Art, an Index to (see also Politics): 25 Years of Vera List Center Fellowships

Edited by Carin Kuoni and Amanda Parmer
Published by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics
Designed by Other Means
132 pages
Art, an Index to (see also Politics): 25 Years of Vera List Center Fellowships is a compilation of some of the thinking and work accomplished by Vera List Center Fellows since the center's founding in 1992. The publication proposes the fellowship program itself as an index—an initiative activated by the fellows who use local and very specific instances of contemporary culture to speak to larger aesthetic, economic, and sociopolitical concerns. The mechanism of the index helps bring historical projects into the present. It points to a thing but is not the thing itself; it is a tool and instrument of activation.The fellowship projects are the indices that yield specific questions such as resistance to, and use of, institutions; how to not speak the languages of power; and the protocols that sidestep decisions of power, culminating in a "manual for living."

The exchanges between fellows included in this publication took place over the course of several weeks in the spring of 2018. The book was released in tandem with a conference of Vera List Fellows on April 21, 2018, also entitled Art, an Index to (see also Politics): 25 Years of Vera List Center Fellowships. The center paired fellows by interest, and invited them to consider how each sees the current relevance of their historically located project, how it relates to their practices now, and how it points to ways we may want to figure our shared futures. In trying to address a comprehensive paradigm shift of political life, we turn to the history of the Vera List Center Fellowships. This book recounts these generative engagements and conjures the meaning, importance, and necessity of the interdisciplinary nature of the fellowship projects today.

Art, an Index to (see also Politics): 25 Years of Vera List Center Fellowships opens spaces of inquiry within the political histories from which the Vera List Center Fellows have emerged. Starting with the appointment of our first fellow, Maurice Berger, that history has included the persistence of structural racism; the AIDS epidemic and gender rights; educational institutions, teaching, and learning; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the legacy of the Holocaust; identity politics; activism versus aesthetic practices; liberal democracy and freedom of speech; migration and (post) colonialism. The contributions range from the theoretical to the poetic, from how-to protocols to visuals, from stories to email exchanges. Our manual is not only an expression of the enduring and dynamic engagement across this community of thinkers and makers that has been at the core of the Vera List Center since the very beginning; it also advocates for the crucial role that aesthetic practices in all disciplines and formats play in helping us imagine, and enact, different forms of political life.

The publication is edited by Carin Kuoni and Amanda Parmer and compiles thinking and work accomplished by Vera List Center Fellows: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Maurice Berger, Wendy Ewald, Casey Gollan, Margarita Gutman, Susan Hapgood, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Bouchra Khalili, H. Lan Thao Lam, Lana Lin, Jill Magid, Lorraine O'Grady, Silvana Paternostro, Alexander Provan, Walid Raad, Sarah Rothenberg, Edward Rothstein, Katya Sander, Robert Sember, Joshua Simon, Victoria Sobel, Elisabeth Sussman, and Jonathan Weinberg.

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