Stuart Hall Library
Monday 9 October, 5.30-7.30pm
Free, booking via Eventbrite essential
Join us on Monday 9 October 5.30-7.30pm for the launch of Afterall’s newest One Works publication Donald Rodney: Autoicon by Richard Birkett at the Stuart Hall Library. The evening will include a reading by the author Richard Birkett.
Donald Rodney: Autoicon is an illustrated examination of Donald Rodney’s last work, completed posthumously. First launched at iniva in 2000, the web and CD-ROM-based Autoicon was conceived by Donald Rodney in the mid-1990s but completed posthumously, after his sickle cell anaemia-related death, by a group of close friends and artists ironically named Donald Rodney plc. With the work’s production overseen by Rodney’s occasional collaborator Mike Phillips and his colleagues Adrian Ward and Geoff Cox at Science Technology Arts Research (STAR) at the University of Plymouth, alongside Gary Stewart at iniva, Donald Rodney plc included artists and writers Eddie Chambers, Richard Hylton, Virginia Nimarkoh, Keith Piper and Diane Symons. As an index of entangled social and material relations, Autoicon offers a form of dispersed memory that challenges stable parameters of subjectivity and authorship.
Twenty-three years later, we reconvene at iniva to celebrate Autoicon through Birkett’s in-depth and generous study of a work brought to life by acts of communal and collective care. The publication will be available to buy alongside other Afterall works and specially paired with iniva’s publications for a special launch discount. Refreshments served from 5.30pm.
For more information contact Jenny Starr, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Birkett is a curator and writer based in Glasgow and Festival Director of Glasgow International. He was Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London from 2017-2020 and Curator at Artists Space in New York from 2010-2016. He has edited and written for publications including Cosey Complex (with Maria Fusco, 2012), Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years (with BC, Jim Fletcher and Stefan Kalmár, 2013), And Materials And Money And Crisis (with Sam Lewitt, 2013) and Tell It To My Heart – Collected by Julie Ault, Volume 2 (with Julie Ault and Martin Beck, 2015). He is the author of the book Donald Rodney: Autoicon (Afterall Books, 2023).
Afterall is a Research Centre of University of the Arts London, located at Central Saint Martins. Afterall focuses its research activities on the value of contemporary art and its relation to wider society. Its specialist research areas include ‘Art Becoming Public’, which addresses exhibitions, institutions and what happens when art becomes public and ‘The Work of Art’, which focuses on researching through the work of art, while interrogating the scope and parameters of this commitment. The research centre works with partners across three continents to deepen this enquiry and make it available through publications, digital access, conferences, screenings and talks.
Image: Invitation to launch of Donald Rodney: Autoicon, Web version, Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), 10 June 2000