Seminar 76 // 5, 6, 7, 8 June 2019 // London

Curatorial/Knowledge Seminar, 6 - 8 June 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Thursday 6 June 11am – 5pm


Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 307                                                                                                        
11am – 12.30pm

Research Presentation by Silvia Caso, MRes Curatorial/Knowledge:
We see each other: Mapping the production of space and culture in the territorial dispute between China and Japan
In theorising ‘experimental geography’, an umbrella term he coined to define practices concerned with the concepts of space and spatialisation, artist and geographer Trevor Paglen asserts that ‘cultural production […] is a spatial practice’. Using Paglen’s definition as the framework for this research, I would like to investigate the production of the culture of/around the uninhabited territories Senkaku/Diaoyu, islets in the East China Sea currently under the Japanese jurisdiction but claimed also by China and Taiwan. The islands, inaccessible to the general public, have been a source of long-standing geopolitical tensions between the two main political actors of the area, China and Japan.
Constructing a thread with examples brought from the cartographic realm and from media representations, I intend to analyse how the space here produced by Japan and China is, in fact, an exercise in sovereignty, based on the politics of the gaze and enacted by a choreography of ships and satellites. Problematizing the discursive formation of the ‘Senkaku/Diaoyu space’, I will also present related artistic engagements, in the aim to build a (counter)mapping that could enable future cultural micro-interventions, in order to positively shift the islands’ narrative and the dynamics surrounding it.


12.30 – 2pm
Research Presentation by Miguel Amado, MRes Curatorial/Knowledge:
‘The Subject of Race’, the first chapter of Achille Mbembe’s Critique of Black Reason, informs a reflection I initiated upon moving to Middlesbrough in mid-2015 to work at the local museum as the senior curator. I had never heard of the town’s ‘red doors’ before my arrival, but they almost immediately emerged in the British political landscape via widespread media reports. People seeking asylum, and relocated to the town by the British government through outsourced private companies, were being accommodated in houses with doors painted red, making them easy targets for abuse.
Middlesbrough, in the north east of England, is one the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution, and the hub of a region that has always been shaped by migratory flows. Traditionally a bastion of the working class, it is better known recently for the anti-immigration sentiment that the majority of the white population has expressed: one of its wards, Thorntree and Brambles Farm, was the most pro-Brexit area in the UK (82.5% ‘leave’ votes). As a young woman who worked at a hot pork sandwich kiosk stated in a 2016 news piece in The Guardian, ‘It’s the immigrants. We need to get the Asians and the refugees out.’
The question that I asked myself was why the working class, a subaltern subject intrinsic to capitalism, was not aligning itself with the asylum seeker, a subaltern subject that capitalism produces, as it personifies ‘those displaced by wars of global capital’ (Denise Ferreira da Silva). It became clear to me that ‘the subject of race’, and no longer that of class, is now the key political concept demanding consideration. W. E. B. du Bois once said that ‘the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the colour line – the relation of the darker to the lighter races.’ The ‘red doors’ of Middlesbrough epitomise the social divide that the colour line represents today.
2 – 3pm Lunch


3 – 4.30pm
Research Presentation by Mariam Atieh, MRes Curatorial/Knowledge:
Rethinking dis/order, dis/border of toxic/hypoxic migrations: On subversive cells and movement 
This research looks at the movement of toxins within the body and at unregulated movement of toxins across global borders. I look at movement inside the body, such as that of the hypoxic (oxygen-deprived) cells involved in endometriosis, induced by toxins permeating from outside; and at the unregulated movement of toxins across global borders, in contrast to the controlled movement of people across the same borders. 
In the late 80s ships loaded with barrels of chemicals were illegally exported from Italy to the Middle East and Africa. Some were retrieved, others went missing. In 1983, the world largest shipbreaking yard was established in Alang, India. Since then, hundreds of toxic ships have been sent there, mostly from industrial countries, for ‘recycling’ by the poor, dispossessed, cheap Indian labor. These ships cannot be dismantled in Europe because of the tight regulations on environmental pollutants. This simultaneous approval and prohibition is often justified as a protection of communities of certain national and ethnic bodies, away from harm, whether from toxins or the Other, destabilizing these identitarian fixities. If such toxins disrupt hormones, alter sexual differences and unsettle the borders between self and other, as theorists such as Donna Haraway, Nancy Langston, Michelle Murphy, Roberto Esposito and others stated, then, following their arguments, how can we rethink communities and borders through the movement of cells, toxins and bodies otherwise?
- Donna Haraway, ‘Sympoiesis: Symbiogenesis and the Lively Arts of Staying with the Trouble’
- Michael Kot, Shipbreakers (2004),                                                                                                                                        
5 - 7pm Staff Research Seminar
Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 226
Staff Research Seminar: A conversation on science fiction writing between Henriette Gunkel, Nedine Moonsamy and Patricia Reed




Friday 7 June 11am - 5.30pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 307
Patricia Reed: Co-existence at a Planetary Scale
As our societies become exponentially interconnected, complex and interdependent, we are faced with the problem of how to access this scale of reality in order to even begin imagining how it could be navigated otherwise. What new frames of reference does this scale open up, including understandings of what and where the human is, within this configuration? How can we imagine maneuvering at this scale without subordinating localised differences to reductive, homogenizing forces; how can we preserve the particular while upholding the planetary? What consequences does this scale bear on aesthetic practices, ones that hold great potential to render these new perspectives sensible, and amenable to experience? We will look at how an expanded picture of the 'interface' operates as a vehicle not only to speculatively access this scale, but also, and perhaps more importantly for us semantic creatures, to narrate meanings of that access. 



Saturday 8 June 12-4pm

Location: Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS (closest tube: Liverpool Street Station)
Reading group: Stefan Nowotny
For this final reading group session of the year, we will be looking at Rosmarie Waldrop’s 1993 poetry book Lawn of Excluded Middle which takes up the law of excluded middle (‘a venerable old law of logic’) to ‘play with the idea of woman as the excluded middle’ and poetically reflect on questions of thinking and writing. We will first discuss the aphorisms on the concluding page of Waldrop’s book and then read together poems 1, 21, 23 and 28.



Seminar Dates: 
Mon, 03/06/2019 - 01:00 - Thu, 06/06/2019 - 03:00