cinema’s extreme edge
  • Grossed-out and top grossing: cult comedies of excess
  • New case-studies of classic cult and ‘exploitation’ auteurs
  • High art and low taste: case-studies in extreme experimentation
  • From national borders to new territories: global traditions of the cult image
  • From AIP to The Asylum: case-studies of cult production studios
  • I know what you starred in last summer: the cult of bad acting
  • Realm of the senses: cult renditions of sensory affect
  • Revered and ruined: case-studies of the cult biography
  • Small screen scares: Netflix, Amazon and new platforms for terror 
  • From the burlesque to the brutal: cult interpretations of exotic performance
  • Consuming excess: new perspectives on cult audiences
  • The good, the bad and the forbidden: cult representations of taboo
  • Transmedia excess: cult narratives and contemporary platforms
  • Scored: soundtracks and compositions to the cult film canon 
  • Subcultures on two wheels: from Hells Angels flicks to the Sons of Anarchy series
  • From slasher and sexploitation to cult noir: transgressive femininities on screen
  • Crash and burn cults: Hollywood flops reborn
  • The men and women from Hong Kong: new studies of kung fu performativity
  • Superheroes, sidekicks and subversives: the graphic face of the cult comic book
  • Corporeal excess: new readings of the cult body

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short (one page) C.V. by Friday 9th September 2016 to:

Xavier Mendik, Birmingham City University xavier.mendik@bcu.ac.uk

Fran Pheasant-Kelly, University of Wolverhampton, F.E.Pheasant-kelly@wlv.ac.uk

Glenn Ward, University of Brighton, G.P.Ward@brighton.ac.uk

A final listing of accepted presentations will be released on Friday 16th September 2016.

 

A selection of conference papers from the event are scheduled to be published in the Cine-Excess peer reviewed e-Journal.  For further information and regular updates on the event (including information on guests, keynotes and screenings) please visit www.cine-excess.co.uk.

CEBE Research Seminars – presentations by visitors from Kazan Federal University

From Tuesday 23 August our CEBE faculty are hosting four research seminars in four days featuring speakers from Kazan Federal University. The topics are as follows:

Tuesday 23 August, Dr Max Talanov: Affective Computation Part 1

Wednesday 24 August, Dr Alexander Toschev: Marvin Minsky approach in Artificial Intelligence and its application in the IT Software Maintenance Domain.

Thursday 25 August, Dr Max Talanov: Affective Computation Part 2

Friday 26 August, Dr Alexander Toschev: Advances in Key Enterprise Systems Design.

For more information contact Ian McDonald.