This one-day practice research symposium sets out to explore the many articulations, explorations and manifestations of ‘liquidity’ in contemporary visual and material culture, history and theory. The event offers a unique opportunity for practitioners, researchers and scholars working across different fields to engage with any topic related to ‘liquidity’ broadly conceived.

With keynote and plenary presentations from Dr Uriel Orlow (artist and Senior Research Fellow, University of Westminster) and Dr Mark Davis (Founder and Director of the Bauman Institute, University of Leeds). Sessions will be chaired by Professors Jon Bird (School of Art & Design, Middlesex) Susan Melrose and Vida Midgelow (School of Media & Performing Arts, Middlesex). Speakers include Dr Anna Dezeuze (Marseilles), Dr Luis-Manuel Garcia (Berlin), Dr Lilian Haberer (Cologne), Helen Hester (Middlesex), Roman Kirschner/Marcel Finke (Vienna), Professor Julie Mcleod/Elizabeth Lomas (Northumbria), Dr Kassandra Nakas (Berlin), Dr Lucia Vodanovic (Middlesex), and Dr Simon Weaver (Brunel).

Liquid modern life is a daily rehearsal of universal transience. Today’s useful and indispensable objects, with few and possibly no exceptions, are tomorrow’s waste. Everything is disposable, nothing is truly necessary, nothing is irreplaceable. Everything is born engraved with the brand of death. Everything is offered with a use-by date attached. All things, born or made, human or not, are until further notice dispensable. Paraphrasing an old and famous statement, I would say that a spectre hovers over the liquid modern world, over its denizens and all their labours and creations; and that is the spectre of redundancy.

Zymunt Bauman, ‘Liquid Arts’, in Theory, Culture and Society, 2007, v.24(1): 117-126