Department of Ultimology: Fiona Hallinan and Kate Strain. Photograph by Paula Alvarez.
What is dead or dying? This simple but complex question is a driving line of enquiry for the Department of Ultimology. A university department invented by artist Fiona Hallinan and curator Kate Strain, the Department of Ultimology is part research project, part artistic collaboration. By looking at what is dead or dying in different fields – or perhaps more pertinently at times, what should die – the project gets to the heart of many academic discliplines and reveals the ways in which knowledge-production is changing in the face of globalisation and dematerialisation. For the second installment of our two-parter on death and intimacy, I (Rosa) spoke to Fiona and Kate about their project, its approach and methodologies, and how their research has shifted their perspectives on death, intimacy, darkness, decolonisation, and our ongoing doom era.