Archive for February, 2009

Announcing ‘The Open Office For Words’ theme for the month of March 2009.

February 26, 2009
March’s theme at the Open Office for Words is Representation.



Edward Clydesdale Thomson’s talk: A Leopard, Some Monkeys, Numerous Butterflies, Dozens of Peacocks and a Sublime Vista, looks at the politics of representation by observing how different technologies of display affect our modes of looking and thus our visual experience/s. Together with Jonathan Crary’s notions about modes of attention and Foucault’s ideas on technologies of  power, he brings us on a journey through the Rotterdam Zoo via three different modes of spectatorships; spectacular vision / social vision / fully immersive vision, as they are shaped for us by the surrounding architecture. 

Ruth Legg’s talk: The Look of Science looks at how images are used to display meaning and knowledge in different contexts, particularly within science. Her focus is on examining the ways in which an image, object or set of words is made to represent a range of ideas, system of beliefs or produce a collective mood. She will be presenting a work in progress, which addresses the way in which science, through-out history has used imagery to present difficult ideas.

Priscila Fernandes’ work: The Ultimate Explanatory Representation of the Self (video performance realized exclusively for this talk) is the documentation of an absurd effort to find an ultimate representation for the notion of identity. The character in the video, in a didactic exercise of incongruous references from the Enlightenment individual to the postmodern subject, explains the imagining of multiple personalities (or shared personalities) as reflective of a sense of the fragmented representation of identity in contemporary society.

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Imaginary Cinema – The Politics of Representation

February 5, 2009

“Imaginary Cinema” -a panel discussion and artists presentations.

Sunday, February the 15th. 15.00-18.00, Witte De With Straat 63, Rotterdam (Formerly the Fotomuseum)

A Round-table discussion about the politics of representation with Deirdre M. Donoghue, Edward Clydesdale-Thomson, Ruth Legg and Sjoerd Westbroek.

An afternoon of discursive pleasures: Edward Clydesdale-Thomson invited four artists for  a round -table discussion on the politics of representation. A collection of edited audio described film scenes will be screened.

Audio description for the cinema is a way to allow a blind or visually impaired public to follow, and hopefully enjoy, the experience of going to the cinema. Unlike the more common audio description found on DVD’s and increasingly on television broadcasting, audio description for the cinema encourages accessibility in a public arena rather than the home. Audio description lays down an additional soundtrack over the original film, which uses verbal description as a substitute to the visual image. The method in which each film is described varies greatly depending on the film in question. Within the discussion audio description will be covered both in this existing form and explored in its inherent potentials.

Three artists have been asked to give a statement in the form of a presentation of their work. A show-reel of edited sections of audio described film will then be screened. After which the discussion will be opened up to the public, as the panel discuss their differing attitudes and focus on an attempt to formulate a statement verbalising the position and potential of audio description within the politics of representation.

The artists on the panel are: Sjoerd Westbroek, whose practice focuses on the language of drawing, in an elastic manor he examines the mediums great paradox; that the moment something is depicted, that thing disappears behind the opaque surface of the drawing. Ruth Legg, whose multifaceted practice is an exploration of the potential that lies in exhaustion, her works with lucid irony both defy and defend the banality of their material. Deirdre Donoghue, whose films explore the nature of memory, as an act that unfolds within social encounter, illustrating its ambiguity and instability, simultaneously being created and recalled.

Due to the natural size constraints of a round table places are limited. To book a seat or for more information please write to



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February Open Office For Words

February 2, 2009

February '09 / Open Office


February’s Open Office for Words took place on the 1st of February at ADA, Area for Debate and Art, Rotterdam.

Speakers included: Alexis Blake, Marjolijn Dijkman, Deirdre M. Donoghue, and Sjoerd Westbroek.

The following reader has been compiled from the texts and artworks that were present.

The Office served Passion Cake, French Chocolate Cake and Blueberry/Cinnamon muffins.

A selection of Coffee, Rooibos and Chinese Jasmine tea was poured.



-Notes on Gesture in Means Without End: Notes on Politics, Giorgio Agamben, University of Chicago Press, 2000.

-The Politics of Small Gestures, Mika Hannula, Art-ist publications, Istanbul 2006.

-Gesture and Thought, David Mc Neill, University of Chicago, 2006.

-Two Gestures While Waiting for a Third, Victor J.Vitanza, (

-Chrilogia: Or The Natural Language of The Hand, John Bulwer, London, Thomas Harper 1644.

-Inventory / Talk to The Hand, in Cabinet issue 26., Brial Dillon.

-Becoming Besides Ourselves: The Alphabet, Ghosts and Distributed Human Being, Rotman, Lenoir, Duke University Press, 2008.

Practical Illustrations of Rhetorical Gesture and Action, Henri Siddons, Printed for Sherwood, Neely and Jones, London, 1822.

-Gesture Sequences in The Practice of Everyday Life-Volume 2. Certeau, Giard, Mayol, Univerisity of Minnesota, 1998.

-Social Choreography; Ideology as Performance in Dance and Everyday Movement, Andrew Hewitt, 2005.

-Yvonne Rainer, The Mind is a Muscle, Catherine Wood, Afterall Books, 2007.

-Theory of The Street, Paulien Oltheten, NAI Publishers,

Gesture and Speech Production, De Ruijter, University of Nijmegen, 1999.

Gesture and The Nature of Language, Armstrong, cambridge University Press, 1995.

-Gesture in Medieval Drama and Art, (ed.) Clifford Davidson, Medieval Institute Publication, 2005.

-Gesture:Visible Action as Utterance, Kendon, Cambridge University Press, 2004.

PhD Dissertation:

– Gestus in The Theatres of Brecht and Beckett, Barry Batorsky, The Graduate Centre of The City University of New York, 1987.


Gesture, John Benjamin’s Publishing Company,Amsterdam, NL.

Art Books:

-Theatrum Orbis Terrarum / Gestures, Marjolijn Dijkman, Jan Van Eyck Academie and Peacock Visual Arts.

-Survival Of An Idea, Özlem Altin, 2008.

Art Works:

-Monster, Ruth Legg, (video work 9’33”).

February '09 / Open Office February '09 / Open Office February '09 / Open Office