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Judith Alder: Dead or Alive – artist talk

27 June 2018
6:30 pm

Once in a Universe - Dead or Alive by Judith Alder

Wednesday 27 June, 6:30pm

We’re delighted to host this artist talk by Judith Alder where she’ll be sharing her current project Once In A Universe, exploring life in The Anthropocene: The Age of Man.

**Door & drinks: 6:30pm, talk starts 6:45pm**

Tickets £5 available in advance via Eventbrite. Talk will last approximately 45 minutes, after which there will be the opportunity for Q&A and networking.

Hearing assistive technology available, please contact  if you have specific access needs.

Judith Alder

Judith says:

“Some years ago I visited artist Andy Holden’s exhibition, Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, in which the artist explored ideas about the laws of physics as seen in cartoons, a place “where it seems like anything might be possible, but not everything is…”[i]. Through the exhibition, Holden suggested the possibility that maybe there is no such thing as an inanimate object, a suggestion which I have been considering ever since.

We often talk about things “taking on a life of their own” and science fiction and horror narratives commonly build on the notion of supposedly inanimate objects coming to life in a sinister way. In modern times a fear of technology as an autonomous life force appears to create an ongoing undercurrent of unease, particularly as we explore ideas about artificial intelligence and robotics.

In my work I’m interested in ideas about growth, change and evolution and have recently been thinking about the origins of life – that improbable accident that brought together a combination of molecules in a stable enough formation not only to survive and thrive, but also to replicate itself, evolving from simple clusters of proteins to the complex and wide ranging ecosystem we recognise today. And now, in the 21st century, life seems to be taking another big step in the process of evolution, entering a phase in which we can no longer be exactly sure what “life” means.

From rocks and crystals to bacteria and viruses; from self-healing concrete to self-improving AI; from fact to fiction and back again, I’ll be thinking about life… but not necessarily as we know it. Until now.”


About the artist:

Judith Alder is an artist, curator and organiser of Blue Monkey Network, Eastbourne. She is interested in how things grow and change over time and how science, nature and technology collide in the Anthropocene: The Age of Man – “a time in which it feels impossible to maintain pace with the present, never mind to chart the future.” *Hans Ulrich Obrist, The Future of Art.

Judith makes work across a range of media, often bringing together drawings, photographs, text, found and made objects to be shown as collections or installations and animated using sound, light and video.

During 2018 Judith will be working with other artists and curators and the public, to open up new ways of thinking about growth, change and evolution in the Anthropocene. The project includes a programme of events and workshops in collaboration with a range of artists, aimed at providing opportunities for conversation about the themes of the project as well as exploring new ways of working. The project will culminate in a two week public test space/residency at DC1 Gallery in Eastbourne from 27th September 2018.

The project Once in a Universe is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, East Sussex Arts Partnership and Devonshire West Big Local.


27 June 2018
6:30 pm
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ONCA Gallery
14 St George's Place
Brighton, East Sussex BN1 4GB United Kingdom

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Please contact or 01273 607101 if you have specific access needs, please note the gallery is wheelchair accessible but the toilet is up five stairs. We have hearing assistive technology and our staff have Basic BSL & Deaf Awareness training. For more information about access and facilities at ONCA please click here.


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