Elly Clarke and Clareese Hill are artist researchers working independently and collaboratively on topics of identity, performativity, drag, and the critique of digital autonomy. Through an in/formal conversation and presentation they will weave together their practices and discuss their collaborative re:search: where it intersects and where it behaves like (un)easy neighbours. Hill and Clarke will act as proper artists/academics — or will they? Perhaps they will refuse and simply lie still on the floor and invite you to join (in). Perhaps this is the act/ion you have wanted to see all along.
Who are we to talk (back) anyhow?

          a word        an act(ions)            a sound    an object            a body    a sun beam showing up dust    lands in a space   to be   inspected   by those who witness it : processed by and alongside, despite + inspite of: triggers, memories, emotions, judgements, moods, knowledges, assumptions, time zones, relationships

          and the finding and losing of words,
      in languages we inherited
          or are taking on / in.

What do we learn when words fail us?

14.00 Intro from HP
14.15 Elly Clarke (Artist Talk) 30 mins
14.45 Clareese Hill (Artist Talk) 30 mins
15.15 Conversation with Elly and Clareese (Q&A)
15.45 Break
16.00 Performance from Elly and Clareese
16.30 Re-Performance/Discussion


Elly Clarke and Clareese Hill met as PhD students at Goldsmiths University of London. Their first collaboration was a Covid-impacted virtual abstraction of a conference that took place in May 2020 titled Occupying the Between, with featured speakers Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Julia Bell, Cassie Thornton, and Marta Di Francesco. The goal of the gathering was to disrupt the conventions of the academic commons. Since then, Hill and Clarke have been working with written scholarships and performativity gestures, including performing each other’s texts.

PhD Candidate in Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, Elly Clarke is an artist interested in the performance and burden (‘the drag’) of the physical body in a digitally-mediated world. Clarke explores this through video, photography, music, community-based projects and #Sergina, a border-straddling drag queen who, across one body and several, performs online and offline about love, lust and loneliness in the mesh of hyper-dis/connection and data discharge. Her exhibition Dragging the Archive: a re:encounter with Franklin Furnace’s cyber beginnings is on show at Pratt Institute Libraries until 6th April 2023.

Clareese Hill is a practice-based researcher and Postdoctoral Research Associate at Northeastern University. She explores the validity of the word “identity” through her perspective as an Afro-Caribbean American woman and her societal role projected on her to perform as a Black feminist academic. She has performed lectures at The Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths University of London, University of Sussex, CUNY Graduate Center, The Chicago Art Department, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn. She was also a 2020 Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future fellow (Phase One). Clareese has published academic essays in THEOREM Journal, Architecture, and Culture Journal, and has an upcoming article in Antennae, The Journal of Nature and Culture. Clareese holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and practice-based research Ph.D. from Goldsmiths, University.

Readings & Materials
  • Clarke, E., Hill, C., 2022. Re:searching Together (in Two Acts). A Peer-Reviewed Journal About 11.
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  • Hartman, Saidiya. “Venus in Two Acts.” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 12.2 (2008).
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  • Barad, K., 2012. What is the measure of nothingness? Infinity, virtuality, justice: = Was ist das Maß des Nichts? Unendlichkeit, Virtualität, Gerechtigkeit, 100 notes – 100 thoughts. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern.
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