Seminar 25// 2,3,4 December 2010 // London // Stefan Nowotny

Seminar 25// 2,3,4 December 2010 // London

1. Thursday: Program business, Lab groups, Deparrtment Lecture

2. Friday: Presentations by Grant and JiYoon and  visit by Stefan Nowotny

3. Saturday: Reading Group

Further information about the sessions can be found below


1) Thursday, 2 December

11:00 am - 6:00pm, room: Council Chamber, The Baths

11:00-2:00  Internal discussion to include our plans for a two tiered, two generation seminar for the coming year.

Plans for India trip

Plans for January seminar in Weimar.

2:00-5:00  Work with MA "contemporary Art Theory" group in the lab course together with Peter Moertenbock and Helge Mooshammer who are the course tutors

.5:00 -7:00  Department lecture: MARY C. RAWLINSON

"Antigone, Agent of Fraternity: How Feminism Misreads Hegel’s Misreading
of Antigone, or Let the Other Sister Speak"

Feminist political philosophers regularly interpret Antigone as a heroic avatar of feminism and a subversive figure in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. In fact, she is an agent of fraternity and the gender division of labour. Ismene, on the other hand, is regularly reviled, but exhibits the mobility of agency, as well as an attachment to life that ought to command feminism’s respect.


Dept. of Philosophy, Stony Brook University; Editor, International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (IJFAB). Publications: Thinking with Irigaray (SUNY, 2010), The Voice of Breast Cancer in Medicine & Bioethics (Springer, 2006), Derrida & Feminism (Routledge, 1997); Co-director, The Irigaray Circle and US Representative, International Network of Feminist Bioethics.

2) Friday, 3 December

12:00 pm - 6:00pm, room:  Room RHB350

Presentations Grant and JiYoon 

11- 1.30  Presentation Jiyoon Moon. 

The Politics of Theatre: Theatre and Audience

What is the politics of theatre? Jacques Rancière argues that politics is not the exercise of, or struggle for, power. Instead, it is “the configuration of a specific space, the framing of a particular sphere of experience, of objects posited as common and as pertaining to a common decision, of subjects recognized as capable of designating these objects and putting forward arguments about them”. On the basis of this definition, I approach the question of what the politics of theatre is by examining how the theatrical experience has been configured and looking at the common subjects/objects in this experience


1. Jacques Rancière, "The Emancipated Spectator", The Emancipated Spectator (London and New York: Verso, 2009), pp. 1-23.

2. Berholt Brecht, "Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction", Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic(ed)(trans) John Willett (London: Methuen Drama, 1964), pp. 69-77.


2.30 - 4.00  Presentation by Grant Watson

'Life as Art'. Grant will circulate a text on wednesday, there are no readings for this presentation.

4.00-5.00  Conversation with guest Stefan Nowotny of EIPCP , Vienna. Stefan will introduce his major new project "Translation', we have put some links to texts of his on this issue on line for the seminar.



1) Stefan Nowotny, The Multiple Faces of the “Civis” Is citizenship translatable

2) Übersetzung: Das Versprechen eines Begriffs

3) Translation Studies Forum: Cultural translation, Translation Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2009, 196 219



6.30  Opening of Joshua's project

The Unreadymade


51–63 Ridley Road

London E8 2NP

Participating artists: Francesco Finizio (US/FR), Asaf Koriat (IL), Elisheva Levy (IL), Joe Scanlan (US), Mike E. Smith (US), Harald Thys and Jos de Gruyter (BE)

The Unreadymade brings together the work of artists exploring the commodity as the prerequisite of every object, including the art object. This omnipresent ‘other-entity’ with which we are engaged in a network of intimacies (we eat it, we drink it, we wear it, we sit, touch it and are being touched by it, work with it, sleep in it), has been of central interest to Dada, the surrealists the constructivists and pop. Investigations of the commodity on both linguistic and conceptual grounds had already begun with the shift from Picasso’s objets trouvés to Duchamp’s readymades. 

The Unreadymade concentrates on artworks which perform their materiality as commodity. This resembles the tactics of a hunter-gatherer roaming a much more advanced civilization of commodities. Unlike the artistic strategy in which the artist, by the power vested in him, is able to turn any object into art (i.e. readymade), the unreadymade actualizes the commodity through different modes of display. 

For more details:



3) Saturday, 4 December

12:00pm -3:00p room: The Showroom 

Reading Group: Leire and Sarah 

For the next reading group we will take up the terms "exhaustion" and "formless" as developed by Deleuze via theorist Andre Lepecki and the Exhausting Dance, and Georges Bataille, respectively. This iis a development coming out of the latest session and our  reading of Mbembe's text; Irit referred to the concept of exhaustion in Deleuze. "Formless", comes from other exchanges, and is worth looking at if we have time, as a parallel term to Spivak's notion of "the informant", as it not just refers to "information", but also to "unformation". Does formless allow us to depart from the necessity the post-colonial as it is constructed under the anglo-saxon model of colonialism, and instead to work contextually, (i.e. from Spanish imperialism). Leire will introduce the Pelbart text, and Sarah will introduce formless, in direct reference to Bataille's short entry in the Criitical Dictionary (see below), as well as introducing the project of the dictionary as a way to think about 'terms'. We also think this will make a nice segue into the discussion on Unreadymade, which directly follows the reading group on Saturday at the Showroom. 

If people have come across other manifestations of these terms in their own work it would be helpful if you could bring these reference points with you to the discussion.  

Georges Bataille Entry in the Critical Dictionary, Documents 7, 1929

A dictionary begins when it no longer gives the meaning of words, but their tasks. Thus formless is not only an adjective having a given meaning, but a terms that serves to bring things down in the world, generally requiring that each think have its form. What it designates has no rights in any w=sense and gets itself squashed everywhere, like a spider or an earthwork. In fact, for academic men to be happy, the universe would have to take shape. All of philosophy has no other goal: it is a matter of giving a frock coat to what is, a mathematical frock coat. On the other hand, affirming that the universe resembles nothing and is only formless amounts to saying that the universe is something like a spider or spit.


1) Georges Bataille - Critical Dictionary, Documents 7, 1929

2) Andre Lepecki's introduction for Exhausting Dance


3.00-5.00  Panel discussion for Joshua's exhibition at Showroom


A discussion with Luigi Fassi (Director ar/ge kunst, Bolzano, Italy), Stefano Harney (Chair in Strategy, Culture and Society, Queen Mary, London), Julia Mortiz (Art Historian, Luneburg University, Germany), Andrea Phillips (Director of the Doctoral Research Programme, Goldsmiths, London) and Joshua Simon (Curator and Filmmaker, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel).


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Seminar Dates: 
Thu, 02/12/2010 - 11:00 - Sat, 04/12/2010 - 18:00