Seminar 77 // 16, 17, 18, 19 October 2019 // London


Curatorial/Knowledge Seminar, 17–19 October 2019


Thursday 17 October 11am–5pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 342a

11 am – 1.30 pm Morning session

Introducing Advanced Practices
Irit Rogoff

As our program transitions to the overarching arena of Advanced Practices, we will start by releasing the challenging needs that have brought this term about and by what we hope could be achieved by it. We will also look in detail at the current understanding of ‘Advanced Practices’, of the new vocabulary that it is forging and at the ideas that have been foundational to arriving at this new designation for the work we do in the expands field of art and research.

At our first seminar, I proposed to give an overview of the field, to pick out a few of the new terms we have developed and outline some of the aspirations we have of it. We will be doing the first public launch of the European Forum for Advanced Practices at CA2M in Madrid this weekend. Our colleague Bridget Crone will be attending the launch and so she too can bring some insights from the event. In the meantime, both information on the Forum and the entire ‘Charter for Advanced Practices’ which I will be discussing can be found on our website

After going through this introduction, I would like to discuss what this transition may mean for the program and its participants. Once we have a formal change of name, in the next months, people will have a choice of what they wish to have their degree in - either Curatorial/Knowledge or Advanced Practices.

Over the coming year, I would like to refer to the following texts which will be available on our text archive on the C/K website. The precise sections of the texts will be distributed in advance of each seminar. For the initial seminar as it is an introduction, we will not have a set of readings but perhaps a few sentences on PowerPoint to lead us into the discussions.

- Brian Massumi, 99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018).
- Erin Manning and Brian Massumi, Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience (Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2014), pp. 84-174.
- Jacques Derrida, Theory and Practice, translated by David Wills (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019).
- Jacques Derrida, “Sendoffs,” in Eyes of the University, translated by Thomas Pepper (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), pp. 220-224.

1.30 – 2.30 pm Lunch

2.30 – 5 pm Afternoon session

Anticipating Geometries: Self/Being/Technology as Method
Ramon Amaro

The politics of difference have often been framed in digital culture as a struggle for visibility and representation, particularly as they relate to algorithmically mediated social bias and discriminations. While mindful of such important gestures, recent theory has also sought to destabilize the rhetorics of representation by problematising the ways in which intelligibility of the self and the digital are understood. It is in the domain of intelligibility that contemporary anxieties surrounding technology and computation are more fully realised, as well as subverted. It is also the space where difference is translated into classification, regulation, sorting and other violent forms of governance — producing what Evelynn Hammond describes as discursive geometries that negate identity as a sense of absence as opposed to more affirmative actualisations of the self.

Alternatively, in this seminar participants are invited to think through the terms of intelligibility in computation, as well as the self, by decentralizing the rhetorics of visibility and geometric categorisation. Our aim is to develop new more affirmative vocabularies that challenge dominant conceptions of personhood, agency, and the digital. We begin by investigating the ways in which these problematics have been addressed in diasporaic and decolonial thought, feminist and queer theory, science and technology study, as well as debates on capitalism and biopolitics. The seminar moves forward to consider how individual and collective bodies might use of these tensions to produce new forms of knowledge based on community-building, poetics, film-making, activism, performance, making and other advanced practices. Ultimately, the seminar prioritises a participatory composition of research and practice in order to (re)discover, borrowing from Matthew Fuller and Graham Harwood, the very 'texture and reality-forming capacities of [computational] logics and the fantasies they inspire’ in us as well as society.

- Olivier Marboeuf. "Decolonial variations: A conversation between Olivier Marboeuf and Joachim Ben Yakoub (May 2019)." Accessed September 10, 2019. 
- Evelyn Hammond, “Black (W)holes and the Geometry of Black Female Sexuality,” in The Black Studies Reader, Jacqueline Bobo et al, eds, (New York: Routledge, 2004), 100-113. 


Visual Cultures Public Programme 6 – 8 pm
Location: Professor Stuart Hall Building, room LG02

Why I Broke the Law for Climate Change
Farhana Yamin (Global Agenda on Climate Change, World Economic Forum)

On 16 April this year, I super-glued my hands to the pavement outside the headquarters of the oil company Shell in London, surrounded by dozens of policemen. Once unstuck, I was arrested for causing criminal damage… Let’s be honest with ourselves. Our summits and 24 years of COPs have not delivered the bold action vulnerable countries and communities were asking for so long ago.... We must acknowledge our role in not going fast enough. The way we respond to the climate and ecological crisis unfolding before our eyes, personally and professionally, is going to make or break our chance to stay on the Paris pathway. What we need is not system change or personal change — it’s both. This is why I chose to break the law and become an activist. Like all parents, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my children safe. Right now, that means rebelling against a way of being that is destroying their future. Join me!

Farhana Yamin is an internationally recognised environmental lawyer and climate change and development policy expert specialising in international law, disruptive legal strategies, coalition building and fundraising. She has written numerous books, articles and was nominated by the UK government as a Lead Author for three assessment reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. After working in global climate philanthropy, she founded Track 0 which co-created a global campaign to unify the climate movement focusing on a full phase-out of greenhouse gas emissions to zero in line with climate science. Her work is widely credited with getting the goal of net-zero emissions by mid-century into the 2015 Paris Agreement. She is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House and has a number of advisory roles including as a Trustee for Greenpeace UK and Julie's Bicycle, and being on the Programme Committee of WWF-UK. She joined Extinction Rebellion (XR) in 2018.

"Why I Broke the Law for Climate Change" is part of the Visual Cultures Public Programme Autumn 2019 organised by Wood Roberdeau and Lynn Turner with the support of the Critical Ecologies research stream.





Friday 18 October 11am–6pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 342a

11 am – 1.30 pm Morning session

Liquid Bodies Liquid Worlds
Bridget Crone

I will talk informally about a project that I am currently working on, as a way of introducing myself and my work through my ongoing interest in questions related to the body as an abstract, philosophical, practical and performative tool for thinking-being in the world – questions that I have been exploring for a number of years through different curatorial, research and writing projects. 

Liquid Bodies Liquid Worlds seeks to understand the boundaries of the body (human and otherwise) through the changing practices and relations of technological and environmental change. At its most basic, liquidity describes the enmeshed-ness of the body in a world that is itself always in formation. While the notion of liquidity has often been used to describe financial liberalisation and the cultural shift from modernity to post modernity and beyond, I use it to name a molecular, multidimensional relation between bodies, between bodies of flesh, data and other forms of life.

Recasting postmodernist and poststructuralist approaches to horizontality, connection and relationality into the contemporary world of accelerated affective and computational control (the seemingly porous bodily relation that we have with technology today), Liquid Bodies Liquid World stakes up the challenge of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s ethical maxim, we do not know what the body can do, into the “grey ecology” of the neo-liberal, computational age where the body has been dissolved into an all-encompassing blur of controlling connections, and where ecology refers not to nature but to a hybrid circuitry. Yet for Paul Virilio whose term I borrow, “grey ecology” suggests solution as well as threat; a promise, a possibility within the grey, impure hybridity of this ecology. 

In the Liquid Bodies Liquid Worlds project, I am interested in exploring what the body is and can be – through the hypotheses built by contemporary art practices and speculative fictions – and how we might navigate this liquid world within which we are immersed. What practices can we use to navigate, to practice, to chart a passage through the dystopian threat of liquidity as control, and the ecosophical potential of recognising our deep interconnectedness with the world around us?

- Neimanis, Astrida. “Chapter One: Embodying Water: Feminist Phenomenology for Posthuman Worlds” in Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology. Environmental Cultures Series. London Oxford New York New Delhi Sydney: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.

1.30 – 2.30 pm Lunch

2.30 – 6 pm Afternoon session

The Decolonial and the Uncurateable
Adnan Madani

I will be talking through a strand of my research, curating and writing that looks at different notions of incommensurability between cultures, practices and beliefs. I will look over how the notion of incommensurability has been employed by philosophers, anthropologists and artists in their ethics and practices and how it continues to have a significant role in any formulation of a “world” or many “worlds” as fields within which forms-of-life exist. More specifically, I will examine the role that religion and belief are assigned in the thought of anthropologists such as Talal Asad, Saba Mahmood and Elizabeth Povinelli, in their various projects that seek to undermine the hegemony of Eurocentric ways of being, thinking and owning. My contention is that these other cosmologies, life-forms, ethics and practices might operate invisibly or indiscernibly in cultural fields including those of so-called globalised contemporary art. The task of the critic is then to expose these points of difference without resolving them, and I see these points of opacity as being something like what Povinelli calls “hinges” (following Wittgenstein).

I have extended this anthropological idea of radical and invisible difference into readings of contemporary art practices from South Asia, especially the work of Bani Abidi, which I will discuss here in the context of the politics of Karbala and Shi’a Islamic politics. My engagement with Abidi’s work then moves from that of a critic or curator moderating the reception of her work, to that of a collaborator developing a practice with the artist that aims towards what is impossible to curate or translate within her work. In this, I look to what Andre Lepecki calls “difficult to curate” objects or “wild things”, that indicate a way of decolonizing the curatorial, while challenging his assumptions about what such objects or events might look like.

- Asad, Talal. “Thinking about the Secular Body, Pain, and Liberal Politics.” Cultural Anthropology 26, no. 4 (November 2011): 657–75.
- Povinelli, Elizabeth A. “Radical Worlds: The Anthropology of Incommensurability and Inconceivability.” Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 30, 2001, pp. 319–334.
- Lepecki, André. (2017) “Decolonizing the Curatorial” Theater 47 (1). 101-115.


Visual Cultures Public Programme 6 – 8 pm
Location: Whitehead Building, Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre 

Hope After the Anthropocene
Eben Kirksey (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton & Deakin University, Melbourne)

Despite a groundswell of popular action, global climate change is outpacing all attempted solutions. Capitalist enterprises are rapidly destroying forests and wetlands in diverse corners of the globe. These forces are stoppable. We must not renounce hopes for a liveable future. It is important—more than ever—to imagine the unimaginable. New figures of hope are proliferating as students march in the streets and XR identifies surprising targets. It is time to be open to the hopes of others, to be swept away in the power of collective dreaming. Indigenous peoples, who are still living with conditions of genocide, are important voices in the contemporary moment of mass extinction.

Intersectional political work, reaching across boundaries imposed by nations and languages, is critical at this juncture. Transnational companies, like the oil giant that tried to rebrand itself at 'Beyond Petroleum', are being held to account as powerful collaborative projects coalesce. Rather than anticipatory governance, it is time to engage in anticipatory action. Moving from the realm of abstract hope, to grounded practices of care, is critical as we think about surviving the Anthropocene. Urgent care work is required to keep endangered life forms in the world. As conservation dollars flow towards charismatic animals, it is time to consider a multitude of unloved others—frogs, insects, marine invertebrates—who are slipping away, beyond the myopic gaze of Anthropos.

Eben Kirksey is an American anthropologist who specializes in science and justice. Prof. Kirksey is best known for his work in multispecies ethnography and human rights work in West Papua. The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, is hosting Kirksey in the 2019-2020 academic year, where he is finishing a new book about gene editing, the innovation economy, and social inequality.

"Hope After the Anthropocene" is part of the Visual Cultures Public Programme Autumn 2019 "Living Extinction", organised by Wood Roberdeau and Lynn Turner with the support of the Critical Ecologies research stream.




Saturday 19 October 12-4 pm

Location: Chisenhale Gallery, 64 Chisenhale Road, London E3 5QZ 

Collective research project
Irit Rogoff

We will discuss the Saturday program in the preceding days; we want to think of how to turn it into a collective research project, perhaps starting from an iconic project which we could consider remaking through a set of contemporary aspirations and textual association. 

In order to see if this is a workable idea, we thought to start off by considering Joseph Beuys’ International Free University project. The Wikipedia page on Beuys is very detailed and includes many good references. Specific References to the IFU would be this platform: An additional reference would be this conversation with Alexander Kluge:

This is an experiment and the chance to think through how a collective practice brings together a series of historical and contemporary drives and potentials. Let's see.



Madrid Launch of EFAP’s Charter for Advanced Practices October 10-13
Centro de arte Dos de Mayo CA2M, Madrid.

The European Forum for Advanced Practices is a self organised forum of practitioners, academics, organisers and other cultural world actors who came together in 2017 with the aim of opening up substantive questions of the distinct forms of knowledge production emanating from cultural pedagogy and practice. EFAP’s other aim has been to intervene and enrich the criteria taken up by constant evaluation and assessment, now demanded from all of our work. One of EFAP’s aims has been to disentangle a notion of ‘value’ from the overriding demands for ‘evaluation’ so we can think research beyond preemption, impact and performance.

After 2 years of discussion, we have completed ‘The Charter for Advanced Practices’ and we welcome all those concerned with these urgent issues to read it, sign it and join in our activities. The Charter can be found on our website and there is a designated space for signatures:

All the information concerning EFAP, its members, its funding through and its forthcoming activities can be found on the site, As can the full program for the launch in Madrid including lectures, performances and conversations between EFAP members and cultural actors working in Spain.


Seminar Dates: 
Wed, 16/10/2019 - 08:00 - Sat, 19/10/2019 - 10:00