Mike Sperlinger (b. 1977) is the new Professor of Writing and Theory at Kunstakadamiet, KHiO and the outgoing assistant director of LUX, London. He co-founded LUX, an agency for artists working with the moving image, in 2002 and in the decade since has worked on dozens of publications, screenings and exhibition projects for the organisation. As an independent writer he has contributed to publications including Afterall, Art Monthly, Dot Dot Dot, Frieze, Radical Philosophy and Texte zur Kunst, as well as numerous catalogue texts. He has edited books on early conceptual art and artists’ cinema, as well as issues of Will Holder’s journal FR David, and Foxtrot Echo Lima Tango, a critically-acclaimed fanzine about the monumentally unsuccessful 1980s British band Felt. He has also curated several gallery exhibitions, including German artist Marianne Wex’s show last year at the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe.
LUX (www.lux.org.uk) holds the largest collection of artists’ films and videos in Europe, built on the legacy of the London Filmmakers Co-operative and other artist-run organisations dating back to the 1960s. It acts as a kind of distributor for these works, making them as widely available as possible whilst trying to generating royalties for artists, supporting other economies beyond the commercial art market. As well as preserving and disseminating its collection the organisation runs an extensive education and events programme, ranging from evening courses and salon-style screenings to major international festivals like LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images.
In the talk, Sperlinger will talk about some of the connections between his work at LUX and his interest in artists’ writing and publishing, in particular the way that both the moving image and writing might unsettle the habits, hierarchies and economies of the visual arts.