I want to focus on three diverse examples of trickle-up innovation—Theatre of the Oppressed, ACT UP, and the Pro-Test Lab—with mentions of others to encourage more cultural-agent spotting. Artists are never simply victims of circumstance. Their agency sets off creative responses. To follow through from the call of social challenges to the responses of aesthetic innovation is to stimulate collective change.
This book-length manifesto offers itself as both love song and lament. I interrogate research-creation as a genre full of exciting pedagogical and institutional possibility. I also lament the hopeless exhaustion I see in colleagues all around me. As a strategy of resistance to the resignation that surrounds me daily in the arts and humanities wings of the university, I look to research-creation, even as it is being commodified right under our feet, as a site of generative recrafting: a touchstone and orienting point that might help render daily life in the academy more pedagogically, politically, and affectively sustainable.
Artists in this exhibition responded to challenges of, and consolations of, sanctuary. Sanctuary, we learned, is not an abstraction; it is a relative term that we negotiate.
Literature creates what virtual reality tries to erase: the frame or boundary we fashion around the fabricated image that helps to better appreciate the real one.
In his final film, the late Iranian director pushes the boundary between photography and film to its limit by breaking down the distinction between moment and duration. This reimagination of form would never have been possible without Kiarostami’s openness to digital techniques.
On the vital role of the arts and hermeneutics in the current political climate.
What emerges when we look beyond the often self-assured cosmopolitan circulation of Americans abroad such as Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and James McNeill Whistler, is a larger identity construction that frequently performed cultural innocence. American artists, writers, and travelers sought to turn the liability of lacking a culture and tradition into the asset of allowing for unencumbered experience and being unaffected by the weight of history. In turn, notions of cultural innocence and belatedness that appear in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Franco-American exchange have resonances into the twentieth century, and even into the contemporary moment.
Portrait of the Artist in the Age of Wikipedia
Michel Houellebecq is quite a character. The bad boy of French letters has made his name building post-humanist novels where dogs and clones are the rare creatures achieving a modicum of happiness.
Painted by Death
Prudence Whittlesey is doing a series of paintings of philosophers and I sat for her before the show began. Her paintings of Jane Bennett and Graham Harman were incredible. She caught how Jane looks like she is on fire, and how there is vision coming out of Graham's eyes. Whittlesey is slated to do Badiou some time this week (I think).
Hegel, Ecology, Aesthetics
...this is part of a talk I'm going to do at Queen Mary University in London in a few weeks, at the conference Emerging Critical Environments with Kate Soper and Tim Clark (and others). I already posted the opening on my blog.