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Topographies of the Obsolete

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2017) Topographies of the Obsolete. In: Topographies of the Obsolete, 30 November 2017, Bd James-Fazy 15 CH-1201 Genève Central +41 22 388 51 00. (Unpublished)

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1. Topographies of the Obsolete presentation, Geneva, 2017 .pdf - Supplemental Material
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2. Neil Brownsword, Artists presentation, Geneva, 2017. 19.59.20.pdf - Supplemental Material
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Abstract or description

Brownsword was invited to deliver two lectures and a workshop to staff and students at Haute École d'art et de Design (HEAD), Genève, who had partnered into phase 2 of the Topographies of the Obsolete project. The first lecture introduced the concept, methodologies and outputs of phases 1 and 2 of Topographies. The second lecture disseminated outcomes from Brownsword’s research into North Staffordshire’s post-industrial landscape and associated impact on people, place and heritage. Afternoon workshops peer reviewed site-specific project proposals for an associated Topographies partner-project with HEAD at the former Langenthal Porcelain factory. In the spring of 2018, students of HEAD – Genève explored issues relating to this now abandoned industrial site. In response to the factory’s history and surrounding narratives, ‘the students and their teachers shared their experiences in the form of artistic projects that evoked, through the site’s furniture and materials, the anecdotes and atmosphere of this unique part of the Swiss industrial heritage’. The project resulted in a significant partner- output demonstrating the application of Topographies innovative methodology and structure for interrogating a post-industrial site of ceramic production through artistic research.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Additional Information: Excerpt taken from project publication – Gerber, M., and Hohmann K., Invasion, 2018. See: ‘In preparation of the two workshops we invited the British researcher and artist Neil Brownsword1, co-director of the research project Topographies of the Obsolete, which has been partnered with the CERCCO of the HEAD, (Center for Experimentation and Realisation in Contemporary Ceramics) since 2016. During his study day in Geneva, Neil Brownsword held a very informative cultural/historical talk on the industrialisation of porcelain production in England, and the post-industrial structural change that has come about over the last decades. He demonstrated this impressively using the example of the SPODE factory in Stoke-on-Trent, where the world, famous Wedgwood manufacturing works are also located, by the way. Much as Brownsword, as a former Wedgwood mould maker, regretted the cultural loss signified by the closure of porcelain production in Langenthal, on the other hand he made our students consider industrial porcelain manufacture's intense staffing, use of raw materials and energy, and how damaging it is to health. The students attended to political, economic and cultural questions like these as they developed their projects and produced works in the ceramics studio of the university’.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Topographies of the Obsolete
Event Location: Bd James-Fazy 15 CH-1201 Genève Central +41 22 388 51 00
Event Dates: 30 November 2017
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2019 10:03
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:55

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