2016 ~ Sunday March 20 in Arnhem: FAILURE TO TRANSMIT ~ ROAMING ASSEMBLY #4 a symposium and play curated by Ruth Noack

| tag: Arnhem

Invitation in Dutch

ROAMING ASSEMBLY: a recurring public symposium scheduled to take place once a month (always on a Sunday afternoon, always convivial), functioning as it were as the DAI-week's 'centerfold'.

Although closely interlinked with the DAI's academic activities, the editions of this state-of-the-art speculative and hybrid program are not conceived as plain extensions of the regular DAI-seminars, but rather envisioned as sovereign happenings, aiming to mobilize our bodies, our intelligences.


Roaming Assembly #4 Sunday March 20 from 13:00 till 18:30

curated and presented by

Ruth Noack, art historian, critic, exhibition maker.

With the participation of

Mary Ellen Carroll, artist

Anna Daučíková, artist, teacher

Antke Engel, director, scholar

May Adadol Ingawanij, theorist, curator

Marcelo Rezende, researcher, critic, curator

 ~ free admission, no reservation needed for the symposium 

Location: Huis Oostpool, Nieuwstraat 58, 6811 HX Arnhem in Arnhem (at 5 minutes walking distance from the DAI's premises in the Kortestraat and 10 minutes from Arnhem's central train station). 

After the event, around 19:00, a dinner (prepared by our amazing vegan chef Mari Pitkänen and her team) will be served at the theatre. Costs for visitors: € 10 for food & wine. If you wish to join the dinner as well you are welcome to make a reservation at dutchartinstitute@artez.nl (please note that seating is limited ~closing date March 14, 2016).

With the participation of Avan Omar Muhammad, Bassam el Baroni, Dai Xiyun, David Bergé, Despina Sevasti, Florencia Almiron, Giulia Crispiani, Helen Zeru, Hu Wei, Isabelle Sully, Maike Hemmers, Maja Renn, Mathilde Sauzet Mattei, Melissa Tun Tun, Nil Ilkbasaran, Panagiotis Panagiotakopoulos, Peter Sattler, Pilar Mata Dupont, Sebastian de Line, Sonia Kazovsky, Uri Ruff, Valentina Miorandi, Zhenia Vasilev, and others.

The curator would like to thank Aafje Roth, Anja Scheffer, Gabriëlle Schleijpen, Jacq van der Spek, Mari Pitkänen, Marjolein de Graaf, Ricardo Liong-A-Kong, Rik Fernhout, Silvia Ulloa and the staff of Huis Oostpool.”


by Ruth Noack  

"Failure to transmit" takes the 4th iteration of the Roaming Assembly to the theater. The audience is invited to join us on stage in a play about one question: "What is non-transmittable form?" Invited experts, DAI students and guests will enact their roles and inhabit their ideas within the framework of a symposium setting. Symposia are fraught with rituals that reinforce hierarchies of knowledge. We hope that by bringing this to the fore via the setting of the play, a diversity of participatory practices can be made to count and a space can be opened up to enable a discussion of commonalities and differences regarding the experts' input.

"What is non-transmittable form?" The subject of this question does not really exist yet. Indeed, most attempts by the convenor of this symposium to define it have ended in failure so far.

Nevertheless, it might be a question that needs to be asked today, as a means to counter the pervasive and insidious ways that a globalised art world has swept away all the hard questions that need to be asked and answered. Instead, it looks like all that is needed are smart curators who will recognise the intricacies of art world power relations, while shifting art works like goods from one continent to another and flying in performing subjects at a moment's notice.

While this might legitimise art practice and exhibition making, it does not, by default, produce meaning and experience that matters.

It is time to start asking what might resist this transnational trade of objects, people and networks? This symposium will address the potential of form to resist. It is necessary, however, to emphasise from the start that the non-transmittability of form is not to be equaled to resistance per se. Any form might be only provisionally or only occasionally non-transmittable. Much depends on the context in which - and methods with which - a form is meant to be transmitted - or not. Does this mean that non-transmittability has to be actively sought out, imbued with agency and introduced into our fantasies, if it is to become resistant? Or is it one of those phenomena that show their resistance by confounding anti-essentialism and thus, ultimately, defying the idea of the human subject in control?


The Necessity of Not Understanding / 👍👍👍👍

by Mary Ellen Carroll

To stop answering the ‘quality question in art’, the researcher Seth Siegelaub developed a framework that would qualify other people to make these decisions. This structure for distanciation was predicated on trust and paradoxically, it privileged the artist. It was not an algorithm designed to reinforce unanimity, as in the binary coded, jpegable system of today. Nor, was it the audition, wherein ideas are tried out by the institution or market—and based on the number of likes rather than the development of a genuine discourse, and lacking what the Kenyan writer, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor refers to as the ethical imagination. 

Transparency architects the program of consensus and “compulsive conformity” as discussed by the Korean born, German philosopher Byung Chul Han, in his work of the same title. This is not only in the realm of culture, but mirrors economic and communication strategies for the neoliberal normalization of everything in life—where everyone gets to participate and feel good about their participation, as well as themselves. The autonomous cultural production of the artist and the dissemination/distribution method that disengages from this transparency will be biased in this presentation, wherein it will be limpid, and it will also be necessary, not to understand.


Queering Pushkin

by Anna Daučíková

What can really be transmitted and how may this look when a “Former Easterner” is speaking?

In our “Central European” debates, the West and East is not a question anymore. It seems it was put ad acta when someone named it Former East and Former West. But the questionable transmitting goes on. What exactly remains inexplicable in the constant “Brownian motion” of forms, ideas and images? Instead of vast geo/bio/political perspectives, we could take a look at an easy case of the un/transmittable: The “Let´s have a cup of tea!” situation.


Untransmittable form in the perpetual tension of the paradox

by Antke Engel 

The most concrete untransmittable form for Engel is the paradox. And, luckily, the notion „untransmittable form“ is a paradox in itself. Either it is untransmittable, then it cannot be form. Or it is form, then it cannot be untransmittable. Formulated like this, it is a contradiction. Yet, if we claim that that nevertheless, there is something like untransmittable form, then this must be a paradox. 

Antke Engel will present the paradox as a dynamic, anti-identitarian, and agonistic mode of tension. Yet, it is not a linear tension, extending between two poles, but a circular tension of ‘reconciled irreconcilability.’ The particular dynamic resulting from this constellation is what forms or is forming (a verb, rather than a noun), without turning “transmittable”.


Not I: Nguyen Trinh Thi’s essay films 

by May Adadol Ingawanij

This talk takes the idea of the essay film out on a long, far walk. It wonders how the conceptualisation of subjective enunciation changes when dissociated from the standard conception of the essay film’s claim to value: the assumption of the personal – as individualised – voice. Ingawanij's companion in crime are the moving image works of artist and organiser Nguyen Trinh Thi, a leading figure in Vietnam’s contemporary art and founder of the documentary film and pedagogy collective Hanoi DocLab.

Nguyen Trinh Thi's work uses video and photography to explore the presence of past wars and suffering in daily existence, and the materiality of their ghosts in a fast-shifting land. May Adodol Ingawanij's talk reflects on the importance of gestures, movement, and the equivocation between filmic movement and photographic stillness in Thi’s works. It does so to think through the potentiality or otherwise of the essay film. Does the concept travel well? Can the essay film be, at once, personal yet collective in its enunciation, can it be gestural rather than verbal?


Fifteen notes on identity and its drama

 by Marcelo Rezende

A tour through 500 years of chaos concerning the imbalance between essentiality and universality from the Brazilian perspective; and the Brazilian failure in convincing itself (and the world) that chaos is not the problem, but a chance. Maybe (as Lina Bo Bardi told us already) that could be what we need now…

“The anthropological research in the art field against the aesthetical research is happening now. The aesthetical research always gave the code to the development of art from antiquity until the avant-gardes (...) The freedom of the artist has been always an individual matter, but the true freedom can only be collective; freedom aware of its social responsibility, able of bringing down the aesthetics boundary, this concentration camp of the Western civilization”. (Lina Bo Bardi, letter from the archives of MAM-BA)



Framework Roaming Assembly: DAI-director Gabriëlle Schleijpen. Realization: DAI-team. Documentation: Silvia Ulloa. For other editions see the Roaming Assembly overview as well as our Video Archive

 DAI wishes to thank Toneelgroep Oostpool for its collegial hospitality.