Exceptional Talent (20/06/2018-23/08/2019)

Kai was a 2017-2018 Centre for Mobilities Research CEMORE Visiting Fellow, Lancaster University. CEMORE initiated the new mobilities paradigm in the social sciences, arts, humanities and sciences. It was the first such centre (founded in 2003 by John Urry and Mimi Sheller) and continues to be at the heart of this burgeoning global field. Mobilities research develops a deeper and broader understanding of contemporary challenges through social science as a transdisciplinary endeavour.  It encompasses the analysis of the global, national and local movements of people, objects, capital, information and material things combining together to engender the economic and social patterning of life. Previous Fellows include Dr Dr Bradley L. Garrett, well-known for his urban explorations

During her Fellowship, Kai worked closely with the Director of Mobilities Lab Dr Jen Southern, as well as Professor Emma Rose and Dr Linda O Keefe of the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, and successfully co-curated the Art & Mobilities Network Inaugural Symposium. The study and practice of Art & Mobilities has been gaining momentum in the past decade. This includes pioneering solo and collaborative work led by Jen, a key player in the field. The Art & Mobilities network consolidates, celebrates and develops this work. On 3rd July, nearly thirty artists, writers, curators and researchers gathered at the Peter Scott Gallery. Apart from UK-based colleagues like Nikki Pugh, Elia Ntaousani, Bruce Bennett and Bron Szerszynski, we were joined via Skype by Mimi Sheller (USA), Owen Chapman (Canada), Kaya Barry (Australia) and Sven Kesselring (Germany). UK participants brought with them objects, images or texts for a pop-up exhibition. We wrote our big ideas on a ‘manifesto wall’ and considered the histories of mobilities in art practice through a timeline running across the Gallery. Jen gave a keynote packed full of information and provocations covering creative research methods, the aesthetics of mobility and so on. We closed the colloquium with a role and ‘next step’ that each of us intends to perform to get the group going. Kai also collated an ‘instant journal’, an experimental platform which documents some of our activities and thoughts, and which we will continue to edit and develop (below). In the longer term, we will seek funding to build this network internationally and to facilitate collaborations and activities such as conferences, exhibitions and publications.

Kai is excited as the end of her fellowship marks the beginning of new possibilities for her and others through this Network. She gave a keynote lecture during the Symposium which was a performance-lecture of how art and mobilities collide for her as an artist, curator and woman. Here, she re-presents a version of it in the form of an online story through 100 slides.

Kai wishes to extend her gratitude to Jen as well as Professor Monika Büscher both of whom she first acquainted with in 2012 when she participated in the CEMORE Annual Research Day. She also wishes to thank Tess Baxter, Jocelyn Cunningham, Richard Smith and all colleagues involved.

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