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Dennis McNulty in Conversation with Matthew de Abaitua

  • Tue, 27 Sep 2016
  • 6.00 PM - 7.30 PM
  • Tickets: £3/£2

Liverpool Biennial 2016 Software Episode artist Dennis McNulty has invited author Matthew de Abaitua to discuss the increasingly blurred boundary between technological advances and science fiction. 

McNulty and de Abaitua will discuss art and artificial intelligence, Liverpool's science fiction heritage, and their approaches to the vexed questions of the world to come: are we living in a dystopia; will we be able to control the future or will out-of-control become business-as-usual? Matthew De Abaitua will read from his two latest novels: IF THEN and The Destructives. IF THEN is inspired by the First World War experience of Liverpool science fiction novelist and philosopher Olaf Stapledon and has been described by critic Nina Allan as "one of the most important works of British Sci-fi to appear in recent years. It is stunningly original and superbly well written".  The Destructives takes on artificial intelligence, social media and was described by Barnes & Noble as "the most mind-boggling science fiction novel of the year".

Matthew De Abaitua (b. 1971)  is a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Essex. De Abaitua was born in Ormskirk, Liverpool and grew up in Maghull in Merseyside. He studied English Literature at York University and was awarded a British Academy grant to study the Creative Writing master's degree at the University of East Anglia. His first novel The Red Men was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award. The Red Men is currently in development as a feature film by directors Shynola and produced by Film4 and Warp Films. The teaser short film Dr Easy, adapted from the first chapter of The Red Men, can be watched for free on Vimeo. IF THEN was published by Angry Robot in the US and UK in September 2015 and The Destructives Spring 2016. 

John Dodds at Adventures in SciFi Publishing reviewed IF THEN, saying, ‘IF THEN is a particular kind of British rural science fiction, in which a deeply unsettling pall overshadows what should be a Utopian idyll. The novel has antecedents in the works of John Wyndham, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley – and it is every bit as good as the best works of those writers. It is full of mind-bending ideas, great characters and wonderful writing. If there is any justice, it deserves a nomination for the next Hugos.’

To see more of these reviews click here.

Dennis McNulty (b. 1970) lives in Dublin, Ireland. McNulty's work is generated through an investigation of embodied knowledge in relation to other forms of knowledge, often in the context of the built environment. Beginning with detailed research of various kinds, and informed by his studies in psychoacoustics, the works often take hybrid forms, drawing on aspects of cinema, sculpture, sound and performance. 

For Liverpool Biennial 2016 McNulty presents Homo Gestalt, a collective technology that is performed into existence by the participation of audience members. The commissions include a data-driven installation at Bluecoat, a digital app that can be used to generate low resolution animations, and an off-site performance work.

Recent projects include Lofoten International Art Festival, Svolvaer, Norway (2015); Collective Gallery, Edinburgh/Carnoustie, UK (2014); and Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, Ireland (2014). Previous exhibitions include Performa 11, New York, USA (2011), Encuentro de Medellin, Medellin, Columbia (2007); and the São Paulo Bienal, São Paulo, Brazil (2008 and 2004).

To find out more about Dennis McNulty click here.

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