e-flux lectures

e-flux lectures


A trained elephant demonstrates its ability to paint at Maesa Elephant Camp, Thailand.

April 14, 2017
e-flux lectures
311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002

Join us through April and May at e-flux for our continuing series of lectures and other events, with Nato Thompson and Laura Poitras, Carolyn L. Kane, Ana Ofak, Vivian Ziherl and Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Gean Moreno, Jodi Dean, Andrew Herscher, Andrew Norman Wilson, Lee Mackinnon, Francesca Hughes, Masha Gessen, and New Territories.


Book launch and discussion: Nato Thompson with Laura Poitras
Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life

Wednesday, April 19, 7pm

In an era when real estate developers preach the power of art to change society, and when innovative capitalist design has come to be called art, one has to appreciate—and perhaps foster a healthy suspicion of—just how far art has come. Thompson’s book asks us to see the culture wars as more than just Reagan-era history, but as part of an evolving assault that uses art and affect to appeal to our emotional selves.

Lecture: Carolyn L. Kane
“Anti-Communication as Fashionable Communications”

Friday, April 21, 7pm

While precision and accuracy in audiovisual media are norms and ideals dating back millennia, there is nonetheless a growing need to understand the popularity of glitch styles; noisy artifacts that seem to say nothing and communicate even less. Focusing on precursors in the twentieth century avant-garde, the lecture maps a visual and critical history of glitch aesthetics, showing its gradual implementation in the development of twenty-first century style.

Lecture: Ana Ofak
“Demolition Dada”

Monday, April 24, 7pm 

Promising aesthetic redemption for crumbling post-communist cityscapes and culture, the technocrats of European capitals as dissimilar as Berlin and Zagreb have one thing in common: The lust for neoliberal upsizing. The lecture will tour some of the construction sites in order to dig into the dirt of the brutal eradication of Brutalism, which goes hand in hand with the dismantling of the social state per se. 

Lecture: Vivian Ziherl with Elizabeth A. Povinelli
“Articulation Value”

Wednesday, April 26, 7pm

Articulation is a borrowed concept improvised through the globally moving art project Frontier Imaginaries. The central lecture by Ziherl will pick up on Marx’s gliederung (structure) to point to “articulation” not as a declarative expression but as a joint. Moving through a frontier perspective, ways beyond Marxian impasses—such as Povinelli’s Symphony of Late Liberalism—will be discussed.

Lecture: Gean Moreno
“A Fascinating Prospect”

Saturday, April 29, 6pm

With a detour through Allan McCollum’s The Shapes Project (2005–ongoing), this lecture goes looking for the things that may be hiding in the folds of our renewed fascination with human extinction.

Lecture: Jodi Dean
“From Allies to Comrades”

Friday, May 5, 7pm

How does the left move forward today? Where do we find resources not just for hope or survival but advance and revolution? Communist theorist Jodi Dean considers the end of the left political imaginary that accompanied the dark years of neoliberalism and the turn toward more solidaristic forms of association that can strategize, scale, and endure.

Book launch and discussion: Andrew Herscher with Sandi Hilal, Reinhold Martin, Alessandro Petti, and Nikolaus Hirsch
Displacements, Architecture and Refugee

Monday, May 8, 7pm

In architectural history, just as in global politics, refugees have tended to exist as mere human surplus; histories of architecture, then, have usually reproduced the nation-state’s exclusion of refugees as people out of place. Andrew Herscher’s Displacements: Architecture and Refugee examines some of the usually disavowed but arguably decisive intersections of mass-population displacement and architecture through the twentieth century and into the present. 

Screening and presentation: Andrew Norman Wilson
“The New York Announcement of a New Cinema”
Wednesday, May 17, 7pm

This event is an attempt to describe a free cinema that emerges out of a desire to make private viewing habits public. At a time when public space is rapidly dissolving into private property and attention is dissolving into the monetized distraction of streaming content in solitude, this cinema will activate potentials offered through networked technology and open the domestic up to what could be called anybody. The New York announcement of the cinema will include a presentation of works by Anthony Discenza, Emily Wardill, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Darren Bader, and Eloyce King Patrick Gist followed by a reading of the cinema’s Creed. 

Lecture: Lee Mackinnon
“Automatic Love: Prototypes of Automation”

Friday, May 19, 7pm

This lecture considers modern romantic love as a prototype of automation associated with capitalist reproduction. Love is a system of communication that compresses complexity and expedites causality. In particular, we explore the network of signification evoked by “love, woman, nature,” suggesting that together they provide the prototypical model of automation utilized by capitalist appropriation.

Lecture: Francesca Hughes
“Truth in the Tower”
Monday, May 22, 7pm

Truth, abducted, is being held prisoner in the tower of falsehood, from whose high windows she calls out to be freed: so depicts Thomas Le Myésier in 1321. Riding to her rescue are three parties: At the front, Aristotle, armed with reason and the syllogistic apparatus of Greek logic; behind him, Averroes, armed with imagination and its wily short-cuts to destination truth which always elude Aristotle’s cumbersome reasoning; and at the rear, Ramon Lull, armed only with the revolving wheels of his Ars Demonstrativa.

Lecture: Masha Gessen
“How We Survive an Autocracy”
Wednesday, May 24, 7pm

Journalist and author Masha Gessen discusses ways of survivng an autocracy. Rule #1? Believe the autocrat.

Lecture: New Territories

Friday, May 26, 7pm

Post-humanism is not a blank check for deterritorialized techno-libertarian orphans. It is not only a graft for performative prosthesis, but also the re-articulation of bio-political social organization through the synchronicities and contingencies between fabrication and fiction. Do we need to pull back the curtain and reveal that architecture is consubstantial to zones of conflict that cannot be metabolized by sympathetic moralism or the techno parade?


About e-flux lectures
Is there any distance between authority and authoritarians? We used to think they were the same thing. Now it seems like authoritarians don’t even know what authority is. Lies don’t begin to describe alternative facts or an extra ten million quid (per week!) for the National Health Service or three million fraudulent votes. Law and Justice, Cigars and Champagne, Soros’ activists on the streets from Budapest to Oakland. Robbers have authority over their thefts when leaders themselves steal.

Recent events have made us think again about what it means to communicate in a clear and direct style. We were raised to believe that it was most important to be open-ended, and to take every opportunity to qualify each assertion. Arguments became notes, dialogues became conversations, and lectures became talks. After everything that’s happened, it is hard not to feel like our modesty or self-consciousness was taken advantage of. We didn’t know how much we took collective goodwill for granted.

Now we are curious about what it means to take steps in the opposite direction, to return to something slightly more linear, a mode of address that makes it easier, perhaps, to locate any problems. Or at least one that engages more explicitly with the conventions of honesty and accuracy. What do these look like today? Can they be recovered?

e-flux lectures is a series of events dedicated to discovering the protocols of twenty-first century truth, assuming these still exist. The series was launched in February 2017, and contributors thus far have included James T. HongOxana TimofeevaSuad Amiry, Thomas Keenan, Jorge Otero-Pailos, Alessandro Petti and Sandi HilalRijin SahakianAdam KleinmanMaria LindFranco “Bifo” BerardiSven Lütticken and Tony WoodUte HollLiam YoungGleb NapreenkoCharles Mudede, and Nora Sternfeld.

Lectures will be streamed live here

For a list of our upcoming programs, visit our website. For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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April 14, 2017

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