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Iconoclasms and 'the urgency of now'

Tuesday 8 June 2021, 4.00PM to 5.30pm

Speaker(s): Richard Clay, Professor of Digital Cultures, Newcastle University

Richard will be arguing that thinking about public sculptures as signs involved in coding spaces can help us to explore how and why such objects become contested at different times and to differing degrees. He will also be discussing how changes in media technologies over the last 250 year have impacted on the treatment of public sculpture.

About the speaker:

Although Richard’s publications range across a wide array of subjects, they all tend to examine aspects of contested meaning making in public space. He often explores how changing technologies offer new opportunities to recode the meaning and value of the spaces that we share: from iconoclasm in revolutionary Paris, to graffiti’s use in armed conflicts past and present; from contemporary jewellery as wearable art, to watercolour’s role in the Birmingham Blitz.

Over the years, Richard has led a range of major cross-disciplinary and cross-sector projects funded by the EU and by the AHRC. He has also written and presented seven 60-minute documentary films for BBC 4: Tearing Up HistoryA Brief History of GraffitiUtopia: in Search of the Dream (parts, 1, 2, 3); How to Go Viral: The Art of the MemeC21st Century Mythologies. He also wrote and presented the BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘Two Minutes to Midnight’. 


Location: Zoom

Admission: This is a private event for History of Art Department staff and students only.