The Contemporary: An Exhibition

Wednesday 18th May 2016

What is the contemporary? In this special exhibition, students on Birkbeck’s MA Contemporary Literature and Culture contemplate, through creative works, how they view, define, and reflect on contemporary life and culture. Asking questions like ‘what does the contemporary mean today?’ and ‘what does the contemporary involve?’, the students engage with art, film, poetry and artefact to explore these issues.

The exhibition will feature the work of three students. The pieces are diverse, meaning there will be something for everyone.

Kathryn Butterworth and guest James Watkinson are proud to showcase Technological Translations – an exciting piece about how technology and literature can come together to exhibit 21st century ways of writing, reading, seeing, and hearing, and the new possibilities this offers for understanding literature. Visitors will be able to look at, and touch, artefacts and experience an audio performance. One piece showcased will be ‘DNA poetry’, where poetry is transcribed into DNA coding. Guests will be able to see a mockup of a DNA coded poem.

Dylan Williams will offer a reading of his original poetry: a series of short works written in response to the lived experience of contemporary London.

During the event a fixed installation entitled Is It Just Me? will be screened by Dickon Edwards, who provides a witty meditation on social media, technology, and the paradox of the contemporary need to be original while still feeling part of the crowd.

Other works, including photography will also be presented.

Time: 6-7:30pm

Venue: 112, 43 Gordon Square

Book your place here.

For more information, please contact Dr Grace Halden, Director of the MA Contemporary Literature & Culture, at


Image: DNA from MIKI Yoshihito, used under a CC BY 2.0 licence.


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Author: CCL

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