Seminar 10 // 15, 16, 17 May 2008 // London

Seminar 10 // 15, 16, 17 May 2008 // London

London location tba

1. Jean-Paul Martinon session; Visual Cultures department lecture: Ines Weizman

2. Guest speaker David Graeber; presentation by Sarah Pierce

3. Reading group on Doreen Massey led by Doreen Mende and Aneta Szylak Further information about the sessions can be found below:

THURSDAY 15 MAY: location tba

11am-1pm Jean-Paul Martinon session Is it righteous to be? Click for texts

2-5pm Discussion: The Curatorial / Knowledge website - 2006-2011


Ines Weizman

Architectural Spectacles: iced, ironed, melted

A reflection about the urbanism of the ideological spectacle in what was East Germany – before, during and after the Cold War. An attempt in understanding figures and practices of dissent in architecture.


Architect and critic based in London; Director of the MA Cities, Design and Urban Cultures at the Department of Architecture and Spatial Design, London Metropolitan University; interests include utopian visions within the context of urbanism after the collapse of the Iron Curtain & the architectural transformation of former East German cities since the reunification.

FRIDAY 16 MAY: location tba

11-1pm: Guest speaker David Graeber

David will be presenting his new work on debt, value and 'human economies', in which he complicates notions of the gift and provides a the breakdown of what he refers to as 'dyadic relations' from readings of Mauss and key anthropological texts. The first text (Debt, Violence etc) is a draft of this new work in process. In his presentation he will delve deeper into his breakdown of 'dyadic' relations. The second text is a much earlier work that focuses on one in the list of relations: hierarchy.

In light of recent (and sometimes cursory) discussions of the relational, the network and immaterial exchange in the art context, these texts may provide a more complex lexicon of terms, unfolding both the generative and problematic possibilities to be found in the relationships emerging within art and activism.

David Graeber is an anarchist and anthropologist. On June 15, 2007, Graeber accepted the offer of a senior lectureship in the anthropology department at Goldsmiths, University of London. Formerly, he was an associate professor of anthropology at Yale University. Graeber has a history of social and political activism, including his role in protests against the World Economic Forum in New York City (2002) and membership in the labor union Industrial Workers of the World. Graeber is the author of Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology and Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams. He has done extensive anthropological work in Madagascar, writing his doctoral thesis (The Disastrous Ordeal of 1987: Memory and Violence in Rural Madagascar) on the continuing social division between the descendants of nobles and the descendants of former slaves. A book based on his dissertation, Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar appeared from Indiana University Press in September 2007. A book of collected essays, Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire was published by AK Press in November 2007 and Direct Action: An Ethnography is due to appear from the same press in 2008. He is currently working on three more book projects: one, a history of the concept of debt; another, an attempt with Andrej Grubacic to outline an anarchist version of world-systems analysis; and, finally, a small book tentatively entitled The Archaeology of Sovereignty, along with numerous minor projects. With Stevphen Shukaitis, he also is co-editor of a recently released collection of essays entitled "Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations//Collective Theorization" (May 2007).

Click for texts

2-5pm Presentation by Sarah Pierce This PhD will allow me to hone in on theoretical concerns arising through my practice -- most notably, in relation to the 'curatorial' and a period I spent in Belgrade in 2006, where I began thinking about student artwork as a potentially interesting topic. In particular, I am interested in the anticipatory status of student work, and more generally the college campus, as tentative, transitory sites of speculation, deferral, and protest. I'm not interested here in teaching as knowledge-transfer, or even as instruction, but teaching as a kind of performative act, a hesitation, a promise, a confession. I am thinking of the art student, as the embodiment of that 'promise', and paradoxically, as the legacy of multiple teaching acts bound up in an historical avant-garde. These concerns grow out of a project called The Meaning of Greatness.

Click for texts

5-7pm Screening and discussion of Trinh T. Minh-ha film

SATURDAY 17 MAY: RIBA Café 66 Portland Place London W1B 1AD +44 (0)207 580 5533

11am-4pm: Reading Group Discussion of texts by Doreen Massey led by Doreen Mende and Aneta Szylak Click for texts

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Seminar Dates: 
Thu, 15/05/2008 (All day) - Sat, 17/05/2008 (All day)