Neomaterialism. Joshua Simon and Noam Yuran on the Subjectivity and Vitality of Things

Conversation Tue 16 Oct 2012 6.30PM-8.30PM The New School, Orozco Room
66 West 12th Street, 7th Floor
20 Years VLC => Free Admission; RSVP required at
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Over the last four decades we have witnessed processes of dematerialization in various fields: money has been dematerialized with the dissolution of the gold standard, commodities have been dematerialized with the ascendance of brand names, and art practices were dematerialized by the emergence of movements such as conceptual art. Taken together, these processes should serve as a starting point for rethinking materialism.

Rather than render the concept of materialism obsolete, these extended developments force us to ask whether we are finally able to understand what materialism was really about.

The conversation between cultural critic Noam Yuran and Vera List Center Fellow and curator Joshua Simon addresses the economy of meaning in a reality where symbols have come to behave like material things and thus assumed the place of things. This substitution allows us to reconsider the thing; to ask what a thing is, and what it was all along.

Set in The New School's historic Orozco Room from 1931, the conversation is embedded in a historic playing field, with Jose Clemente Orozco's murals depicting allegories for 20th century liberation struggles in Mexico, India, and Russia.
    • Conversation. Neomaterialism. Joshua Simon and Noam Yuran on the Subjectivity and Vitality of Things
Joshua Simon, 2011-2013 Vera List Center Fellow, chief curator, Bat Yam Art Museum, Israel
Noam Yuran, research fellow, Minerva Humanities Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Joshua Simon is a curator, filmmaker, and writer based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Simon is the founding co-editor of Maayan Magazine for Poetry and Literature and The New & Bad Art Magazine, and editor of Maarvon – New Film Magazine, all based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Among his publications are The Aesthetics of Terror (co-editor, Charta, 2009), and United States of Palestine-Israel, edited for the Solution series by Sternberg Press (2011), and the forthcoming Neomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2012)

Recently appointed Chief Curator at MoBY - Museums of Bat Yam in Tel Aviv, Simon is also the curator of ReCoCo – Life Under Representational Regimes (co-curated with Siri Peyer, White Space, Zurich and Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2011), The Unreadymade (FormContent, London, 2010), Internazionale! (Left Bank, Israeli Communist Party Culture Club, Tel Aviv, 2008), and The Rear – The First Herzlia Biennial of Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv, 2008).

Noam Yuran is a research fellow at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University. He completed his PhD in the Philosophy Department in Ben-Gurion University, and teaches political economy in the department of Politics and Government in Ben-Gurion University, and media related issues in various academic institutes in Israel. He is the author of two books in Hebrew: one about commercial television as an arena of state ideology in Israel, and another about the Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin. His book Money's Desire: on Economic Ontology is forthcoming (Stanford University Press).

Organized and presented by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, as part of its 2011-2013 curatorial focus theme Thingness, and in conjunction with the center's New School class Art & the Political.

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