Seminar 11 // 24, 25, 26 July 2008 // London

Seminar 11 // 24, 25, 26 July 2008 // London

London location tba

1. Guest speaker Zygmunt Bauman; C/K group discussion

2. Irit Rogoff session on access; presentation by Jenny Doussan; Screening of Michael Haneke’s film Hidden (Caché), 2005.

3. Discussion of film & student-led reading group PARTICIPANTS NEEDED

Further information about the sessions can be found below:

THURSDAY 24 JULY: location tba

11am-2pm Zygmunt Bauman

ZYGMUNT BAUMAN is described as one of the world’s foremost sociologists of postmodernity. He is the author of some 25 books; most recent publications are Liquid Life (2005), Identity (2004), Community (2001), and In Search of Politics (1999). Bauman, who has written extensively on the origins and ephemeral quality of postmodern life, says that liquidity is the metaphor which best characterizes the contemporary world. In a world which is "liquid," everything is short lived and nothing stands still. The person capable of the most liquidity, according to Bauman, will often come to power in a society.

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3-5pm Discussion: Curatorial / Knowledge

FRIDAY 25 JULY: location tba

11-1pm: Irit Rogoff

ACCESS At a moment in which institutions of culture , funding bodies and policy making organisations constantly stress the need to provide 'accessibility' to culture as a series of mediations and easy entry points, it seems appropriate to try and unravel what another modality of 'access' might make possible. Continuing to think through an alternative lexicon for inhabiting the world of contemporary cultural practices, I am trying to think 'access' as a mode of intellectual and conceptual 'ownership,' the moment in which a problematic becomes our own and we inhabit it rather than being provided with it. The readings set up for the session, especially the extracts from Ernesto Laclau's On Populist Reason are an opportunity to critically reflect on the political rhetoric that produces populism as set of demands on behalf of identities and the question they pose. In particular it would be worth while to pay attention to Laclau's approach saying "Populism's relative ideological simplicity and emptiness for instance, which is in most cases the prelude to its elitist dismissal, should be approached in terms of what those processes of simplification and emptying attempt to perform - that is to say, the social relationality they express". Therefore we could examine both 'accessibility' and 'access' as a set of performances which both stand in for certain demands, while at the same time making possible different kinds of inhabitations.

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2-4pm Presentation by Jenny Doussan Insignificance?

In his 1982 survey of the place of negativity in Western metaphysics Language and Death, Giorgio Agamben elaborates on the schism between signification, saying, and indication, showing, upon which the meaning of being is situated. He defines this movement from saying to showing, from langue or code to parole or message, being itself, as the taking-place of language. Fundamental to this movement is a negative ground articulated through the Voice which is necessarily violent. The text concludes with a call for the non-taking place of language. However, nearly ten years later in The Coming Community, Agamben casts the taking-place in a slightly different light. He states that, "The movement Plato describes as erotic anamnesis is the movement that transports the object not toward another thing or another place, but toward it's own taking place—toward the Idea." This revision of the taking-place seems to diminish the role of negativity and perhaps bypass the notions of indication and signification and consequently the schism between them. My presentation is an attempt to trace this shift in the definition of the taking-place through readings of the Socratic midwife in Plato's Thaetetus and Eros in his Symposium, and to posit the question how might we think through the curatorial in similar terms.

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5-7pm Screening: Hidden (Caché), Michael Haneke, 2005.

SATURDAY 26 JULY: RIBA Café 66 Portland Place London W1B 1AD +44 (0)207 580 5533

11am-4pm: Reading Group Discussion of Hidden and Levinas text Click for texts

Seminar Dates: 
Thu, 24/07/2008 (All day) - Sat, 26/07/2008 (All day)