Everywhere is Haunted – Sunday 8th January, Cafe OTO

Everywhere is Haunted‘ provides a discourse on the themes of race, gender, queer identity and natural hostile spaces in horror through talks, screenings, live performances and a horror disco. Curated by Dee Sada.

Rewilding by Ric Rawlins

Dee Sada is a London-based musician and curator. She currently performs in Paper Birch with Fergus Lawrie of Urusei Yatsura. The duo released their debut album, ‘morninghairwater’ via TAKUROKU and Reckless Yes records in 2021. Dee has created an eclectic and diverse collection of work over the last 12 years through projects such as percussive noise band, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, electronic duo Blue On Blue and improv performance bands The Noise Bodies and ORAL ORAL.

Dee is currently studying the MFA Curating course at Goldsmiths, University of London and was awarded the inaugural Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Art (CIRCA) scholarship. She was also awarded a 2022-2023 culture seed grant from Culture Mile London. Her curatorial practice is based on inclusion, diversity, sustainability and community-based engagement. She has recently worked on projects with artists Carolee Schneemann and Laure Prouvost. 

Dee Sada

In Conversation:

Ric Rawlins is the writer and director of the UK’s first folk horror anthology feature film, Rewilding, a trio of tales which take place in the fields, forests and caves of the UK’s wildest haunts. As a writer he’s published Rise of the Super Furry Animals (2015) about the seminal Welsh band, and he’s currently writing a new film about a river-dwelling vampire.

Ric Rawlins

Emma Merkling is an art historian based at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Durham University, specialising in the intersections between art, science, and spiritualism in the long nineteenth century. 

She is co-host of Drawing Blood, a podcast about visual culture, the history of science and medicine, and the macabre. Emma received her PhD from the Courtauld in 2021 for a thesis on spiritualist artist Evelyn De Morgan and science, and has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Courtauld’s Centre for American Art, University of Stirling, and the Science Museum (London). 

She has just completed a grant project on the scientific photographs of the medium ‘Margery’ Crandon, and is currently working on a book project, with Dr Thomas Hughes, on The Victorian Idyll in Art and Literature: Ecology, Matter, Form, where her contribution focuses on queer/more-than-human desire, ecology, and horror in the photography of Julia Margaret Cameron.

Emma Merkling

Live performance:

The Noise Bodies formed in April 2022 at Cafe OTO and performed an improvised piece inspired by James Tenney’s ‘Saxony’ and a recreation of ‘Noise Bodies’ originally performed by Schneemann and Tenney. The Noise Bodies are Frederick Fuller, Dee Sada, Noel Anderson and Mark Abbott. 

The Noise Bodies

There will also be a zine available on the night and the incredible Burning Witches Records on-site with their vast array of horror vinyl and cassette tapes.

Burning Witches Records is a UK-based record label specialising in forward-thinking electronic and heavy synth music. Born from a love of horror films and electronic music, Burning Witches presents artists that are pushing the boundaries of electronic music and music as a whole package. Opening track to album art to vinyl and cassette colour variants, Burning Witches Records makes every release count.

Performance of ‘Noise Bodies’ by Carolee Schneemann at Cafe OTO

A short clip of the performance of ‘Noise Bodies’. Based on Schneemann’s instructions, I recorded myself relaying the instructions which played through the PA at OTO.

Myself and the performers wore a head lamp each and created our own wearable objects – a mix of discarded objects and personal items. We ‘played’ the objects through interactions, movement, using cable wire as ‘wands’ as instructed by Carolee.

KNOWN/UNKNOWN: A celebration of Carolee Schneemann

Meet the Speakers

Rachel Churner is the director of the Carolee Schneemann Foundation. She is also an art critic and editor, whose writings have appeared in Artforum and October magazine, among other publications. She was a recipient of The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in 2018 and was the editor of Hans Haacke (MIT Press, 2015), two volumes of writings by film historian Annette Michelson (MIT Press, 2017 and 2020), and Yvonne Rainer: Revisions (no place press, 2020), as well as books and exhibition catalogues on Jaime Davidovich, James Ensor, and Charlotte Posenenske. She owned and operated Churner and Churner, a contemporary art gallery in New York, from 2011–2014. Churner holds degrees in Art History from Stanford University and Columbia University and currently teaches in the Department of Visual Studies at the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School.

Cathy Wade is an artist and writer who investigates how practice can be created and distributed in collaborative partnerships and through the creation of commons. Their work seeks to understand the experience of contemporary conditions through exchange with others. They are course leader for MA in Arts Education Practices at BCU; and are currently curating new work with artist Hannah Sawtell at Vivid Projects alongside facilitating Black Hole Club, Vivid Projects’ artist development programme.

Lotte Johnson is a curator at Barbican Art Gallery, London, where she is curating the forthcoming retrospective Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics, opening in September 2022. Her work as a curator, writer and art historian focuses on interdisciplinary artistic expressions, feminist practices and transcultural dialogues, with a particular interest in performance. At the Barbican, she has curated solo artist commissions by Toyin Ojih Odutola (2020), Jamila Johnson-Small (2019), Yto Barrada (2018) and Bedwyr Williams (2016) and contributed to a number of major exhibitions, including Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art (2019), Basquiat: Boom for Real (2017) and The World of Charles and Ray Eames (2015), editing and authoring publications for many of these projects. She previously worked at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, contributing to exhibitions focused on Jean Dubuffet, Ellen Gallagher, Paul Gauguin, Jasper Johns and Dieter Roth.

Paper birch

Glaswegian musician, Fergus Lawrie of cult band Urusei Yatsura and London-based musician, Dee Sada come together as Paper Birch to share their mutual feelings of despair, fragility and hope in this collection of nine songs. The album, MORNINGHAIRWATER was written under lockdown between May and June 2020 as a result of the fervent correspondence of lyrics, ideas and sounds.

The album will be released in August on TAKUROKU, the new digital label from underground arts venue, Cafe OTO.  

There will be a preview of 3 tracks and live interview with the band on Saturday July 11th on the Hello Goodbye show on Resonance FM.

Track listing:
Summer Daze
Love For The Things Yr Not   
Elegy (As We Mourn)
Curse Us
I Don’t Know You
Hide
Blue Heartbreak
Cemetery Moon
Fallen

Artist: Paper Birch
Title: MORNINGHAIRWATER
Label: TAKUROKU
Release Date: August 2020 (digital)

A Life Between Two Islands, Cafe Oto, October 6th and 7th

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 11.49.26
A still from Peter Davis’ 1965 insightful documentary, Immigrants. The film is a fascinating examination of post-war migrant communities in Britain. Through a series of interviews with immigrants who had recently moved to the UK, we’re given insights into the role race and immigration played in mid-1960s British society.
I have worked with Peter on a few events at Café OTO as he has made a number of documentaries on RD Laing and he was a speaker at our Dialectics of Liberation Reconvened event in 2016.
We will be screening the film at our Stuart Hall event at Café OTO in October.
More details and a full line-up soon!

Carolee Schneemann

Carolee and Dee

It’s amazing how many connections I have made since R.D. Laing 50. I feel so inspired and driven to do more events and work with more amazing people.

I connected with Carolee Schneemann via the filmmaker Peter Davis, both of whom I have just met in the last week. I am inspired to do an event based on the Dialectics of Liberation conference which was organised by Dr Joseph Berke.

Carolee Schneemann

As a seminal feminist artist, Carolee does not need much of an introduction. I recently read her essay about her experience at the Dialectics of Liberation conference in her book, More Than Meat Joy. She performed a happening at the end of the two week conference and there was also the UK premier of her film, Fuses.

Carolee was one of the few female voices at the conference, the other being IKON’s editor, Susan Sherman. I am intrigued by the lack of female visibility at the Dialectics of Liberation. It was an occasion where race was given a platform (with the inclusion of Stokely Carmichael) however women remained on the fringes. My research will hopefully uncover more…