As for Protocols—To Hold Things Together

As for Protocols—To Hold Things Together

Vera List Center for Art and Politics

View of Bisan Tubig di Magbalon (Don’t Even Bring Water), VIVA ExCon, Visayas, the Philippines, 2018. Front: Skylab, Green Papaya Art Projects and various Visayan artists, Habal-habal. Back: Dagat kay Dagway” (Sea and Horizon). Photo: Kiko Nuñez.

May 12, 2021
As for Protocols—To Hold Things Together

Online symposium: May 20–21, 2021
Vera List Center for Art and Politics
The New School
66 West 12th Street, Room 604
New York, New York 10011
United States
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The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School is pleased to present, in partnership with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, To Hold Things Together, the conclusion to the first year of the As for Protocols program cycle. BAK and the VLC act as coalitional partners, with the shared long-term goal of developing political imaginaries through artistic practice.

Compositing real and speculative community and institutional models, To Hold Things Together is a two-day symposium focusing on modes of social and institutional nodality and protocols of encounter and solidarity. Proposing theoretical and practical elements of coalitional exchange, it seeks to build aesthetic, poetic, and tactical forms of research, assembly, mobilization, and co-creation amid affectively fraught unfolding realities.

The symposium resonates, in motivation and format, with the past year of the Vera List Center’s As for Protocols seminars, which can be accessed here. All symposium sessions will also feature American Sign Language interpretation and live captioning. Zoom link available with registration.

Day One: Locality and Nodality
Thursday, May 20, 2021

11am–12:30pm EDT: Affective Protocols of Locality
The (new) age of pandemics has renewed conditions for rethinking localized and situated practices. This panel discussion revisits communal artistic labor for collectives, institutions, and less formalized groupings. 

With Mitchell Esajas, The Black Archives, Amsterdam; Maria Hlavajova and Rachael Rakes, BAK basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht; Elizabeth Povinelli, Karrabing Film Collective, Northern Territories, Australia; and Norberto “Pee Wee” Roldan, Green Papaya Projects, Manila.

1–2:30pm EDT: On Artistic Coalition and Institutional-Communal Nodality
Engaging political and public networks and coalitions within modes of art practice, presentations discuss and demonstrate the mutual priorities of embeddedness and connectedness in creative solidarities and learning structures.

With Adelita Husni Bey, 2020-22 VLC Fellow, School of Pandemics; Emeka Okereke, 2020-22 VLC Jane Lombard Fellow, Invisible Borders: Trans African Photographers, Lagos/Berlin; Rolando Vazquez and Rosalba Icaza, Maria Lugones Decolonial Summer School, Utrecht; and Angga Wijaya, farid rakun, Gesyada Siregar, Gudskul: Collective and Contemporary Art Ecosystem Studies, Public Learning Space, Jakarta.

6–7:30pm: Hél čhaŋkú kiŋ ȟpáye (There lies the road). A Dialogue About Making Art in a Good Way
As part of her year-long VLC project Hél čhaŋkú kiŋ ȟpáye (There lies the road), Kite involves Indigenous thinkers and artists and the general public in exploring notions of ethics, protocols, and artificial intelligence.

With Kite, Oglála Lakȟóta, artist; Scott Benesiinaabandan, Anishinaabe artist; Clementine Bourdeaux, Sičáŋǧu Oglála Lakȟóta Doctoral Candidate in the World Arts and Cultures Department, UCLA; and Jason Edward Lewis, digital media theorist; University Research Chair, Concordia University.

Day Two: Spectral Infrastructure
Friday, May 21, 2021

Over three consecutive sessions, freethought introduces the concept and applications of “spectral infrastructure,” a term that alludes to the hidden and invisible textures that sustain an undefinable and disruptive quality in an otherwise seemingly efficient organism. Spectral infrastructure pursues an understanding of the “ephemeral glue,” or that which is invisible, inaudible, and illegible but nevertheless elicits a response and informs a reality that can be found echoing around existing structures. 

11am–12:10pm EDT: Spectral Labor and Unpayable Debt
With Stefano Harney, author and researcher; Massimiliano Mollona, writer, filmmaker, and anthropologist and Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths College, University of London; and Denise Ferreira da Silva, Professor and Director of the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

12:30–1:40pm EDT: Fugitivity and Endurance (What is the Time of Spectral Infrastructure?)
With Adrian Heathfield, Professor of Performance and Visual Culture, University of Roehampton, London; and Nora Sternfeld, Professor of Art Education at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg, Hamburg.

2–3:10pm EDT: Sediments and Residues
With Louis Moreno, urbanist and theorist, Lecturer, Goldsmiths College, University of London; and Irit Rogoff, writer, teacher, curator and organizer, Professor of Visual Culture, Goldsmiths London University.

The VLC’s participation is made possible, in part, by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Kettering Fund, the Selma Yomtov Schwartz Endowment, and the Sigrid Rausing Trust, as well as the members of the Vera List Center Board.

BAK’s participation is made possible, in part, through financial contributions by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Municipality of Utrecht. 

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Vera List Center for Art and Politics
May 12, 2021

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