Reading room #3: lecture by Daniel McClean and book presentation by Robrecht Vanderbeeken

The Residence (reading room)

25.02.2012, 17:00 — 21:00 Lecture

Daniel McClean (UK): 'A Lawful Experiment', lecture

Robrecht Vanderbeeken (BE): 'Drunk on Capitalism', book presentation

Daniel McClean

Daniel McClean specialises in art, media and intellectual property law. He works on the links between conceptual art and the law in terms of immateriality, performance and action. In each case, the contract becomes both the mechanism and the document for recording processes of negotiation and exchange. It excavates relationships, and becomes a diagrammatic structure in a way that is real and binding. McClean states that artists appropriate the performativity of the law, but don’t necessarily rely on its architecture to get there. Filling the gap that emerges between the two, he defines his role as a designer of situations that test relations, and as a mediator of the resulting interaction – even when he’s not dealing with law-based projects.

The second part of Goethe’s Faust was an important inspiration for 'The Residence' project. In reference to the document signed by Faust and Mephistopheles, which was not a contract of service but a wager, Daniel McClean will pursue a hypothetical ‘wager’ for 'Reading Room'. The outcome of a wager is not fixed, and has no set time limit. It is actually a bet on what will happen in the future. In part, the formulation of such a proposition, implies a fictionalisation of McClean’s law practice, yet, as with any contract, the wager also becomes a fascinating site of reflection.

Daniel McClean is an independent curator, writer, and art-legal adviser. McClean was formerly a solicitor at Withers LLP (London and New York) where he specialised in art, media and intellectual property law. In this capacity, he has advised a wide range of public and private art world clients, including the Arts Council of England, Gagosian Gallery, Haunch of Venison, and The Tate. McClean writes regularly on art-legal matters. He was the commissioning editor of 'The Trials of Art' (2007), an anthology that looks at issues such as obscenity, religious sensitivity, aesthetic value, appropriation, and artistic freedom within the context of celebrated legal cases where an artwork has been challenged. McClean holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford and an LLM in IP Law from the University of London.

Robrecht Vanderbeeken

Robrecht Vanderbeeken recently co-edited an interdisciplinary collection of essays. 'Drunk on Capitalism' probes the impact of the market economy on art and science in the post-Cold War era. For Reading Room Vanderbeeken will elaborate on the multifaceted and ambiguous relationship between art and capital. Contemporary art claims to be autonomous, but art costs money and artists cannot survive on their love for art alone. Vanderbeeken questions how artists respond to the rise of economic strictures in modern culture in general and the art market in particular. He analyses the impact on the critical potential of art when works of art become investments, and will reflect on the artist’s schizophrenic position in a global, late-capitalist society.

Robrecht Vanderbeeken received his PhD in philosophy of science at Ghent University in 2003. Afterwards he became a researcher at the theory department of the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. During this two-year project he worked on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Slavoj Zizek. From 2005 until 2007 he was a post-doctoral fellow at the philosophy department of Ghent University working on topics in analytical metaphysics and techno-science critique. Since 2007 Vanderbeeken has been Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Fine Arts (KASK) at University College Ghent. His current areas of research are the philosophical implications of media art and the interpretation of video art.

Free entrance / Presentations will be in English / Your registration through [email protected] is appreciated

Language English

Location Extra City - Antwerpen-Noord, Tulpstraat 79, 2060 Antwerpen

Katleen Vermeir & Ronny Heiremans 02.02.2012—01.04.2012