Café Curio 2011 - Camden Art Centre

Form and Function

Wednesday 26 January, 7.00 – 9.00pm

Reviving the tradition of public lectures begun when the building was a library, Form and Function is an evening of eclectic mini lectures featuring:

John Allan, director of Avanti architects presents a history of the Isokon building and discusses the architectural legacy of Modernism in Hampstead.

Designer Fraser Muggeridge on the graphic and typographic design of Camden Arts Centre’s publications featured in the exhibition.

Artist Jack Yates on the creation and history of the art and poetry publication Fragments.

Writing for Theatre

Saturday 12 February – Sunday 13 February, 12.00 – 5.00pm
For writers who already have some experience of performance writing, this two day
workshop explored the mechanics and techniques of writing for live performance.
Led by dramaturg Sarah Dickenson, it included practical exercises, suggestions
and techniques on how to structure and develop dramatic texts.

Theatre Scratch Night: Public Disinformation

Wednesday 16 February
Responding to Camden Art Centre’s history of supporting performance and the building’s former life as a library, Theatre Scratch Night offered artists and writers the opportunity to present 20-minute dialogues on the theme of public disinformation. In collaboration with Sarah Dickenson.

Anne Hardy in conversation with Francesco Manacorda

Wednesday 23 March, 7.00 – 8.00pm
Artist in residence Anne Hardy talked to Francesco Manacorda, Director of Artissima, about her work and plans for her residency.

Central Saint Martins

Wednesday 30 March, 7.00 – 9.00pm
Students from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design presented an evening of work and discussion produced in response to the Pascali exhibition.

For One Night Only

Wednesday, 27 April
For One Night Only is an eclectic series of mystery events, defined only by their connection to the exhibitions, incorporating film, performance, music and discussion. Produced in collaboration with Camden Art Centre’s Front of House Assistants.

Artists’ Book Club

Wednesday, 4 May
Chosen texts were:

Camps , A guide to 21st Century Space, Charlie Hailey, MIT Press 2009
In Camps, Charlie Hailey examines the space and idea of camp as a defining dimension of 21st-century life. The ubiquity and diversity of camps calls for a guidebook. This is what Hailey offers, but it is no ordinary one. Not only does he establish a typology of camps, but he also embeds within his narrative a key to camp ideology. Thus we see how camp spaces are informed by politics and transform the ways we think about and make built environments.

Concrete Island, JG Ballard, Harper Perennial, 2008
A chilling novel about our modern world, from the author of ‘Empire of the Sun’ and ‘Crash’. Robert Maitland, a 35 year-old architect, is driving home from his London offices when a blow-out sends his speeding Jaguar hurtling out of control. Smashing through a temporary barrier he finds himself, dazed and disorientated, on a traffic island below three converging motorways. But when he tries to climb the embankment or flag-down a passing car for help it proves impossible – and he finds himself imprisoned on the concrete island. In this twisted version of ‘Robinson Crusoe’, Maitland must learn to survive – using only what he can find in his crashed car. As in all Ballard’s best work ‘Concrete Island’ provides an unnerving study of our modern lives and world.

Remainder, Tom McCarthy, Alma Books, 2007
‘An intelligent and absurd satire on consumer culture’ – The Times

Anne Hardy Studio Tour

Saturday 14 May, 3.00 – 4.00pm
Artist-in-residence Anne Hardy led a behind the scenes tour of the studio and
a chance to find out more about how she makes her work.


Wednesday 18 May, 7.00 – 9.00pm
Inspired by the exhibitions, Certainty featured a series of short presentations,
discussing how and why we come to think we know things for certain.

Hugh Aldersey-Williams (Writer) on the history of fallacy and fact in
materials science.

Cathy Haynes (Art on the Underground) on the fantasy and imagination of maps.

Robert Rowland Smith (Writer) gives an introduction to the philosophical concept
of certainty.

For One Night Only

Wednesday 15 June, 7.00 – 8.30pm
This edition focused on the work of Robert Whitman alongside Kerry Tribe, looking at the use of technology and innovation within art to reach wider audiences through creative use of formats and disciplines.

Speakers included Caterina Albano, research fellow and curator for Artakt at Central Saint Martins’ College of Art and Design and Nicola Triscott, founder and Director of the Arts Catalyst. Both express their position in relation to the intersection of art and science, and the importance of such collaborations.

Highlighting themes of dissection, memory and the role of the viewer, alongside video footage of Whitman’s performance work from the 1960s, this evening brought together a diverse selection of past and present pioneering work.

Organised in collaboration with Emma O’Rourke.

Caterina Albano holds a PhD in Renaissance Studies from the University of London and is a research fellow and curator for Artakt at Central Saint Martins’ College of Art and Design. Albano curates, lectures and publishes in the field of art and science, cultural history, in particular on the history of emotion and of the body, and on the theory of curating.

Nicola Triscott is a cultural producer and writer. She is the founder and Director of the Arts Catalyst, which she has built into one of the UK’s leading arts commissioning and producing organisations of contemporary art that experimentally and critically engages with science. Nicola writes and lectures internationally on the intersections between art, science, technology and society in a global context.

Artists’ Book Club - Mathilde Rosier

Wednesday, 14 September
Writer Deborah Levy and Camden Art Centre’s Gina Buenfeld discussed texts selected by Mathilde Rosier in relation to her current exhibition.

Texts include Bataille’s Story of the Eye as well as Jordorowsky’s Psychomagic.

Films by Maya Deren

Wednesday, 21 September
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943 – 59)

The Very Eye of Night (1952 – 59)
Divine Horsemen – The Living Gods of Haiti (1985)

Introduced by writer and curator Elinor Cleghorn.

Open Music Archive - DJ set: Eileen Simpson and Ben White

Thursday 6 October, 7.00 pm – 8.30pm
1920s, 30s and 40s recordings are altered and encoded through autotune, reversed playback and flipped lyrics — techniques ported from R&B and Hip Hop production. The resultant filtering ensures the suppression of layers still under proprietary ownership but enables the escape of copyright-expired elements that are, for the first time, released into the public domain.

Part of Song Division – a series of experimental events exploring the sonic potentials of materials gleaned from the edges of the public domain. Commissioned by Camden Arts Centre to accompany the Nathalie Djurberg and Haroon Mirza exhibitions.

Artists’ Book Club

Wednesday 26 October, 7.00 – 8:30pm
Haroon Mirza discusses a selection of texts which have informed his work and practice, with writer and curator Tom Morton.

Texts Include: Breakfast of Champions (Kurt Vonnegut), Technoromanticism (Richard Coyne), Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music (Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner).

Open Music Archive

Wednesday 2 November, 7.00 – 8.00pm

Electronic artist Leafcutter John re-visited the material collected for the 6th October DJ set for an exclusive new live performance.

Part of Song Division – a series of experimental events exploring the sonic potentials of materials gleaned from the edges of the public domain. Commissioned by Camden Arts Centre to accompany the Nathalie Djurberg and Haroon Mirza exhibitions.

Anca Benera Artist’s Talk

Saturday 5 November, 2.30 – 4.00pm
Artist-in-residence Anca Benera discusseed her work and progress on the residency so far.

Open Music Archive - Mechanical Bride

Wednesday 16 November, 7.00 – 8:00 pm
Mechanical Bride works with the material from the 6 October DJ set and plugs her fractured, stripped-back approach to vocals and melody into the project. www.mechanical–

Part of Song Division – a series of experimental events exploring the sonic potentials of materials gleaned from the edges of the public domain. Commissioned by Camden Arts Centre to accompany the Nathalie Djurberg and Haroon Mirza exhibitions.

For One Night Only

Wednesday 23 November, 7.00pm
Encounters with beasts: Nathalie Djurberg and fairytales

Angela Kingston is an independent contemporary art curator. She has previously curated exhibitions such as ‘Fairytale: Contemporary art and enchantment’, at Leeds City Art Gallery in 2007, which featured six international artists and explored the bewitching and transgressive nature of fairytales and their influence in contemporary art and the subsequent exhibition ‘Underwater’ in 2010.

Angela discussed the role of fairytales and storytelling in contemporary art in relation to the works of Natalie Djurberg.

Organised in collaboration with Amy Thomas.


Wednesday 7 December, 7.00pm
Inspired by the exhibitions, Broadcasting features a series of short presentations on the possibilities for broadcasting and other creative solutions for the dissemination of ideas. Produced in collaboration with

Marialaura Ghidini
Founder and curator of, co-curator at Grand Union (Birmingham), and PhD researcher at CRUMB, University of Sunderland

Keep up with its pace. It is not a mere technological innovation.

Marshall McLuhan’s statement “nothing follows from following, except change” (The Medium is the Message, 1967) is echoed in much of new media theory that looks at the ways in which technology has modelled new forms of artistic and curatorial distribution. In 2006 Jon Ippolito stated that “the only way for art to keep up with the energetic pace of technology in the Internet Age is to adopt many of its functions”.

How has web communication technology modelled curatorial work and contexts?
Through a brief overview of a series of curatorial and artistic projects, this presentation will introduce how ‘networked’
communication systems have generated new patterns in reception and led to the development of new means of artistic communication, changing the spatio/temporal condition of artistic distribution.


Mattia Paganelli
Associated Researcher at Institute for the Converging Arts and Sciences, University of Greenwich.

“A discussion of the idea “we broadcast because we can” – which I interpret as being at the base of experiments as Auto Italia’s Live – seems to require that first we individuate how to speak of live online broadcasting, since inevitably its potential will lay with the specific dimensions of its technology. I would like to explore how the notions of live, broad, and casting potentially might have to be rethought in this environment.”


Kate Cooper
Artist/Co-Director, Auto Italia South East

Leslie Kulesh
Artist (participated in Auto Italia Live: Episode 3, C2C P2P)

Kate Cooper and Leslie Kulesh will present Auto Italia LIVE; an artists-run TV series produced each week before a live studio audience and broadcast over the Internet. The artists will reflect on how the project engaged directly with the format of live Television and how they both respectively use contemporary broadcast media platforms to distribute their work.

Live Art: School of Change

Saturday 17 December, 3.00 – 4.30pm

Artist Jennet Thomas and composer/performer Simon Bookish presented a live show exploring a hybrid, cross-over space between art, film, music, speculative fiction and performance, including a recruitment presentation, songs, film clips, lessons, a quiz and prizes.

School of Change is a new franchise of girls’ schools, existing in a post-apocalyptic future, so radical it threatens the working of reason itself. School of Change attempts to shore up against this breakdown, to educate a new generation to adapt, building an alternative ‘hive mind’ that has a new, stronger kind of logic.

Each student’s learning is bio-technically monitored and assessed through the Personal Circle lodged inside them. High-scoring pupils perform their learning through a rhythmic song and action practise: ‘the Production’. This trance-like group activity produces small solids – Units of Knowing – the currency through which the new economy tries to function.