What Do We Know Anyway?

JJ Chan

'What Do We Know Anyway?' is a substantial exhibition curated by Fine Art Alumni, JJ Chan. It presents works by students and teachers that JJ has encountered through formal educational relationships: those that have taught them, and those that they have taught, all of whom, they say, they have learnt from.

The exhibition is an enquiry into what it means to know, and what it is, if anything, do artists know. It aims to visualise some of the collisions that make up systems of knowledge and to offer an opportunity for us all to walk through what knots knot knots, as Donna Haraway puts it.Over 70 — teachers, peers, colleagues, friends, and students — will be contributing something that they either own or have personally made.

Five lecturers from Fine Art in the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts have been invited to participate.

Sarah Casey

Sarah Casey, Senior Lecturer in Drawing and Installation, has contributed two works developed as part of the AHRC project ‘Dark Matters: thresholds of (im) perceptibility’ in which she collaborated with cosmologist Kostas Dimopoulos and anthropologist Rebecca Ellis. The project stemmed from the provocation that only 4% of the universe is currently (or may always be) detectable by humans. These two works are among a series of 56 drawings which explored ways to articulate the materiality of the invisible, the idea that entities like dark matter and dark energy are not ‘out there’ in ‘space’ but moving in and among and through us in our daily lives.

Gerald Davies

Gerry Davies is Senior Lecturer in Drawing at Lancaster University. His two Flood Story drawings are speculative fictions which imagine a future radically changed by rising sea levels and a Terra Incognita that we will all have to come to know. Influenced in part by J.G. Ballard's early pulp Sci Fi novella Drowned World (1962) and Leonardo da Vinci's drawing

A Cloudburst of Material Possessions (1510), both of which 'haunt' us with images of lost futures, each work in this series depicts a future scuba-diver returning to visit their lost home.

Pip Dickens

Pip Dickens, Lecturer in Fine Art: Painting, presents a painting that resulted from a Leverhulme Residency research trip to Kyoto, Japan. The painting was influenced by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki's essay on Japanese aesthetics: 'In Praise of Shadows' which was recommended to her by prominent British architect, Ken Shuttleworth (designer of the famous Gherkin building) when working on a commission for his firm, Make Architects. Pip, in turn, has recommend and used aspects of Tanizaki's reflections in her teaching for many years.

Charlie Gere

Charlie Gere is Professor of Media Theory and History in the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University. His contribution to the exhibition is a large poster work about what he calls ‘Instagrammatology’, which juxtaposes quotations about photography, Buddhism, death and the instant with an etymological breakdown of the brandname Instagram.

Jen Southern

Jen Southern is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art: New Media, and is presenting Seeding Things No.2 a new version of her current work with machine learning. The work is made through a series of generative encounters with systems that grow. During the past year a clay mountain embedded with seeds has been watered and photographed regularly. Over 1000 photographs were used to build a machine learning model which can now generate stills and video versions of this grassy terrain. This physical and digital process engages with the process of growth and ‘matters of care’ (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017) in more-than-human worlds. http://www.theportable.tv/seedingthings

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