On the Radar – Making Something of Nothing


Next Friday (7th March) Radar, the University’s own art’s programme, is running a day-long symposium which will seek to explore the nature of artistic practices as ‘reproductive’ and ‘affective’ labour.

This symposium looks at how some recent artistic practices seem to be interested in interrogating the nature of labour, and artistic labour in particular, placing certain activities, such as printmaking and ceramics for example, in proximity to those Marx would have spoken of as ‘reproductive labour’, and also to what more recently has also been defined as ‘affective’ labour.

The title is borrowed from Lucy Lippard’s famous text ‘Making Something from Nothing’ (1978), in which Lippard was attempting an articulation of the contradictions arising with more women emerging in the art scene, between their artistic labour and the reproductive labour they performed in the home, connecting their artistic activities to traditional making activities not part of high-art or culture.

The symposium will be wondering if today, with the de-skilling, precarization and ‘feminisation’ of labour in post-Fordism, artists are starting to look at the question of reproduction in relation to making afresh. Print and pottery have been engaged with, in recent times, by artists interested in critiquing value production within the art system or involved in participatory and community-based work. It will look at raising questions about the status of the objects generated through these activities.

The symposium is part of a programme of activity organised by Loughborough School of the Arts’ Politicized Practice Research Group around the theme of value and a related series of commissions by Radar.

The symposium will be taking place in the LUA Project Space in the Edward Barnsley Building between 11am-5pm. Tickets cost £10, which includes lunch and refreshments. To book yourself a place, go to the Online Store.