The Ambience Factory at 1000 Trades – 19th November,5.30pm

The Ambience Factory 

Location: 1000 Trades, 16 Frederick St, Birmingham, B1 3HE – View Map

Mon, November 19, 2018, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM GMT

Register here.


Sophie Bullock and Sophie Huckfield are ‘The Ambience Factory’, a faux corporate mindfulness business, whose remit is to ease its clients’ work anxiety through satirising the techniques of the ‘McMindfulness’ movement and developing “stress relieving” products and digital technologies.

For Maker Monday, Ambience Factory will be performing an ironic PowerPoint presentation, which will not only present their corporate strategy but also invite the audience to take part in their unique and uplifting Mindfulness exercises proven to increase productivity, resilience and focus. Following this life-changing presentation, they will be joined by leading experts in the realms of sociology, philosophy and activism from The Contemporary Philosophy of Technology Research Group (CPTRG), to discuss the adoption of workplace well-being programmes under neoliberalism, and the benefits of cross-disciplinary practices between the arts, academia and technology.

This promises to be a fun evening, with artists Sophie Bullock and Sophie Huckfield using comedy as a tool to dissect neoliberalism and playfully respond to academic research, often inaccessible to non-academic audiences.

Follow Ambience Factory on Instagram – @ambiencefactory.


Be prepared to be provoked and entertained in equal measure.

As always, we will keep the inspiration flowing (the first drink is on us) and food.

Places are limited and will go fast and booking is essential.

@Maker_Monday #MakerMonday


The Ambience Factory


[Video] The Co-operative University as Anti-technocracy?

Notes/Slides on the Co-operative University are available here:

The Co-operative University as Anti-technocracy?

Wed 31st Oct 2018, 2:00 – 4:00pm, G39 Education Building – University of Birmingham

Prof. Richard Hall (De Montfort University)

Register here.


What is the proposed Co-operative University for?

What is its relationship to hegemony, in its pedagogy, governance, regulation and funding?

Can it enable us to develop autonomous responses to the authoritarian, technocratic re-engineering of higher education?

Critical Media in the Arts: Time, Materiality, Ecology (one-day Symposium)

Critical Media in the Arts: Time, Materiality, Ecology

Featuring art historians, media theorists and creative practitioners, this event seeks to build a better understanding of sound and new media art as critical disciplines

19th June 2018

Start time: 10.30am

Arts Lecture Room 3, University of Birmingham

Register here


Recent years have seen approaches associated with German Media Theory and Media Archaeology draw particular attention in Anglophone art history. The ideas of Luhmann, Kittler, and Siegert are regularly enrolled to support post- and anti-humanist accounts of art-historical and epistemic shifts and their relationship to changes in technological infrastructures; to sketch out alternative or counterfactual art histories through the recovery of dead, forgotten, or imaginary media; or to better understand the chemical and material bases of storage media so as to critically evaluate their cost to the environment. Yet these critical analyses of media are not only the preserve of theoretical writing about art but take place within art practice itself. Through artefacts, sounds and experiences, new media and sound artists have frequently posed questions about what media ‘are’: what they are made of, materially; what logics govern their development, and what histories these tell; what resources they consume; what ideas they bring into the world and materialise; how they configure subjects; and which skills and knowledges – discursive, theoretical, practical – are required to analyse media. Drawing together art historians, media theorists and creative practitioners, this event will ask: can attending to artistic engagements with media help support a better understanding of sound and new media art as critical disciplines?

Speakers will include:

(Keynote Speaker) Douglas Kahn, Survivable Communication: Trees

Michael Goddard, Synaesthesia, Ritual, and Psychedelia in the Music of Coil

Annie Goh, GendyTrouble: Cyber*Feminist Computer Music

Matthew Hayler, Wandering Bodies – Ambient Literature, Cognition, and Technology

Eleni Ikoniadou and Alastair Cameron, Sound, Art and Vibrational Technologies of Disruption

Thor Magnusson, Ergodynamics: Towards a Terminology Beyond “Guitarplay”

Patrick Valiquet, An Ear for Liberalism: Experimental Music Research and Mass Media Education, 1973-1990

Valentina Vuksic, Thermal Tripping Through Runtime

More speakers TBA

This Symposium is co-organised by Christopher Haworth and Valentina Vuksic.

Photo credit: ‘Still from Harddisko’ (2007) by Valentina Vuksic

The Symposium is supported by The School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music (LCAHM) and the Contemporary Philosophy of Technology Research Group.


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