As part of the ‘Late at Tate’ series, Urbanomic presented an evening event at Tate Britain with contemporary sound, video, and sculptural work, and other interventions exploring the emerging philosophical paradigm of Speculative Realism and its impact on contemporary art practice.
Featuring work by artists Amanda Beech, William Bennett, Mikko Canini, John Gerrard, Florian Hecker and Pamela Rosenkranz, the event included:
• Premieres of two new sound works commissioned by Urbanomic:
— Speculative Solution by Florian Hecker, exploring conceptual themes from French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux’s After Finitude, which argues for the absolute contingency of all laws of nature;
— Extralinguistic Sequencing by William Bennett (Whitehouse) + Mimsy DeBlois, using processed voice recordings and disorienting language patterns to expose an extralinguistic reality operating beneath ‘meaning’.
• Screenings of British artist Amanda Beech’s Sanity Assassin (2009), a claustrophobic journey through an exiled Theodor Adorno’s LA nightmares, and drawing on philosopher Ray Brassier’s nihilist masterpiece Nihil Unbound, with its declaration that we are all ‘already dead’
• Canadian artist Mikko Canini’s The Black Sun Rise (2010), a darkly abstract survey of a depopulated London.
• An installation, in one of the Tate’s sculpture galleries, of work drawn from Swiss artist Pamela Rosenkranz’s show Our Sun at Istituto Svizzero in Venice. A speculative-realist interrogation of the classic Venetian aesthetic of ‘light and water’, Rosenkranz’s work opens a dialogue with Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia, a ‘theory-fiction’ that rethinks the relation between sun and earth.
• A curatorial intervention rethinking the Tate Britain room Art and the Sublime as The Real and the Sublime, with a work Lufkin (near Hugo, Colorado)(2009) by John Gerrard.
• A panel discussion with Robin Mackay, Iain Hamilton Grant, Mark Fisher (K-Punk) and Amanda Beech.