Professor Julian Stallabrass in Conversation with Iain Boal | Chaired by Sutapa Biswas |

Open Lecture


Professor Julian Stallabrass


Iain Boal

This event is free and open to all but places are limited so please RSVP to book your place, by emailing

In 2005, Retort’s book, Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War, raised an intense debate about the entanglement of war, terror, spectacle and the economy in the period since the September 11 attacks. Since its publication, there have been many new developments affecting the issues discussed in the book, from the innovations of the Obama administration to Wikileaks and the rise of Web 2.0. In this unique event, Iain Boal, one of the Retort authors, and Julian Stallabrass, will discuss these developments in the context of ongoing war and intensive spectacle.

Julian Stallabrass is a writer, curator, photographer and lecturer. He is Professor in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and is the author of Art Incorporated, Oxford University Press 2004, Internet Art: The Online Clash Between Culture and Commerce, Tate Publishing, London 2003; Paris Pictured, Royal Academy of Arts, London 2002; High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s, Verso, London 1999 and Gargantua: Manufactured Mass Culture, Verso, London 1996; he is the co-editor of Ground Control: Tecnology and Utopia, Black Dog Publishing, London 1997, Occupational Hazard: Critical Writing on Recent British Art, Black Dog Publishing, London 1998, and Locus Solus: Technology, Identity and Site in Contemporary Art, Black Dog Publishing, London 1999. He has written art criticism regularly for publications including Tate, Art Monthly and the New Statesman. He is an editorial board member of Art History, New Left Review and Third Text. He curated the 2008 Brighton Photo Biennial, ‘Memory of Fire: Images of War and the War of Images’.

Iain Boal
is a social historian of science and technics, affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz. He is currently a Fellow at the Institute of Humanities at Birkbeck. He is associated with Retort, a group of writers, artisans, artists and teachers based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He co-edited Resisting the Virtual Life: The Culture and Politics of Information (City Lights, 1995) and was one of the authors of Retort’s Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War (Verso, 2006). He collaborated on Retort’s installation at the 2nd Seville Biennial, “To Offend Our Enemies”, in 2006/7. He is co-editor of the forthcoming West of Eden: Communes, Commoning and Utopia in Northern California (PM Press). In 2005/6 he was a Guggenheim Fellow in Science and Technology, and his brief and heretical history of the bicycle, The Green Machine, will be published by Notting Hill Editions in the spring of 2011.

The Event will be recorded for broadcast purposes, by ONFM Radio 101.4

Other forthcoming lectures are:

18th May: Michael McMillan, ‘The Kitchen: Memory and Food Cultures’, Introduced by Carol Tulloch.

1st June: TBA.

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