Seminar 51 // 30 April, 1, 2 May 2015 // London


Curatorial/Knowledge Seminar, 30 April – 2 May 2015

Thursday, 30 April 2015, 11am – 6pm

Location: Prokofiev Room, Rutherford Building (Library)
(for those without Goldsmiths cards: one of us will be outside at 11am; alternatively, people at the reception desk will be informed and let you in)

An Anecdoted Archive of Exhibition Lives

Irit Rogoff – with guests from Helsinki: Nora Sternfeld, Henna Harri, Diogo Santos, Ariel Bustamante Martínez

This whole day will be dedicated to discussing the project ‘An Anecdoted Archive of Exhibition Lives’ with Nora Sternfeld, Henna Harri, Diogo Santos and Ariel Bustamante Martínez from Helsinki. We will begin by a reiteration of the project as a whole with reference to the texts we have online (P. Phelan, L. Wright) and Irit will show extracts from Kutlug Ataman's KUBA project. We will proceed with some discussion with our partners from Helsinki about the conceptual set up and Irit will discuss some ideas that Armin Linke has about the project and the fact that he and a collaborator are able to come and join us in October to help conceptualise the actual production of the project. We will divide up into pairs (we need to think about space for this) and present the project to one another and do mock interviews of one another. Then we will meet up together again and draw conclusions for the next and final workshop in October before we go into production.

The project ‘An Anecdoted Archive of Exhibition Lives’ focuses on researching and archiving living accounts of significant art exhibition experiences. The web archive of interviews will cover areas outside the canonical art world and document the viewers’ thoughts on remarkable moments in (exhibition) history. Some exhibitions are meant to shake the viewers, and succeed, and also seemingly modest displays in remote areas can sometimes mark valuable turns of socio-political awareness or circumstances. This project is about individual viewers’ experiences, and how they have perceived these moments. These experiences in turn become an alternative archive of exhibition lives.

Background Readings:
– Peggy Phelan, Chapters 1 & 7 from Unmarked: The Politics of Performance
– Lawrence Wright, Captured on Film (on Syrian Cinema in the 1970s),

2–3pm: Lunch break

Friday, 1 May 2015, 11am – 6pm

Location: Prokofiev Room, Rutherford Building (Library)
(for those without Goldsmiths cards: one of us will be outside at 11am; alternatively, people at the reception desk will be informed and let you in)

Thinking Differently (On Experience, 2)

Stefan Nowotny

“There are times in life when the question of knowing if one can think differently than one thinks, and perceive differently than one sees, is absolutely necessary if one is to go on looking and reflecting at all,” wrote Michel Foucault in the introduction to The Use of Pleasure. – In continuation of our discussions around methodology throughout this year, and more specifically of the session on ‘experience’ last October, this whole day will be revolving around the question how we can actually “think differently”. It will also address questions around the uses of abstraction, the difference between “thoughts” and the “process of thinking”, the role of experiences that drive us to think differently and modify our thoughts, and finally practices that attempt to produce new knowledges through the organisation of new encounters and new ways of relating to each other.

In the morning session we will look at two texts which directly address the question of thinking: 1) a very brief philosophical satire published by Hegel under the title “Who Thinks Abstractly?”; and 2) a text by the psychoanalyst Wilfred R. Bion proposing “A Theory of Thinking” that is intended “for use”. The afternoon will be dedicated to the feminist initiative Precarias a la Deriva from Madrid, and their work between political intervention, explorations of common (yet usually disconnected) experiences of precarity, and methodologies trying to compose lived experiences so as to create new “common notions”: apart from their text on “A Very Careful Strike”, we will also look at extracts from a video contributed by the Precarias to the DVD “Precarity” (P2P Fightsharing, 2005).

G.W.F. Hegel, Who Thinks Abstractly?
Wilfred R. Bion, A Theory of Thinking (from: Second Thoughts)
Precarias a la Deriva, A Very Careful Strike: Four Hypotheses

2–3pm: Lunch Break

8pm: Dinner together

Saturday, 2 May 2015, 12–4pm

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

Reading group

Chaired by C/K participants Huiying Chen and Theodor Ringborg

For the next reading group we’ll be perusing two things. One is the fifth chapter, titled “Agnostic Politics and Artistic Practices”, from Chantal Mouffe’s book “Agnostics: Thinking the World Politically” (2013). The other is an initial little bit from George W. S. Trow’s article “Reflections, Within the Context of No-Context” (1980).
Mouffe’s article addresses the question about ‘agonistic’ in a political way, and examines the function of critical artistic practice in terms of 'agonistic pluralism’. It is based on the premise of pluralisation of hegemonies, and the acknowledgement that radical negativity is inevitably existing in democracy. Hence, this writing tries to include, instead of eliminate, multiple conflicting forces in artistic practice and public sphere while keeping her own advocating perspective. We can see how she tries to constitute a critical space with artistic practices in the world that hedonistic culture has dominated every realm along the permeation of capitalism. To really get into it, and since it’s not that long, we’ll read the whole chapter.

From Trow’s “Reflections, Within the Context of No-Context” we'll read only the first 5 pages, up until the paragraph ‘Cold Child’ on p.70, and we will do so in part with questions of style in mind. Out of a text made up of so many, 5 pages are too few for us to really get into its big picture. But there’s lots of bite-sized things going on, too. It pairs nicely with Mouffe in terms of, for instance, a conversation on culture industries, new social relations and advertising. Yet, in addition to all that, in the spirit of methodology, within a sort of partially practice oriented research program, we want with this text to talk about writing as practice and not only as that thing that’s the output which isn’t the practice.


– Chantal Mouffe, Agonistic Politics and Artistic Practices (from: Agonistics)
– G.W.S. Trow, Reflections: Within the Context of No-Context


Seminar Dates: 
Thu, 30/04/2015 - 10:00 - Sat, 02/05/2015 - 15:00