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UAL Research Online

Machinic Alliances

Throp, Mo and Walsh, Maria (2008) Machinic Alliances. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Throp, Mo and Walsh, Maria

This is an exhibition of contemporary artist’s work exploring a space in-between the categories of human and animal.

It was co-curated by Mo Throp, Maria Walsh and Danielle Arnaud. The exhibiting artists were Reiko Akatsuka, Liz Arnold, Edwina Ashton, Marcus Coates, David Cotterrell, Lucy Gunning, Jaki Irvine, Paulette Phillips, Kate Smith, Mo Throp and Clara Ursitti.

This exhibition explores the Deleuzian idea of the ‘machinic’ – as a process that expresses our capacity as humans to form alliances with non-human forces – these might be animal, insect, plant, virus or machine. The works selected for the exhibition explore possibilities for the viewer to experience difference as a positive relation rather than one in which the human co-opts and dominates that which it is not (i.e. animal, plant, machine).

Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of becoming animal proposes that there is a more enabling relation based on alliance and assemblage, relations that subsume neither the one nor the other. The works explore relations between, as sites of transformation and opening to new possibilities for identity; they allow the viewer to question the boundaries that constitute the relations between one form and another.

"The artworks in this exhibition perform unholy alliances between categories of human/animal/technological. Thrown to the wind is the plot of an original wholeness and purity. Instead, machinis alliances scramble and graft singular identities, creating perverse formations that escape the Oedipal trap of filiation (Donna Haraway). These machinic alliances have no father (like Frankenstein) and eschew anthropocentric identification. In their multiplicity, they push against the limits of understanding. Categories are undone. Awkward couplings arise. Inhuman differences emerge. But paradoxically, it is here in the space of machinic encounter that we can learn how to live differently. The ‘new’ alliances explored in this exhibition do not reproduce the antagonism of one self against another self, but generate a bestiality of possible selves, liberating us from the alienating problematics of narcissistic recognition. In the spaces made possible by the works in this exhibition we are propelled to imagine wacky and wonderful possibilities for our identities. Disturbing, yet pleasurable, these post-gender creatures produce encounters that acknowledge the difficulty of difference, yet relish in the production of anomalous differences that exceed categorization."
--Mo Throp and Maria Walsh

Additional Information (Publicly available):

The exhibition was also linked to the Tate conference ‘Close encounters of the Animal Kind’ co-curated by Mo Throp with Maria Walsh and Rosi Braidotti.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 4 July 2008
Funders: Subjectivity & Feminisms Research group at Chelsea College of Art & Design
Related Websites: http://www.daniellearnaud.com/exhibitions/exhibition-machinic-alliances.html
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London4 July 200810 August 2008
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2013 14:58
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 15:46
Item ID: 6048
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6048

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