2022-2023 ~ Factory 2.0: If you’re gonna spew, spew into this: The Politics of Vomit

MAY 17, 2023

Led by Ian Nolan

When: 18:00 - 20:00

Location: TBA

A lot of us have probably been there at one point or another. On all fours. Breath heaving. Pulse racing. Sweat gathering in all the wrong places. Staring into the mushy abyss, trying to figure out what it was that prompted the reaction and what on earth it was in our lives that brought us to this point. It can be quite a transcendental experience.

Vomit is defined as matter that is expelled from the stomach through the mouth as a result of involuntary muscular spasms of the stomach and esophagus. The stomachs function in the digestive system is to store, mix, and break down food before it is passed into the small intestine. The stomach also produces acid, enzymes, and other specialized cells to digest food and kill harmful microorganisms. To expel something is to cast it out, to drive away and a spasm itself is considered an involuntary, unconscious, convulsion; a wincing, violent movement. Like convulsion, a spasm can also be understood as an abnormally energetic action or phase - any violent or irregular motion, turmoil - of emotion or in the realm of politics. A convulsion itself can also be used refer to fits of laughter. Another kind of spasm altogether.

My question is: What is being stored, mixed, broken down and assimilated into our bodies/our ways of being and how does an awareness of this tell us about what we want to keep and what we might want to be rejecting? And how can this wincing, unconscious, violent movement be at once political and in what way does it relate to laughter?

I will be exploring these questions in this student led, giving my own history of political vomiting alongside an introduction to alco-geographics, an idea developed on drunken walks during pandemic lockdowns (it has something to do with solidarity and strike action). I invite everyone to bring along little materials that for them could function as mnemonic devices, triggering associations around a topic (personal and or political) that makes them squirm, and that that perhaps represents something they may want to, in some way, expel.

Come join me in this collective vomiting experiment – it will get messy!


This student initiative is facilitated by DAI by making it part of the syllabus 2022-2023 and by providing space and time for gathering. It is embedded in the curriculum component Factory 2.0 and participation is credited with ECTS.