Standard Deviation: Time and The Body

30 May 2015 : 1:00 pm - 6:30 pm

A half day symposium followed by drinks reception and book launch

21st century modes of productivity, linked to networked computers that never sleep, demand more and more time from us - a demand that penetrates deep into the dark space of the body. As Hannah Arendt has argued, without this dark space - a darkness that 'suffuses our private and intimate lives' - the singularity of the self is eroded. [1] How does the body respond to - or resist - increasing modes of regulation and visibility and instead go its own, rather more unruly, way? What kinds of mark making can artists offer as evidence - or trace - of this resistance?

This symposium is conceived and led by artist Susan Morris and marks the completion of a series of Jacquard tapestries derived from recordings of her sleep/wake patterns. Made by wearing an Actiwatch - a device used by Chronobiologists to track disturbances in sleep - the recorded data is converted directly into coloured yarn. As such, the work represents a form of automatic drawing, with each minute of the year represented by a single thread.

One such tapestry, which shows the artists’ activity and rest over a period of five years, will be on display during the symposium. A limited edition artists’ book on the work, Sun Dial : Night Watch_Tapestry Dossier, designed by Valentine Ammeux, will also be launched at this event.

 [1] Crary, J (2013) 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, Verso, London, p21


Briony Fer (Professor of History of Art, University College London): On Darkness

Margaret  Iversen (Professor Emerita, University of Essex): Marking Time

David Lomas (Professor of Art History, University of Manchester): Tangled Lines

Susan Morris (artist and writer): Standard Deviation

Michael Newman (Professor of Art Writing, Goldsmiths, University of London): Anti-Portraiture in the work of Susan Morris

Plenary Discussion chaired by Kate Macfarlane and Mary Doyle, co-directors, Drawing Room 

Ticket Remaining Book by Price Qty
View large image Spread from SunDial:NightWatch_Tapestry Dossier, 2015

Susan Morris, Spread from SunDial:NightWatch_Tapestry Dossier, 2015 Artists' book, 28 x 17cm, edition of 100