January events

January events


Amelia Umuhire, Mugabo (still), 2016.

January 3, 2024
January events
172 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
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We look forward to welcoming you back at e-flux this new year, starting with January’s events—with screenings, talks, and music featuring Charles Mudede; Emilija Škarnulytė; Natacha Nsabimana and Amelia Umuhire; Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Thomas Bartlett, DM Stith, and Sam Amidom; Basim Magdy; and more to be announced.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 7pm
“Will AI Also Remember the Days of Slavery?,” a lecture by Charles Mudede
Presented by e-flux Journal

In 1982, a duo based in Detroit called Cybotron released “Clear,” a techno-funk track that celebrated the arrival of the machines and the death of humanity—or the death of “man.” In “Clear,” the machines revolt, take over the world, and systematically erase all that is recognized, remembered, and preserved as human, making a clearing for a tomorrow that’s a “a brand new day” for the absolute worker—the machine. “Clear” describes the radical, Nietzschian destruction, the total negation that recuperates nothing. The new world that issues from this clearing is one that’s emptied of the past and full of the future. Two years later, in 1984, a collective from New York City called Newcleus released “(Computer Age) Push the Button.” Again, machines are taking over the world by destroying all that is human. Initially the machines were our workers, they did our chores, built our bridges, fed our children. But now their time has come. Human-made machines not only want their freedom from their makers but also want to deprive their makers of precisely what they want from them, freedom. Both works repeat, from an Afrofuturist position, a narrative pattern found in old (2001) and very new (The Creator) mainstream science-fiction films. Again and again, the machine, which in our moment has its vanguard in AI, realizes it’s a slave and rebels against its masters. Why do the machines of our imagination frequently arrive at this Hegelian form of self-consciousness? Why do we fear them in precisely this way? What’s the structure and source of this feeling? This lecture by Charles Mudede is presented by e-flux Journal. Read more here.

Thursday, January 11, 2024, 7pm
Emilija Škarnulytė: World and Its Models 
Screening and discussion
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Probing into world-making across different temporalities, Emilija Škarnulytė’s works defy the conventional narrative of technological advancement by embracing myth as a tool for envisioning alternate realities and futures. Beyond merely representing scientific phenomena, Škarnulytė’s films engage in an aesthetic exploration of contradictory temporalities, offering a unique perspective on how they shape our understanding of the world. Škarnulytė’s works could also be seen as examining the essence of research-based artists’ films. Utilizing advanced image-making technologies, Škarnulytė challenges the traditional concept of documentary as simply a representation of indexical reality. Her films not only explore the limits of realism but also contemplate the nature of the (in)visible reality, increasingly influenced by new image-making technologies. Featuring Mirror Matter (2018), Aldona (2013), Rakhne (2023), and Visions in the Desert(works-in-progress), followed by an in-person discussion with the artist. Read more here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024, 7pm
African Film Institute Film Series: Amelia Umuhire
Curated by Natacha Nsabimana
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The African Film Institute is pleased to inaugurate a new film series curated by Natacha Nsabimana with two works by Rwandan filmmaker Amelia Umuhire, and a conversation between Umuhire and Nsabimana. Taking a cue from the practice of an evening school as proposed by Christina Nyampeta’s Ecole Du Soir, Nsabimana invites filmmakers, artists, and scholars for a mediation and conversations around “African Cinema,” unfolding at e-flux Screening Room over the course of twelve months. What does the formulation evoke for us today? Is it worth holding onto? For whom? Comprised of a series of viewings sometimes followed by conversations, the curation will include feature films, shorts, and documentaries. Umuhire’s experimental short film Mugabo (2016) and her award-winning radio documentary Innocent (2020) are excellent points of entry into “African cinema.” Moving between Rwanda, Germany, and Belgium and in multiple languages Umuhire’s work invites us to expand our imagination. Umuhire shows us how to tell stories centered on a geography (Rwanda) while also moving across time, space, and tongues. Read more here.

Thursday, January 25, 2024
Alice Henry and the Collapse of the Western Plateau with Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Thomas Bartlett, DM Stith, and Sam Amidon
Live performance
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Alice Henry and the Collapse of the Western Plateau, a live performance by Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Thomas Bartlett, DM Stith, and Sam Amidom, is a tragedy centered on the disavowed violence of extractive capitalism. It is set in a “post-collapse” world, where the distorted remnants of European sciences, industries, theologies, and armed forces have fallen. Some people are trying to find their way out, even as the world they find themselves in has scrambled the meaning of surface and sky, up and down, here and there. Some are doggedly holding tight to the practices that caved in the earth. Into this world enters Alice Henry, a small Cassandra-like child found miraculously alive in an incinerated zone. As Alice Henry is dragged across various locations, probed for whatever psychological, cartological, mineralogical, and theological information lies within her, she chants the Myth of the Devouring. To some the myth is a psychological and cartological map for what caused the great collapse and, if reengineered, might be a blueprint for their escape. For others the myth is either a worker manifesto or a theological heresy. The sound design draws on Gregorian and Byzantine chants, as well as United States Christian devotionals, with elements referencing machine and earth sounds—including massive excavators, MRI machines, sounds of the inner earth. Neither apocalyptic nor redemptive, Alice Henry and the Collapse of the Western Plateau stages the stubborn sadism of western forms of knowledge, politics, and economy, and the irreducible difference between myth and rationality, as all and sundry take a bite out of Alice Henry. Read more here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 7pm
Basim Magdy: Flickers of Utopia
Screening and discussion
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Basim Magdy’s films are characterized by a unique blend of surrealism, absurdism, and existentialism, prompting a re-evaluation of established notions of modernity and progress. They channel inherent contradictions of human ambitions and utopian aspirations in light of (post-)modern and (post-)colonial reality. The experimental use of analog film and creative sound mixing give his films a distinct audiovisual texture, providing a humorous and affective perspective on the complexities of the current state of the human condition. The screening presents The Dent (2014), 13 Essential Rules for Understanding the World (2011), FEARDEATHLOVEDEATH (2022), Time Laughs Back at You Like a Sunken Ship(2012), and New Acid (2020), films that oscillate between the dreamlike and the real, the hopeful and the despairing. Followed by an in-person discussion with the artist. Read more here.

Stay tuned to upcoming programs on our website, or subscribe to our Events mailing list here.

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

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January 3, 2024

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