Ungovernable Spaces - Royal Academy of Arts, London


Kreider + O‘Leary: Ungovernable Spaces

Royal Academy of Arts: Borders Lecture Series
Monday 29 April 2019 / 6.30 — 8pm
Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, RA

Poet and architect duo, Kreider + O‘Leary, take a closer look at boundaries and borderlands across the world in an exploration of how we ought to live together. Kreider + O’Leary’s performance lecture uses spoken word, video and live projected drawing to critically examine the boundaries and borderlands of some of their recent projects.

We will move across continents, from the Open City in Chile and the route of Gandhi’s infamous Salt March in India, to the contested spaces of the ‘peace walls’ in Northern Ireland and across migrant routes through the island of Lesvos in Greece. Journey from spaces of exclusion and explore the ‘outsider’ as much as the outside as we pose the political question, “How should we live together?”



Opening Keynote: 10th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research, Zurich Z_hdk


10th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research
Zurich University of the Arts, March 21-23, 2019

Kristen Kreider & James O’Leary

The beautiful mess we’re in: On Inspiring Failures

In his essay ‘Mistake Mystique’ from the collection Education Automation: Comprehensive Learning for Emergent Humanity, Buckminster Fuller discusses the importance of error and mistake in any learning process. Rather than viewing mistakes as something to be avoided, Fuller sees them as something to be made – and continually so – since, in his words, ‘thinking accrues only after mistake-making which is the cosmic wisdom’s most cogent way of teaching each of us how to carry on’. This talk takes Fuller’s idea as a starting point to discuss the role of failure, mistake, and error in the process of art research. Along the way, and guided by the figure of Kybernḗtes, we will look at aspects of decision-making and judgement; action, work and labour; materiality and resistance; rhythm and governmentality. All the while other figures will be falling - we hear something about philosophy, laughter, architecture, war and the beautiful mess we’re in.

Thursday March 21st / 5.30pm / Concert hall, 7th floor, 7.K12

Dr. Kristen Kreider is Professor of Fine Art and Director of the PhD Programme at Goldsmiths College, London.
James O’Leary is Associate Professor and Director of the MA Situated Practice programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London.



Field Poetics - Published


Kristen Kreider and James O'Leary
London: Ma Bibliotheque (April 2018)

Field Poetics explores five different places, each with a story to tell, each with a unique mode, form, and vocal register through which to tell it. The writing journeys through a sequence of Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘film images’, the multi-dimensional, interconnected space machine of the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, maritime pockets on the edge of the city of Lisbon, a history of silence and surveillance in a derelict wing of the Cork City Gaol, and the transposition of a centuries-old landscape aesthetic through video, performance, and pop in fourteen locations across the Kansai region of Japan. Sometimes documentation, sometimes score, and sometimes the work of a poet and an architect engaging with these sites, Field Poetics spins, suspends, and extends a relation to place.

'Field Poetics is the second volume from this longstanding partnership between a poet and an architect. With fluidity and thoughtfulness it uses what such a meeting may enable. Through sparse and precise poetic pieces and diagrammatic ink sketches, this work operates like a dystopian travel journal, making up a universe of flat lines and temporary stations through a series of real and unreal places. Architexture of un-dwellings.'
- Caroline Bergvall

Available to order here.

See all Kreider + O'Leary Publications here: http://www.kreider-oleary.net/publications/


Milk, Confetti, Erratics at EDGE - Periphery


7 OCT 2017
UCL at Here East Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
London E20 3BS

We will be doing a lecture performance during a day dedicated to 'PERIPHERY' as part of EDGE: Situated Practice in Art, Architecture and Urbanism.

Milk, Confetti, Erratics
A Stratigraphy of the Interface
Kreider + O'Leary

In 1904, as part of the Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Ireland, geologists Lamplugh et al. wrote a paper called ‘The Geology of the Country around Belfast’ where they surveyed the glacial drifts and other superficial deposits around the city, organising this cartographical information into a ‘Table of Formations’. In 2017, The Belfast Interface Project published ‘Interface Barriers, Peacelines and Defensive Architecture’, where they systematically catalogue each ‘peacewall’, barrier, fence and gate used to separate and contain Nationalist and Unionist communities in Northern Ireland. In the conceptual space between these two documents, one can construct a theoretical matrix of artefacts, agents, designs and policy related to the fields of conflict and desire operating in the territory surveyed by these publications. In 2014, Kreider + O’Leary began to construct such a matrix, with a view to gaining an understanding of the mutating condition they call ‘The Interface’. 

Physically, The Interface comprises thirteen different wall clusters or ‘peacelines’ situated throughout Belfast. Specifically designed to respond to an evolving set of local actions, events and spaces of conflict, the wall clusters both demarcate a territorial condition and form a backdrop for the performance of expressions of cultural identity. Over many years, the areas around each wall cluster have accumulated deposits and debris, forming a unique and local archive in space and time. In order to catalogue this archive, Kreider + O’Leary use a technique called ‘stratigraphy’: the branch of Geology concerned with the order and relative position of strata and their relationship to the geological and historical timescale. Utilising drawing, video, mapping and writing, Kreider + O’Leary separate and identify one micro-context from another, constructing a case for a ‘congregational understanding of agency’ (Bennet, 2010) related to the assemblage called ‘The Interface’.

This work is supported by James O’Leary’s AHRC TECHNE doctoral award.


Never the Same: what (else) can art writing do?



Over the past few decades multiple modes of creative and critical writing have proliferated in art worlds. A range of approaches – from ficto-criticism, speculative fiction, performative writing, site-writing, poetic innovations, new mediations and alternative forms of criticism – have made political, philosophical and academic space for art writing. Dylan Thomas notes, ‘A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.’ His phrase ‘never the same’ evokes the articulation of mutable writing approaches which refuse to accept art discourses and production as business-as-usual. 

Never the Same: what (else) can art writing do? asks, what are the places for, and political implications of, de-instrumentalized forms of writing?  In an age of austerity, neocolonialism, neoliberal uses of creativity, art marketing, grant writing and practice based PhD work, how can writing by and for artists and their work enact resistance to such forces? What are the language forms (re)emerging in the present?  How might art writing be considered as an ethical practice towards an understanding/in defense of artistic knowledge? How do (re)emergent modes of artistic writing enact agonisms and solidarities in relation to art audiences? Never the Same will address how and for whom these new modes of art writing matter through multiple symposium sessions.

Presented by Contemporary Calgary
September 15-17, 2017

Engineered Air Theatre, Arts Commons
234 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB

Contemporary Calgary
117 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB



Edge - Situated Practice in Art, Architecture and Urbanism


Organised by the UCL Urban Laboratory and Folkestone Triennial 2017, with additional support from the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL and The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Curated by:

Lewis Biggs (Folkestone Triennial)
James O’Leary (The Bartlett, UCL)
Kieren Reed (The Slade, UCL)


Edge brings together practitioners and thinkers at three 'edge' locations connected by the High Speed 1 railway, which acts a geographical link and embodies ideas associated with community, connectivity and escapism.

Through each of these events we invite participants to respond to a series of 'edge' locations, drawing on their own individual approaches and fields of operation to investigate particular sensory, social, environmental and other conditions. Over the course of the three days we hope to generate a wider conversation exploring the creative use of interstitial spaces. 

All are welcome to participate in this interdisciplinary adventure. The audience is invited to follow from one event to the next, engaging with each place as a manifestation of a particular kind of ‘edge’:


For this first event, we consider Bloomsbury and King's Cross as 'edge' locations. The Gower Street campus of UCL was planned and built on the urban/rural edge of nineteenth-century London, a ‘learning’ gateway through which generations of students have now passed, and one which now runs up against the King’s Cross development, conceived as a mix of ‘knowledge’ and ‘transport’ gateways. View the full programme here (pdf).


For the second event, we consider the environs of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Investment for the 2012 Games brought rapid development to the previously neglected Stratford area. Here East, within the former press and broadcasting centre of the Games, is envisaged as a cluster of innovators and digital makers, whilst the Stratford Waterside development will bring new institutions including the V&A, Sadler's Wells, London College of Fashion, and UCL. View the full programme here (pdf).


For the third and final event, we consider Folkestone. At the littoral edge of southeast England, its urbanism connect equally with water and land. From 1842 to 1992 it was the main pivot for passenger transport between France and England, and with the more recent construction of HS1, Folkestone has been gifted the questionable status of dormitory suburb to the Capital. View the full programme here (pdf).

Tickets for all dates in the series can be purchased via the UCL Online Store. There are concessions available for students and local residents.

Further links:




We will be presenting an installed version of of 'Thirteen Points, Expanded' as part of the EXTRATEXTUAL exhibition at Contemporary Calgary.




EXHIBITION / September 1, 2017 – January 21, 2018

Friday, September 15, 6:00PM - 10:00PM

Book Launch / Chris Kraus, 
After Kathy Acker 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Opening Remarks / 6:30PM - 6:45PM

* Special guests, artists, presenters and curators in attendance from 6:00PM - 8:00PM

extratextual, curated by Lisa Baldissera and Joanne Bristol

extratextual will be held from September 1, 2017 to January 21, 2018 at Contemporary Calgary. The project explores ways in which modes of writing, as well as concepts of textuality and narrative have informed artistic production. The exhibition will include contemporary and historical projects by artists and writers across disciplines. It looks at ways in which texts have both informed and created their own cosmologies, event-scapes and terms of engagement, and how they shape our understanding of contemporary narrative as well as visual and spatial culture.

The exhibition is linked to an international symposium on the agencies and futures of art writing. Titled, Never the Same: what (else) can art writing do?  the symposium will take place from September 15 to 17, 2017. Both the symposium and exhibition investigate the places for, and political implications of, de-instrumentalized forms of writing.  In an age of austerity, neocolonialism, neoliberal uses of creativity and art marketing, these forums seek to identify ways in which art writing in-the-expanded-field might enact resistance to such forces. They do so by articulating how performativities and materialities of (re)emergent modes of artistic writing enact agonisms and solidarities in relation to art audiences. Finally, they consider art writing as an ethical practice towards an understanding/in defense of artistic knowledge.

To register visit NEVERTHESAME.CA

Above images from a spectacle and nothing strange (2010, letterpress poster series) by Eve
Fowler. Photographs courtesy the artist and Mier Gallery.


Architecture + Ecriture


Architecture + Ecriture
30.6–9.7.2017, Paris College of Art
Paris College of Art
15 Rue Fénelon
75010 Paris

Architecture & Ecriture celebrates writing as a critical and creative practice. As the literary branch of the Architectural Association Visiting School, we welcome architects as well as writers, curators or artists interested in spatial theory and literature to join us in Paris from 30 June to 9 July 2017 for the production of exciting new written and performative pieces. 

Modeled on the Literary Salon, Architecture & Ecriture draws largely, though not exclusively, from French cultural studies and literature. During our stay in Paris, we will explore how various forms of writing, and in particular the form of the essay, can contribute to the development of architectural and spatial thinking.*

For this second edition we will read Montaigne and his essays, Barthes and his lectures, Butor and his multifaceted and nomadic writings, Cixous and her memoirs. We will enter the libraries of the world, real and imaginary, with the Virtual Exhibition ‘La Bibliothèque, la nuit’ at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Conceived by director Robert Lepage and his company Ex Machina, the exhibition is based on Alberto Manguel’s spellbinding book The Library at Night.**

This summer 2017, we are delighted to welcome writer and translator Dr. Kate Briggs, poet and Professor of Fine Art Kristen Kreider, bookbinder Laurel Parker, and graphic designer Rosa Nussbaum. The AA Paris Visiting School is directed by Dr. Caroline Rabourdin, lecturer at the AA School of Architecture.


Offprint at Tate Modern


Tate Modern
Turbine Hall
London SE1 9TG

In collaboration with Tate Modern, Offprint hosts publishers from 16 different countries.The event takes place in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall to coincide with Photo London.

Across the weekend, there will be a programme of book signings and talks with artists. 

19 May 2017 at 18.00–22.00
20 May 2017 at 12.00–18.00
21 May 2017 at 12.00–18.00

We will be at Offprint on Sunday, 21 May at 12.00-14.00 for a book signing of Falling, published by Copy Press.


Text/Image Symposium at Naropa University

Caroline Bergvall,  Drift  (2013)

Caroline Bergvall, Drift (2013)

Text / Image
2017 Spring Symposium
Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics
Naropa University
Boulder, Colorado
Nalanda Events Center // 6287 Arapahoe Avenue

Naropa University & the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics is honored to host three prominent cultural voices, J'Lyn Chapman, Kristen Kreider & Truong Tran for the 2017 Spring Symposium entitled Text/Image.

The symposium panel begins at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14th in the Nalanda Event Center on the Nalanda Campus at 6287 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder. The event is free and open to the public. The panel is followed with an evening reading by all four panelists with guest, Caroline Bergvall, Leslie Scalapino Lecture recipient, at 7:00 p.m. in the Nalanda Events Center.

The panel will be followed by an evening reading with Caroline Bergvall, Kristen Kreider, Truong Tran, Danielle Dutton, Andre Ardibe Bradley.




Two dates.

The one, a time of emerging fascism and war. The other, a time just after worldwide social conflicts culminated into the global protests of the late 1960’s.

Jumping between these two dates, how can we catch a glimpse of our contemporary moment?

1936, Thursday, 9 Mar 2017
1972, Friday, 10 Mar 2017

Goldsmiths College
Laurie Grove Baths, Room G6 (unless otherwise noted)
New Cross, London, SE14 6BX

James will be presenting on 'Territory and Space in Belfast, 1972' at this Goldsmiths Art Research Symposium.

Click here for a document containing further information, a schedule of events and embedded web links to background reading.


Film | Making | Space

Film | Making | Space
Making Space Series

Monday 13 February 2017
6.30 — 8.30pm

During this evening of short screenings and performances, our contributors explore how filmmaking can open up new ways of thinking about architecture.

Established practices of drawing in the visual representation of architecture tend to make us think of space outside time. They limit not only our communication of temporal aspects of architecture, but also design thinking. Introducing the dimension of time through film can bring a space to life. Used as both a creative and critical design tool, film can generate an affective relationship with architecture, a form of empathy with the building.

Film can capture the atmosphere of a space, the additive layers of weathering and the regular patterns of light and shadow cast on the skin of a building. Equally it can unlock the story-telling and emotive potential of design, reveal traces of history and personal memories and frame the daily intimacy of occupation, as well as accentuate and contextualise the link between architecture and identity.

Join us for an evening of short screenings, performances and discussion to explore how filmmaking can open up new ways of thinking about architecture.

Speakers include: 
Dr Penelope Haralambidou – architect, researcher and lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Dr Richard Martin – public programmer at Tate and a teaching fellow at King’s College London
Clara Jo – Berlin and London based filmmaker and artist, previous Starr Fellow at the Royal Academy of Arts
Kreider & O’Leary – a poet and an architect who collaborate to make performance, installation and time-based media work
Liam Young – a speculative architect who operates across design, fiction and futures

Following the screenings and discussion, works by PhD students from the Bartlett School of Architecture will be shown in the library. Find out more about their work on the Film | Making | Space blog.

Film | Making | Space is organised in collaboration with the doctoral programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.


The House that Philosophy Built

The House that Philosophy Built

14 February | 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm | London School of Economics | Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Juliet Haysom, Artist and Tutor, The Architectural Association, London
Kristen Kreider, Professor of Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Peg Rawes, Professor in Architecture and Philosophy, University College London

Shahidha Bari, Lecturer in Romanticism in the Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

This panel will consider the ways in which philosophers have engaged with architecture and explores how architects have thought philosophically about their own work.  Are there are philosophical ideals at the heart of civic building projects and social housing programmes? What are the principles of good design and how could a three dimensional space represent an idea? Is the primary purpose of a building aesthetic, social or moral?  Do we judge a building on the beauty of its structure, the practicality of its form or the human interaction it enables?  And how should we imagine the skyline of the future?

Image credit: AUJIK, ‘Spatial Bodies‘


Resistance, without Presupposition


Resistance, without Presupposition:
language, philosophy, film and performance

Thursday, 16 February 2017
Royal College of Art
Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Dyson Building
1 Hester Road, Battersea, SW11 4AN

A day of screenings, performances and talks with speakers including:

Kristen Kreider
Jason Waite
Holly Ingleton
Howard Caygill

Organised by Aura Satz (Reader in Fine Art, Sound and Moving Image) and Yve Lomax (Senior Research Tutor in Fine Art/Photography)


Lecture for Multistory Guest Lecture Series at UCA Farnham


We will be presenting a guest lecture for the MULTISTORY Guest Lecture Series at the University of the Creative Arts, Farnham

Thursday 3rd November 2016 // Lecture 5pm // Lecture Theatre W02, UCA Farnham

Multistory is an open lecture series at the University for the Creative Arts that seeks to invite architects, designers, writers, curators, photographers and artists to speak about their work.


Thirteen Points Expanded at Istanbul Biennial

We will be exhibiting our film Thirteen Points Expanded at the Istanbul Design Biennial - Are We Human?

The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, which will officially open on the 22nd October 2016 and last for four weeks, will ask the question: Are We Human? Encompassing a wide range of ideas related to The Design of the Species, from timeframes of 2 Seconds to 2 Days, 2 Years, 200 Years and 200,000 Years, the international show will revolve around one pressing provocation: that design itself needs to be redesigned. It will do so by exploring the intimate relationship between the concepts of "design" and "humanity."

Five primary venues—the Galata Greek Primary School, Studio-X Istanbul and Depo in Karaköy, Alt in Bomonti, and the Istanbul Archaeological Museums in Sultanahmet—will house more than 70 projects by designers, architects, artists, historians, archaeologists and scientists from thirteen countries. In order to "rethink design from the very beginning of humanity," the Biennial will be organised into four overlapping “clouds” of projects: Designing the BodyDesigning the PlanetDesigning Life, and Designing Time.


A Constellation, A Cluster, A Grid at Goldsmiths College

Belfast-Circ-001X3 sm-2.jpg

A Constellation, A Cluster, A Grid
Studies in Urban Formation
Date:               Monday, 3rd October
Time:               5.30pm-7.00pm
Location:         Professor Stuart Hall Building, Lecture Theatre 02, Goldsmiths, University of London

Three different urban situations: 

  • the Open City, a radical pedagogical experiment and utopian architectural project founded in 1970 by the Argentinian poet, Godofredo Iommi, and the Chilean architect, Alfredo Cruz, as part of the Catholic University of Chile in Valparaíso;
  • the ‘post-conflict’ city of Belfast in Northern Ireland, where plans are currently underway to remove the city’s infrastructure of ‘Peace Walls’ by 2023;
  • the development of a new campus for the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on the south side of Chicago in the mid-1950’s.

As the focus of Kreider + O’Leary’s creative collaboration, each situation is met with acts of writing, drawing, filming, performance and installation. These acts yield considerations of governmentality, community and resistance as well as, more abstractly, thoughts around a triadic relation between ‘form’, ‘figure’ and ‘rhythm’. For the purposes of this talk, these situations will be presented through extracts of writing as well as images and film clips with the specific aim of opening them up to questions of – and a discussion around – issues of globalization, urbanization and identity.


Border Patrol at SALT Festival

We will be presenting a new work, Border Patrol, at the SALT Festival in Folkestone on. 

Guided Tour & Spoken Word// Border Patrol
Kreider + O’Leary
Sun 2 Oct 1pm
@SALT_fest info: http://bit.ly/2cJ1Enh

Co-curated by Quarterhouse, Folkestone Fringe, and Chris Poundwhite of Go to the Pine, SALT 2016 explores the way in which coastal environments shape who we are and how we think, and asked what the future might hold for the people and places that exist on the edge.

To find out about more about SALT you can download the festival porgramme here and follow them on Twitter @SALT_fest


Writing Buildings in Kent


Writing Buildings: Kent School of Architecture conference
Start: Jul 14, 2016 02:00 PM
End: Jul 16, 2016 08:00 PM
Location: Grimond Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NZ

We will be presenting at the ‘Writing Buildings’ conference in Kent on July 14.

The conference offers a varied field of speakers approaching the subject of writing about buildings. Conference sessions are organised around  themes such as 'Literary responses to architecture in the past'; 'Creative writing about spaces in the present'; and 'Performance and practice'. The intention is to offer an unparalleled opportunity to be part of a global conversation which will enrich the writing and teaching of all those who work with buildings.

Full conference registration costs £250, and you can book tickets on the University of Kent website.


Architecture & Ecriture in Paris


Kristen will be running a writing workshop as part of Architecture & Ecriture, the first edition of the AA Paris Visiting School programme, 1st-10th July.

Participants will engage in Writing seminars, visits to Artists' books collections and a public event in the unique setting of the Villa Vassilieff with exciting contributions from: 

Mireille Calle-Gruber, Professor at the Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle, editor of Michel Butor’s “Œuvres Complètes” (Paris: La Différence, 2006) and co-author with Hélène Cixous of “Photos de Racines” (Paris : Des Femmes, 1994).

Wayne Daly, London-based graphic designer focusing on publishing, editorial and visual identity. Co-founder of Bedford Press, an imprint at the AA School of Architecture, which publishes books and ebooks at the intersection of architecture, visual art, graphic design and theory.

Didier Faustino, Artist and architect exploring the relationship between body and space, diploma unit master at the AA and chief editor of French architectural and design magazine “Architectures Créé”

Sujung Jun, South-Korean artist in residence at the Villa Vassilieff, recipient of the Pernod Ricard Fellowship for her work on synaesthesia and literature.

Kristen Kreider, Poet and Director of the practice-based PhD Programme, English Department at Royal Holloway, University of London, author of “Poetics & Place: The Architecture of Sign, Subjects and Site” (I.B. Tauris, January 2014).

Caroline Rabourdin, Architect and essayist, head of the AA PARIS Visiting School, lecturer at the Architectural Association and PhD candidate at Chelsea College of Arts London (UAL)