Monday, 29 October 2012

Grad Prog talk this Weds (31/10)

4pm-5pm, The Egg, MediaCityUK. (Non-Salford students meet 4pm in reception to be signed in). Drinks after!

Charlie Blake (editor of Angelaki) 

Sonic Spectralities: Music, Media and Fundamental Hauntography
From the angelic machinery of 14th century celestial harmonies, to the more demonic machinery of the industrial and post-industrial ages, music has borne a paradoxical relationship with technology, system and structure, on the one hand, and the supernatural, the irrational and the libidinal, on the other. This relationship, a constantly mutating metaphor, does, however, have a certain conceptual stability, in that the imaginal energies that enable creativity and its affective reception in the listener, the dancer, and the enchanted, require the order of instrument and instrumentation to emerge at all.

The libidinal power of music requires, demands even, the machinery of expression as the medium of its transmission, from imagination to imagination, from body to body. But however complex that relationship might have been in human development historically, the creation of recording technologies changes everything. From Edison onwards, two forms of spectrality at least start to emerge in recorded music. The first, represented by the Goethe scholar and Anthroposophist, Rudolf Steiner, envisions elementals of wood, metal and presumably shellac trapped in the industrial process, to the point where playing a record kills invisible entities in droves. The second form of spectrality concerns the creation of entities through the repetition of the lyric as it interacts with musical memory. In this paper, therefore, hauntography will be deployed in an attempt to map the spectralities of recorded music through this tension between the supernatural and the phenomenal.

Charlie Blake was Senior Lecturer in Critical and Cultural theory and Head of the Department of Media, Film and Communications at Liverpool Hope University. He is an executive editor of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities and amongst other publications, has recently co-edited and written for the collections: Shadows of Cruelty: Sadism, Masochism and the Philosophical Muse (two volumes) and Beyond Human: From Animality to Transhumanism. He is currently working on the politics of pornotheology, on immanence and materialism, and on the hauntography of music, and co-editing a collection with Nadine Boljkovac on Deleuze and Affect.

Barthes reading group

Message from Dr Sunil Manghani (who spoke on our Grad Prog a couple of years ago):

I am writing to let you know about a project I've just started which I hope might be of interest to you or colleagues and/or postgrads.

Building on the Neutral reading group in 2011, I have now turned attention to Roland Barthes' Mourning Diary. In the last few days I have begun a live(d) reading of the book using a Roland Barthes Facebook alias. In effect I'm inviting you to follow 'RB' on FB for an exploration of the Mourning Diary, which aims to slow the book down to its 'original' temporality and mode of writing (which is oddly akin to the status update of social media, albeit a fiercely private one). For fuller details of the project, see:

To participate or simply to catch things (here and there) send a 'friend request' to 'Roland Barthes':

The Manchester Hackathon - 17 November 2012

Coders, Hackers & Developers needed to shape the future of the city. 

For the first time ever, the City of Manchester invites you to dig underneath its digital skin. FutureEverything, Open Data Manchester and Manchester City Council are looking for experts and innovators to hack, code, programme and experiment with the city's sets of open data to build new applications and develop future services.

Utilising the open data sets from DataGM made available by Manchester City Council and public sector partners, participants are welcome to produce anything they wish - develop applications to help people find their way around, stay safe, discover new experiences and everything and anything in between. All data is released under the Open Government Licence.

Taking place at MadLab in the heart of Manchester's Northern Quarter on Saturday 17th November, the Manchester Hackathon is set to be an intense, productive and exciting collaboration between the brightest minds in software development and data processing. Entries from both teams and individuals are welcome, and there are cash prizes to be won for the best product at the end of the session, including;
Grand Prize - £4,600*
Best Under 21's Creation - £600
Best Visualisation - £600
Best Locative Application - £600
Developer's Prize - £600
Best Solution for an Identified Problem - £600
* £1000 prize & £3,600 development funding 
The prizes will be selected by a panel of independent industry experts, including Dave Carter (MDDA) and Lou Cordwell (magneticNorth).
The Hackathon takes place on Saturday 17th November 9am - 7pm, with a warmup and networking session beforehand at MDDA (Lower Ground Floor, 117-119 Portland St, Manchester, M1 6ED) on Friday 16th November 6.30 - 8.30pm.
The event is completely free to enter and open to all. Sign up here

Made in Manchester seminars

Made in Manchester is holding a series of seminars in the autumn and winter showcasing how an independent production company works.

The sessions are aimed at anyone who is interested in knowing more about independent production, its relationship with broadcasters and how to work with a company like MIM

Attendees will get the chance to hear how a programme is made, how the ideas process works and what you need to do to impress and get noticed by producers at a company like Made in Manchester. There will also be advice on the financial side of freelancing.

Please see this link for more information and how to book

Media City Masterclasses (30/10)

The University of Salford and BBC Audio Drama North would like to invite you to:

Media City Masterclasses: BBC Audio Drama North

Tuesday October 30th at 5.15pm and 7.15pm

Please join us for the first event in this new series showcasing the work of the different organisations based at MediaCityUK.

At 5.15pm, there will be a special Halloween playback of BBC Audio Drama radio play Midnight Cry of the Deathbird, a drama inspired by the classic silent horror film Nosferatu.

At 7.15pm, BBC Audio Drama North Editor Sue Roberts will be joined by writer and Prix Italia nominee Amanda Dalton for a Media City Masterclass on writing for audio drama.

This is a free event and you are welcome to attend one or both events.

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis so it is advisable to aim to arrive at the Digital Performance Lab 10 - 15 minutes before the event.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Amaral and Murphy talks

Our thanks to Adriana Amaral (above, lecturing in MediaCityUK) and Jay Murphy --- memes to Artaud: the glories of Brazilian trash culture to the policing of French taste culture... Full MMP Grad Prog will be published in the next few days.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

"Tsar to Lenin" screening

Produced by Herman Axelbank •
Narrated by Max Eastman

Precinct Centre (opposite Blackwells), Oxford Road, M13 9GH
Produced by Herman Axelbank • Narrated by Max Eastman


IN 1921.




Tsar to Lenin, first released in 1937, ranks among the twentieth
century’s greatest film documentaries.

It presents an extraordinary cinematic account of the Russian
Revolution—from the mass uprising which overthrew the centuries-old
Tsarist regime in February 1917, to the Bolshevik-led insurrection eight
months later that established the first socialist workers’ state, and the
final victory in 1921 of the new Soviet regime over counterrevolutionary
forces after a three-year-long civil war.

Based on archival footage assembled over more than a decade by the
legendary Herman Axelbank (1900-1979), Tsar to Lenin provides an
unparalleled film record of a revolutionary movement, embracing
millions, which “shook the world” and changed the course of history.

The narration by Max Eastman (1883-1969), the pioneer American
radical, conveys with emotion and humanity the drama and pathos of
the revolution. Hailed by film critics as a masterpiece upon its premier,
Tsar to Lenin aroused fierce opposition from those who feared the
consequences of its truthful portrayal of events.

First, the Stalinist organisations—which could not abide the
documentary’s depiction of the leading role played by Leon Trotsky in
the revolution and civil war—threatened a boycott of theatres that
showed the film. Later, during the McCarthyite era and the Cold War,
public showings of Tsar to Lenin were all but impossible. Seventy-five
years after its premier, the importance of Tsar to Lenin remains
undiminished. Indeed, the fresh wave of historical falsification
provoked by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 lends to this
film exceptional relevance.

In a new period of global capitalist crisis, Tsar to Lenin bears witness
to a moment in history when socialist ideals inspired the greatest
revolutionary movement in world history.

For more information, including reviews visit: TSARTOLENIN.COM

Film Co-op Screening

Manchester Film Co-op and Manchester Open Rights Group would like to invite you to a special screening of 

*The Real Social Network* a film about the new generation of protest.

Date/Time: Tuesday 23rd of October @ 19:45pm.

Location: On The Eighth Day Cafe, 111 Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 7DU.

Admission: £3 waged, £2 unwaged/student.

Protest has changed. Between the first UK student protests in November 2010 and the global uprising in the spring of 2011, a new radicalism, fuelled by modern technology, has hit the streets.

Over 6 months of government cuts, a collective of filmmakers has had exclusive access to the backroom meetings of a group of London students as they hacked software, occupied universities and shut down banks. In the process, they've helped build the movement currently sending ripples across the globe.

The Real Social Network captures the passion, the anger and the technology that has forever changed the game between those in power and us.


More info and trailer:

Facebook event:

Neurodiversity: Experiencing Autism

It's a free event: eventbrite or telephone booking a must as there is limited seating in the DPL.

To register, visit or call 0161 295 2929.

Name:                       Neurodiversity: Experiencing Autism

Date/time:                 Tuesday 23 October, 6.00pm-8.00pm

Venue:                     Digital Performance Laboratory, University of Salford, MediaCityUK, M50 2HE

Event summary:       Lecture by American artist and philosopher Ali Hossaini, part of the ‘As Yet Impossible’ lecture series.


Ali Hossaini is an artist, philosopher, writer and entrepreneur. In 2010 the New York Times described him as a "biochemist turned philosopher turned television producer turned visual poet".  During his highly prolific career he has exhibited his video works internationally whilst also maintaining executive roles in a media and technology-oriented businesses, including MSNBC, ZDTV, Oxygen Media and LAB HD where he has introduced innovations in content, interaction and distribution. This year he moved to the UK to become CEO of CAV Network, a UK-based consortium of cinemas and art centres.

For his As Yet Impossible lecture he will talk about Neurodiversity, an immersive art project that explores what it’s like to be autistic. He will describe how he is combining first person accounts of autism with neurological research and his own observations to model the condition as an immersive, multisensory installation. Ali will argue that "being in another person's skin" is scientifically possible and ethically desirable.

                                 Part of the ‘As Yet Impossible’ lecture series.

                                 Admission: Free.

                                 To register, visit or call 0161 295 2929.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Wednesday 17 October:

Location: The Egg, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays

[Salford colleagues: please bring your ID card to gain entry; I'll be around to sign visitors in at 3 and 4 for non-Salford attendees. It's the University of Salford campus at MediaCityUK; metro stop is MediaCity]

Times: first talk 3.05-3.55. Second talk 4.10-5.00.

Guest Speaker: Professor Adriana Amaral (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos)

Appropriation, “Trolling” and Detour: Brazilian Digital Trash Culture

The rise of digital culture and the popularization of social networks in Brazil over the last decade, has raised many issues concerning the different uses and appropriations of these ICTs. This discussion has been in the spotlight of many public debates in Brazilian society and contemporary mainstream media. Symbolic disputes between different generations, classes, subcultures and organized groups, have been going on through social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The analysis of cultural practices of trolling and the remixing of memes that come from different sources such as the 4chan network or Brazilian media products such as Soap Operas, singers and TV News Shows may reveal political positions and discourses about how this society deals with its social classes, genders, and so on. This talk will focus on what I´m calling Brazilian digital trash that is emerging from this scene.

Adriana Amaral holds a PhD in Social Communication (2005) from PUCRS and was also a visiting scholar at Sociology Department at Boston College, USA. She is currently a Professor and Researcher at Communication Studies Graduate Program (MA/ PhD) at Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS)  She’s also a CNPq researcher and is a member of ABCiber and Aoir - Association of Internet Researchers. Current research includes the areas of the consumption of music through web-based social networks in its relations to fandoms, and identities and musical scenes focusing on goth and industrial music.

Guest Speaker: Jay Murphy (independent scholar / screenwriter)

Learning from Artaud: Indigenous media ecology and the contemporary Theatre of Cruelty

Antonin Artaud’s film work: it is not just because of its crucial importance for Artaud’s own development, however evanescent its notions, its kernels of words-become-things, parallel worlds of time, use of sound as independent element that surrounds and invades the image, and as shock. It is not important just to the history of Surrealism, although The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928), the sole scenario of Artaud’s that was made into film, was the first Surrealist film, before it was overshadowed in notoriety by Un Chien Andalou the next year, and then L’Age d’Or (1930). Artaud’s film work is crucial because it prefigures our conversation today on the dramatic transformation, if not death of the cinematic image. If what Deleuze called “the struggle with informatics” still tends to define the cinematic image we need to ask what Artaud’s recommendations – that film show the inner mechanics and sinews, the structure, of dream, and not use dreams as mere illustration like Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel, but rather create a “collision enacted on the eyes” – have to tell us today. In considering what we may still have to learn from Artaud and his intense, though short-lived engagement with film, that runs most strongly through the years 1927-33, we will look at Artaud’s conception of the image, the cinematic image, in brief comparison to other two other figures foundational in their fields – Aby Warburg and Sergei Eisenstein – in terms of how they define a ‘hieroglyph’ of movement. All three had their course irrevocably marked by their encounter with the “primitive,” with extant rites. In the case of Artaud, he thought he had found a living Theatre of Cruelty among the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico in 1936, that inspired his later ritual and sound works, such as To Have Done With the Judgement of God (1947-48) that for Artaud had achieved a “miniature model” of the Theatre of Cruelty. Yet even among the Tarahumaras Artaud sought what he called in his essay on Van Gogh a “direct creation” not a revival of ancient rites. Artaud remains a challenge and can still provide valuable keys in current research on the image. This paper concludes with examples from the work of filmmaker Philippe Grandrieux, and video artist Gary Hill that provocatively broach traces of Artaud or what an Artaudian cinema could look like.                                                                     

Dr. Jay Murphy is a writer whose screenplays were finalists in 2011 and 2006 for the Sundance Screenwriting Labs; they include Vesco, based on the bestselling book by Arthur Herzog. As a critic living in New York City he contributed to Parkett, Contemporary, Metropolis, Art in America, World Art, Afterimage, Third Text, and other journals. His interactive, collaborative Internet projects have been featured in the Sundance Film Festival. In 2008 he curated gallery exhibitions in New York and Edinburgh (the latter a weekend preview selection in The Guardian); in 2009 and 2011 he organised film festivals on new work from the Arab Middle East that ran in four cities in Scotland as well as the series “First Person” of seven film-makers for Inverleith House and Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh (12 November, 2011 – 22 January, 2012). He completed his doctorate on Artaud at the Centre for Modern Thought/University of Aberdeen in 2011 and has organised an international conference on “Artaud Media Theory” for Goldsmiths College in London to take place in October, 2012. His web site is found at

PhD Funding and Scholarship Opportunities

Project Summary:

These three PhD studentships explore the production and audience engagement, of the art/science projects produced by three organisations, who develop this work from within very different sectors; a large scale scientific project (UNESCO site Dyfi Biosphere, Wales), a geovisualisation organisation (Environment Systems, Wales), and a leading cultural producer (The Arts Catalyst, London). These studentships will conduct ethnographic and practice-based research at these organisations and, drawing on the knowledge and expertise of partners, combine an exploration of the processes of art/science collaboration with a study of the diverse ways these art/science projects engage with multiple audiences, whether these be rural communities, scientists and science communication professionals, artists and gallery-goers, or the ‘general’ public. Collectively, these studentships animate and extend existing debates around art/science projects, and explore of these projects in relation to science communication and contemporary curatorial practices, pointing towards ‘lessons learnt’ and future trajectories.

 The studentships will:
1.      Explore the imaginaries, practices and spatialities that animate art/science projects.

2.      Ask how the organisations that produce these projects meet the challenges they pose.

3.      Assess how art/science projects engage diverse audiences.

4.      Realize new methodologies for the study of art/science projects and their audience engagement

The deadline for applications is 22nd October 2012. The successful applicants will start in January 2013. Interviews will likely be held 8th/ 9th November.

Applications for each of the three studentship awards should be made separately following the application procedures of the relevant university, which are detailed on the links:
Aberystwyth University (with the Dyfi Biosphere):
University of Glasgow (with Environment Systems):
Royal Holloway University London (with The Arts Catalyst):
Candidates may apply for more than one of the studentships, but may only hold one of the awards.

The awards are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the studentship pays post-graduate fees and an annual maintenance grant.

Please note that the usual AHRC eligibility rules apply to these studentships. UK residency is normally required. EU citizens may also be eligible for fees-only awards. Further details on basic eligibility requirements are available from the AHRC web-site see:

Further enquiries should be made to the lead supervisors of the individual studentships:

Michael Woods:

Deborah Dixon:

Harriet Hawkins:


International Anthony Burgess Foundation PhD bursary

Applications are invited for a PhD bursary, to support research into the literature or music of Anthony Burgess and his contemporaries. The bursary will support a scholar beginning his or her studies in the academic year 2013-14. The bursary is tenable anywhere in the world and offers up to £15000 per annum for a maximum of three years.

Areas of research might include the literature or music of Anthony Burgess and his contemporaries, or a critical investigation into one of the areas in which Burgess published (e.g. dystopia, historical fiction, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Joyce, literary journalism, literary biography, or translation).

Applicants should submit a detailed proposal and two academic references (in English). To be eligible, applicants should already have been offered a place on an accredited university PhD programme.

For further information please write to

The closing date for applications is 1 May 2013.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Salford PGRs see "Extremity and Excess" published

A collection of essays based on last year's "Extremity and Excess" conference (report here) has just been published by the university press. Edited by Elinor Taylor, Joseph Darlington, Daniel Cookney, and Greg Bevan, the book contains papers from the fields of art, film, social science, english literature, media studies and music. The contributors and titles are as follows:

Daniel Cookney. "Post-human Pop: From Simulation to Assimilation"
Rob Gallagher. "Larger than Life: Morbidity, Megapixels and the Digital Body"
Lydia Brammer. "Siding with the Pervert: Engaging with the Twisted Hero in Japanese Ero-Guro Cinema"
Erin Whitcroft. "Hysterical Poetics: Chatterton's Excessive Desire for a 'Real' World of Words"
Victoria O'Neill. "'The simplest of proficiencies - the ability to kill my fellow men': Isaak Babel and Making Sense of Extremity"
Will Jackson. "Countering Extremism in the Name of Security: Criminalising Alternative Politics"
Rory Harron. "Exodus: A non-identity art - is everyone an artist?"
Patrick Wright. "Critical Intimacy: Lowry's Seascapes and the Art of Ekphrasis"
Marc Bosward. "Manifest Destiny".

The volume also includes full-colour, high quality reproductions of works by Marc Bosward that were originally displayed in the "Extremity and Excess" Conference, and an introduction by Joseph Darlington outlining what happened on the day and where the papers stand in relation to the event.

A link to the online shop is here -

The book is priced at £6. The price includes P&P, including international shipping. Free copies are also available if they are to be entered into a university library's holdings.

For more information please contact: or