Messing Up The Paintwork
A Conference on the Aesthetics and Politics of Mark E. Smith and the Fall
Friday 9 May 2008 at the University of Salford, Old Fire Station, The Crescent, Salford
Mark E. Smith remains one of the most interesting and idiosyncratic figures in popular music after a recording career with his band - The Fall - that spans 30 years. While The Fall were originally associated with the contemporaneous punk explosion, from the beginning they pursued a highly original vision of what was possible in the sphere of popular music. While other punk bands died out after a few years only to reform twenty years later as their own cover bands, The Fall continued evolving, while at the same time retaining a remarkable consistency despite frequent line-up changes that soon left Mark E. Smith as the one permanent member of the group. Perhaps the key aspect of the group that the conference will bring out is precisely the centrality of antagonism to Mark E. Smith and the Fall as a strictly maintained critical attitude to everything from musicians within The Fall to the wider musical and cultural sphere.
Richard Witts - involved with the early days of The Fall and member of the legendary post-punk group, The Passage as well as performing in the percussion section of the Hallé and other symphony orchestras. Having then spent ten years in television and radio presentation, he subsequently ran London’s Camden Festival and became Director of South Hill Park arts centre. Since 2000 he has been teaching at Goldsmiths’, University of London, and Surrey University specialising in twentieth-century music, the music industry, and cultural studies.
Mark Fisher - regular contributor to The Wire, Sight and Sound, Fact magazine and Frieze and a Founding member of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit but best known for his Weblog, http:k-punk.abstractdynamics.org. which recently featured an innovative series of essays on The Fall and Pulp Modernism. Currently he is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London.
The symposium will take place at the University of Salford on the 9th of May, 2008 and will be hosted by the Communication, Cultural & Media Studies Research Centre (www.ccm.salford.ac.uk). If you are interested in participating, please send abstracts and a short bio to Michael Goddard, email@example.com, to be received no later than 16 January 2008. Registration for the event will be £30.