Time Beingis a 14-minute film which meditates on waiting and care. In a research system that prioritises speed of production and the written word,Time Beingexplores how touch is also central to methods of knowledge building and creative enquiry, enabling alternative and perhaps more careful perceptions of time. It was commissioned by Waiting Times, a research project investigating time and care based at Birkbeck, University of London and the University of Exeter, and funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Please join Lisa Baraitser, Harriet Cooper, Martin O’Brien, Rachel Purtell, Laura Salisbury and Sejal Sutaria for an evening of discussion about care and waiting centred around Time Being, a 14-minute film made by artist Deborah Robinson in collaboration with Ruairí Corr, a creative maker who works through co-production.
Time Being offers a sensory exploration of what it means to wait. Deborah writes, “working with Ruairí encouraged me to slow my pace to match with his, to let go of pre-set ideas and pay careful attention to qualities in the footage gathered – a path that led to a film structure organised around touch, materials and sound.” Through holding and containing time differently, Ruairí and Deborah open up new possibilities for creative expression – for divergent, slow-forming ideas rendered inaccessible by more normative ways of being in the world and in time. Time Being tackles the crucial question of the time needed for care in a context in which time appears to be always running out.
Time Being was commissioned as part of Waiting Times, a Wellcome Trust funded research project based at Birkbeck, University of London, and the University of Exeter that brings together academics and artists to offer a fundamental re-conceptualisation of the relation between time and care in contemporary thinking about health, illness, and wellbeing.
The event will be held in person at Birkbeck in conjunction with an exhibition of the film at the Peltz Gallery, and can also be joined online. Those who attend in person will watch the film together, and then join a panel discussion with experts-by-experience, artist-researchers, and academics working across disability studies, the medical humanities, and critical time studies. Those attending online can watch an online version of the film prior to the panel discussion.
Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory, Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London. She is co-Principal Investigator of the Waiting Times project, and has written widely on time and care.
Harriet Cooper is Lecturer in Medical Education (Sociology) at the University of East Anglia. She works at the intersection of medical humanities, disability studies and applied qualitative health research and is the author of Critical Disability Studies and the Disabled Child: Unsettling Distinctions (Routledge, 2020),
Martin O’Brien is Senior Lecturer in Live Art at QMUL and a performance artist and scholar whose work is concerned with the performance and representation of illness and disability. He uses physical endurance, hardship and pain-based practices to challenge common representations of illness and to examine what it means to be born with a life-threatening disease. He is recently the recipient of the 2021 Leverhulme Trust Prize in Live Arts.
Rachel Purtell is a Disabled Woman. She was the Director of Folk.us at the University of Exeter, where she facilitated and supported the involvement of service users, patients or/and carers in medical and social care research to ensure that service users have a positive and meaningful impact on research, research processes, and research structures. Rachel lectures on involving people in research and on Disability Equality and delivers training using the Social Model of Disability as the central approach. She currently acts as the Critical Friend for Engaged Research at Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter and has published widely on involvement and disability issues.
Deborah Robinson is an artist working collaboratively and across disciplines with scientists, artists, biomedical experts and technologists to make installation artwork using moving image and sound. She uses experimental film-based processes to explore issues in science, health and the environment. She is Honorary Artistic Research Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter and previously was Associate Professor in Contemporary Art Practice at the University of Plymouth.
Laura Salisbury is Professor of Modern Literature and Medical Humanities, working between Exeter University’s Dept. of English and Film and the Wellcome Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Health. With Lisa Baraitser, she is co-Principal Investigator of Waiting Times. She has published widely in modern and contemporary literature, particularly on the work of Samuel Beckett; on neurology, psychoanalysis, and literature; and on ethics and time. She is current President of the Samuel Beckett Society.
Sejal Sutaria is a visiting-assistant professor of 20th and 21st Century Postcolonial Literature at Grinnell College, US. Prior to this she completed a Marie Curie Fellowship at King’s College, London. Her current book manuscript, Making Waves: Britain, India, and the Sounding of Postcolonial Resistance, examines how sound archives amplify our understanding of the role that globally circulating ideas, capital, and migrants played in shaping anticolonial resistance in the colony and the metropole. She has published widely including a piece about Venu Chitale to the 100 Voices that Made the BBC.
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