February 3, 2020 - Sternberg Press - Out now: The Language of Secret Proof by Nina Valerie Kolowratnik
e-flux Architecture
February 3, 2020
February 3, 2020

Sternberg Press

Trevor Paglen, National Reconnaissance Office Ground Station (ADF-SW) Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico; Distance ~16 Miles, 2012. C-print, 37.5 x 48.6 in. Courtesy of the artist; Metro Pictures, New York; and Altman Siegel, San Francisco. © Trevor Paglen.

Out now: The Language of Secret Proof by Nina Valerie Kolowratnik


Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, The Language of Secret Proof: Indigenous Truth and Representation
Critical Spatial Practice 10

Edited by Nikolaus Hirsch and Markus Miessen
Featuring artwork by Trevor Paglen
With contributions by Elsa Stamatopoulou, Pah-Tow-Wei Paul Tosa

Book launches

February 5, 2020, 7pm, with Jordan Carver and Mark Wasiuta
e-flux, 311 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002

February 12, 2020, 3pm, with Pah-Tow-Wei Paul Tosa and Sée-Shu-Kwa Christopher Toya
Pueblo of Jemez Walatowa Visitor Center, 7413 Hwy 4, Jemez Pueblo, NM 87024

May 19, 2020, 8:30pm
Pro qm, Almstadtstraße 48-50, D-10119 Berlin

May 27, 2020, 7pm, with Markus Miessen and Milica Tomić
IZK Institute for Contemporary Art, Graz University of Technology, Kronesgasse 5/2, A- 8010 Graz

June 8, 2020, 7pm
Depot, Breite Gasse 3, A-1070 Vienna

Sternberg Press is pleased to announce the publication of The Language of Secret Proof: Indigenous Truth and Representation by Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, the tenth book in the Critical Spatial Practice series edited by Nikolaus Hirsch and Markus Miessen.

In The Language of Secret Proof, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik challenges the conditions under which Indigenous rights to protect and regain traditional lands are currently negotiated in United States legal frameworks. The tenth volume in the Critical Spatial Practice series responds to the urgent need for alternative modes of evidentiary production by introducing an innovative system of architectural drawing and notation.

Today, most Western legal forums utilized by Indigenous communities for recognition of their rights continue to employ evidentiary rules that do not allow for Native truths to be accepted as “reliable” evidence. When tribes are asked to provide proof of their traditional connection to the land, what Western legal forums accept as documentation does not truly represent or respect tribal culture and traditional formats of knowledge transfer.

Kolowratnik’s research focuses on the double bind Pueblo communities in the American Southwest are confronted with when they become involved in a legal effort to reclaim and protect ancestral lands, since the process of producing evidence runs counter to their structural organization around oral history and cultural secrecy. The spatial notational systems developed by Kolowratnik with the support of Hemish people, members of Jemez Pueblo in northern New Mexico, and presented in this volume are an attempt to produce evidentiary documentation that speaks Native truths while respecting demands on secrecy. These systems also attempt to instigate a dialogue where there currently is none, deconstructing the fixed opposition between secrecy and disclosure within Western legal systems

Nina Valerie Kolowratnik is an architect and researcher developing notational systems in the context of forced migration and cultural claims to territory. Since 2014 she has been teaching graduate courses on borderlands and counter-narratives at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and TU Vienna. She coedited Promiscuous Encounters (GSAPP Books, 2014) and the “Fluchtraum Österreich” issue of the journal asyl aktuell (2015). Recently, her work has been shown at Rotor Graz, Stacion Prishtina, the UN conference Habitat III in Quito, and the Oslo Architecture Triennale. Her research has been supported by the Architectural League of New York, the Graham Foundation and the Austrian Federal Chancellery, among others.

Previous volumes in the Critical Spatial Practice series:

Nikolaus Hirsch and Markus Miessen, eds., What Is Critical Spatial Practice? (artwork by Armin Linke)
Markus Miessen in Conversation with Chantal Mouffe, The Space of Agonism (artwork by Rabih Mroué)
Beatriz Colomina, Manifesto Architecture: The Ghost of Mies (artwork by Dan Graham)
Keller Easterling, Subtraction (artwork by Metahaven)
Mark von Schlegell, Ickles, Etc. (artwork by Louise Lawler)
Eyal Weizman, The Roundabout Revolutions (artwork by Kyungsub Shin)
Felicity Scott, Disorientation, Bernard Rudofsky in the Empire of Signs (artwork by Martin Beck)
Jill Magid, The Proposal
Andrew Herscher, Displacements: Architecture and Refugee (artwork by Omer Fast)

For orders, please contact order [​at​] sternberg-press.com.

For press inquiries and all other concerns, please contact mail [​at​] sternberg-press.com.

Sternberg Press

Caroline Schneider

Karl-Marx-Allee 78

D-10243 Berlin

Sternberg Press
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