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Zarina Muhammad in conversation with Christopher Kirubi

chair: Ami Clarke


Thursday 1st November 7-9pm.


Join Zarina Muhammad in conversation with Christopher Kirubi, chaired by Ami Clarke, to discuss key aspects of her new Un-Publish commission: Dear Friends.


During her writer in residency at Banner Repeater, 2017, Zarina Muhammad hosted a live youtube broadcast chat show with 6 guests, writers, artists and twitter dons: Gabrielle De La Puente, Aaqib Hussain, Christopher Kirubi, Akash Chohan, and Haseeb Qureshi, that discussed with her what it is to write via twitter.  The material that evolved from these conversations then helped inform her new Un-Publish commission: Dear Friends.


Ideas emerged from these conversations that discussed the potential Twitter has to be a discursive space, to play host to a new and more unstable form of writing // speech. The uncomfortability it can have, the awkwardness of speaking publicly in a specific way, but also the way it provides a softer landing for some sometimes.  Other aspects included the potential of sharing twitter accounts, and the opportunity to use this space to talk critically about art in a looser, less formal way, but still critical, with co-collaborator Gabrielle De La Puente as the White Pube.  Anon twitter accounts, twitter as therapy and admittance, how a garbled form of speech performs a thinking aloud through making public whilst broadcasting.  Less about having a legible conversation about using the platform, more about mapping the way that Zarina, and guests – as artists, writers, and wannabe twitter dons - navigate this space and pick at the behaviours that have normalized like a scab.


We will have copies of Zarina’s Un-Publish commission: Dear Friends, to take away for free on the night.  You can also find copies at: ICA bookshop - London, Good Press Gallery bookshop - Glasgow, Arcadia Missa - London, Islington Mill - Salford, Grand Union - Birmingham, Eastside projects - Birmingham, Focal Point gallery – Southend, and G39 - Cardiff.



‘UN-PUBLISH’ is a series of critical works published on paper, disseminated from BR.  

Artists, and writers are commissioned by invitation to contribute to the series, that focus' on new ideas regarding writing, and publishing, within emergent technologies.  Each edition works within the evolving assemblages of humans and technology, and as such, the works hold traces of an emerging subjectivity and the hardware and software through which they write. 

The name UN-PUBLISH refers to a conversation between Julian Assange (Wikileaks founder) and the curator Hans Ulrich Olbrist where Assange speculated that contrary to what we may suspect, traditional print media has a potentially longer shelf life, through the wide distribution of papers that might resist the censorious reach of the authorities, commercially or politically motivated.  Despite the seemingly democratic and open space of Web 2.0 and the global accessibility this platform suggests, the management of on-line information is exceptionally open to manipulation.  The additional consequences of not being able to access an historical record of the daily account that news provides, in years to come, as one might an archive of newspaper print, is yet to be fully realised.

The series exists as an invitation through commission to contribute, and has included Nina Power, Arcadia Missa, two commissions with Tara Kelton and Prayas Abhinav, a tabloid take on Mexico’s Economist with El Impublicado – the Un-Publisher in Spanish - with contributions from Mexican writers and artists: Nadia Cortés and Miguel Trancozo, and Isaac Olvera supported by Museo Del Chopo, Mexico City, and Yuri Pattison, supported by the Goethe Institut.  The series was begun with a work by Ami Clarke that focused on the language used in a then (2009) unprecedented view into the life of Chelsea Manning - a 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst, regarding her online exchanges with the gay activist Zach Antolak and the ex-hacker Adrian Lamo, in the lead up to Mannings arrest for the leaking of US sensitive military documents.



Speaker bios:


Zarina Muhammad’s art practice spans an ecology of different modes of working, including social media, video production, installation, text, and performance.  She engages with a critical enquiry that includes a focus on the social contexts through which the means of production occur.  Her approach to production and making is holistic, 'earthy-crunchy; open like a pore in a sauna'.  She has recently shown work in New Contemporaries, and is co-producer of The White Pube – an online art criticism resource and research project, that since 2015 has engaged with exhibiting, curating, and writing weekly reviews, with the website acting as host to an online monthly residency featuring different artists.


Christopher Kirubi is a London based artist who uses the mutability of images, objects and text to negotiate the limits of sexuality, gender, race and desire.




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