Key Words: apparatus, archive, atlas, infrastructure, images of images, in/visibility, counter-appropriation, counter-history, breaking chronologies, negative space, cartography, infrastructure, materiality, mediality, subjectivity, anarcheology
The theory seminar is in line with Alena Alexandrova's current curatorial and research project entitled Anarchaeologies, and is at the same time envisaged as an open space to discuss ideas, issues and questions which are relevant to the practices of the students. The seminar aims at juxtaposing and exploring three key moments in current art practices: intervening in the space of the archive, giving new visibility to analog media, and reinventing the strange apparatus of the image-atlas (as imagined by Aby Warburg). Recycling images, obsolete media devices, or industrial ruins, poses questions of time and obsolescence, yet it also gives a new life and visibility of those objects. Deprived from their usual functionality both images and media-ruins, or archives become opaque and autonomous, impossible to inscribe within an economy of meaning. As much as this is an impulse to reconsider the narratives of history, to retrace alternative possible histories and facts; it is also a desire to reflect on the very infrastructure of the apparatus of the archive, and of the image, as well as a concern with a more intimate and subjective mode of production of meaning.
The group will read a selection of texts taking the question of the image in different perspectives: art theory, visual studies, philosophy, media-theory. For each seminar the required reading will be two texts, articles or chapters, which in combination create tension, resonate with each other and open further questions. The proposed texts will be adjusted and modified by taking into account the interests and needs of the group. The list remains open but it will most likely include articles and chapters by: Aby Warburg, Philippe-Alain Michaud, Georges-Didi Huberman, Roland Barthes, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Rancière, Jacques Derrida, Claire Bishop, Vilém Flusser, Raoul Ruiz, Bruno Latour, Keith Moxey, Gilles Deleuze, Hans Belting, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Marie-José Mondzain, Adrian Rifkin, Alexander Nagel, Walter Benjamin, Peter Sloterdijk and Raymond Bellour.
October 17 face to face meetings AA
October18 seminar & afternoon guest lecture curated by Alena Alexandrova:
'Aby Warburg: the History of Art as a Scene' by Philippe-Alain Michaud
October 18, 2013 Aby Warburg (1866 -1929), the inventor of what Giorgio Agamben calls a "nameless science" was interested in the life of images beyond the confines of art history and formal aesthetic questions. The focus of his research were images as a vehicles of cultural memory, sites of expression or "engrams" - charged with energy memory traces of the spiritual and psychological tensions of a culture. During the last years of his life he developed the Mnemosyne atlas, remaining unfinished or rather open project, including images from disparate sources (both art and documentary). The tables of the atlas form a strange apparatus in which images are set in motion, taken out of their proper visibility, montaged and re-montaged to write a history of culture entirely in images. A history touching deeper strata, the texture of conflicts and polarities which a culture has to constantly reconcile, the schizophrenic resonances of its "unconscious conditions." Philippe-Alain Michaud argues that Mnemosyne should be understood as embodying a cinematic mode of thought "one that by using figures aims not at articulating meanings but at producing effects." The opening pages of the Didi-Huberman's Atlas: Or How to Carry the World on One's Back, the extensive catalogue text accompanying the exhibition he curated following the multiple threads of Warburg's project, discusses it as "visual form of knowledge" and a "knowledgeable form of seeing." This double moment reappears in many of the practices of contemporary artists, consciously or not Warburg's followers, who do research through and with images.
Reading: Philippe-Alain Michaud, "Crossing the Frontiers: Mnemosyne Between Art History and Cinema" In: Aby Warburg and the Image in Motion (New York: Zone Books, 2006), pp. 277-293 Giorgio Agamben, "Aby Warburg and the Nameless Science" In: Potentialities (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), pp. 89-104 Georges Didi-Huberman, "Disparates 'To read what was never written' In: Atlas. How to Carry the World on One's Back?, trans. Shane Lillis, Exhibition Catalogue (Madrid: Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, 2010), pp. 14-23
November 28 face to face meetings AA
November 29 seminar AA & afternoon guest lecture curated by Jorinde Seijdel
January 9 face to face meetings AA
January 10 seminar AA & afternoon guest lecture curated by Bassam el Baroni
February 13 face to face meetings AA
February 14 seminar & afternoon guest lecture curated by Alena Alexandrova
March 13 face to face meetings AA
March 14 seminar AA & afternoon guest lecture
April 11 seminar AA & guest lecture curated by Jorinde Seijdel
May 15 face to face meetings AA
May 16 seminar AA & guest lecture curated by Bassam el Baroni