What role can artistic practices play in a time shaped by deepening divisions and a thirst for new binds? How are artists involved in operations of fragmentation and unification through their creative and epistemic practices? Moreover, isn't contemporary art itself an inflationary process of multiplication? Through the prism of the key concepts of time, space, and body in the contemporary situation, this workshop discusses the role of art regarding new borders and encounters.
Fragmentation and unification are the two vectors of our contemporary situation. Time, spaces, and bodies are subjected to processes of differentiation and segmentation, while they are at once conflated and solidified on a global scale. New borders emerge, together with unprecedented sites of encounter, in a situation cloaked as endless field of incompatible singularities, as unified block of interchangeable particularities.
Processes of broadening, rearranging and remodeling of boundaries are central to our (post-)modern societies. Former limits (be they epistemic or social) are spatialized anew – and what was but an emerging field is squelched by newly drawn lines. Geopolitics and the nation-state return with a vengeance in midst of a diasporal world. History re-emerges at a time of technologically induced oblivion. Time, space, and bodies hence are marked by a double bind of infinite multiplication and unification. These reinforced processes themselves seem, however, to strangely reach a boundary nowadays: Economic crises, social conflicts, and accelerated flows of information are the shoddy fibers of our societies’ unstable fabric. Caught in a nostalgia for pre-technical times that never were and an accelerationist futurism suffering from projective vacuity, global capitalism seems further drawn towards its painful destitution via present and future ecological catastrophes
What role can artistic practices play in a time shaped by deepening divisions and a thirst for new binds? How are artists, by their creative and epistemic practices, involved in operations of fragmentation and unification? And is contemporary art itself not an inflationary process of multiplication? –This workshop discusses art’s role with regards to new borders and encounters through the prism of key concepts such as time, space, and the body in our contemporary situation.
Our five-day intensive workshop will investigate and problematize contemporary process of multiplication and unification of time, space and bodies at the intersection of art and theory/philosophy. We welcome artists interested in the question of borders and boundaries, fragmentation and collectivism, as well as theoreticians of every discipline investigating artistic and political dimensions of questions alike. Together, we will investigate boarders and encounters in the contemporary situation via artistic practices and philosophical approaches.
Each of our days together will be twofold: the first part opens our discussion with contemporary texts and research materials thinking through the problem of time, space, and bodies; the second part will engage artistic practices and individual works tied to our guiding questions. We will reserve one day of the workshop for the presentation and discussion of eventual projects our participants may have. Provisional readings include, but are not limited to Ann Carson, Catherine Malabou, Kobena Mercer, Lauren Berlant, Maurice Blanchot, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Luc Nancy, Tristan Garcia, Nancy Fraser, David Joselit and Bernard Stiegler.
Day 1 – Border and Limit, Global and Contemporary: conceptual compendium
Day 2 – Temporalities and Retention
Day 3 – Presentation of participants’ projects + exhibition visit in Berlin
Day 4 – Spatiality and (de-)territorialisation
Day 5 – Corporeality and embodiment
No special knowledge is required. Provisional readings are mentioned above.
Marcus Quent is a philosopher and writer. He is a Research Associate at the Department of Art History, Art Theory and Aesthetics at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has published extensively on the question of the contemporary and philosophical aesthetics in monographs and collected volumes in both German and English. In 2018, he was a visiting scholar at the New School for Social Research.
Pierre Schwarzer is a philosopher and writer. He teaches at the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture at New York University, where he is a PhD Candidate. His writing concerns questions of the subject, poetics, psychoanalysis, and concepts of the limit. He is trained in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, and has taught at Parson’s School of Design in New York. Prior to his academic engagements, he worked in contemporary art. (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)