Liquidity Symposium: Life flows, money flows and artists capture the axiomatics that bind these flows.

‘Transcalar EU Lovesongs’ by Hilary Koob Sassen


Wednesday 9th December, 11.15am – 6pm
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Sponsored by the University of Kent and organised by Dr Andrew Conio, Programmes Director, Fine Art and Event and Experience Design, School of Music and Fine Art, this cross-disciplinary forum creates a provocative encounter between philosophy, geography, psychoanalysis, high finance, film, economics, art and activism.  With papers from Professor Philip Goodchild, Professor John Russell, Oliver Ressler, Angus Cameron, Anastasios Gaitanidis, James Buckley, Georgious Papadopoulos and films from Ami Clarke and Hillary Koob-Sassen, the symposium at the Institute of Contemporary Art on 9th December investigates the flows of life, money and art and the axiomatics that bind them together.

Every society in history has created economic, social and political systems to channel flows into things, functional processes and systems.  This symposium asks; to what extent do the Quadrillions of dollars channeled through markets every day determine the ontological horizons and conditions of possibility of life.  How are the flows of money and life’s imminent flows consiliant or forced into disjunctive relation, how does the artist capture these flows?

The School of Music and Fine Art is proud to be working with the Institute of Contemporary Art, London’s foremost multi-disciplinary arts centre. Founded in 1947 by a group of artists, poets and radicals, the ICA is an essential meeting place for anyone interested in contemporary culture. Designed as a playground for ideas, the ICA has worked with a litany of inspired artists and writers, including T.S. Eliot, Cartier-Bresson, Francis Bacon, Jacques Derrida, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono and Slavoj Žižek.


For more on the symposium go to:

Tear Me Apart shown at International Film Festivals: Music by Richard Lightman

Composer, producer, sound design practitioner, lecturer and researcher Richard Lightman, Lecturer in Popular Music, in the School of Music & Fine Art, has written the music for Tear Me Apart, the debut movie from Cannibal Films. Described as a post-apocalyptic cannibal love story set on the English coast, and directed by Alex Lightman, the film was shown recently at the International Ravenna Nightmare Horror Film Festival , at the Palazzo del Cinema e dei Congressi, Largo Firenze, Ravenna, Italy after its World Premiere at the annual Austin Film Festival in Texas on 31 October.

Founded in 1993, Austin Film Festival (AFF) was the first organisation of its kind to focus on the writers’ creative contribution to film. Past participants of the Festival & Conference include Sydney Pollack, Wes Anderson, James L. Brooks, Joel & Ethan Coen, Russell Crowe, Barry Levinson, Robert Altman, Lawrence Kasdan, John Landis, and Oliver Stone.

Set in the wasteland of post-apocalyptic rural England, Tear Me Apart tells the story of two young brothers who turn to cannibalism to survive, only to fall for their prey, a teenage girl, and possibly the last girl alive.

Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Richard has composed for a myriad of artists, films and television series including Eldorado, America’s Most Wanted and The Big Miracle, news and current affairs programs, TV and radio commercials, and contributed to the sound design of a number of Hollywood films including An American Werewolf in London, Herbie Goes Bananas, Superman II, III & IV, Flash Gordon and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Music Producers Guild, Richard has produced over 35 albums, covering a wide spectrum of music including Heavy Metal, Reggae, Blues, Bollywood, Bhangra, Rock and Roll, New Age, Jazz, Pop and Garage, and played on over 170 recordings and performed in 28 countries on 5 continents.


Links for more information:


Three FREE December concerts showcasing students from the SMFA: Everyone welcome!



A wide range of vibrant music making activities is available at The School of Music & Fine Art, from Chamber Choir and jazz ensembles through to the World Percussion Ensemble and the large-scale Choir and Band, comprising students from across the Medway campus. In December we will be showcasing the talent and skills of our students in a range of concerts that are free to attend.

On Wednesday December 9th in the Galvanising Workshop at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus, students from the School of Music & Fine Art perform music from a range of traditions. The Jazz Improvisation Ensemble will perform works by Juan Tizol, Fats Waller and Joe Harriott.  There will be a performance of Frank Martin’s exceptionally beautiful Piano Quintet in D Minor and the concert will be framed by works with a festive flavour sung by the Chamber Choir.  This free concert starts at 7.30pm.

In the following week, there is also a chance to hear students from the BMus and MA Music programmes studying band and ensemble playing. This Ensemble Performance Lunchtime Concert is on Tuesday December 15th from 12 noon until 1pm in the Galvanising Workshop, and will include performances of jazz and contemporary popular music.

Finally, from 8pm until late on Thursday December 17th the award winning bar and bistro Cargo Bar at Liberty Quays welcomes bands from the School of Music & Fine Art to perform sets of original material and covers.  This stunning nautical and industrial-style venue is the perfect place to sample some of the best live music acts the area has to offer. The gigs are free to attend, always draw a crowd and have a fantastic atmosphere. The SMFA gig at Cargo last Easter was a huge success, with three bands from across the stages of the School of Music and Fine Art giving powerful and exciting performances.

Says Director of Music Programmes and Lecturer in Music, Dr Ben Curry, “I always feel immensely proud and excited when I see our students perform. Whether they are playing innovative pop, soul and jazz or pulling off a challenging work from the classical tradition, they always give compelling performances.”


For more information on any of these concerts go to:

The School of Music & Fine Art offers a wide range of degrees which include: BMus Music, BSc Music Technology, BMus Popular Music, and NEW joint honours BA (Hons) Music and English & American Studies, and BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Computing; MA Music, MA Music Composition, MA Popular Music, MA Music Technology, PhD Music and PhD Music Technology.

Event and Experience Design students create stunning multimedia installations and performances at Fort Amherst

“Interactive Game” Pek Ling Liam, 2013


On Thursday December 10th, from 1.30pm-4pm, students from the School of Music & Fine Art on the BA (Hons) Event and Experience Design create a choreographed journey through stunning multimedia installations and performances in explorative response to the physical, historical and social contexts of the atmospheric Fort Amherst, a Napoleonic defence system of underground tunnels and above ground deep trench earthworks known as the lines. This innovative event, which is open to the public and free to attend, produces an interpretive and immersive tour of the spaces and environs.

Based at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus, our Event and Experience Design programme is the only undergraduate degree in the UK dedicated to developing skilled practitioners for the creative events industry for entertainment, commercial, heritage, tourism and hospitality environments. The programme has the 5th highest score for overall student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey (NSS) 2015, and 100% of graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduating, with 75% in professional or managerial posts (UniStats 2015).

Says Peter Hatton, Lecturer, “This project at Fort Amherst challenges the students in every way; creatively, logistically and technically. It is a great opportunity for them to devise, produce and present an event unique to its location for an audience. We are very grateful for all the support of the staff at the Fort.”

For more information on the event on December 10th at Fort Amherst, Khartoum Road, Chatham ME4 4UB go to:

Real Life Charm presents The Tame Modern



Writing, producing, recording, mixing and mastering for his band, Real Life Charm, a self contained Pop and Art Collective that bring together video, illustration and music as one experience, Frank Walker, Music Technician at the University of Kent, School of Music and Fine Art is now curating an innovative arts, music and performance exhibition called The Tame Modern. Taking place on 12th December at Norwich based Dove Studios, the event seeks to distort, critique and compliment the idea of high brow and low brow and comment on its existence in Western culture, a major influence being the works of Herbert Gans and in particular his seminal book Popular Culture and High Culture.

Run by Dyad Creative in partnership with East Street Arts, Dove Street Studios works with writers, video and sound artists, installation artists, performance artists, prop makers and multi-disciplinary artists.

Real Life Charm’s music has been played on BBC Radio 1 (Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart, Annie Mac), BBC Radio 6, XFM, and playlisted on amazing radio, I-D magazine, Clash magazine, Indi shuffle and were hailed as ones to watch in 2016, playing the Radio 1 Academy at OPEN in the build up to the 2015 BBC Big Weekend.

Members of the band are Frank Walker, TP Hyland, Adam Avery, Jason Naylor, George Welsh, Dan Fretwell and Narayan O’Hanlon. Their recent releases can be heard over at spotify:


More information and tickets available at:

Venue information:

POSTCARD VIEWS in Bangalore: Two School of Music and Fine Art lecturers featured in cutting edge film programme.

‘Settlement’ 2004, Adam Chodzko


Work by two award winning artists and lecturers in the School of Music & Fine Art will be shown in a thought-provoking film programme in India. Settlement by Adam Chodzko, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, and The Whale from filmmaker and Associate Lecturer in Fine Art, Stephen Connolly, will be featured in a film screening programme called Postcard Views on Tuesday 24 November at 1 Shanthi Road Gallery, Bangalore, an art space founded by Suresh Jayaram that nurtures creativity and cutting edge art practice, situated in the centre of the city. Artists explore landscape from the context of ‘man-made’ environments driven by regeneration processes, political spatial division and wasteland management. Allowing a dialogue between different geographical locations – India and Europe – the programme raises notions, still relevant today, concerning imperial gestures and globalisation, where colonial powers’ seem to come along in disguise of rich investors. How do we interact with public space made available by the state or a colonial power structure? How do we become aware of these strategies of power? The artistic approach seems to help trace, reveal and re-evaluate those strategies within a landscape’s or a city’s layered residues.

The Studio/Gallery at 1 Shanthi Road provides space for slide lectures, small conferences, installations, performances, screenings and informal gatherings. It is administered by a not- for- profit trust Visual Art Collective and since its inception in 2003, has grown to house artists from diverse countries in its residency programmes. To date, the space has hosted and shown artists from every continent (and virtually every country) in the world.


Context for Postcard Views:
German landscape architect GH Krumbiegel (1865-1956) went to London in 1888 in order to help design Hyde Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, London. He subsequently settled in India at the beginning of the 20th century and designed major botanical gardens in Ooty and Bangalore after the model of British parks. A system of ‘park’ was thus transplanted to India and other countries, and landscape architecture became part of the British colonial programme. Bangalore is said to be both the ‘new Silicon Valley’ and a ‘Garden City’, yet is trying to come to terms with large areas of inner city wasteland.  In Postcard Views, the artists map out situations where control and power seem to be firmly encoded within landscape and where parks and monuments seem to reveal or memorialise certain cultural values. Our human instinct to consistently reorganise nature and landscape ac- cording to cultural perspectives and political control is laid bare.

More information:
The Gallery

Programme for Postcard Views:
Mike Marshall, Days like these, 2003, 3.24 mins., UK
Johanna Domke, Stultifera Garden, 2008 11.35 mins., D
Adam Chodzko, Settlement, 2004, 10 mins., UK
Robert Crosse, The Speed of Change, 2015, 2.40 mins., UK
Stephen Connolly, The Whale, 2005, 9.15 mins., UK
Matthew Murdoch, Being There, 2006, 4.30 mins., UK
Ann Donnelly, Political Landscape, 2007, 7 mins., IE
Claudia Kapp, You lose, 2011, 4 mins., D
Semiconductor, All the Time in the World, 2005, 4.42 mins., UK
Michelle Deignan, Ways to Speculate, 2014, 4.20 mins., UK
Genevieve Staines, Ruins in Reverse, 2005, 5.50 mins., AU
Daniel Beerstecher, Mas Continua a Vida, 2014, 5.18 mins., D


Stephen Connolly is an artist filmmaker. His award winning single screen work explores the interface between spectatorship, material culture and subjectivity, and has been widely screened at film and media festivals internationally since 2002. His work is distributed by the LUX and has been acquired by the Artist Moving Image Collection of the British Film Institute and a number of US Universities.

Stephen is a PhD candidate in Fine Art, a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Kent 50 Scholar. His doctoral practice as research looks at the representation of capital as material environment in artists film and video and the use of ‘assemblage’ and an Actor Network framework can further this audio-visual exploration. Recent conferences as a contributor include In Media Res at Harvard US; Besides the Screen at USP São Paulo BR; and Critical Topographies at Kingston UK.

Adam Chodzko’s art explores the interactions and possibilities of human behaviour. Exhibiting internationally since 1991, Chodzko works across media, from video installation to subtle interventions, with a practice that is situated both within the gallery and the wider public realm.

After studying the History of Art at the University of Manchester and Fine Art as a Masters at Goldsmiths College London, Chodzko has exhibited at numerous venues around the world. These include the Tate Britain, Venice Biennale, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Istanbul Biennial and locally at the Folkestone Triennial. He was shortlisted for the prestigious Jarman Award in 2015.

SMFA sponsors Art Awards for Young Artists



The School of Music & Fine Art was one of the 2015 sponsors of the annual John Downton Awards for Young Artists. Established in 2000, the awards commemorate John Downton, the celebrated Kent artist, poet and philosopher, who was born in Erith in 1906.

This annual exhibition encourages and celebrates the diverse talent of a new generation of artists. Each year, students from schools and colleges across Kent are invited to participate in the awards, giving young artists aged 11-18 the opportunity to exhibit their work, possibly for the first time in their careers. The 2015 John Downton Awards attracted record numbers of submissions which resulted in a stunning exhibition of artistic talent. Of the 376 students from 36 schools and colleges that entered the competition, 90 artworks were been selected for the exhibition.

Competition entries, including photographs, mixed media and paintings, are judged by a panel of artists and art educators to select winners in a number of categories according to age and media, and the John Downton Trophy was awarded for the best overall school submission, with the awards presented on Wednesday 11 November.

Admission is free to the exhibition, which runs until Wednesday 2 December, at the County Gallery, Sessions House, County Hall.  The gallery is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Partners in the project included University of Kent, Kent County Council, UCA, and Turner Contemporary.

More information about John Downton can be found at (,

More information about the awards can be found at

Adam Chodzko’s new film ‘Deep Above’ premieres on the 20th November in Bristol

Beppu steam inversion
‘Deep Above ‘ 2015, Adam Chodzko.


Acclaimed contemporary visual artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art in the School of Music and Fine Art, Adam Chodzko’s new film Deep Above will premiere at the Watershed Cinema, Bristol on Friday November 20 at 1pm, followed by a conversation with the artist and psychoanalyst and editor of Engaging With Climate Change, Sally Weintrobe. The film is commissioned by Invisible Dust and produced in association with Watershed and Shambala Festival and is funded by the Wellcome Trust

Adam Chodzo works across media, ranging from large-scale installations to de-materialised interventions. Whilst exploring the poetic spaces between documentary and fantasy, conceptualism and surrealism, public and private, Chodzko’s work provokes our collective imagination by wondering how, through the visual, we might best understand and re-form our encounters with the society and environment that surround us.

He has been exhibited extensively in international solo and group exhibitions including: Tate, Tate St. Ives; Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (MAMBo); Istanbul Biennale; and Venice Biennale. He is recipient of awards from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The Foundation for Contemporary Arts and is currently shortlisted for the Jarman Award.

In Deep Above, Chodzko uses moving image and sound to explore, short-circuit and abstract our slippery self-deceptions regarding climate change. What is the psychological gap where we understand that climate change occurs yet remain paralysed from taking action? With world focus on the imminent UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, Deep Above attempts, through art, to loosen our mental blocks about environmental catastrophe.

Deep Above Screenings:
Première and discussion on the 20th of November at Watershed, 1pm-2pm. Film running time: approx. 30 minutes. Book here:

Further screenings: Sat 21 and Sun 22 November, Watershed 1pm-2pm. Book here:

For more info go to

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