Entangled Activisms: Emergence, Betrayal and the Possibility of Rethinking the Possible / Iain Kerr in Conversation with Brian McGrath, Petia Morozov and Nato Thompson

Presentations Tue 8 Dec 2009 6.30PM-8.30PM Kellen Auditorium, Parsons The New School for Design
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street, Ground Floor
Free admission
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"We still do not know what a body can do." (Spinoza/Deleuze)

The early Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously claimed, "You can never step in the same river twice." Comically, one of the rebuttals to this observation was, You can never step in the same river once. The logics of activism invariably relate to ideas of how change happens — how we step in this seemingly paradoxical river. This discussion is an attempt to test and experiment with the linkages between activist practices, ideas of change, and theories of time.

Arguing that theories of activism need to frame activism as essentially a theory of time, the presenters propose that the time of change not be defined chronologically but qualitatively. Rather than sequential time, they propose measureless time. But how can we think and experimentally work with qualitative time today? How do we take into account the ruptures, swerves, emergences, and folds of becoming that sweep us far beyond identity, being, and the logics of critique? What are the new possibilities and techniques of activism and activist art that develop out of these logics of the event? This is an evening to debate and develop new models of time, and in so doing to rethink and propose new ideas of artistic practice.

Iain Kerr,artist, theorist and founding member of the research collective spurse
Brian McGrath, architect, writer and Associate Professor of Urban Design, Parsons The New School for Design
Petia Morozov, architect, writer, educator and urban explorer
Nato Thompson, writer and Chief Curator of Creative Time

Presented as part of "Streaming Culture / Art & Politics," a new interdivisional initiative organized by Victoria Vesna, Visiting Professor (UCLA) and Director of Research, School of Art, Media & Technology, Parsons The New School of Design, in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, on occasion of its 2009/2010 program cycle on "Speculating on Change."