2–7:30pm, Thursday 30 May
Wysing Arts Centre

'Network + Contact' is an afternoon of talks and discussion hosted by curator-in-residence Taylor Le Melle, with artist/ composer free.yard and poets Momtaza Mehri and Dorothea Smartt.

Book your free place via Eventbrite here.

The event’s title references novelist and critic Samuel Delany’s Times Square Red, Times Square Blue and the adjacency of its two essays – the first mapping the displacement of a community which organised itself around sex and cinema, the second considering the varying qualities of social interaction within a niche group of cultural workers.

Inaugurating a period of study, 'Network + Contact' is borne of a desire to augment the existing arts and labour discourse with considerations on: intimacy, migration, workers’ rights, activism, culture, London, grief, film and performance, celebrity, friendship, collectives, boundaries.

By co-mingling examinations of dispossession and networking as it relates to class, (queer) sex, and labour (in the arts), the aim is to ruminate on questions of:

Why a paradigmatic understanding of historical movements might necessitate a study of the desires that circulated through those networks?

In what ways do the conditions of ones work life set parameters for the terms of one’s intimate exchanges?

How can the affects circulated within a group, unofficially, be traced within canonical studies of the work produced collectively by that group?

Invited guests have been asked to share an offering that will allow the group to reflect on boundaries in both professional and intimate contact.

Event Schedule

Timings may be subject to change on the day

2:00   Doors Open
2:10   Introduction by Taylor Le Melle
2:15   Dorothea Smartt
2:35   Discussion led by Dorothea Smartt / Taylor Le Melle
Momtaza Mehri (Essay reading)
3:30    Q&A with Momtaza Mehri
4:00  Group reading of Rizvana Bradley "Black Cinematic Gesture and
the Aesthetics of Contagion"
Taylor Le Melle (Response)
6:35   Discussion led by Taylor Le Melle and free.yard
7:30   End

Due to unforeseen circumstances Professor Rizvana Bradley will no longer be able to participate in the event. The group reading session scheduled at 3.00pm will focus on one of Professor Bradley's essays'.

The programme has been devised with readings and presentations interspersed with breaks. Refreshments and food will be provided as part of the event.

'Network + Contact' is the last in the ‘False Economy’ series of events developed by Taylor Le Melle as part of their curator-in-residence period at Wysing Arts Centre.

The 2019 Curator in-Residence is supported by Art Fund.


Places for the event are free but booking is essential. Travel tickets are available from Cambridge station on a pay-what-you-can basis (suggested contribution: £8), and should be booked along with the event ticket if required.

To book your place, please click here.


If you have questions about access needs, please email Wysing’s Head of Operations, Ceri Littlechild, on ceri.littlechild@wysingartscentre.org.

Travel Bursaries

There are a limited number of travel bursaries avaialble up to £30.00. If in need of a bursary to cover your journey to Cambridge station, select a free ticket on eventbrite and email Amanprit Sandhu at amanprit.sandhu@wysingartscentre.org with a few sentences to voice your interest in the programme (we are not looking for you to detail your need). Bursaries will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.


Adam Farah is an artist and composer born-n-raised in London and is a Capricorn Sun, Cancer Rising, Leo Moon. They also practise under and within the name free.yard.

Momtaza Mehri is a poet, essayist and meme archivist. She is the co-winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her work has been widely anthologised and has appeared in Granta, Artforum, Poetry International, BBC Radio 4, Vogue and Real Life Mag. She is the former Young People’s Laureate for London and a columnist-in-residence at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Open Space. Her chapbook sugah lump prayer was published in 2017.

Dorothea Smartt London-born of Barbadian heritage, is an internationally respected poet/live artist. She was formerly an Attached Live Artist at London’s ICA, and her most recent residencies were in Scotland and Barbados. Her collection Ship Shape (Peepal Tree Press), is an ‘A’ Level English Literature title. In recognition of her contribution to British cultural life, she was nominated for a Barbados 2016 Golden Jubilee Award. Her most recent publication, Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On (Peepal Tree Press) is described as “…subversive, radical, and surprisingly panoramic...”. She is working towards a new collection, where she continues to rework standard narratives, this time re-imagining same-sex relationships and traditional religious practices, among the ‘West Indian’ workers constructing the Panama Canal.

Taylor Le Melle is a curator and writer based in London who has programmed at: Serpentine Galleries, ICA London, Cafe Oto, Chisenhale Dance Space, Arcadia Missa, and Assembly Point (all London), L’IceBergues  with Contrechamps Ensemble (Geneva) and McKenna Museum of Art (New Orleans). Taylor’s writing has been featured in: Art Monthly, Flash Art. Taylor was the Autumn/Winter 2018 Writer-in-Residence at Jerwood Visual Arts. 

Taylor also co-runs PSS with Rowan Powell. Together they have published projects by Daniella  Valz  Gen, Victoria Sin and Rehana Zaman (upcoming, 2019).  Since April 2018, Taylor has been co-director of not/nowhere, an artist workers’ cooperative that hosts workshops, screenings, exhibitions and other events. not/nowhere’s mission is to ensure that local artists who use new media in their work can access film and media equipment, acquire skills to nourish their practices, and take pleasure in expressing themselves creatively.

Image credit: Image courtesy of free.yard