ELAINE (MEI LIN) TAM



is an itinerant writer and researcher from Hong Kong currently living and working in London. She collaborates with artists and thinkers to create new forms and forums for critical engagement. Research interests include psychoanalytic theory, performance writing and feminist new materialisms.

She is also an editress at White Cube gallery, Fieldnotes Journal and Whitelies magazine.

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SPILLS (2021)

‘We write to what’s becoming palpable in sidelong looks or a consistency of rhythm or tone. Not to drag things back to the land of the little judges but to push the slow-mo button, to wait for what’s starting up, to listen for what’s wearing out. We’re tripwired by a tendency dilating. We make a pass at a swell in realism, and look for the hook. We back up at the hint of something. We butt in.’ — Lauren Berlant & Kathleen Stewart, The Hundreds, 2019

This performance lecture took place Thursday, 8 July 2021 on the occasion of Tactics & Praxis: Creativity, Pleasure & Ethics in Academic Work, an annual conference hosted by Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge.

‘The conference will explore cutting-edge work that brings praxis and research into contact in creative ways. In so doing, we will challenge the dominant emphasis on outputs, which views academic labour primarily in terms of productivity. We aim to investigate and encourage creative approaches to intellectual endeavours and research, as well as to interrogate the institutionalisation of academic writing and publishing. We will examine the potential of valuing affect, the body and creative praxis, not only as an antidote to the pressures of neoliberal academia, but also as offering new ways of thinking and acting, ethically, politically and intellectually.’

SPILLS now appears in abridged, textual form thanks to Deleuzine, ‘a zine for nobodies without organs’ edited by Lilly Markaki and Sabeen Chaudry. Hard copies available via their website and select stockists; a soft copy of the SPILLS segment can be found here.