Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Entangled Activisms at Vera List Center (NYC)

Entangled Activisms: Emergence, Betrayal and the Possibility of Rethinking the Possible / Iain Kerr in Conversation with Brian McGrath, Petia Morozov and Nato Thompson
Tuesday, December 8, 2009 – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Parsons The New School for Design
Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Avenue at 12th Street, New York City
Admission: Free

"We still do not know what a body can do." (Spinoza/Deleuze)

The early Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously claimed, "You can never step in the same river twice." Comically, one of the rebuttals to this observation was, "You can never step in the same river once." The logics of activism invariably relate to ideas of how change happens – how we step in this seemingly paradoxical river. This discussion is an attempt to test and experiment with the linkages between activist practices, ideas of change, and theories of time.

Arguing that theories of activism need to frame activism as essentially a theory of time, the presenters propose that the time of change not be defined chronologically but qualitatively. Rather than sequential time, they propose measureless time. But how can we think and experimentally work with qualitative time today? How do we take into account the ruptures, swerves, emergences, and folds of becoming that sweep us far beyond identity, being, and the logics of critique? What are the new possibilities and techniques of activism and activist art that develop out of these logics of the event? This is an evening to debate and develop new models of time, and in so doing to rethink and propose new ideas of artistic practice.

A presentation by Iain Kerr, artist, theorist and founding member of the research collective spurse, is followed by discussion with respondents Brian McGrath, architect, writer and Associate Professor of Urban Design at Parsons The New School for Design; Petia Morozov, architect, writer, educator and urban explorer; and Nato Thompson, writer and Chief Curator of Creative Time.

Presented as part of "Streaming Culture / Art and Politics," a new interdivisional initiative organized by Victoria Vesna, Visiting Professor (UCLA) and Director of Research, School of Art, Media and Technology, Parsons The New School of Design, in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, on occasion of its 2009/2010 program cycle on "Speculating on Change."

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