CENTER FOR TRANSFORMATIVE MEDIA
PARSONS THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2014
5.30 PM – 8.30 PM
Orozco Room A712 – The New School
66 West 12th Street New York, New York
“Existential Threats: Quantum Dreams & Nightmares” will preview the postdoctoral project, “Scholarship, Spirit, & Law”, a critique of present-day practices in so-called high scholarship and risks posed to the same by the invasion of academia by neoliberal capitalist practices. The seminar will focus on forms of scholarship, past and present, that also function as works of art, plus contemporary works of art that are secretly (or quietly) forms of scholarship.
As early as the late 1990s, and consistent with her role as ultra-contrarian, Rosalind E. Krauss argued against the emergence of the pseudo-discipline of Visual Cultures, something that has since spread from the United States (e.g., Harvard University’s Department of Visual and Environmental Studies) to the United Kingdom (e.g., Goldsmiths College’s Department of Visual Cultures) and around the world. Central to her then-contrarian thesis was a sense that something vital might be lost in bracketing discursive knowledge in favor of non-discursive knowledge. The seminar will re-visit what has otherwise come to be known as the post-critical turn in Architecture and related disciplines – an attempt at new objectivity at the expense of much else – and propose questions regarding a possible accord between verbal and visual cultures, while suggesting that the conversion of knowledge to forms of rapidly mutating information is one subtext of the proliferation of mediatic cultures worldwide. This process, in turn, is intimately related to aspects of present-day neoliberal capitalism, which seeks to reign in anything that might rise to the level of pure insurrection, the most radical critiques of Capital often being texts and films (from Guy Debord to Thomas Piketty, in the case of relatively recent books), yet films that are also imbued with a level of intellection that uses the eye to reach, meet, and challenge the mind (for example, Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, and Chris Marker).
The essay, “Scholarship, Spirit, & Law”, is the foundation text for the author’s postdoctoral project, an informal advisory toward redefining standards of academic high scholarship today.
The draft essay presented here, as PDF, is strictly a working document. It is hoped that seminar attendees might read the essay prior to the three-hour event to help facilitate and expedite discussion.
The seminar will be a multimedia event, with the third hour devoted to the screening of short films and/or videos by invited artists.
This event is invitational only. Please contact us if you would like to attend the seminar: kellere [at] newschool [dot] edu
Gavin Keeney is the director of Agence ‘X’, an artists’ and architects’ re-representation bureau founded in New York, New York, USA, in October 2007. His recent Australia-based PhD study, “Visual Agency in Art & Architecture”, resulted in the two books, Dossier Chris Marker: The Suffering Image (2012) and Not-I/Thou: The Other Subject of Art and Architecture (2014).
Image (above) – Desktop (Ljubljana, 2014), with Fredric Jameson’s The Hegel Variations, bottle of Georgian cognac, and program for Slovenska kinoteka open to Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. Photo: Gavin Keeney.