e-flux lectures: Doreen Mende, “The Navigation Principle: Slow Image”

e-flux lectures: Doreen Mende, “The Navigation Principle: Slow Image”

e-flux lectures: Doreen Mende, “The Navigation Principle: Slow Image”
November 29, 2017, 7pm
311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002

Navigation is today’s everyday practice. It informs our popular cultures, processes knowledge access, and constitutes contemporary political conditions. This lecture will offer, from the perspective of curatorial politics, a set of considerations regarding navigation, as well as the knowledge-concerned consequences of practicing contemporary image-regimes.

Which techno-ontologies emerge from navigation to project new visual-spatial regimes—with collective and collectivizing forces capable of re-distributing the modes of narrating race, gender, and history? The navigational landscape, as debated by philosopher Reza Negarestani and others, produces a spatiality in which the “situated knowledges” from the “privilege of partial perspective” (Donna Haraway) is copied and shared, password-protected, and concealed, yet tracked, geo-located, opened, memorized, and datafied as part of a webbed constellation. How can we operate a ramified spatiality through the image-question when, from a perspective of visual studies, navigation could be understood as a “concept-practice” (as Tom Holert suggests)? How can we think, link, and challenge a philosophical vocabulary for navigation alongside the call for visual literacy and the politics of image-making towards building future social imaginaries?

From the perspective of computational speed, the human capacity to read an image – across the many layers of time-zones, climates, addressees, countries, generations, and languages – is terribly slow. We humans will fail hilariously in the race to seek cognition. Yet, in the navigational landscape, slowness has many speeds. As a point of entry, this lecture will speculate about the ‘slow image’ as a tool for analyzing image-regimes emerging from navigational or ramified processes.

It will process thoughts from conversations with comrades and friends of the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin as well as from the research trajectory of the Curatorial Politics seminar of the CCC Research Master at HEAD Genève 2016/17, and contributes to the slow research-project The Navigation Principle.

Doreen Mende is a curator, theorist, researcher, and writer. She is currently Associate Professor and Director of the CCC Research Master and PhD-Forum of the Visual Arts Department at HEAD in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a founding member of the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin. Her research interests include (geo)spatial practices in image regimes, exhibition-making, curatorial politics, archival metabolisms, decolonizing socialism, and concept work. She holds a PhD in Curatorial/Knowledge from Goldsmiths, University of London. Mende’s recent publications include KP Brehmer: Real Capital Production Raven Row and Koenig Books, London; and “Entries Towards a Society of Ramification” in Proxy Politics Power and Subversion in a Networked Age, edited by RCPP, Archive Books, Berlin.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.


Doreen Mende is a curator and theorist who is currently Associate Professor of the curatorial/politics seminar of the CCC RP research-based Master at HEAD Genève/Switzerland. Since 2021 she has been the Director of the Cross-Collections Research Department of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD), where she initiated the Stannaki Forum on diasporic knowledge, and conceptualizes the Transcultural Academy “Futurities” in 2023. Ongoing projects include the case-based academic research study Decolonizing Socialism: Entangled Internationalism (2019–24), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Based on this research, a new series of exhibitions, called sequences, is coming up in 2024 featuring invited curators-researchers and artists at the Albertinium of SKD. In 2022, she realized The Missed Seminar: After Eslanda Robeson in Conversation with Steve McQueen’s End Credits at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. She has published with e-flux journal, MIT Press, Oxford University Press, Jerusalem Quarterly, spector books, archive books, IBRAAZ, and Sternberg Press. She is a cofounder of the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin.

RSVP for e-flux lectures: Doreen Mende, “The Navigation Principle:…

Thank you for your RSVP.

will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.