Art research seminar: Ryan Nolan and Louise K. Wilson

Artists Ryan Nolan and Louise K. Wilson share an insight into their work

  • Stonehouse Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building

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Ryan Nolan

The concept of the contemporary has undergone a process of substantivation in recent years, transforming from the ‘everyday historicist meaning of ... “living, existing, or occurring together” in the same chronological time’,* to a term that describes the temporal complexities of the historical present – the implications of which have been discussed with regards to contemporary art by a number of philosophers, theorists and practitioners. 

Ryan’s research sits within the discourse of contemporaneity, and the notion of ‘the contemporary’ in relation to contemporary art. In particular, he is interested in the structure of contemporaneity as the product of an act of temporal conjunction, and the ways in which this manifests in art practice as a complication of linear notions of (historical) time; the way in which art produces contemporaneity, or, produces contemporary subjects; and lastly, the ways in which this discourse problematises totalising logics of periodisation and historicity.

*Peter Osborne (2014) The Postconceptual Condition: Or the cultural logic of high capitalism today’ Radical Philosophy: Issue 184 Mar/Apr, pp. 23–24

Ryan Nolan is a musician and art research student at the University of Plymouth. Having completed an MFA, his approach to artistic research is interdisciplinary in nature. He is currently working at the intersection of contemporary art, media theory and the philosophy of (historical) time.


Louise K. Wilson

Louise K Wilson is a visual artist who makes installations, live works, sound works and single channel videos. Processes of research are central to her practice and she frequently involves the participation of individuals from industry, museums, medicine and the scientific community in the making of work. Previous associations have included the Montreal Neurological Institute, the Science Museum, the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training facility in Moscow, the RSPB and the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. 

Her current research uses the medium of sound to ask philosophical and material questions about the spatio-temporal physicality of certain sites and our perceptions of them. She has travelled to numerous (military and scientific) sites including nuclear submarines, US listening stations, university halls, marine research environments, rocket launch sites and disused RAF bases in pursuit of the acoustics of resonant spaces. She has explored the ways in which technologies of the audible create new ways of engaging with lost traces of institutional places.

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