Program: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 -

Quasi-Events: Building and Crumbling Worlds

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quasi-Events: Building and Crumbling Worlds

Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Petroleum Dreaming (still), 2014. Film, 4:22 minutes.

Where Fukuyama once heralded the fall of the Berlin Wall as the augur of the universal triumph of liberalism, after 2008 this event looks increasingly less like the end of history than the mute herald of an impending implosion. But the spectacular attacks in New York, Washington DC, London, and Madrid, the relentless quasi- and extrajudicial bombings and drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Syria, or the collapse of financial markets, never quite succeeded in bringing anything down decisively. Yet within and alongside these traps of our ethical attention, other event-forms—aesthetic and argumentative artifacts—live at the precipice of the figured; in the fog of becoming; in a potential realm where something might happen if and when the conditions for support and endurance emerge. There is nothing inherently good or evil, just or unjust in these precipice conditions, and yet they may well be more decisive in shaping the continuity of the world than the spectacles of the 22nd century. How do we conceptualize, politicize, aestheticize these forms of events in the effort of social endurance?

Julieta Aranda is an artist and editor of e-flux journal. Her current works allude to the present historical moment, where it starts to be possible to dismantle the cultural imperative, and transform the media so that they can function as tools for collective use, rather than as instruments for cultural domination. Her work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, dOCUMENTA13, 8th Berlin Biennale, MOCA Miami, Witte de With, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, 2nd Moscow Biennial, and MUSAC Spain among others.

David Barker is a filmmaker, editor, and screenwriter. His micro-budget feature Daylight opened to rave reviews and was the Critic’s Pick in both The New York Times and The New York Post on its release. His prior feature Afraid of Everything premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and was called ‘A miracle of indie filmmaking by The New York Post. A short Seven Days premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival and screened at over 40 international venues. He has edited numerous features including Sundance competition entry Here by Braden King, Deepak Rauniyar’s Highway (Berlin International Film Festival 2012) the first Nepali film to screen at a major festival and was editor and co-writer of Josephine Decker’s Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (Berlin International Film Festival 2014). He has also been an editorial consultant on films such as Decker’s Butter on the Latch (Berlin International Film Festival 2014) and Rachel Boynton’s Big Men(Tribeca Documentary Competition 2013). He co-wrote White Sun for Deepak Rauniyar, which has been awarded a Hubert Bals and which will go into production in Nepal in October 2014, and is co-writer of I Want to Be Like You, which will be directed by Bulgarian director Konstantin Bojanov.

Dilip Gaonkar is an Associate Professor in Rhetoric and Public Culture and the Director of Center for Global Culture and Communication at Northwestern University. He is also the Director of Center for Transcultural Studies, an independent scholarly research network concerned with global issues. Gaonkar has edited a series of books and special journal issues on global cultural politics: Alternative Modernities (2001), New Imaginaries (with Benjamin Lee for Public Culture, 2002), Cultures of Democracy (for Public Culture, 2007), and Globalizing American Studies (with Brian Edwards, 2010). He is currently working on a book manuscript on Crowds, Riots, and the Politics of Disorder.

Natasha Ginwala is an independent curator, researcher, and writer. She was a member of the artistic team at the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2014). Her recent work includes the multi-part curatorial project Landings (with Vivian Ziherl) presented at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, David Roberts Art Foundation, NGBK (as part of the Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures Network), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and other partner organizations, 2013–ongoing, as well as The Museum of Rhythm at Taipei Biennial 2012 (with Anselm Franke). Ginwala has contributed to several publications including Afterall Online, art-agenda, C Magazine, e-flux journal, Pages Magazine and Scapegoat Journal.In September 2014 she was curator-in-residence at Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen.

Liza Johnson is the writer and director of the feature film Return (2011) and the director of Hateship Loveship (2013). She has also made many short films and installation projects that have been exhibited in festivals, galleries, and museums internationally. Her short films include South of Ten (2006), In the Air(2009), and Karrabing, Low Tide Turning (2012). She is currently writing a new feature film, Nervous.Johnson is also the author of many articles about art and film, and is Professor of Art at Williams College.

Elizabeth A. Povinelli teaches in anthropology and gender studies at Columbia University. She was previously editor of Public Culture and her most recent books are The Empire of Love (2006) and Economies of Abandonment (2011). Her writing and filmography focuses on the conditions of otherwise in Late Liberalism. She is a founding member of the Karrabing Film Collective.

Both events are free, no rsvp required. Please contact magdalena [​at​] e-flux.com for further information.

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