Fellowship

Fellow 2018/2019

Haseeb Ahmed

Haseeb Ahmed is a research-based artist who produces objects, site-specific installations, films, and writes for various publications. Often working collaboratively, Ahmed integrates methodologies from the hard sciences into his art production. He recently worked with the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Brussels, to create Wind Egg Trilogy, which blends art and aeronautics, myth and technology, to create new narratives for the present, and a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, 2018. Ahmed has been a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Madison, ME, and his work has been exhibited at: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Gothenburg; Museum Bärengasse Zurich, Zurich; and Symposium Alanica, Vladikavkaz. He is represented by Harlan Levey Projects in Brussels. Ahmed lectures at Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich, and has taught courses and workshops at a number of universities.

Fellowship Research Trajectory

How’s the Weather Underground? is a question that intertwines ideological, historical, and ecological concerns. One way to rephrase this question is to ask: What models and thought figures enable us to speak about human political activity and natural phenomena with the same language, and what are its implications? Furthermore, how are the metaphorical capacities of scientific research used for political effect, and by whom?

People experience fluctuations in stock markets like fluctuations in temperature or humidity and read about both in the same news media. The relatively recent entry into the Anthropocene geological era is predicated on the inseparability of human activity and global climates, so how to address forms of alienation in capitalism through this social and now literal relationship with the weather? Artist and educator Haseeb Ahmed proposes thought figures that are simultaneously scientific and political models, and employs them in artworks. In particular, Ahmed focuses on fluidity and a visual and historical investigation of the conception of time as spiral. Think of a hurricane with clouds revolving around the low-pressure “eye of the storm”—the center is always empty and only given form by the turbulences revolving round it.

May BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Intensive: Models, Timelines, Scale, and Guest Ramon Amaro

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Haseeb Ahmed and Lukáš Likavčan co-convene, along with BAK, the April Fellows Intensive focusing on modelling, timelining, scale, and the social and political aspects that shape and inform these. Along with presentations, screenings, and experiments in pedagogy and workshops curated and conducted by these Fellows, machine learning researcher and designer Ramon Amaro […]

The Wind Egg

From 15 September 2018–6 January 2019 BAK Fellow Haseeb Ahmed has had a solo show IN SITU: Haseeb Ahmed – The Wind Egg as part of the In Situ series at M HKA, Antwerp. For millennia ancient Egyptian, Aran, Indian, European, and Chinese cultures have conceptualized the wind egg, suggesting that the wind can fertilize […]

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Arun Saldanha: Reontologising Race and the Post-Colonial Body

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Patricia Kaersenhout, along with BAK, convene the January 2019 Fellows Intensive, focusing on the body as an archive, as a form of resistance, and the colonial legacies embodied today. Geographer and theorist Arun Saldanha joins the Fellows to present his work on reontologising race, affect, and ecologies, and […]

Suely Rolnik: The Spheres of Insurrection

As part of the Fellowship program in November 2017, Wendelien van Oldenborgh convenes and moderates a (Skype) seminar with psychoanalyst, cultural critic, and curator Suely Rolnik. During this seminar, Rolnik discusses her text ”The Spheres of Insurrection: Suggestions for Combatting the Pimping of life” and how microspheric modes of existence are capable of interrupting the […]

Sruti Bala: Decolonizing Theater Studies and the Anecdote

Dr. Sruti Bala leads a discussion on decolonizing Theater and Performance Studies and the use of the anecdote during the Fellows Workshop on 21 November 2018.

Elizabeth Povinelli: Four Axioms of Critical Theory

Elizabeth A. Povinelli gives a seminar on the four axioms of critical theory during the first Fellowship 2017/2018 gathering on 6 October 2017.