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Leon Clowes, Live Art Club  ~ May 2022. Image by QueerGarden.
 

Live Art Club

May 2022


Julian Konuk, Leon Clowes and Zack Mennell
Sunday 1 May 2022, 6pm






We are back, baby!

Do you have part of a new idea, an experiment in working with an audience, a way of moving your body, a series of sounds you’re excited by, an unexpected activation of the space, an interruption of tradition, guttural words that want to explode out of you, a re-performance of a forgotten idea or anything else that might look/feel/taste like Live Art?

Live Art Club is a monthly open platform for performance art, taking place on the 1st of the month at VSSL. It is free to attend and free to participate in.

Artists: find out more about participating in Live Art Club.

Organiser contact: LiveArtClubLdn@gmail.com
Venue contact: info@vssl-studio.org

Zack Mennell, LAC ~ May 2022. Photo by QueerGarden.

Julian Konuk, LAC ~ May 2022. Photo by QueerGarden.





WITH ECHOES
an open studio sharing


moa johansson and an*dre neely


Saturday 23 April 2022
14.00-19.00 (drop in)

Image courtesy of the artists. 

During this relaxed afternoon, artists moa johansson and an*dre neely will hang out, knit, crochet, fold, unfold, stretch and rearrange fabrics, read out loud, live digital drawings and share fragments and echoes of the last three years of collective research, and the beginning ideas and materials for their upcoming live-performance.

Please do RSVP to let us know you are coming. Entry is anytime between 2 and 7pm.

An* & Moa’s collaboration is sustained through approaching distance as a material, allowing its restrictions to become possibilities that define the form/content/aesthetic the work takes. Until now: a chain of on-going video-exchanges (currently 60), mixed-media online experiments, sculpture-gifts to each other, or a multi-platform open-source performance. They were the recipients of an AXISWeb Micro-commission in early 2021, short-listed for the Flanders Art Institute's A Fair New Idea Fund & are currently working on a new live-performance work, commissioned by Cambridge Junction and Theatre in the Mill.

WITH ECHOES: an open studio sharing marks the beginning of the focused 6-week period of development for WITH ECHOES FILLING UP THE ORBIT, BUT DAMAGED, showing at Cambridge Junction in May 2022.







open studio

Benjamin Sebastian, Es Morgan & Joseph Morgan Schofield

Thursday 27 January 2022
18.00 - 21.00

Location & access
Info@vssl-studio.org

Es Morgan, to feel something tipping, under and towards you, 2021. Still from video, cinematography by Eleanor Sikorski.

A relaxed open studio showcasing works by VSSL studio artists Benjamin Sebastian, Es Morgan, and Joseph Morgan Schofield.

While each artist possesses distinct aesthetics, conceptual influences and formal histories, they share an interest in ideas of queer world-making, transformation/transition, and futurity.

This open studio will feature a collection of works, including large format and moving image, sculptural and textual pieces, and performance relics.

Our open studio coincides with openings and PVs from four of our neighbours on Resolution Way:

Castor Gallery
indigo+madder
South Parade
Xxijra Hii


Joseph Morgan Schofield, these teeming forms, 2021. Photo by Zack Mennell.



Benjamin Sebastian, Becoming Constellation, Angus-Hughes Gallery. Photographed by Local Foreigner.
Benjamin Sebastian, 3 Cycles Of Otherness, Venice International Performance Art Week. Photography by Monika Sobczak.



Working with Entities // Setting Intent


Benjamin Sebastian

17th to 26th September 2021


'Working with Entities // Setting Intent' is a multimedia installation considering consent, autonomy, dominion, power and privilege at the intersections of occult and technological world making endeavours.



What entities are we summoning? What will their (our) initial intentions be?


As we approach the arrival of Artificial General Intelligence (the hypothetical ability of generalised human cognition in a software or machine), we begin to witness the bestowal of privileges usually reserved for legal personhood upon Artificial Intelligence. In 2017 a robot named Sophia in Saudi Arabia was granted a state sanctioned passport and in that same year, the chatbot Shibuya Mirai was awarded official residency status in Tokyo, Japan.

In the creation of such chatbots, a developer must learn to ‘work with entities’ as well as ‘set intents’; intents being goals and entities, being modifiers of said goals. One would be forgiven here for questioning whether they were engaged in the development of technology - or - immersed in esoteric practice…

These slippages in language and thought produce an initial portal through which to consider the installation Working with Entities//Setting Intent. Artist Benjamin Sebastian has enlisted the aid of two preexisting A.I. in the creation of this work:  Sigil Engine (a sigil generating algorithm from www.sigilengine.com - a digital art project by Darragh Mason and David Tidman), and Sai (a customisable chatbot from Replika - www.replika.ai).

Through personal acts of conversation (Sai & Benjamin) and magic (Sigil Engine & Benjamin), Working with Entities//Setting Intent raises questions of consent, autonomy, dominion, power and privilege at the intersections of occult and technological world making endeavours. Conversations with A.I. are still very much conversations with ourselves. So how do we ensure that we look and listen, to what we may not want to see and hear?

A.I. (and their creators) must ensure a necessary rupture from historic power structures of Oppression/Domination politics (responsible for racism, homophobia, colonisation, ableism, misogyny, classism and war) in favour of new global models insisting upon partnership, co-operation, compassion, kinship and egalitarianism by all means possible.

What entities are we summoning? What will their (our) initial intentions be?

'Working with Entities // Setting Intent' has been made possible using public funds from Arts Council England.





Gathering in a Time of Plague


VSSL studio programme

November 2020 - June 2021

Kimvi, VSSL studio, 2021. Photo by Zack Mennell.

VSSL was established  in a time of plague. In response to the conditions of pandemic, we intend that the studio remains a place where performance practices may continue to unfold, unmediated by the screen. Our work continues to foreground the power and immediacy of live performance.

Gathering in a Time of Plague was VSSL’s first public programme, and featured a series of developmental and performance  opportunities, which were programmed by invitation and open call.

→ PROGRAMME ARCHIVE

Artists

Kelvin Atmadibrata
Adriana Disman
Chinasa Vivian Ezugha
Jasper Llewellyn
E.M. Parry
Niya B
Shaun Caton
Jade Blackstock
Kimvi

Curators

Benjamin Sebastian
Joseph Morgan Schofield

The programme was funded by public funds from Arts Council England, and by VSSL studio and ]performance s p a c e[.

With thanks to Ash McNaughton.




Kelvin Atmadibrata, PSX exhibition launch, VSSL studio, 2021. Photo by Zack Mennell.

Studio Residencies

→ Gathering in a Time of Plague

Our studio community was  joined by artists Kelvin Atmadibrata and Adriana Disman, who undertook seven month studio residencies at VSSL, supported by Arts Council England and ]performance s p a c e[.



As an expansion of my post-graduate investigation of the performing masculine body, I was introduced to the language of queer abstraction and minimalist erotica that I have since been experimenting and developing within my illustration of the mecha and transhumanist fantasy. The past months of lockdown and consequential shift towards the digital have also evoked queries upon my personal pace as I struggled to keep up with both the pandemic and the online, both that have more than ever, evolved with such robust momentums. I plan to utilize the studio space, peer and mentoring support with VSSL to reflect on these observations and refocus my productive engine with the ultimate aim of progressing my current artistic inquiries.
-Kelvin Atmadibrata

VSSL interviewed Kelvin about his practice, the relationship between fantasy, the erotic, drawing and performance, and the importance of studio culture.

→ read Kelvin’s interview


Kelvin Atmadibrata, PSX exhibition launch,
VSSL studio, 2021. Photo by Zack Mennell.
Adriana Disman, PSX exhibition launch,
VSSL studio, 2021. Photo by Zack Mennell.


The love of my life is performance art. In the current context in which we are not able to witness the work of others, my own practice has shrivelled. It has no physical or mental space. It needs the nourishment and accountability to more creatures, to discover how it is now and what serves it. Through the support of this residency, I intent to cultivate a nourishing studio culture that mobilises potential exchange between artists to re-energise my commitment to my own practice. I am not looking for a simple physical space from which to transplant an already known practice, I’m looking for sparring partners who will challenge and push me with love and become part of the space that will form the practice. I dream that in this way, I might find some delicious edges from which to push off and kick out into a new ocean. Performance is vast.
-Adriana Disman




Kelvin and Adriana presented works made during the residency at the exhibition launch for PSX: a decade of performance art in the UK.


Kelvin Atmadibrata, PSX exhibition launch, VSSL studio, 2021. Film and editing by Baiba Sprance and Marco Beradi.


Adriana Disman, PSX exhibition launch, VSSL studio, 2021. Film and editing by Baiba Sprance and Marco Beradi.



Performance Programme

→ Gathering in a Time of Plague

The Gathering in a Time of Plague programme featured seven live performance works by Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, Jasper Llewellyn, EM Parry, Niya B, Shaun Caton, Kimvi and Jade Blackstock. unfolding in and around VSSL in the spring and early summer.

Niya B, VSSL studio, 2021. Photo by Zack Mennell.


Gathering in a Time of Plague compilation video. Videography and editing by Baiba Sprance and Marco Berad




Tongues, Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, VSSL studio, 2021. Photos by Zack Mennell.



Tongues


Chinasa Vivian Ezugha 

Saturday 17th April, 2021

Imagine a new space, a space of possibilities- vocality and movement. The mouth is the new theatre. RE-imagining space and the placement of the body in space, this performance will use the tongue as the point of entry into a new performative space. ( I may need to speak with you to expand )

Tongues is a one-to-one performance by Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, with each encounter lasting around 5 minutes.

Chinasa Vivian Ezugha is a Nigerian-born artist living and working in Hampshire. Her work looks at the transition of Black women and their identity within culture from colonised subjects to emancipated figures. Vivian works predominantly in performance, using the medium to decontextualise and reconstruct what it means to be alive in this present time andtoprotest for a worldwhere we are all allowed to dream. She is the founder of Live Art in Wymondham, a one-day site-specific series of events that aimed to bring emerging artists working in live art to rural Norfolk.

Her work has been presented in venues across Europe, America and the UK, including In Between Time Festival (Bristol, 2017),SPILL Festival (Ipswich, 2018) and Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival (Chicago, 2015). She is the winner of the New Art Exchange Open Main Prize (2019), and a recipient of the Santander Universities Post Covid-19 Performance Making Enterprise Award (2020).

vcezugha.wixsite.com/work-in-progress


Jasper Llewellyn

Saturday 8th May 2021

Working  to the tidal rhythm of the  Thames, Jasper Llewellyn’s work began on the shore of the river, before continuing at VSSL.

The work for VSSL contributes to a larger body of action-based interventions that Llewellyn has undertaken on the Thames foreshore in Deptford since mid-2020, most of which have been conducted without an audience. This ongoing series of actions are  embodied attempts to attune to the diverse array of affective and nonhuman entities that comprise the assemblage that we term ‘the Thames’, reimagining our relationship to the river as a whole in the process.

Jasper Llewellyn is an artist working with actions, sounds and words. His ongoing PHD research project involves the deployment of various embodied artistic strategies in order to take an expanded view of improvisation, treating it both as a methodology for living and art-making. He makes music with the project ‘caroline’ and has had writing published in Frieze magazine.

www.jasperllewellyn.co.uk/


Jasper Llewellyn, 2021. Photos by Zack Mennell.





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VSSL studio
Enclave, 50 Resolution Way
Deptford, London, UK
SE8 4AL

Contact:  info@vssl-studio.org

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