Where Are We Going, Walt Whitman?

Where Are We Going, Walt Whitman?

Gerrit Rietveld Academie

Where Are We Going, Walt Whitman? visual by student-team for Studium Generale Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.
March 11, 2013
Where Are We Going, Walt Whitman?

An ecosophical roadmap for artists and other futurists

Conference – festival
12–15 March 2013


By exploring the potentialities of ecological worldviews, old and new, through theory and art, WAWGWW seeks to accelerate, accumulate, animate and activate our poetical and political understanding of the world. To this aim Gabriëlle Schleijpen, head of Studium Generale Rietveld Academie invited Anselm Franke, Binna Choi, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev as well as Natasha Ginwala & Vivian Ziherl to each inaugurate a discursive and performative program of one day. In their scintillating company plus that of the artists, poets, writers, thinkers, activists and musicians they’ve teamed up with, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie will embark on an energetic four-day-long voyage. If around in Amsterdam you are most welcome to join.

Tuesday March 12:
Blue Marble
The image of planet earth has become an icon of the last utopias of the 20th century: of living in ecological harmony with nature, and of the creation of a borderless world.

Focussing on the counter-cultural movements of California in the ’60s and ’70s, Pop-theorist Diedrich Diederichsen will speak about concepts of wholeness and changing symptoms of the new “planetary consciousness.” Curator Anselm Franke will discuss the Whole Earth Catalog, and the relation between “animism” and “cybernetic ecology.” Philosopher Erich Hörl will introduce the origins of the contemporary ecological paradigm. Armin Linke will present from work on political and scientific institutions engaged with global planning. The Otolith Group will present from an ongoing research into the spiritual- and self-help industry of California, Angela Melitopoulos will speak about the relation between geography and psychiatry. Flora Lysen will share from her research into the brain sciences at the intersection of psychedelia and ecology.

WednesdayMarch 13:
Japan Syndrome – Amsterdam Version
with Ei Awakara, Binna Choi, Bracha Ettinger, Hope Step Japan, Sabu Kohso, Laka Foundation, The Otolith Group, Stefan Tcherepnin & Hanna Törnudd with Green Tea Gallery, Miya Yoshida.

The term “China Syndrome” was used in the 1970s to refer to a hypothetical nuclear meltdown in the US that would burn all the way through the earth and reach the other side: China. Today this erroneous hypothesis lives on in the other direction. “On the other side” Post-Fukushima Japan calls for a new kind of earthly imaginary and a field of discourse beyond language of fear and humanitarian appeal. Japan Syndrome – Amsterdam Version brings together performative, anarcho-urbanist, feminist psychoanalytic, cinematic, sci-fi, self-organising, archival and electro musical perspectives into the disasters that can no longer be categorized as either “natural” or “man-made.” Meshing discursive moments with mourning rituals and visions of possible futures, it attempts to open up a new imaginary landscape of the commons.

Thursday March 14:
Landings: Extracted Bodies and Self-Cartographies
What if landforms are addressed as acculturated bodies, poetic substance, temporal agents and cartographic narratives?

Curators Natasha Ginwala and Vivian Ziherl draw upon Land as a narrative subject of history. Anthropologist Rosalind Morris surveys undergrounds and proletarian formations in South African gold mining histories (a collaboration with William Kentridge). Etel Adnan will read poetry and converse on landscapes as memory compositions weaving color, seasons and political endurance. Paul Chaney will examine coal as a politically charged material through his research into two 19th-century mining towns. Erick Beltrán will give a lecture-demonstration on his “Map of maps.” Angela Melitopoulos will discuss her recent film Two Maps (in collaboration with Maurizio Lazzarato), looking into post-Fukushima Japan, animist traditions and Guattari’s trip to Okinawa. An interactive performance lecture jukebox by Olof Olsson offers everything from the history of science (the invention of the modern combustion engine) to Olsson’s biography.

Friday March 15:
Poiesis of Worlding
with Ayreen Anastas, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Vinciane Despret, Rene Gabri, Fernando García-Dory, Marcos Lutyens

On the 15th of March a ship will be sailing along the lines of some thoughts [….]
Meanwhile everybody congratulating everyone on something happening possibly close possibly far.[….]

Are animals poets? Of course, they are.

This perspective towards a de-anthropocentrization of thought and a multispecies co-evolution of intra-actions and interactions proposes to move away from the opposition between the human and the so-called ‘natural’ [….]
[….] so that it is possible to consider artistic practice as a process of compost-making [….]

Taking art as the shared capacity of letting things and beings to create their own meaning and expressing it, we follow a day of chained conversations on agencies of animals, the politics of worlding, the artist as “instaurateur,” hypnosis, instrumental mediations and social change.

Allowing intellectual suppositions to become internalized as sensations & feelings [….]

[….] a poem [….] and after words and after worlds and laughter all has the ecological become our…?


(excerpts from a collectively written text)



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Gerrit Rietveld Academie
March 11, 2013

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