January 12, 2009 - New Museum - Raqs Media Collective at Night School
January 12, 2009

Raqs Media Collective at Night School

Raqs Media Collective
There Has Been a Change of Plan (2006)

Night School Public Seminar 11 

Raqs Media Collective:

The Pupil Dilates in Darkness

Thursday, January 15, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, January 16, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 17, 3:00 p.m.


New Museum
235 Bowery

New York, 

NY 10002



The Pupil Dilates in Darkness
Raqs Media Collective at Night School in the New Museum

Eyes hunger for light in the darkness, but make do with morsels. The night is a time of alterity and an arena for the unfolding of the things that can happen after the day’s work is done. It brings blurs in its wake, lengthens shadows, thickens the illegibility of the world. Circadian rhythms trick the brain to take odd turns. Grey matter comes alive; dreams, desires and the body’s fatigue conspire to create new worlds, and recycle a few old ones. The night is the time for the telling of stories, the playground of doubts and fears, a gymnasium for incomniacs and a school for auto-didacts. What can pupils learn while they dilate at night? What does it mean to be ‘an artist by night’?

Raqs Media Collective trawls through their reading, archive of notes, art work and extended conversations with friends and allies to ask a few questions about blurs, shadows, illegibility and the darkness of neural processes to tell a few stories about darkness, power cuts and nested dreams.

Program Schedule:

Thursday, January 15, 7:00 PM
An Illegible Signature: Featuring a Raqs lecture-performance on the question of legibility, stammering and shadows, based on the recent rext by Raqs for the first issue of the e-flux journal:


Friday, January 16, 7:00 PM
The Watches of the Night’ Raqs weaves considerations on time, visibility and what can be learnt from darkness into a presentation with stories, film fragments, dreams and textual marginalia.

Saturday, January 17, 3:00 PM
The Darkness of Grey Matter’: a conversation on darkness and grey matter, neural conundrums, forensic dilemmas and the wiring of the imagination between Raqs, and Dr. Arani Bose, neurosurgeon, and Dr. Steven Pacia, neurologist.

Night School is an artist’s project by Anton Vidokle in the form of a temporary school. A yearlong program of monthly seminars and workshops, Night School draws upon a group of local and international artists, writers, and theorists to conceptualize and conduct the program.

Raqs Media Collective was formed in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi (b. 1965, Delhi), Monica Narula (b. 1969, Delhi), and Shuddhabrata Sengupta (b. 1968, Delhi). The Raqs Collective is based in Delhi at Sarai, a program of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, an initiative they co-founded in 2000.

Their work takes the form of installations, video, photography, image-text collages, on- and off-line media objects, performances, and encounters. They cross contemporary art practice with historical and philosophical speculation, research and theory.

The Raqs Collective has been exhibited widely in major international spaces and events including Documenta 11 (2002), the Venice Biennale (2003, 2005), the Guangzhou Triennial (2005), the Sydney Biennial (2006), and the Istanbul Biennial (2007), among others. Their writings have also been published extensively. They curated “The Rest of Now” in Bolzano/Bozen and co-curated “Scenarios” at Fortezza/ Franzensfeste for Manifesta 7 in South Tyrol, Italy.

Raqs is currently showing at “Chalo! India” (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo) and “Indian Highway” (Serpentine Gallery, London), a segment of which they guest-curated.

All events are free with Museum admission but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved online or at the Museum one week before the seminar’s start; a limited number of tickets will be available one hour before each event’s start. Tickets are limited, distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis, and must be collected prior to the event’s start time. Unclaimed tickets will be released promptly at the event’s start time. Please check individual events below for tickets and more information.

For tickets see www.newmuseum.org/events

Museum as Hub is made possible by the Third Millennium Foundation.

With additional generous support from the Metlife Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum. Generous support also provided by the Charlotte and Bill Ford Artist Talks Fund.

New Museum

New Museum
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