Trial by Future Dead

Neil Mulholland, Norman Hogg

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Contribution to a panel we curated “Neomedieval Fictioning before and after Contemporary Art” at the Medievalism in the Modern World Conference, University of Manchester, England 28th June-1st July 2017

Our performance can be viewed on

"...a machine never relates to a flow as it is, but rather always transforms that flow according to the internal structure of the machine" (Levi R. Bryant, Onto-Cartography, 2014, p56).

Trial by Future Dead develops CoN's project of non-modern world building through speculative hagiographies, avatar bestiaries, mall-rat pilgrim confessions, technocratic relic translations, liturgical corporate strategizing and scholastic summae of conflict management.

In attunement with neo-animist configurations of the non-human turn, this fictioning will precis two parts of the epic trial of a rooster-redeemed $50 Amazon Gift Voucher. The cock-a-rooster will undergo Trial by Compurgation and Trial by Ordeal:

“Great Moderator: Nevertheless, The Great Moderator asks this of its Defence Council: If we were to forcefully decouple said Voucher organ from said Polyresinal Rooster organ, do you propose that the Cock is culpable but the Coupon not? How is The Swarm to discern and apportion the faulty or culpable portions of this thing without recourse to the butcher’s arts of cutting out the back bits to imprison in a humble pie?”

Similar to a medieval body-part relic, the Polyresinal Rooster organ-redeemedvoucher is part corporeal, part transaction, part commodity. As a cock-object-transaction, subject to continuous translation, the Amazon $50 Redeemed Gift Rooster, inhabits and embodies a cosmology in which aesthetics is not limited to the sensual relations between human selves and world, but, instead, describes a synaesthetic hyper-economy through which all ‘selves’ inscribed or enfleshed, animal, vegetable or mineral, represent, translate and co-construct common-oddities that probe the otherwise separate realities they inhabit. Will the Amazon $50 Redeemed Gift Rooster be proven innocent or guilty? Let the swarm decree….

The presentation is performed in the Confraternity’s own ludic sub lingua franca comprising post-literate netspeak, emojinal gylphs, product spin, inter-species pidgin, object noise-chatter and middle American mall talk. Dialogue includes authentic Electronic Voice Phenomena recordings of the the future dead.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017
EventMedievalism in the Modern World Conference - University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jun 20171 Jul 2017


ConferenceMedievalism in the Modern World Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Neomedievalism
  • Medievalisms
  • Contemporary Art
  • New Materialism


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