Freelance writer, artist and recent Interactive Arts graduate, Darren Murphy discusses his degree show project.

Darren Murphy

An interest in dialogue is the main drive behind everything that I do. The conversation itself is the integral part of my practice as an artist; I create the environment and context for discussion rather than the object that provokes it. Acting as context provider rather than content provider.

As a result the effects of the institution and location of such discussions are always considered. I began by organising a discussion group; an inclusive, informal and open group, NTCRIT (Not Too Critical), that met in distinctly non-art spaces to discuss matters relating to the arts. My organising of the groups, within an art context but not an art environment, allowed for diverse, theoretical discussions – all of which are recorded and documented, and made available on

With my studies at Manchester School of Art coming to an end my degree show arises as an opportunity to explore conversation on a much larger scale. The course I study, Interactive Arts, gains the Holden Gallery as its venue. I wish to facilitate a series of discussions, similar to those organised for NTCRIT, however, a degree show in an art gallery is clearly an art environment.

Considering all of this, it is necessary that NTCRIT remains a distinct project existing outwith an art establishment, venue or environment. Entering a period of hiatus for the time being NTCRIT gives rise to HOIC (Hours of Idle Conversation); a research project aiming to facilitate conversation as NTCRIT had done before it. But then doing something more than just documenting or recording it, going on to explore it as a material and evaluating it subjectively and objectively. The use of ‘idle’ in the title relates to an objective view of conversation whereby its contents are always insignificant.

With NTCRIT, recordings and documentation were produced to provoke further meditation on the dialogues that took place, allowing the transmission of these conversations to move beyond the bounds of their initial interlocutors.

HOIC shall also collect material, recording and transcribing discussions that are then to be made available via a more formal publication as well as on I will then explore the conversation both subjectively, exploring ideas and theories within the texts, and objectively, considering the qualities and the form of the conversation.

On the opening night of the degree show (Friday 14 June 1700 – 2100) the First Publication shall be made available, both as a physical book and a downloadable pdf. This is an introduction to the project, summarising its origins and its intentions, but also includes the texts to be used as departure points for each discussion.

For the duration of the show (15 – 19 of June) two discussions a day shall take place. At 1100 the discussions shall be subject to experiment, exploring the effects rules altering its flow and its form have. Then at 1300 standard discussions shall take place.

All discussions will begin with a summary of the ideas, intentions and themes of the texts by myself so those participating do not feel the need to have understood or even have read the texts to take part.

They will all be recorded and transcribed, with the audio and text made available online. This stint of the project will culminate with the Second Publication, acting as a report with a summary and evaluation of the project, including new texts exploring HOIC’s results, again to exist as an online and offline publication.

Darren Murphy HOIC

~ a program of discussion to be held for the duration of Manchester School of Art’s 2013 degree show

14 June 2013
[1700 - 2100] Opening
15 June 2013
[1100] Conversation experiment
[1300] A Discussion: The Discursive, Liam Gillick
16 June 2013
[1100] Conversation experiment
[1300] A Discussion: The Experimental Factory, Liam Gillick
17 June 2013

[1100] Conversation experiment
[1300] A Discussion: Interruptions, Maurice Blanchot
18 June 2013

[1100] Conversation experiment
[1300] A Discussion: The Art of Conversation i, Monika Szewczyk
19 June 2013

[1100] Conversation experiment
[1300] A Discussion: The Art of Conversation ii, Monika Szewczyk

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