Shift/Work [STATIC] Speculations

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance

Abstract / Description of output

Founded in 2010 by Neil Mulholland and Dan Brown in Edinburgh, Scotland, Shift/Work ( supports the active peer production of Open Education Resources (OER) for artists. An iterative practice continually re-performed like a musical score, Shift/Work solicits autopoetic and generative workshop compositions. Shift/Work is a performative paragogics (Corneli 2011) wherein peers compose and play-test Shift/Workshops for one another. Shift/Workers practise a multilateral approach to workshop composition. Groups of paragogues compose a score to be performed by their peers. Composers then switch roles to become players, performing workshop scores composed by their peers. This generates a metacognitive feedback loop that enables the group as a whole to identify, observe, experience and recalibrate their own artistic learning.

At SAW on November 9th 2019, the Confraternity of Neoflagellants (Norman Hogg and Neil Mulholland) will conduct a performance of Shift/Work Speculations, a score-scroll originally composed at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop to be performed at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale Biennale, India (March 2017). It has since been performed in Kristiansand (Norway), Malmö (Sweden), Edinburgh (Scotland) and Calgary (Canada).

Speculation is a ‘gesture that interrupts’ (Biesta 2017, 36); an ‘irritation’ (Ascott 2003, 145); ‘a corruption, a rupture of information’ […] ‘static, a parasite?’ (Serres and Schehr 2007: 3) The speculative parasite is one that stimulates paragogic play, materialising Shift/Workers’ learning expectations. In performing each other’s Speculations Shift/Workshops, Shift/Workers gain a metacognitive understanding of the speculative processes and challenges of artistic learning.

Scroll-score: To blackbox facilitation, Confraternity of Neoflagellants will scaffold play with a scroll-score, a minimal set of prompts that sets the parameters within which Shift/Workshop design is communally performed. Confraternity of Neoflagellants will be using a set of Speculations Playing Cards as parasites for interference, gestation, regurgitation and problem creation. Speculative materials, probes and props will be drawn directly from the pan-pan exhibition.

Exempla: The Kochi-Muziris scroll-score, cards and three ESW-scores are published as an OER so that they can easily be recalibrated and run by any group of Shift/Workers. The Ottawa performance - Shift/Work: [STATIC] Speculations - will constitute a S/W-CoN conglomerate exempla of the scroll-score.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOttawa, Canada
PublisherSAW Video
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2019


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  • ρan-ρan

    Mulholland, N. & Hogg, N., 1 Jul 2021, New York City: Punctum . 203 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Open Access
  • Shift/Work: Speculations

    Mulholland, N., Nov 2019, Leap into Action: Critical Performative Pedagogies in Art & Design Education. Campbell, L. (ed.). New York: Peter Lang, p. 21-26; 39-40; 59-60 9 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • pan-pan: Confraternity of Neoflagellants

    Mulholland, N., Hogg, N. & Lochhead, N., 16 Oct 2019

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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