SICK: Cross-College Symposium at RCA London

February 14th 2020

Co-convened by Blackshaw and Adam Kaasa from the Schools of Art & Humanities and Architecture respectively, this symposium is devoted to the social spaces – both physical and virtual – of 'infirmity'. It responds to the creation of communities of artists who identify as chronically-ill and/or disabled, and of the work facilitated by/disseminated through these spaces, which engages with their medicalisation, and exclusion from social and economic life. It asks how the experience of physical and mental ‘weakness’ (to quote the Oxford English Dictionary on the meaning of infirmity), might be activated as both the means of production and the critique of production. It debates, in particular, the social space of the Internet, its import for the bed-bound artist, and complexity as a platform which both enables and, arguably, disables, challenging the empowered, individuated subjectivities it purports to represent.