Tag Archives: CTM

In Service to Nothing: Intellectual Inquiry in the Open


In Service to Nothing: Intellectual Inquiry in the Open
Symposium at The New School
The Center for Transformative Media and punctum books
November 7   11AM-6PM
66 West 12th Street, room A404

“In Service to Nothing: Intellectual Inquiry in the Open” is a symposium, co-hosted by the Center for Transformative Media, Parsons School of Design and punctum books, that takes as its launching pad three new and forthcoming titles by CTM+punctum authors–

• Michael Berger, ed., “Ravish the Republic: The Archives of the Iron Garters Crime/Art Collective” (Dead Letter Office, punctum books, 2015)

• Gavin Keeney, “Knowledge, Spirit, Law, Book I: Radical Scholarship (CTM Documents Initiative, punctum books, 2015)

• Marc Lafia, “Image/Photograph” (CTM Documents Initiative, punctum books, 2015)

— in order to think through what it might mean, currently, to practice radically speculative forms of scholarship that work to evade, escape, and critique neoliberal and institutional-bureaucratic capture, or, as Keeney puts it in his book, that would work “against neoliberalist anomie and the preservation of postmodern différance as means to atomize consciousness and instill … a society of control.” Further, Keeney writes,

“Why is the speculative confined to the arts, or—worse still—to cultural studies (the circularity of endless discourse present there mimicking knowledge production based on citation and interpretation of received wisdom)? How have the arts been isolated and rendered toothless since the inception of modernism, when revolutionary-critical and productive work was one of the key operative elements of the “architecture” of modernism (if not modernity)?”

How, also, for those of us working the veins of so-called “academic” discourses, can we resist what Sarah Schulman has called “the gentrification of the mind,” working instead, in the words of Michael Berger, “to make unprecedented collaborations between art and theory, spirituality and labor, crime and love, writing and noise”? Further, of the work of the Iron Garters Crime/Art collective, Berger writes,

“The unquestioned divisions between genres and modes and forms could no longer be tolerated. The Academy would have to be thrown into the street. Theory would have to be disrupted by economic brutalities. Culture would have to be rewritten by the powerless. Sexuality and desire would have to be undermined by artistic frenzy and mystical devotion. Above all, we would have to be reckless yet cunning like the most devoted outlaws, protectors of a Wild Outside that has no real analogue in human rationality.”

We can look back to Foucault’s Preface to Deleuze and Guattari’s “Anti-Oedipus,” to see the situation framed this way: “How does one introduce desire into thought, into discourse, into action? How can and must desire deploy its forces within the political domain and grow more intense in the process of overturning the established order?”

“In Service to Nothing” will gather together authors and publishers who are working to foster and enact speculative, avant-garde scholarly praxes that resist the business-as-usual of the Public Research Institution, the Digital Humanities, Academic Publishing, Neoliberal Capital, and the like, in order to reinvigorate the question of intellectual creation outside of its intensive “management” as “property” within the contemporary university. Further, speakers have been selected because of the ways in which their work productively emerges at the intersections between the Institution, the University, the so-called Street/Outside, the Studio/Workshop, the Gallery/Museum, etc.



Welcoming/Framing Remarks by Eileen Joy + Chris Piuma (Co-Directors, punctum books)

Alison Kinney (author of HOOD, forthcoming from Bloomsbury in Jan. 2016) + Michael Berger (Iron Garters Crime/Art Collective)


Karen Gregory (Digital Sociology, University of Edinburgh) + Gavin Keeney (Agence ‘X’)


Marina Zurkow (Multimedia Artist + Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts) + Marc Lafia (Photographer/Filmmaker + author of IMAGE/PHOTOGRAPH)

Joseph Nechvatal (Multimedia Artist, Paris + author of DESTROYER OF NAIVETES) + Ed Keller (Center for Transformative Media, Parsons School of Design)

Matsuda & Vorreiter luthiers’ lectures



Michihiro Matsuda and Florian Vorreiter

a luthiers’ double workshop / lectures / performances in two sessions
with performances featuring Elliott Sharp and Gyan Riley

October 23rd
• 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: workshop
• 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM: lectures and performances

both events will take place at the
Mannes Concert Hall
150 West 85th Street, NY NY
Free and Open to the Public-  Eventbrite registration is required

In an afternoon roundtable session, 3.30 – 5.00PM, master luthiers Matsuda and Vorreiter will conduct a hands on exploration & informal discussion of recent groundbreaking guitars from their workshops: Matsuda’s experimental archtop, and Vorreiter’s 8 string, ‘fusion’ classical guitar.  Both instruments radically stretch the boundaries of the design envelope. The luthiers will present key design aspects of these instruments and host a discussion on construction methods, materials, and design philosophy with guests.

This workshop will be followed in the evening at 7.00 PM – 9.30 PM by a formal double lecture and
performances on the instruments. Elliott Sharp, CTM Artist Fellow 2014-15, will play Matsuda’s
experimental archtop; performer TBA for the Vorreiter instrument. A panel discussion with Matsuda,
Vorreiter, Sharp, et. al. will conclude, moderated by Ed Keller.


Michi Matsuda
Pairing traditional woodworking skills with an innovative sense of design and construction, Matsuda builds around ten to twelve guitars each year at his lutherie studio in Oakland California. His instruments integrate fine materials with organic shapes and graceful lines.






Florian Vorreiter
The emphasis in Florian’s work is on traditional construction methods and state-of-the-art knowledge from research as well as elaborate measuring procedures (Chladni-modes, FFT-Analysis, deflection measurements). The unique sound of Vorreiter Instruments is accomplished by combining intuition
and scientific procedures.





* * *

In 2013-15, CTM presents a series of lectures, workshops, & performances focusing on the cutting
edge present and future of guitar and instrument design. Curated by Ed Keller, co-sponsored by Mannes College of Music, functioning as a platform to build cross divisional collaboration at The New School, and opening exclusive external collaborations, this series has brought internationally renowned luthiers, designers, builders, materials innovators, composers, performers, theorists, and sound designers together to explore points of connection between the traditions of musical instrument design and sound production, and new forms of design thinking facilitated by materials science, emergent materials, parametric design, the internet of things, physical computing, networked sound, and the politics of ‘noise’.

Guests have included Elliott Sharp, Perry Hall, Ken Parker, Charlie Hunter, Ned Steinberger, Charles Yang, Ola Strandberg, Allan Marcus, Gary Lee, Fred Hand, Joe Ravo, and Ezio Blasetti.


A Rogue Frequency: book and record launch



Yume Cyan, Last Dance of the Fairies, Nagoya City, Japan (June 2013)

punctum and the Center for Transformative Media, Parsons The New School for Design are co-hosting A Rogue Frequency on Saturday, September 28th, from 5:30-8:00 pm @Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (66 Fifth Avenue), to celebrate the launch of punctum records and to feature a reading/sound/music mashup with musical artist Taft, plus Katherine Behar + Emmy Mikelson, Jamie “Skye” Bianco, Andreas Burckhardt (author of punctum’s A Sanctuary of Sounds), Rachel Cantor, Oliver Kellhammer, Léopold Lambert, Marget Long, Dominic Pettman, Allen W. Strouse (author of punctum’s forthcoming My Gay Middle Ages), and Marina Zurkow. Books will be available for purchase and there will also be a reception. The Facebook page for the event is HERE.