Weaponising Speculation Conference & Exhibition (Dublin, 2-7 March 2013)

DUST (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought) presents:

Weaponising Speculation Conference

2-3 March, Independent Colleges, 60-63 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.

This gathering is the signature event organized by D.U.S.T (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought), an art/theory collective recently founded by Michael O’Rourke, Paul Ennis and Fintan Neylan. The primary aim of DUST is to stage conversations between disparate groups of people—artists, aestheticians, philosophers, non-philosophers, theorists—who find themselves at the fringes of academic institutions and disciplines and who are also broadly interested in speculative realism and post-continental philosophy.


“Weaponizing Speculations” is a non-traditional assembly which has as its impetus the opening up of a dialogue between artists, para-academics and the Speculative Realist “community” here in Dublin and elsewhere. Here is the description:

“Distinct from the norm. Distinct even from the academic norm. Twice removed the para-academic is doubly unwanted. The ones you have trained are set loose and they know your secrets. They are pests and they want to be armed. The contemporary para-academic is untethered. Promises have gone unfulfilled and yet avenues have opened up elsewhere. To the artists, to the creators, to the fringe, wherever the real can be captured. It is in these topoi that the real work happens.

Speculation: to think the world of experience, beyond such experience. But how to seize this reality, how to speculate upon that which the academy has prohibited? Before the storms the para-academic needs to equip herself. Not only with tools, but weapons.

‘Weaponizing Speculation’ is an exploration of the various expressions of DIY theory operative in the elsewheres,the shafts and tunnels of the para-academy. We seek those thoughts that go beyond the institution, beyond the linguistic, beyond the human, to the far reaches of the incommensurate and the extinct; we seek conceptual armoury which will aid thinkers in the siege to reclaim the real.

We invite papers from those lost at sea”.

Those lost at sea are:

Saturday 2 March

Independent Colleges, Room 101

10.00-10.15 Introductory remarks: Paul Ennis, Fintan Neylan, Michael O’Rourke

10.15-11.00 Session 1: Robert Jackson, Rebecca O’Dwyer

Robert Jackson “Continental Realism and Computation: Turing’s Propaganda”

Robert Jackson is an arts writer and PhD student at Lancaster University studying computer science, aesthetics and Continental Philosophy. He is also an associate editor of the Speculations journal and writes for digital arts collective Furtherfield.org and Chicago based arts blog Badatsports.com.

Rebecca O’Dwyer “A Seductive Union: Speculative Realism and Contemporary Art”

Rebecca O’ Dwyer is an art writer and researcher based in Dublin. Recent writing and projects can be found on her website www.rebeccaodwyer.wordpress.com

11.00-11.15 Break

11.15-12.15 Session 2: Nick Srnicek, Dylan Trigg

Nick Srnicek “Accelerationism: Epistemic, Political, Economic”

Nick Srnicek is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the London School of Economics. He’s the co-editor of The Speculative Turn with Levi Bryant and Graham Harman. His recent work focuses on non-capitalist economies, the role of technology in augmenting human capacities, and the design of sociotechnical systems.

Dylan Trigg “Toward a Phenomenology of (Xeno)archaeology”

Dylan Trigg is a post-doctoral research fellow at UCD, School of Philosophy. He is also a visiting researcher at Les Archives Husserl, École Normale Supérieure, working in conjunction with Dorothée Legrand. He received his PhD from the University of Sussex with a thesis on the materiality of memory. His research includes: phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and various aspects of bodily existence. He’s the author of The Memory of Place: a Phenomenology of the Uncanny, The Aesthetics of Decay: Nothingness, Nostalgia and the Absence of Reason, and The Thing: Xenophenomenology and the Origin of Life, which is forthcoming from Zero Books.

12.15-13.00 Session 3: Erin Stapleton, Alice Rekab

Erin Stapleton “Divine, or Sovereign violence as Simulacrum, or; if you want to take on the throne, you can’t already be king”

Erin K Stapleton is a PhD candidate at the London Graduate School, Kingston University London.

Alice Rekab “Objects, Actors and Sites of ContingenAlice Rekab (b. 1987, Dublin, Ireland) is a visual artist living and working in Dublin and London. She completed an MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths University of London in 2011, following a BA in History of Art & Fine Art Media at NCAD in 2009. Alice Rekab is currently undertaking PhD study at  London Graduate School. Her work explores the affective dynamics between subjects and objects of attraction, examining the performative, the mimetic, the amateur, the viral and the regional.

Recent projects include Vector/Attractor, The Goethe Institut,2013, Flag Stain, Gracelands Circling the Square 2012, Worlds Combine at EVA International May-Aug 2012, A MacGuffin and Some Other Things at Project Arts Centre April 2012, This is Going to Take More Than One Night at The Model, Sligo, March 2012, Units of Potential, a public art commission installed at The Lir Academy Dublin 2011, Multiple T , The Floor of The Forest, The Barbican Art Gallery, London 2010 and Resonance#1 a commission for Resonance FM at Frieze Art Fair, London 2010.

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.45 Session 4: Francis Halsall, Sam Keogh

Francis Halsall “I’d like to believe that nature doesn’t exist”

Francis Halsall is lecturer in modern and contemporary art at the National College of Art and Design. He is co-coordinator (with Declan Long) of MA Art in the Contemporary World, www.acw.ie ). He writes regularly on art, aesthetics and philosophy. Recent work can be found at his blog: www.alittletagend.blogspot.com

Sam Keogh “Taken Out of/Put into Oscars Bin”

Sam Keogh (b 1985) is an artist living and working in London.
Recent exhibitions include Sam Keogh and Lucy Andrews, The Model, Sligo (2012), Gracelands – Circling the Square, curated by Vaari Claffey (2012), The Milk Market, Limerick (2012), Terrestris, curated by Tessa Giblin, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2012), EVA |International – After the Future, curated by Annie Fletcher, Limerick (2012), Repoman, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin (2011). Upcoming exhibitions include NINE, The Lab, Dublin, July 2013; A Line of Beauty, IMMA, October 2013 and Eupraxia II, Curetorial Timeshare, October 2013.

14.45-15.30 Session 5: Isabel Nolan, Sergey Sistiaga

Isabel Nolan “How to make space-time and influence people”

Isabel Nolan is an artist and writer from Dublin who has exhibited widely  in Ireland and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Unmade’ at The Goethe Institut Dublin (2012). ‘A hole into the future’ at The Model, Sligo (2011-12), and at the Museé d’Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne (2012). Nolan was one of seven artists who represented Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Kerlin Gallery, Dublin and Gallery Side 2, Tokyo represent her work. Nolan is also a visiting lecturer on M.A. Art in the Contemporary World, N.C.A.D.

Sergey Sistiaga “Meillassoux’s Unreasonable Principle of Unreason”

Sergey Sistiaga studied philosophy and history at Freiburg and Paris and his Masters thesis was about the principle of sufficient reason (a kind of pro and contra with discussion of Meillassoux especially).

15.30-15.45 Break

16.00-16.45 Session 6: MOUTH (Edia Connole, Scott Wilson) with Pat Zaidan, Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire, Kathy Tynan

MOUTH (Edia Connole, Scott Wilson) with Pat Zaidan, Kathy Tynan, Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire, Matt Beeching

‘[os mentis] mouth to mouth’ with Nicola Masciandaro”

MOUTH is an actionist art project in culinary divinomics formed in March 2012 by Edia Connole and Scott Wilson. Associates for Weaponising Speculation include Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire, Kathy Tynan, Matt Beeching and Pat Zaidan. Recent events include ‘All Fingers and Tongues: Hosting the Divine with Charlie Gere & MOUTH,’ Break Bread Open, FACT, Liverpool Biennial, October 2012; ‘Melancholia: Messianic Banquets and the 19th Hole,’ Culture, Politics, Eschatology: A Symposium, Lancaster University, September 2012; ‘A Black Mass for Quentin Meillassoux,’ Thinking the Absolute: Speculation, Philosophy and the End of Religion,’ Liverpool Hope University, July 2012. mmmouth.wordpress.com.

20.00-22.00 Opening of Weaponising Speculation Exhibition, BLOCK T Gallery, Smithfield, Dublin 7

Sunday 3 March

Independent Colleges, Room 101

10.00-10.45 Session 7: Ridvan Askin, Ciara McMahon

Ridvan Askin “Sweet Dreams are Made of This: Speculation”

Ridvan Askin is Assistant in American and General Literatures and a PhD candidate at the University of Basel. He is currently working on his first book project on Gilles Deleuze and narrative theory. His main research interests are aesthetics, contemporary North-American fiction, Gilles Deleuze, literary theory, narrative theory, the relation of philosophy and literature, and speculative realism.

Ciara McMahon “In the moment:  Offer / Response”

Ciara McMahon practices both art and medicine. McMahon’s art practice is frequently collaborative and performative, realised through photography, film and site specific installation. Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and the body are explored in the work, which often asks how these play out in art or medicine and looks for hybridity between the two disciplines. Ciara has a masters in Art in the Contemporary World (combined pathway) from NCAD (2011), and a M.B. from TCD (1992). McMahon has exhibited widely in Canada, the UK and Ireland. Further information available at www.ciaramcmahon.wordpress.com or www.deappendix.wordpress.com

10.45-11.30 Session 8: John Ryan, Ciara Griffin

John Ryan “All that is liquid melts into solid”

John Ryan (1987) graduated from a BA in NCAD in 2011. He is a studio resident in Pallas Projects. Recent group exhibitions have taken place in The Drawing Project in Dublin, BeersLambert in London, Studio 9 in Wexford, The Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London and Basic Space in Dublin. In December 2011 he had his first solo exhibition in The Joinery in Dublin. He is the 2012 winner of the Gilchrist Fisher Award judged by Elizabeth Magill, Matthew Collins, Harry Cory-Wright and Stephen Chambers. He will be featured in the forthcoming book Prismatic Ecologies: Ecotheory Beyond Green by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, published by University of Minnesota Press. In March 2013 he will participate in a residency in a Mountain Bothy in The Scottish Highlands titled Winter Resort. In April 2012 he will present a solo body of work in FLOORONEGALLERY in the atrium of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, curated by Jim Ricks.

Ciara Griffin “Between Sapidity and Sapience: Devouring Bodies in Bengal”

Ciara Griffin is a PhD student at the National University of Ireland Galway. She is currently writing her thesis on the use of print as technology by South Asian women between 1968 and the turn of the new millennium. Her research engages with the thingliness of the literary text in order to critically engage with the different power struggles inherent to mediation in both of its senses—as that which attempts to settle difference and as the material means of sharing information. She teaches in the fields of performance studies, alternative textualities and Indian literature.

11.30-12.30 Lunch

12.30-13.15 Session 9: Rob Murphy, Andy Weir

Rob Murphy “Mutant – Infiltration of the Hallucinated Mountain”

Rob Murphy is a Dublin based visual artist. Murphy graduated from IADT Dún Laoghaire in 2011 with a degree in Visual Arts Practice. He is co-director/founder of artist run Flat_Pack Gallery & Studios, Smithfield. He was a recent participant on the MA – Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD.

Andy Weir “DELAY CUT OUT: Weaponising against contemporary art”

Andy Weir is an artist and PhD researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London. http://andyweir.info

13.15-14.00 Session 10: Dock Currie, Alan Boardman

Dock Currie “The Ecological Inhuman War-Machine: Theses on Malthus”

Dock Currie is a 1st year phd student and the Bennett Doctoral Scholar for the Liberal Arts in Political Science at York University. His interests are in Situationist theory and praxis, Speculative Materialism, Speculative Empiricism, and post-Phenomenological comportments towards environmentalism and ecology.

Alan Boardman “The Fossils of Sensation: Non-Representational Painting and New Materialism”

Alan Boardman is a PhD candidate in Visual Culture at NCAD and The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin. His research is a speculative aesthetics on emergence and geo-philosophy, orientated though the new materialism and philosophy of science / systems of Manuel DeLanda. He is also a practicing visual artist engaged with the processes and materialities of non-representational painting.

14.00-14.15 Break

14.15-15.15 Session 11: Teresa Gillespie, Ben Woodard

Teresa Gillespie “restless tongues expending into rest”

Teresa Gillespie is an artist based in Dublin. She works primarily through installation with a focus on sound, video and objects. She is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. Recent solo shows include: among objects, The Joinery, Dublin; along the borderland bends, The Return Gallery, Dublin; …too old to be playing house…, showreelproject, Milan; p.s. I love you Yassin, Atelierfrankfurt, Frankfurt; Incidental Shift, The Project Room, Glasgow. She has exhibited in group shows nationally and internationally and undertaken numerous artist’s residencies including the Frankfurter Kunstverein Deutsche Borse Program. In 2013 Teresa will be artist in residence at the Residencia Corazon in Buenos Aires where she will work towards a solo show, Invasion of Irrational Existence. Alongside her art practice she co-curated a seminar/exhibition, Portrait of Space, with Rose Lejeune at Clonlea Studios. She is currently working with Lee Welch towards another project for Clonlea Studios that will take place in August 2013.

Ben Woodard “The House of Sheaves: The Asymptotic Horror of Nested Nature”

Ben Woodard is a 2nd year PhD candidate at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University. His doctoral research is on constructing a realist theory of nature building from the work of FWJ von Schelling. His first text Slime Dynamics: Generation, Mutation, and the Creep of Life was recently released from Zer0 books and his second monograph On an Ungrounded Earth is forthcoming from Punctum.

15.15-16.00 Session 12: Karen Dewart McEwen, Scott Wilson

 Karen Dewart McEwen “Thinking Politics Topologically”

Karen Dewart McEwen is a graduate student working toward an M.A. in Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies, Philosophy, and Political Science from Concordia University and formerly worked as the Research Coordinator at Ryerson University’s Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre.

Scott Wilson “Spider Universe: Weaponizing Phobia in Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bataille and Deleuze”

Scott Wilson is Professor of Media Philosophy in the London Graduate School & Department of Film and Media at Kingston University, London.

16.00-16.15 Skype conversation with Tom Trevatt, organiser of The Matter of Contradiction event “War Against the Sun”(http://lamatiere.tumblr.com/waragainstthesun)

Folowed by closing remarks: Paul Ennis, Fintan Neylan, Michael O’Rourke

18.00-20.00 Weaponising Speculation Exhibition, BLOCK T Gallery, Smithfield, Dublin 7


D.U.S.T (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought) presents:

Weaponising Speculation Exhibition

VENUE: BLOCKT, Smithfield Chambers, Smithfield Square, Dublin 7

OPENING: Saturday 2 March

TIME: 8 pm-10pm

COST: Free

Weaponising Speculation continues March 3 (6-8pm); March 4-March 6 (11am-6pm) and March 7 (11am-8pm)



Exhibiting Artists:

Alan Boardman

Teresa Gillespie

Ciara McMahon

Rob Murphy

Alice Rekab

John Ryan

Andy Weir

Speculation: to think the world of experience, beyond such experience. But how to seize this reality, how to speculate upon that which the academy and the art world has prohibited? Before the storm the para-academic and the artist need to equip themselves. Not only with tools, but weapons. Weaponizing Speculation is an exploration of the various expressions of art and theory operative in the elsewheres, the shafts and tunnels of the para-academy; an expedition armoured with techniques of thought that go beyond the institution, beyond the linguistic, beyond the human, to the far reaches of the incommensurate and the extinct; it builds a conceptual arsenal which will aid thinkers in the siege to reclaim the real.

The Weaponising Speculation exhibition is an accompaniment to the conference of the same name organized by D.U.S.T (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought), an art/theory collective recently founded by Michael O’Rourke, Paul Ennis and Fintan Neylan. The primary aim of DUST is to stage dialogues between disparate groups of people—artists, aestheticians, philosophers, non-philosophers, theorists—who find themselves at the fringes of academic institutions and disciplines and who are also broadly concerned with speculative realism. “Weaponising Speculation” features paintings, sculptures, video and sound works by seven artists who are also speaking at the conference which will take place at Independent Colleges on March 2nd and 3rd. The show is a loose collocation of works which cluster around a shared set of interests including speculative realism, object oriented ontology, post-continental philosophy, new materialisms, systems theory, transcendental nihilism, and para-academic practices.

The exhibition will conclude with a conversation amongst the artists about how the exhibition as a “coreless experiment” isonomic with the Weaponising Speculation conference has succeeded or failed and will also consider the future trajectories of speculative thought and art/theory.

2 responses to “Weaponising Speculation Conference & Exhibition (Dublin, 2-7 March 2013)

  1. Pingback: Weaponising Speculation foretaste | philosophynowncad

  2. Pingback: Weaponising Speculation LIVE | Rebecca O' Dwyer's Blog

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