Hélène Cazes, “Improvisitations”

Hélène Cazes is a Professor at the French department at the University of Victoria. She will be talking about genius and transcendental memory


Fabio Akcelrud Durão, “Fragmentos Reunidos”

I’m going to read some fragments from Fragmentos Reunidos, a book that was published in 2015, and some from an unpublished manuscript. The idea behind them is to turn everyday experiences into concepts as they pass through the process of writing, which is here conceived as a means of discovery. Interestingly enough, as they kept appearing, the fragments became also entangled in conversations, adding a new layer to the whole thing, and articulating these three elements, experience, writing and intersubjectivity, in different ways.

Fabio Durão teaches at the University of Campinas (Unicamp) and works on Brazilian literature, Anglo-American modernism and the Frankfurt School. He is the author of many books: O que é crítica literária? (Parábola/Nankin, 2016), Essays Brazilian (Global South Press, 2016), Fragmentos Reunidos (Nankin, 2015), Modernism and Coherence (Peter Lang, 2008) and Teoria (literária) americana (Autores Associados, 2011). He has co-edited, amongst other, Modernism Group Dynamics: The Politics and Poetics of Friendship (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008); has organized The Culture Industry Today (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010). He is the associate editor of the review Alea, and has published several articles both in Brazil and elsewhere in journals such as Critique, Cultural Critique, Luso-Brazilian Review, Parallax, The Brooklyn Rail and Wasafiri.


Tobias Ewé, The Unh͖͚̫̙̲̬e҉̺̲͇̘͍̟̤́͠a̷̢͖͇͔͍̠ͅr̤̯̹͖̳̀͜͜d̷͈͈ ̶̥̲̹̳̳͢

The connection between the M-C-M’, temperature and the unheard is rarely remarked upon. When considering the eventual heat death of the universe, focus is instead given to the end of entropy and dissipation of energy (not sound). I will draw out the relation between entropy, heat, and noise as surplus sound in a nonsensical presentation where the line between form and content become blurred. What will the end of the world sound like? And what will be there to hear it? Hearing is production. In order to hear the unheard, diagrams will be drawn in the name of entropy. A diagram is an invocation.

Tobias Ewé is a vibrational ‘pataphysician and theorist. He is writing a PhD on xenophonia in the Department of Art History at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His research focuses on psychoacoustics in the sonic arts as the crossroads between vibrational inhumanism and speculative aesthetics. His most recent work appears in Holger Schulze, ed (2019), Handbook of the Anthropology of Sound, London: Bloomsbury; and Laboria Cuboniks (2018[2015]), Xenofeminisme: En politik for fremmedgørelse, trans. Tobias Ewé, Copenhagen: Passive/Aggressive. Tobias is a founding member of Research in Art & Media, and a member of University of Copenhagen’s Sound & Senses Research Group along with more occulted patchworks of online research.


Anthony J. Gavin, “Machinic Poetics and Mutant Translations: Adventures in Computational Co-Authorship”

This project consists of a program I developed (with help from a programmer friend), which was conceived when I was up late one night punching random pieces of sentences into predefined language loops using the Google Translate app. The idea was to keep track of the random mutations produced by feeding Google’s translation algorithm back recursively into itself. I soon realized that each feedback loop generated by my program ended in a cadence of sorts, in the form of a repeat-translation, which forces the closure of the mutative play of the algorithm. The final version of the program produces mutant translation poems by printing out each looped translation in sequence, cutting off the sequence after the first full repetition. In my presentation, I demonstrate the program in use, and theorize about both the creation and significance of my mutant translation poetry generator app. 

Anthony J. Gavin is a second year interdisciplinary PhD student at the University of Victoria (UVic), with a concentration in the Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT) Program, and home departments in each of Philosophy and French. His current research interests include posthumanism, new materialism, existentialism and phenomenology, queer feminism and critical race theory.


Natali Leduc and David Gifford (aka Puppets Forsaken), “Nostalgia for Futurism”

Puppets Forsaken launch their World Basement Tour performing excerpts from their Greatest Hits album investigating the forgotten gurglings of Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori
Puppets Forsaken is an acoustic noise collaboration between sculptor David Gifford and living organism Natali Leduc.
Bibliography: Luigi Russolo, The Art of Noise (futurist manifesto), 1913.


Jasper Heaton and Jelena Markovic, “Mending”

Illness and injury throw the sick person and her loved ones’ lives into chaos, unraveling the world and the things they have assumed about the world. It also places the sick person in a position of vulnerability, exposing the interpersonal and constructed nature of self and agency. In this piece we will explore these features of illness through our experiences of being in (Jelena) and caring for someone who has been in (Jasper) a car accident. We will share snapshots of the experience through narratives told from our separate perspectives.

Jelena is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of British Columbia. Her research examines transformative experience through the cases of illness and grief. 

Jasper is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. His research explores the interplay between systems and individuals and considers resistance through identity, primarily through trans and genderqueer people.


Carrie Jenkins, “Timelike”

My presentation is a reading/reading pairing. I will draw and interpret Tarot cards (live and at random) in an attempt to assess the future of academia while reading from my forthcoming novel, Timelike (Penguin Random House, 2020). The novel has been described as “a campus novel that draws parallels between academic and mental institutions, and captures an interiority on the edge of unraveling.”

Carrie Jenkins is a writer and academic. She is the author of What Love Is and What It Could Be (Basic Books, 2017) and Grounding Concepts (Oxford University Press, 2008). Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Malahat Review Far Horizons Award, and she is the recipient of a Public Philosophy award from the American Philosophical Association. She recently won the New Philosopher Writers’ Award for her short story “The Woman At Home.”


Luke James Leo Kernan, “Dictionary of the Lost”

I will perform my poem “Dictionary of the Lost,” and will be submitting a finalized version of it to the CBC Poetry Prize Competition on May 31st. This lyric poem will strive to play with pervasive societal ideas of loss, absence, and erasure—how words (and their referents) perish, become recoded, and ultimately dissipate as reminders of the ineffable—through a series of poetically and politically situated hauntologies, images, and evocations. These literary, anthropological, and etymological bindings of lost words and their worlds will then correspond with the very literal extinction events within our current Misanthropocene.

Luke James Leo Kernan (Ph.D. Student, University of Victoria) is a poet, mythographer, and graphic novelist. His doctoral work in anthropology explores sensory experiences of psychosis, and his ethnographic fieldwork will construct a sensorial narrative of what psychosis is like, i.e. a psychotic break, from arts-based workshops—to model these moments through comics and poetry. Luke has often featured as a spoken-word performer, and he has been recently published in The Anti-Languorous Project’s Soudbite. Correspondences to


Arthur Kroker, TBA


Sara Ramshaw and Kristen Lewis, “Playing with Ornette: Derrida and the Justice and Trauma of Improvisation”

Engaging with a text written by Jacques Derrida and performed onstage alongside free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman at the La Villette jazz festival in Paris on 1 July 1997 – and later published in English as Play: The First Name – this performance uses spoken word and dance improvisation to explore the justice and trauma of improvisation. On the one hand, improvisation self-consciously engages with tradition and convention, enabling resistance to past oppression and injustice. Justice as improvisation, thereby, opens up possibilities for new ways of being together in society, both locally and at the global level. However, as evidenced by the pain Derrida experienced when booed off the stage at La Villette, improvisation is also always traumatic: any first appearance of the ‘not yet recognised’ unsettles and destabalises our current knowledge and understanding of the world. Nothing can prepare us for the arrival of the wholly new. Here, we attempt to unpack this dual nature of improvisation through embodied arts-based practice. 

Kristen Lewis is a life-long performance artist and dancer, with 15 years of devoted practice in performance creation, experimental theatre and dance improvisation. From 2010 to 2017, she built an innovative, child-centered, community-engaged dance teaching practice in the small, vibrant arts community of Salt Spring Island, B.C., while continuing to create and perform original, boundary-pushing performance work concerned with making visible the intersection of the mythic and the mundane.  Kristen is now law student at the University of Victoria, interested in family law as a site of innovation, improvisation, liberation, and peace-building. 

Sara Ramshaw is an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria Faculty of Lawin 2017, following previous appointments at the University of Exeter (England) and Queen’sUniversity Belfast (QUB) (Northern Ireland). Her monograph, Justice as Improvisation: The Law of the Extempore (Routledge, 2013), was nominated for the 2014 Socio-Legal StudiesAssociation Hart Book Prize. More recently, Sara was the principal investigator of alarge UK Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project, entitled Into the Key ofLaw: Transposing Musical Improvisation. The Case of Child Protection in Northern Ireland . Sarahas also held Visiting Fellowships at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (Queen’s UniversityBelfast), the Institute for International Law and the Humanities (Melbourne Law School) and theCenter for Globalization and Cultural Studies (University of Manitoba).


Loumille Métros, “The Virtual Useless”

The taunting of usefulness is not only negative from the perspective of magicians of usefulness. It is negative insofar as its expenditure leads to nothing outside of itself, in a Bataillean excess of unproductive joy. Productivity turned on its head is taunted thus. The key uselessnesses: the modalities of the useless. In modal logic, there are two sets of modality, the alethic and the deontic, which are mapped onto each other.  But what is at stake in modalities is less the truth according to modality, but how thought can encounter such truth beyond truth tables based on “True/False,” “Yes/No,” “Inclusion/Exclusion” in a given class, and other binary sets. This becomes apparent when we think about the useless in its full potential, where the modalities begin to break down.

Loumille Métros is writing an experimental book called Taunting the Useful (accepted at Punctum Book’s “Dead Letter Office” series) which is made up of 144 144-word chapters involving convoluted number sequences, with footnotes leading to endnotes leading back to the chapters.


Eldritch Priest, “Melodies, Moods and Holes: Wayward Thinking in the Zone of Exclusion”

I travelled to Chernobyl in June 2018 with a small group academics, artists and architects to think about what dwelling in and passing through a “zone of exclusion” might entail, not in a metaphysical sense but also not not in a metaphysical sense. As I learned, thinking about the zone is not a straight forward affair. On the one hand the zone is exactly what you might think it is-—a radioactive territory whose crumbling ruins and growing wildlife bear witness to the failure of the soviet nuclear dream. Yet on the other it’s also kind of not what you think it is, like a hole is sort of not the nothing it appears to be but a something that, strictly speaking, it isn’t. Because of this ontological uncertainty the zone is not only something to wander in but something to be wondered about. And as such, it may be better dreamed than simply thought of. 

Drawing on my zonal meanderings and a speculative form of acoustic ecology as well as employing a liberal dose of poetic licence, I develop a “fabulosophy” that takes a stroll through a forgotten cemetery, an improvised melody played beneath a secret radar array, and a daydream had in a dilapidated post office as expressive of a thought experiment whose meaningful result is more a fictional achievement than a factual reckoning. Images and sounds from my peregrinations figure in this work as elements that advance a story about a future people displaced by climate change who evolve the ability to lure affections from environmental spaces by casting melodies into them. In this future history we learn about the costs of noise and the nature of holes; we discover that media travel backwards in time, and we sense not what the zone is but what mood it’s in.     

Eldritch Priest writes on sonic culture, experimental aesthetics and the philosophy of experience from a ’pataphysical perspective. He is Assistant professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. Eldritch is also a composer and improviser, as well as a member the experimental theory group “The Occulture.”


Nikolaus Wasmoen, TBA

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