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'The Anomaly in Art and Modes of Existence' : P. Newell and P. Conway

16 March 2015
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An event organized by the Performance Research Group at King's College London, where Philip Conway gave a talk 'It's not a pathology, it’s a project!—Sociology, anomie and atmosphere', first attempt at a draft of an essay that will later appear in the exhibition catalogue for Bruno Latour’s ‘Reset Modernity!’ exhibition at ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The Anomalous, Meeting: Performance Research Group seminar series 2015

The Performance Research Group at King’s College London presents The Anomalous, Meeting, a seminar series bridging the Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences. Curated by Penny Newell, the series brings together scholars from various disciplines hoping to begin conversations around and about anomalies, in theory and in practice.

The anomaly is typically an erroneous result that exceeds the given operational rules of a system. Yet, the anomaly is also paradoxical, since its excessiveness retains a productive capacity with regard to the system's operation; the 'anomalous' outside seems to affirm the stability of the inside, which reconstitutes its power through calling 'anomalous' that which it cannot control, compute, capture or define. This paradox carries implications for the operation of systems, subjectivity, power and theory. Indeed, for Lyotard (1997), 'blanks' invoke critique of a political system, yet in his theory of postmodernity these blanks become spaces where power is reconstituted; for Lacan, the unconscious vacillates in a 'split' or anomaly in the subject, producing that subject as subject; Foucault stresses the operational rules necessary for the emergence of the anomaly, whilst Adorno encounters the 'nonidentical' in thought, investing anomalies with the capacity to be thought through or from. The Anomalous, Meeting re-opens these questions, bridging contemporary disciplines and fields in new and stimulating ways.

External Resources:

Performance Research Group. The Anomalous, Meeting: Performance Research Group seminar series 2015. URL :

Conway Philip, « “It”s not a pathology, it’s a project!—Sociology, anomie and atmosphere’ », Circling Squares, 11 mars 215apr. J.-C. URL :

Conway Philip, « Anomie and atmosphere in Douglas Trumbull’s “Silent Running”—Now with words and pictures », Circling Squares, 17 mars 2015. URL :

Conway Philip, « Silent Running at the Eden Project / Sci-fi in the Anthropocene », Circling Squares, 25 septembre 2015. URL :

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