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Seminar Series//Precarity//Futurity//Aesthetics : Seminar with Rachel O'Reilly

1. Sandra Lahaire, Uranium Hex, 1987
2. Susan Wallace-Babb in oxygen mask, Winnsboro, Texas, Sept. 12, 2011. (Erin Trieb for ProPublica)

Seminar Series//Precarity//Futurity//Aesthetics : Seminar with Rachel O'Reilly

Event dates

Tuesday, 24 May, 2016

Event times


Presented by the Visual Anthropology (VisAnth) and Contemporary Culture, Art and Politics (CCAP) research groups, NIEA, UNSW Art & Design

All Welcome.
Pre-figures of Divestment in Feminist Cinemas of Extraction 
Rachel O’Reilly
Contemporary mine production involves high salaried contractors negotiating 'unconventional' extractive regimes via increasingly privatized, post-democratic licensing and labour agreements, at the anthropocenic limits of land use. In the settler-colony especially, the image of mining labour, once key for dramatizing production (and anti-production, in strike) has been mobilized within the New Economy in ways that fundamentally disturb the figure-ground relations of citizenship through which the mine worker dialectically achieved its value in the first place. 
Rachel O'Reilly's visit to NIEA, UNSW A&D, coincides with the presentation of two series of drawings from her larger research project, The Gas Imaginary (2011-) as part of Frontier Imaginaries, currently at IMA/QUT.
Working through the difference of the contemporary mode of primitive accumulation of the mining contract, this talk draws on an earlier generation of feminist filmmakers' im-proper and clinamen-like engendering of industry forms and formal 'movement', between labour and nature, to substantiate a contemporary aesthetic theory of divestment.
Born in Gladstone and based in Berlin, Rachel O’Reilly is a poet, critic, independent curator and researcher. Her work explores relationships between art and situated cultural practice, media and psychoanalysis, aesthetic philosophy and political economy. From 2004-08 she was a curator of film, video and new media at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. She has a background in comparative literature, and a Master (Cum Laude) in Media and Culture from the University of Amsterdam. Rachel is part of the How to Do Things With Theory program at the Dutch Art Institute. From 2013-14 she was a researcher in residence of the Jan van Eyck Academie, NL. Her critical writing has been published by MIT Press and Postcolonial Studies and in collaborative criticism e-books by the V2 Institute for Unstable Media, Rotterdam.


Elwyn Lynn Conference Centre (near UNSW Art & Design library)
UNSW Art & Design
Cnr of Greens Road & Oxford Street
Paddington NSW 2021


Rachel O'Reilly
A/Prof Jennifer Biddle
A/Prof Anna Munster
Dr Veronica Tello