Panel Discussion

17 December 2005

On Imagining (options and strategies of resistance)

“Do writers know what they are talking about?” a diplomat asks a writer in Jean-Luc Godard’s film Notre Musique (2004). “Of course not,” says the writer and he continues stating conversely, “those who act never have the ability to say or think adequately about what they do.” In the context of his philosophical treatise on war, is Godard actually making a proposition about the role of artistic and intellectual production vis-à-vis the complex political, social, and economic conditions in the present-day world? And if so, does he indirectly appeal to the very capacity of art to imagine what the world could potentially become, rather than claim to know what it is? Invited guests on the panel present research and projects that closely examine the position and character of critical artistic and intellectual practices, and attempt to rearticulate connections between the aesthetic and the political. They discuss how art can contribute to the possibility of emancipation from the current order of the world by questioning the general consensus and dominant political hegemonies. The panelists offer their views on how artists and intellectuals can offer different visions by means of employing the creative force to counterbalance the “endless destructive energy” (Notre Musique) of our age.

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