6/05/2017 — 6/05/2017
TORQUE: Manifestos for Relearning
to Read 
A symposium on new forms of

TORQUE: Manifestos for Relearning to Read

A symposium on new forms of reading

12pm – 5pm Saturday 6th May

£10 (£5 students and unwaged). Pay on Arrival. Booking essential.

Artist’s presentations, discussion and performance, bringing together contemporary practice around reading rooms, archives, digital texts, machine vision, and artificial intelligence.

In an era of digital media, reading is an activity where the frustrations and promises of technology meet, and at times overlap. The proliferation of textual forms, appearing as text message, email, status update, notification, muted television subtitle, even computer code, can produce an environment of undifferentiated informatic overload, where reading, by its incessant necessity becomes impossible. This is particularly relevant to Blackpool, a very textual town in terms of the frequency and scale of its advertising and signage.

Artists who work with text offer different ways to read. These approaches in turn might help us navigate the new textual landscapes we inhabit and how we might control what we read and how we read it.

Each speaker presents a unique vision and invites a range of adaptations and questions about how we might relearn to read.


11am Coffee and look at Relearning to Read exhibition.


12.30: PANEL 1 -- Reading Rooms and Thinking Archives
Nathan Jones
Anna Barham
Emily Speed
Nicolas Maleve

2pm Lunch BREAK

2.30pm: PANEL 2 -- Reading Landscapes and Machine Visions
Performance: Helen Palmer
Ami Clarke
Sam Skinner
Tom Schofield

4.30pm Additional discussion panels 1 & 2.

5pm finish


Book Via Eventbrite

Image Credit: Sam Skinner, Untitled 2016

26/05/2017 — 27/04/2017
Prime Time Symposium


Times TBC

£10 (£5 students and unwaged). Booking essential.


The Prime Time symposium explores themes within the work of Rob Crosse including desirability and its relationship between aging and control, sexuality, identity and community.

17/06/2017 — 12/08/2017
Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock
Love Life

Love Life is a major commission by Jonathan Baldock and Emma Hart, presented as an exhibition in three acts from 2016 to 2017.

The artists have radically re-imagined the traditional seaside show Punch and Judy, transforming the characters’ puppet booth living quarters into an oversized and darkly humorous place where the ever-present threat of violence acquires a new resonance in an era where cyber-bullying is more prevalent. Love Life is the artists’ most ambitious collaboration to date evolves in scale, form and content in three acts at three venues over a year.

Following Act 1 which opened at PEER, London in November 2016, the Grundy presents Act 2, where the exhibition expands dramatically, filling the Edwardian rooms of the gallery and drawing directly on the history of popular culture in the town in a series of new works and displays. In one striking new work, Hart and Baldock have commissioned Blackpool Council’s Illuminations Department, who manufacture and install the town’s celebrated annual six mile long lighting display, to create a giant new illuminated sculpture. Alongside this will be a new film shown and a special display of vintage Punch and Judy puppets drawn from the town’s extensive collections, providing a contextual and historical background to the new work by the artists.

In the largest gallery space, visitors will encounter a set of ‘domestic’ interiors installed as though an Ideal Home booth, also referencing Austrian artist Franz West’s Wegener Rooms. Each booth will show different elements from the domestic setting as re-imagined and re-configured by the artists. These include a giant infant with Cyclops head in a large pink baby walker, an oven stacked with anthropomorphic pots and pans and a washing machine spewing out its contents. Nearby a string of sausages spell out ‘YOUR BACK’ and ceramic speech bubbles hang off the walls, reminiscent of Punch’s famed aquiline profile. This strange and mischievous mise-en-scène is accompanied by the melodramatic strains of Jon and Emma (2016), Baldock and Hart’s collaborative soundtrack. The song the soundtrack plays is adapted from John and Marsha, the comedian and puppeteer Stan Freberg’s 1951 cult record parodying soap opera dialogue.

Love Life: Act 3 opens at De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-sea in October, and will include further new works.

Love Life is a collaboration between PEER, Grundy Art Gallery and De La Warr Pavilion supported by Arts Council England through the National Lottery.