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Simon O'Sulivan

Performance Fiction: Towards a Mythopoetic Contemporary Art Practice

My paper will introduce a few concepts that seem to me to be useful for thinking a form of contemporary art practice that might be called 'Performance Fiction'. They follow both from my ongoing engagement with Deleuze and Guattari's writings, and from the collaborative practice I have with David Burrows under the name Plastique Fantastique. In particular I will be concerned with the way in which such practices contribute to a different production of subjectivity (especially through collaboration and collectivity), how they stutter and stammer dominant signifying registers, how they mobilize a different kind of temporality to the everyday (the time of the event), and how they might be understood as specifically mythopoetic in character. In laying out this framework I will also make some remarks about what is perhaps the dominant take up of Deleuze and Guattari's writings within the expanded field of contemporary art, namely, 'Relational Aesthetics'.

About the keynote speaker

Simon O'Sulivan is Senior Lecturer in Art History/Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thought Beyond Representation (London: Palgrave, 2005) and On the Production of Subjectivity (London: Palgrave, forthcoming), and editor (with Stephen Zepke) of both Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New (London: Continuum, 2008) and Deleuze and Contemporary Art (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010).

Details of his collaborative art practice, Plastique Fantastique, can be found at