Ptarmigan operated in Tallinn from 2011-2014. We no longer maintain any presence in Tallinn, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced at Ptarmigan during these years.
Ola Ståhl and Neil Chapman are both artists, researchers and writers interested in text-based artistic practice and in exploring intermedial interfaces between sound, text, visuality and performance. They often work collaboratively, sometimes with one another, at other times with other artists and writers. CLOSE READING is an afternoon session featuring the informal presentation and discussion of some of their individual as well as collaborative work. The collection of texts presented, including both published pieces and work-in-progress, explores the various parameters of intermediality and text-based artistic practice by implementing different strategies and methods which will be explored in discussions following the readings.
Ola Ståhl is a writer and sound- and performance artist based in Malmö, Skåne (Sweden). He also runs the chapbook imprint In Edit Mode Press. With a background in Art History and Cultural Studies, and an MA and a PhD from The University of Leeds, he used to teach on the Fine Art program at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, UK. Concurrently, he ran the "free school" project C.CRED / Collective CREative Dissent, operating as a platform for various collaborative art-as-research projects across Europe and the USA. Since the demise of C.CRED, he has been involved in several text and sound-based project, most of which are collaborations with other artists and writers. He is particularly interested in text based artistic practices; practices engaging interfaces between sound and text; practices re-using and re-cycling found materials; performative text- and sound practices (practices that "perform" rather than "argue" a theoretical position); performance practices drawing upon the experimental rendition of text- and sound material; and collaborative practices, particularly those that cross between media and disciplines.
During his residency at Ptarmigan Helsinki, Ståhl has performed recent work-in-progress live at several occasions. Work presented include RANT, a reworking of Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy ; FILM (with Cassandra Troyan), a series of edits of a found auto-biographical manuscript ; and Whatever Happened to Kurt Steiner? (with Neil Chapman), a text- and sound performance loosely engaging with concepts extracted from the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.
Neil Chapman is an artist, writer and researcher. His work explores the materiality of text and textual practices, improvisation in performance and reading, visuality and its different forms, and the politics of collaborative working method. His recent publications include Glossolaris (London: AND Publishing, 2010), in which diverse literary sources are used to create a prototype science-fiction novel; ‘BLOODCRYSTALPOLLENSTAR’, written with Ola Ståhl for Deleuze and Contemporary Art (eds. Simon O'Sullivan & Stephen Zepke, Edinburgh University Press, 2010) implementing collaborative writing strategies to create narratives with implicit philosophical content; and ‘Two Interviews’ for a book entitled Materiality of Theory (ed. Dronsfield, Birmingham: Article Press 2011). Working with David Stent, Neil Chapman is currently producing a series of five pamphlets to be published as These Weak Kindnesses comprising parallel texts based on Max Ernst’s Une semaine de bonté (1929-33), and a book entitled The Müleskinders edited from contributions by invited writers, artists and philosophers. Neil Chapman lives in London where he teaches contemporary art, philosophy of art and critical studies.