Sheffield Fringe

John Latham

Conceptual artist John Latham (1921–2006) was a 20th-century firebrand, who, through performances, assemblages, films and extensive writings, fuelled controversy and continues to inspire. Preoccupied with time, he was visionary in mapping systems of knowledge, scientific or religious. He developed his own philosophy of time, known as ‘Event Structure’, which proposes that the most basic component of reality is not the particle, as purported by physics, but the ‘least event’, or shortest departure from a state of nothing. (Lisson Gallery)

Further information:
Flat Time House
Lisson Gallery

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopaedia Britannica | UK 1971 | 16mm | 6 min 10s

For Skoob Tower Ceremony: National Encyclopedias (1966), Latham had constructed towers from volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica and then burnt them. This film attempts, instead, a precis of the entire encyclopedia, with one frame of film for each page: the history of human knowledge becomes an illegible,strobing stream of images. Courtesy LUX, London

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