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Stuart Hall Library Research Network: More-than-Human Care

Performance Research Network: Optimystic Dystopia Bones Tan Jones and susan pui san lok

08 Oct 2019
  • Address

    Red Room, Chelsea College of Arts, 45 Millbank, SW1P 4RQ

  • Time


  • RSVP

    Booking required.
    £3 (booking fee applies).

  • Artists

    Pui San Lok Susan

    Tan Jones Bones

Join us as multi-disciplinary artist Bones Tan Jones presents “Optimystic Dystopia” a performative talk in conversation with artist and writer susan pui san lok.

Bones will explore the spiritual practice of self-care in an alternative, queer, optimistic dystopia. They will be screening a preview of a new ongoing project “Lyf After Screen”, a mockumentary of survival techniques passed down through ancestors to endure an apocalypse. In conversation with susan they will seek to create narratives that inspire hope and renewal within the framework of apocalypse.

This event will have a participatory element with audience interaction. Please bring your own reusable cup or mug for a herbal hot drink prepared by Bones.


Bones Tan Jones’ work is a spiritual practice that seeks to fuse activism and art to present an alternative, queer, optimistic dystopia. They work through ritual, meditating through craft, and building forms from their dreams. Bones approaches activism through art, creating diverse, eco-conscious narratives that aim to connect, enthral and induce audiences to think more sustainably and ethnically. Traversing pop music, sculpture, alter-egos, digital image and video work, Bones sanctifies these mediums as tools in their craft.

Bones is the founder of Shadow Sistxrs Fight Club, a physical and meta-physical self-defence class for women, non-binary people and QTIPoC, combining Brazilian JuJitsu and magical/medicinal herbalism to create a holistic approach to self-defence. They also graduated from Central Saint Martins College in 2016, and was awarded the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s graduate residency award. This culminated with a show in March 2017.

susan pui san lok is an artist and writer. Her work ranges across installation, moving image, sound, performance and text, evolving out of interests in archives, nostalgia and aspiration, place and migration, translation and diaspora. Her latest major exhibition at Firstsite, ‘A COVEN A GROVE A STAND’ (2019), explored the folklore surrounding witchcraft and the history of witch persecutions across East Anglia.

susan pui san lok holds degrees in Fine Art (1994) and Feminism and the Visual Arts from the University of Leeds (1996) and completed a combined practice/theory PhD in Fine Art with Aavaa (the African and Asian Visual Artists Archive) at the University of East London (2004). She was Co-Investigator on the AHRC research project, Black Artists and Modernism, and recently joined the University of the Arts London as a Reader in Fine Art.

Booking required! Please get in touch with us at info@iniva.org if the cost of the event prevents you from attending. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Please note the event will take place in the Red Room at Chelsea College of Arts, 45 Millbank, SW1P 4RQ. If you have any access requirements, do get in touch at info@iniva.org or call 020 7630 1278 for more information.

Research Network: Optimystic Dystopia
Image credit: Screenshot from 'Lyf After Screen' © Bones Tan Jones