Artists Space

Artists Space Dialogues:
Ciarán Finlayson and The Otolith Group

Conversation
May 4, 2021, 6:30pm

Conversation
May 4, 2021
6:30pm EST
Join the event here

For his second Dialogue, Ciarán Finlayson is joined by The Otolith Group. Founded by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun in 2002, this artist-led collective and organization's research-based work spans moving image, audio, performance, installation, and curation. Drawing on The Otolith Group's expansive body of speculative, Tricontinentalist videos and writing from the past two decades, their conversation will engage the group’s formal use of critical theory, the legacies of both experimental public broadcasting and the radicalism of British polytechnics and “plate glass” universities in the group’s new pedagogical platform, and the meaning of midcentury socialist postcoloniality in the present.

Five figures wearing masks and pearl necklaces tied in a looped knot stand in a row amidst a landscape at dusk.
The Otolith Group. Film still from O Horizon, 2018 (4k video, color, sound), 90 minutes. [Five figures wearing masks and pearl necklaces tied in a looped knot stand in a row amidst a landscape at dusk.]

Artists Space Dialogues is an ongoing series in which an invited curator brings together influential figures in contemporary art and culture to join them in a series of three in-depth public discussions. Our spring series is organized by Ciarán Finlayson, a writer and editor based in New York City. Finlayson has invited artists and philosophers who examine the histories, possibilities, and failures of left politics in a global context. Each of the participants is either engaged in building and sustaining an arts or education institution or in making work about the meaning of exemplary transdisciplinary art and education institutions for the present.

This program will be streamed online via Zoom as part of Artists Space Dialogues.

Artists Space Dialogues: Ciarán Finlayson and the Otolith Group. Dialogue Documentation. Tuesday, May 4, 2021, 1pm. Artists Space, New York. [Video documentation of multiple individuals engaged in dialogue with the use of imagery.]

Ciarán Finlayson is a writer and editor based in New York City. Finlayson’s essays on art and politics have appeared in magazines and journals including PARSE, Kunst und Politik: das Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft, and Artforum, and he is currently the Managing Editor at Blank Forms.


The Otolith Group was founded in 2002. Its work is research based and spans the moving image, audio, performance, installation, and curation. It incorporates film making and post-lens-based essayistic aesthetics that explore the temporal anomalies, anthropic inversions, and synthetic alienation of the posthuman, the inhuman, the non-human, and the complexity of the environmental conditions of life we all face.

Approaching curation as an artistic practice of building intergenerational and cross-cultural platforms, the collective has been influential in critically introducing particular works of artists such as Chris Marker, Harun Farocki, Anand Patwardhan, Etel Adnan, Black Audio Film Collective, Sue Clayton, Mani Kaul, Peter Watkins, and Chimurenga in the UK, US, Europe, and Lebanon.

Program support for Artists Space is provided by The Friends of Artists Space, Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Cy Twombly Foundation, The David Teiger Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Imperfect Family Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, The Danielson Foundation, The Fox Aarons Foundation, Herman Goldman Foundation, The Destina Foundation, The Luce Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, VIA Art Fund, Arison Arts Foundation, The Chicago Community Fund, The David Rockefeller Fund, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Jill and Peter Kraus Foundation, The Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation.