Archive for May, 2014



Next Wednesday, 7 May,I’m leading a session for Birkbeck students on the MAs in Modern & Contemporary Literature and Contemporary Literature & Culture

Time: 18:00 – 19:20 

Place: Room B04, 43 Gordon Square

Please come along if you’re around and interested. This work runs on from a piece I wrote earlier this year for the LRB website and is the first element of a new project-in-progress on geometric form.

‘Spiral: Ballard, Smithson and Archaeologies of the Future’, Dr. Mark Blacklock (Chair: Dennis Duncan)

Investigating the relationship between the work of J.G. Ballard and Robert Smithson, focusing on their mutual interest in spirals, this session will work outwards from consideration of this naturally occurring and geometric form. Having established a set of readings of spirals from divergent bodies of thought and practice – geometry, art history, cosmology, anthropology – and engagements in the work of contemporary practitioners – Tacita Dean and Tom McCarthy – it will move on to consider what work form does in Ballard and Smithson, the benefits and pitfalls of adopting an inter-disciplinary apparoach to reading the forms encountered therein, and what occurs in the passage between literary and visual cultures.

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