Public Editorial Meeting

16-17 May 2014

Other Survivalisms

A detailed program and video recordings of all contributions to the FORMER WEST Public Editorial Meeting, Other Survivalisms, can be found here.

Under the title Other Survivalisms, on 16 and 17 May 2014 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts the second installment of its public editorial meetings geared towards the realization of the forthcoming FORMER WEST publication. It is the second in an ongoing series of public editorial meetings, which form the trajectory of the culminating phase of BAK’s flagship collaborative research program FORMER WEST (2008–2016). These small-scale gatherings take the editorial meeting as their model for informal (re)negotiations of the living knowledge brought together through the course of the project. The public exchanges take place in cultural and geopolitical contexts both within and outside of the so-called “former West” and bring together a great number of collaborators from the project’s past and current investigations, including artists, writers, theorists, curators, activists, students, as well as our various publics. The series is developed and curated by writer, cultural critic, and translator Boris Buden; curator, organizer, and artistic director of BAK, Maria Hlavajova; and curator and writer Simon Sheikh.

Following the initial Berlin public editorial meeting at FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in 2013, the Utrecht edition coincides with BAK’s current research inquiry into Future Vocabularies and its opening entry on conceptual itineraries of “survival.” One strand of inquiry explores the question of the commons as a mode of ensuring the survival of the notion of the public. Taking as its example the so-called “public” institution of art and culture, which has lost its emancipatory potential at the present moment as state and private interests reveal themselves to be conditioned by the same (market) forces, this trajectory looks at modes of instituting-in-common, examining not only how they place pressure on dominant forms of ownership and governance, but how the art institution itself might be transformed into an agent of political action. How do we wish to organize ourselves? Is self-instituting an effective means of survival, now that the state seems to be withering away? The second current within this gathering tackles the prospects of survival through economic and environmental perspectives and catastrophes, asking, amidst the rupture within the present interregnum (much in the Gramscian sense of a period in which “the old is dying and the new cannot be born”), how do we survive “otherwise”? The third trajectory deliberates upon survival through the notion of “afterlife,” which evokes a temporality different than the logic of “post-ism” that has long monopolized our historical imagination, be they concepts of the post-political, the post-utopian, or post-history. Beyond a perpetual repetition of “post-isms,” this last trajectory gestures towards a critique of the ideologies behind them.

Other Survivalisms consists of a number of moderated meetings with artists, theorists, and activists on Friday, 16 May, 13.30–20.00 hrs, and on Saturday, 17 May, 09.30–20.00 hrs, at Het Utrechts Archief, located opposite from BAK on Hamburgerstraat 28, Utrecht.

Contributors to the project include: Boris Buden (writer, cultural critic, and translator, Berlin); T.J. Demos (art historian and critic, London); Mark Fisher (theorist, writer, and editor, London); Maja & Reuben Fowkes (art historians and curators, Budapest and London); Katherine Gibson (theorist and writer, Sydney); Maria Hlavajova (curator and cultural organizer, artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht); Brigitta Kuster (artist and writer, Berlin); Massimiliano Mollona (theorist and writer, London); Alexei Penzin (philosopher and writer, London and Moscow); Andrea Phillips (theorist and writer, London); Poka-Yio (artist and curator, Athens); Simon Sheikh (curator and theorist, Berlin and London); and Marina Vishmidt (writer, editor, and critic, London).

Program

Panel discussion
16.05.2014
The Commons as the Survival of the “Public”

Panel discussion
17.05.2014
Survival Through an Economic and Environmental Lens

Panel discussion
17.05.2014
Critique of the Ideology of “Post-isms”

Suggestions from the archive

Discursive

24 January 2019

Propositions #7/6: Archive

Sixth gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of archiving, Ariel Caine presents Ground Truth, 2017–ongoing, a project that provides historical and juridical evidence on behalf of communities in the illegalized Palestinian Bedouin villages in the northern threshold of the Negev/Naqab desert. Jessica de Abreu presents The Black Archives’ work documenting the history of black emancipation movements and individuals in the Netherlands. Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh discusses her research and interventions which address the political implications of a collection of digital photography originating from Burj al-Shamali, a Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon.

Discursive

10 January 2019

Propositions #7/5: Sense

Fifth gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of remote sensing, Samaneh Moafi presents Ecocide in Indonesia, 2016, an investigation into the 2015 fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra that consumed over 21,000 square kilometers of forest and peat lands. A staff member of Prakken d’Oliveira presents Friends of the Earth Netherlands vs. Royal Dutch Shell, 2008–ongoing, a legal case in which four Nigerian citizens are taking Shell to court over oil spills that had polluted their fields and their fish farming ponds.

Discursive

15 November 2018

Propositions #7/3: Testify

Third gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of the testimony, Ana Naomi de Sousa presents Saydnaya, 2016, the reconstruction of a Syrian torture prison of which there are no images. Papa Sakho and Jo van der Spek bring into the discussion the Migrant 2 Migrant Foundation’s ongoing response to the Schipholbrand, the 2005 fire in which eleven migrants died while being trapped in an airport detention complex.

Discursive

1 November 2018, 19.30-21.30

Propositions #7/2: Geosync

Second gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of what Forensic Architecture calls “Geosync,” Stefan Laxness presents The Ayotzinapa Case, 2017, an investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Mexico, in 2014. Gamze Hızlı and Özlem Zingil of Hafiza Merkezi discuss their recent investigations into human rights violations in Turkey.

Discursive

Discursive

Education Program

03 December 2018–21 January 2019

Course Art and Politics

“Art and Politics” is an inaugural course of a new public school for art and politics organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht. In six weekly sessions, the participants learn about how contemporary art relates to the political in an accessible way. The course is taught by Maria Hlavajova, BAK’s general and artistic director.

Exhibition

8-11 November 2018

BAK x Le Guess Who? – Forensic Justice

During the music festival Le Guess Who?, from 8–11 November 2018, festival visitors have free entrance to the exhibition Forensic Justice, with works by Forensic Architecture. This collaboration is part of a new satellite event during Le Guess Who? 2018: ‘Untitled’. The program focuses on all disciplines other than music and is an exploration of other artistic expressions by festival artists, as well as a collection of exhibitions, film screenings and talks that can be visited in Utrecht during the festival weekend.

Exhibition

Discursive

18 October 2018–24 January 2019

Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods

Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020)—expands upon the notion of forensic justice in a series of lectures, screenings, and workshops on methodologies for articulating claims within the multidimensional space of aesthetics, law, architecture, politics, and ecology.

Exhibition

18 October 2018–27 January 2019

Forensic Justice

Forensic Justice is an exhibition and a series of public programs with Forensic Architecture, a London-based independent and interdisciplinary research agency comprised of, among others, artists, scientists, lawyers, filmmakers, and architects.

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Exhibition

Lecture