Seminar 62 // 16, 17, 18 Mar 2017 // London


Curatorial/Knowledge Seminar, 16-18 March 2017


Thursday, 16 March 2017, 11am–4.45pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, Room 325

Infrastructure of Feeling: Cognition, Sound and Power
Louis Moreno & Paul Purgas

‘…how nice it would be time to spend time listening’
J.M. Keynes, Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren

Raymond Williams said that because our sense of culture is expressed in ‘an habitual past tense’ it is difficult to grasp moments when there is a break in the pattern of lived experience. The trick, he said, was to find oblique strategies able to register change in a wider ‘structure of feeling’.

Inspired by Williams’s idea, we developed a project for Bergen Assembly that employed sound to generate a novel set of entry points into the question of infrastructure and cognition. The result was a machine / robot which listens to music, feels an emotion, produces an idea, and acts on this impression by buying things, creating a collection of objects over the course of the exhibition. In this case, a library of books on infrastructure.

For C/K we will explore the themes and questions of cognitive infrastructure surrounding the project, discuss how the robot librarian was constructed and look at the knowledge it assembled. In the afternoon we’ll listen to Paul’s sonic research into infrastructure.

- Keynes, J.M. (2010) ‘Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren’ [1930] Essays in Persuasion. London (UK), United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
- Malabou, C. (2008) ‘The Central Power in Crisis’ What Should We Do with Our Brain? Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
- Moreno, L. (2016) ‘Primitive Accumulator’, in Hannah Sawtell (ed.) #ACCUMULATOR_PLUS. The Happy Hypocrite. London: Bookworks.

11 – 1.30pm

The Cognitive Fix, or The Absolute at Large : human capital, over-accumulation and nervous breakdown - Louis Moreno

Presentation of Infrastructure of Feeling - Louis Moreno and Paul Purgas

1.30 – 2.30pm


2.30 – 4.45pm

Listening session - ‘Material’, ‘Signal’ and other works by Emptyset and We Can Elude Control - Paul Purgas


5 – 7pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, Room 342

Informatics of Domination - Visual Cultures public lecture
Ricardo Dominguez (University of California, San Diego)
Chair: Zach Blas, Respondent: Matthew Fuller


Friday, 17 March 2017, 11am-5pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, Room 325 (tbc)

On Resistance
Stefan Nowotny

How can we think resistance today? To some, the very term has come to seem suspicious: Does not resistance evoke a relation of ‘op-position’ which presupposes a self-contained subject capable of ‘positing’ itself (or its interests), yet at the same time determines this subject’s agency as reactive and, hence, dependent on what it resists against? And have not too many understandings of ‘collective’ resistance proven to be prone to unjustified/unjust generalisations of the diversified reasons for resistance, its existential grounds, the conditions of its articulation? Moreover, resistance seems increasingly hard to ‘organise’ at a collective level as contemporary lives are getting more and more fragmented and ‘flexibilised’, socialities dispersed and ‘networked’, and resistant affects turned into anxiety and depression (or, on the other hand, osmosed into various formations of demagogy). Thus, though news and campaigns spread more quickly than ever, we have lately seen numerous social movements across the globe to be struggling to sustain an effective level of organisation beyond temporary moments of protest.

Against this background, the primary purpose of this day is to propose and discuss a notion of resistance that is non-reactive and even non-oppositional. Indeed, while the term ‘resistance’ is often understood as a mode of opposition – to ‘stand (up) against’, ‘to posit (oneself or one’s claim) against’ – its very etymology allows for a number of other readings: to repeatedly or renewedly ‘withstand’, ‘stand back’, or even ‘stand still’. Accordingly, ‘resistance’ may be thought of as a reiterated insistence on the possibilities to live and explore an ‘inappropriate/d’ life (to borrow a term coined by Trinh T. Minh-ha) both individually and collectively. This does not exclude the potential to ‘counter’, it may rather well be its prerequisite. However it also calls for a careful reconsideration of the times and spaces for resistance to take place.

- Gilles Deleuze, ‘Postscript on the Societies of Control’
- Michel Foucault, ‘The Subject and Power’
- bell hooks, 'Homeplace: A Site of Resistance'

1.30 – 2.30pm

2.30 – 5pm
Afternoon session

Dinner together


Saturday, 18 March 2017, 12–4pm

Location: RHB 325

After Fukushima: The equivalence of catastrophes - Iterating Grace
Katerini Genidogan and Marta Colombo

After Fukushima is a text written by Jean-Luc Nancy in 2014 that deals with the ethical legacy of Fukushima disaster of 2011. It highlights the imperative to see after in the sense of beyond: how what has happened in Fukushima should not be considered separable from its technological, economic and political implications, but should be caught in the complexity of interdependent systems.

Iterating Grace is an ironic text with a curious origin: in June 2015, some prominent figures in tech media discovered a package in the mail. Inside there was a slim anonymous book recounting the biographical tale of Koons Crooks, a programmer whose religious devotion to the tweets of the Silicon Valley elite leads him to a tragic demise.

Both texts are a reflection on the consequences of the symbiosis and interconnection between technologies and nature, and an exploration of the human role in this dynamic. How do they illustrate the need to think that it is we who are arriving, or who are leaving? How do they show the significance of engaging with the present for the sake of understanding the ‘equivalence’ of capitalist civilization and its repercussions? Can we, eventually, confront with the dissemination of ‘equivalence’ in a world that is contaminated by the financial and monetary ethos?

- Iterating Grace, by Koons Crooks with a foreword by anonymous
- After Fukushima, by Jean-Luc Nancy


Seminar Dates: 
Thu, 16/03/2017 - 11:00 - Sat, 18/03/2017 - 16:00