Seminar 45 // 1, 2, 3 May 2014 // London


Curatorial/Knowledge Seminar, May 1–3, 2014


The first two days of this seminar will be held as a joint seminar together with the MFA programme in Curating (Department of Art, Goldsmiths).


Thursday, 1st May, 11am – 5pm

Location: RHB 300 (Main Building)

Seminar with Maria Hlavajova (BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht):

In the Times of Interregnum

If it is possible to think of our time as a time of interregnum – much in line with how political thinker Antonio Gramsci spoke of the period characterized by a ‘great variety of morbid symptoms’ as a crisis that ‘consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born’ – what, then, is our art to do? Everywhere, we see extant hegemonies losing their grip as we part from the legacy of the modern under the pressures of new contemporary realities. As we hover over the end of one era, unable to reach the undersill of the not yet, how can we – with and through art – trace from here the prospective itineraries pointing towards what we once used to call the ‘future’? In order to address these questions, Maria Hlavajova will speculatively draw upon her research within two interrelated projects she has engaged with, FORMER WEST and FUTURE VOCABULARIES. If the former aims at developing a critical understanding of the legacy of the radical resistance to power in 1989 in order to reevaluate the global present and speculate about global futures, the latter attempts to act out concrete propositions that explore the shifts in our existing conceptual vocabulary within artistic, intellectual, and activist practices.

Maria Hlavajova is founding general and artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht since 2000, and artistic director of FORMER WEST (2008–2016), which she initiated and developed as an international collaborative research, education, publication, and exhibition undertaking. Amongst numerous exhibitions and projects at BAK and beyond, she organized the Roma Pavilion in the framework of the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011, curated the three-part project Citizens and Subjects (the Dutch contribution to the 52nd Venice Biennale) in 2007, and co-curated Manifesta 3 (Borderline Syndrome: Energies of Defence) in Ljubljana in 2000. She also edits and contributes to numerous critical readers and catalogs, and lectures on contemporary art.


– Boris Groys, Keynote Lecture on ‘Art Production’, Former West: Documents, Constellations, Prospects, 18th March, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin:

– Bruno Latour, ‘An Attempt at a “Compositionist Manifesto”’

(Lunch break: 1.30–2.30pm)

Thursday, 1st May, 5–7pm

Location: Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre, Whitehead Building

Visual Cultures Public Programme:

Ryan Bishop (University of Southampton) – Farther Afield: The Cultural Politics of Remote Sensing and the Long Cold War

A legacy of the ‘Long Cold War’ can be found in the multiple large-scale interrelated remote sensing systems operative in the present. The history of remote sensing is the history of media generally, especially electric and electronic media. Such technologies reconfigure the imaginaries such that they can decontextualize the observing subject from the time-space constraints of the corporeal body, all of which has profound implications for the ways in which we constitute the subject. When those technologies become autonomous, then the position of the subject, especially the political subject, is destabilized. Through an examination of the longer trajectory of remote sensing systems as well as a consideration of the term autonomous (as constituted by ‘auto-’ and ‘nomos’), this paper will consider the complex interrelationships between techne, thought, the subject as political and philosophical entity, and geopolitics.

Ryan Bishop is Professor of Global Art and Politics at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.

Friday, 2nd May, 11am – 6pm

Location: RHB 300 (Main Building)


Panel with C/K participants Samia Henni, Leire Vergara and Martin Waldmeier:

In and Around Research: Proposing, Questioning, Practicing

This panel will explore some recurring gestures that are constitutive for any engagement in research as well as in curatorial activity: the act of proposing which not only involves a complex set of decisions, but also marks us as neoliberal subjects (reasserting ourselves as competitive entrepreneurs of the self by writing ‘proposals’ and making ‘propositions’, e.g.); the act of questioning which unfolds between, and rearticulates, given sets of questions and the potentiality of questionabilities; and the act of practicing which allows to reflect on ways in which research and curatorial activity mutually inform and affect each other.


– Julia Kristeva, ‘“Nous Deux” or a (Hi)story of Intertextuality’

– Jean-Luc Nancy, ‘Sense and Truth’

– Paolo Virno, ‘On Virtuosity’

Lunch break: 2–3pm


Project presentations by MFA Curating participants:

1. Elene Abashidze and Iben Elmstrøm will present the proposal for the exhibition for L'atelier Ksr residency and will introduce some of the ideas around the methodology of what a research-based project, or project-based research could be. Ideas such as 'Fast Curating' and 'An exhibition as a test for a research' will be briefly discussed. The presentation includes an introduction to the project that is being tested leading on to a discussion around on how to develop it to a more substantial research project.

2. Zoe Marden and Cat Turner: Ccthenr is a collective and research platform that creates space of exchange that explore an expanded concept of experiential learning and the social dynamics involved in the co-production of knowledge. Its second iteration Hello World! is an exhibition and workshop series that will take place in Berlin this summer. The project explores self-publishing through a dialectical research method in which materiality and process are inseparable. Ccthenr sees publication as the generation and making public of representative texts whose meanings are unfixed, and yet are ‘proper to’ the defined, self-identified communities in which they are taken up. This process institutes networks of relationships, actively constructing publics that are based on shared material (if not narrowly physical) structures and knowledges, This posits a dynamic relationship between object-based representations of identity and the processes through which they are produced, and which they produce in turn.

3. Tom Clark on the research and publishing practices of A_M


- Matthew Stadler, ‘What Is Publication Studio?’

- ‘How to sleep faster’,, Editorial

(Around 8pm: Dinner together)

Saturday, 3rd May, 12am – 5pm

Location: Raven Row (56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS; closest tube: Liverpool Street Station)

Reading group:

As discussed during our reading group session in March, we will read short stories this time around.


– Hari Kunzru, ‘Raj, Bohemian’

– Ursula K. Le Guin, ‘She Unnames Them’


Seminar Dates: 
Thu, 01/05/2014 - 11:00 - Sat, 03/05/2014 - 17:00