Somerset House Studios resident

Col Self

Practice-led work researching the potential of ritual magick for post-capitalism, asking if counterculture is truly dead within a surveilled neoliberal environment.

Somerset House Studios
New Wing

Col Self's practice is often collaborative through the collective Sp0re - a nomadic network of artists opposed to a militant collective. The group engages with the ritualistic, hallucinogenic and the virtual through performance, moving image, sound and installation.

Col's work speculates on the possibility of magick and ritual to question what progressive futurity might be, away from the rhetoric of the Capitalocene. Using the products, fashions and symbols of capitalism through the lens of ritual is a form of reclamation in resistance to late neoliberalism, which has always driven utopian models towards platform dynamics of closure.

This research-practice operates towards a rethinking of the relations between language, cultural practice and material form, to consider collective agency opposed to capitalist individualism. How might the rich alchemic alternative histories of ritual practice be a means to navigate routes through a networked environment of closure? The work trawls a neoliberal centre for a fragmented politics of joy, contributing to a historical language of the struggle for utopia.
Col Self (Sp0re), P0rtal Trance, 2019

Col will be completing the work for her PhD; Rituals of the Capitalocene: Navigating the Contemporary Moment Through Emergent Material Practices. This is led by her practice, which uses ritual as a means to imagine lines of flight through the present neoliberal condition. The focus of the residency will be a collective one, where she will continue to develop the practice through the collective Sp0re. This expanding network of artists currently includes: Farvash, Fran Young, Joslyn Willauer, Mohammed Rowe, 011668, s280f, vvxxii.

Col's practice embraces the notion of community and collaboration; she is always seeking ways to reach out across multiple disciplines to actively fulfil the theoretical aims of her research and practice.