Talks: Cannibal Metaphysics/BC Time-Slip (Part 2) and Diagramming Politics
4 May 2019

Sat 4 May 2 – 5pm
SPACE Mare Street
£5, book your ticket here 

Cannibal Metaphysics/BC Time-Slip (Part 2)
This is the second part of a lecture first given by Cussans at Dynamo Arts Association, Vancouver in August 2016 exploring analogies between Philip K. Dick’s Exegesis, George Bataille’s Theory of Religion, Viverios de Castro’s notion of 'Cannibal Metaphysics’ and the inter-species cosmology of the Kwakwak’wakw people of British Columbia.


John Cussans is an artist, writer and researcher whose work draws on the cultural legacies of Surrealism, critical ethnography and the popular genres of horror, science fiction and the esoteric. He is the co-founder of several collaborative arts projects including The Bughouse (a celebration of the work of Philip K. Dick), The Free School in a New Dark Age and DRUGG (Diagram Research, Use and Generation Group). Since 2009 he has been closely involved with the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, often working with the Haitian video collective Tele Geto. Since 2016 he has been working on an inter-cultural artistic research project in British Columbia called The Skullcracker Suite inspired by Hox’hok, the giant cannibal crane of Kwakiutl legend, investigating processes of cultural decolonisation in the region since the 1970s.

Diagramming Politics
Diagramming Politics is a live drawing lecture, mapping out a political landscape that has witnessed the rise of authoritarian populism in an era of neoliberal crisis. Kenning will draw on a range of political theories to broach questions of representation, identity and social relations with respect to individuals, communities, countries, and markets. From a basic pyramidal structure linking power to security and freedom Kenning will map out three distinct state forms which appeal to the demands of constituencies and which relate to overarching ideas of sovereignty.

The methodological approach combines diagrammatic and emblematic figuration, and is premised on the notion that drawing is a powerful tool of analysis and theoretical speculation. It is a proposition to engage with modes of visual representation as a means to understand, compare, question and propose models of the political.


Dean Kenning is an artist and writer. His artworks range from kinetic sculptures to videos and diagrams, often employing DIY, allegorical and autodidactic methods and modes of representation to engender visceral, uncanny and humorous encounters and to explore political and philosophical material. Solo exhibitions have taken place at Five Years, Piper Keys and Beaconsfield, and he has exhibited internationally in group exhibitions including at Greene Naftali and BAK. He has published articles in journals such as Third Text, Art Monthly, and the Journal of Visual Arts Practice, including on the politics of art and art education. He is a Researcher at Kingston School of Art and also teaches Fine Art at Central St Martins.