Plague of Diagrams is an exhibition and a programme of performances, talks and discussions concerning the relationships between
diagrammatic practices and thought in different disciplines taking place at the ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts London,
UK. In particular, the event explores the function and use of diagrams in art as expanded diagrammatic practice beyond the
graphic presentation of information. The event explores diagrams as actual/virtual machines that while taking material form
and indexing existing relations and objects, point to other arrangements. As Gilles Châtelet declared, diagrams are gestures
that invite other gestures. This is a vision of diagrams as abstract machines activated through performance or thought; a
notion of diagrams as relays that connect or traverse different times and spaces. It is a conception of diagrams as critical
and logical exploratory devices that, in presenting what is not apparent or visible—real abstractions, potential modes of
being, hidden relations—paradoxically depend on the register of the imaginary and the inventive production of images, figures
and gestures. Since the Enlightenment, when diagrams facilitated scientific and statistical breakthroughs, to cybernetic research
of the twentieth century, to the algorithmic devices that govern relations and economies today, diagrams have extended and
organised human culture. While diagrams have proliferated we can draw a distinction between diagrams that index and deliver
knowledge, and diagrams that pose problems and facilitate thought as an exploratory process. Plague of Diagrams addresses
not just the critical and organisational functions of diagrams but the art of diagramming too, while taking account of the
reductive, controlling or ideological use of diagrams.
Plague of Diagrams is organised by David Burrows and Dean Kenning in collaboration with Ami Clarke, Andrew Conio, John Cussans
and David Osbaldeston. The collaboration has developed out of discussions and events staged by the Diagram Research Use and
Generation Group (DRUGG).
Contributions by Rachel Cattle & Jenna Collins, Neil Chapman & Gillian Wylde, Ami Clarke, Andrew Conio, John Cussans, David
Burrows, Benedict Drew, English Heretic, Nikolaus Gansterer, Joey Holder, Dean Kenning, Christoph Leuder, Stine Llungdalh,
Adelheid Mers, Sharon Morris, Mike Nelson, David Osbaldeston, Plastique Fantastique, Patricia Reed, John Russell, Erica Scourdi,
Andy Sharpe, Kamini Vellodi, Martin Westwood and Carey Young.