MCAC is holding a symposium in conjunction with the exhibition Exhuming the Archive by Jiann Hughes exploring the unstable materials relied upon in contemporary remembering, the bodies that they reconfigure, and how they come to matter. This half day symposium will include lunch followed by presentations from Rachel O'Dwyer, Michael O'Rourke, Tina Kinsella and Matt Packer (Director, CCA Derry~Londonderry). 

Symposium: FREE. Places are limited, to book your free place contact or call MCAC on 0044(0) 28 3839 4415.

Symposium Bus: A FREE bus will run from Belfast to MCAC Portadown and back on the afternoon of the symposium. Book a free place (contact above). Bus departs from Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast at 12.15pm and departs from Portadown at 3.30pm.


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MATT PACKER: Matt Packer (b.1978, Carmarthen, Wales) is a curator, writer, and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry.  He has curated over 30 exhibitions and projects in independent and institutional contexts, both in Ireland and internationally, including Disappearing Acts, Lofoten International Art Festival (2015); Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (2015) and Magic Touch (2014) at CCA Derry~Londonderry; Lost Boys (2013) and School Days (2011) at Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; O Flesh (2013) and FWA: Freeing Welsh Architecture (2012) at Treignac Projet, Limousin (FR); A Neutral Flexible Structure at Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen (2013); When Flanders Failed (2011) at Royal Hibernian Academy; Ice Trade (2008) at Chelsea Space, London. He has taught on postgraduate programmes at IADT Dun Laoghaire, OTIS College of Art & Design Los Angeles, and CCAD Cork, and has published over 100 texts in magazines and journals such as Kaleidoscope, Source Photographic Review, Frieze, Concreta, and Camera Austria, as well as artist publications. He is a graduate of the Curating programme at Goldsmiths College London and a member of IKT: The International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art. , facebook

RACHEL O'DWYER: Rachel O'Dwyer is a government of Ireland research fellow currently based in Maynooth University.  She is the leader of the Dublin Art and Technology Association and the initiator and lead curator of openhere, a festival and conference on the digital commons. She writes about on digital media, political economy of communications, and media art and culture. She is a regular contributor to Neural Magazine and the founding editor in chief of the open access peer-reviewed journal Interference: A Journal of Audio Culture.

@Rachelodwyer , facebook

ABSTRACT: There is no cat”: A prehistory of (im)material networks
The luminiferous ether was an imagined medium used in the 18th and 19th century to explain action at a distance and the propagation of heat, light, radio waves and even telepathic communications through space. While the existence of any such medium was disproved by Einstein’s theory of relativity in the early twentieth century, the ethereal continues to ghost wireless communications such as radio, cellular networks and the Internet of things. Cultural and scientific imaginaries of the ether as a kind of tangible-intangible medium give insight into contemporary wireless networks, their materiality, aesthetics and political economies. Specifically the ether provides a way to think through the relationship between the ‘material’ and ‘immaterial’ in digital networks, allowing us to move away from an approach that distinguishes between these towards one that recognises their interrelationship and appropriates both as one.

MICHAEL O'ROURKE: Michael O'Rourke writes about the intersections between queer theory and continental philosophy. 

@tranquilicon , facebook

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TINA KINSELLA: Investigating the relationship between art practice, process and theory, my research institutes conversations between Psychoanalytic Theory, Philosophy, Affect Theory and Gender Theory to explore the intersections of subjectivity, aesthetics, ethics and politics in contemporary Visual Culture, art practice and performance. I am a lecturer and thesis supervisor for the M.Phil Gender and Women’s Studies, Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, TCD, MA Sexuality Studies, DCU, Faculty of Visual Culture, NCAD, and School of Creative Arts, DIT. In addition I am a Visiting lecturer on the MA Art & Process, Crawford College of Art, Cork, and Research Associate at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM), Dublin. Ph.D undertaken at National College of Art and Design was funded by a full-time postgraduate scholarship from the Irish Research Council and examined by Professor Griselda Pollock. This doctoral thesis concerned the artistic practice and psychoanalytic theory of Bracha L. Ettinger. 

Conceptual Director of 'Umbilical', a multimedia collaborative performance  work which weaves Butoh Dance, original musical score and digital media. This piece received its premiere in Rua Red South Dublin Arts Centre, November 2011. 

@TinaKinsella , facebook