Seminar 50 // 11, 12, 13, 14 March 2015 // London


Curatorial/Knowledge Seminar, 11–14 March 2015

Wednesday, 11 March 2015, 6–8pm

Location: LG01, Professor Stuart Hall Building

Public lecture by Visiting Professor Michel Féher:

‘When Human Capital Rebels: The Case for Embracing Our Neoliberal Condition’
(Lecture 7 of the lecture series The Age of Appreciation: Lectures on the Neoliberal Condition)

In the last three decades, neoliberalism has defined a brave new capitalist world – a world in which financial markets preside over the allocation of resources. Under neoliberal capitalism, investors are not only allowed to reap an exorbitant rent from the production of others: they are also invested with the power to decide what is worth producing. In addition to siphoning off wealth, financial institutions establish the criteria that shape the business plans of corporations and the budgets of elected governments.

This lecture series purports to show that the rule of investors proves as transformative of personal motivation and conduct as of corporate management and statecraft. I will argue that, just like in the past with other shifts in governing practices, a new representation of human potential and human frailties – a distinctively neoliberal perspective on the human condition – is implicated in the financial turn of capitalism.

Michel Féher’s previous lectures in the series are webcast on the department’s web page:

Thursday, 12 March 2015, 11am – 5pm

Location: Prokofiev Room, Rutherford Building (Library)

(for those without Goldsmiths cards: one of us will be outside at 11am)

11am – 2pm:

PhD research presentation by C/K participant Vipash Purichanont:

Curatorial practice has been integrated into our sphere of life since the end of the Fordist era, when the society of scarcity transformed into an affluent society. Nonetheless, the digital revolution advanced it further. Recently a proliferation of curatorial activities on the Internet has turned curatorial practice into an ability to categorise, rearrange, assemble and distribute information. Thus we begin to hear the argument that ‘everyone is a curator in the digital era’. In this presentation, I will present my analysis on two current forms of applied curatorial practice: biocuration and content curation. I argue that both of them are products of financialization and digitalisation under the influence of bio-power and neo-liberalism, which attempt to reduce human life into mere data. In view of this crisis my dissertation explores potentialities of how curatorial practice could fold back into life and operate as a technology of the self, producing an alternative subjectivity against this process of subjugation.


– Franco “Bifo” Berardi, ‘The General Intellect is Looking for a Body’ (from The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance)

– Dorothea von Hantelmann, ‘Affluence and Choice: The Social Significance of the Curatorial’ (from Cultures of the Curatorial, ed. B. v. Bismarck et al.)

2–3pm: Lunch break


On the project ‘An Anecdoted Archive of Exhibition Lives’, chaired by Irit Rogoff:

This project of interviewing people about exhibitions they have seen, and that transformed their understanding of what an exhibition can do, is aimed at working against the canonisation of a few Western exhibitions as seminal events in the life of art, as well as exploring what are the possibilities for making important or influential exhibitions outside of advanced infrastructures. This project of video interviews will be the main collaborative C/K practice activity and if we are able to complete it in time by September 2016, I would like to exhibit it at the Norwegian Triennale ‘The Bergen Assembly’ that freethought is co-curating. freethought is the collective I work with (Stefano Harney, Nora Sternfeld, Mao Mollona, Louis Moreno, Adrian Heathfield) and we are interested in the cultural manifestation of research activity and do large-scale public projects around what it is to think in the public sphere.

We have some small grants that will 1. develop this in collaboration with the art department at Aalto University in Helsinki; and 2. enable us to work with artists and an editor in order to produce a more internally cohesive project. We have discussed some theoretical underpinnings for the project last year, namely the work of Peggy Phelan in Unmarked. Over the next two seminars we will look at some of the more practical aspects of the project so that we can actually begin to work on it.

In this session I will discuss some of the formats and the influences that have led up to this project:

– Lawrence Wright, on Syrian Cinema in the 1970s:

– RAQS Media Collective, Delhi project Cybermohalla:

– Kutlug Ataman, video installation KUBA (I will bring DVD)

– Catherine David, DI/VISIONS:

(In the next seminar, on 30th April, we will be joined by Nora Sternfeld, Diogo Santos and Fakharzadeh Farbod from Aalto University, who are involved in this project. Together we will do a workshop in which we will pair up, introduce one another to the project as prospective interviewees and then interview one another. After that we will again discuss how to go about this with a greater awareness of what it means to interview and to draw out an account that even the interviewee does not necessarily recognise as the main account of the event.)

Thursday, 12 March 2015, 5–7pm

Location: LG02, Professor Stuart Hall Building

Visual Cultures Public Programme:

Amanda Boetzkes (University of Guelph, Canada):
‘Wasting Environments and Environments of Waste’

This lecture will consider the meaning and perception of plastic, a material that has seen a sharp increase in visibility in contemporary art of the past two decades. I argue that plastic rests at the intersection of the economic, ecological and aesthetic dilemmas which characterize our critical environment. I link plastic to an unseen stratigraphy of production and consumption generated by the global oil industry. More strongly, I show how plastic discloses the current paradigm of energy management, and its coextensive definitions of waste. The artists featured in this study visualize how automatic and autopoietic processes of global wasting (processes of machinic heterogenesis) extend into waste environments (wastescapes). In this way, plastic gathers together the seemingly dissociated registers of a restricted energy economy and ecological crisis.

Friday, 13 March 2015, 11am – 6pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, Room 356

Guest speaker Prof Johnny Golding:

‘Curating Radical Matter in Art and Philosophy (herding difference)’

Prof Johnny Golding is the Director of the Centre for Fine Art Research (CFAR) and holds the Chair in Philosophy and Fine Art at the School of Art, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD). Internationally renowned for her philosophy enactments, installations and sound-scape exhibitions, her research covers the intra-disciplinary intersections of fine art, digital/electronic arts, and aesthetic epistemologies, captured through the lens of contemporary philosophy, meta-mathematics and modern physics.

Session outline:

Part 1, 11am – 2pm:

What is a ‘groundless’ ground and why is it crucial for contemporary (post-postmodern) aesthetics?


– Johnny Golding, ‘Fractal Philosophy’ (from Deleuze and Contemporary Art, ed. S. O’Sullivan and S. Zepke)

Part 2, 3–6pm

What is ‘meaning’, ‘identity’, ‘difference’ (and why does it matter/make matter ‘matter’)?


– Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference (trans. Joan Stambaugh)

2–3pm: Lunch Break

8pm: Dinner together

Saturday, 14 March 2015, 12–4pm

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

Reading group, chaired by C/K participants Carolina Rito and Rana Hamadeh (in continuation of the last Reading Group session on 31st January):

Alain Renais’s 1961 feature film, Last Year in Marienbad, and Gayatri Spivak’s 'Translator’s Preface' to Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology, are the selected ‘texts’ for this seminar’s reading group, which will be dedicated to modalities of reading as well as to the question of how to take part in reading. Rather than operating as centre-pieces, the two selected works are intended to function as platforms from where instances of readership can be proposed, rehearsed and tested – among these figures are reading ‘at the surface’ and reading ‘nearby’.


– Gayatri Ch. Spivak, ‘Translator’s Preface’ (from J. Derrida, Of Grammatology)

– Alain Resnais, Last Year in Marienbad (1961)

Seminar Dates: 
Wed, 11/03/2015 - 18:00 - Sat, 14/03/2015 - 16:00