Technologies, Life and the Future

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Technologies, Life and the Future is Course Module III of HWP 2016-17: Head Above Water.

Some seminars are open to the public with limited capacity and require registration.
Register by sending an email to hwp@ashkalalwan.org



Image: Courtesy of NRAO/AUI

Closed Seminar | When Ghalya would not take no for an answer With Jihad Touma

You find yourself wondering what she sees that you don’t, only to learn that she is keen on what you see. You tell her that you deal with visions that often point to darkness. You tell her about signs feeding into models arguing for signs, yet to be seen. You tell her that you are ultimately concerned with conditions for life and its disruptions. Hearing you, she is confirmed in her yes to your no, and insists on a yes in return. You reluctantly acquiesce knowing that something will surely come out of the encounter though, as often before, you can’t be specific about what. She senses reticence, and promptly requests title and synopsis of intervention. You can only stall, as you ready yourself for the dive.

Jihad Touma

Seminar | Split Screen with Keller Easterling

Open to registration | Wednesday, March 22nd | 2-6PM

This different habit of mind about design and politics might begin with one simple observation. Culture is very good at “knowing that”—pointing to things and calling their name, but not so good at describing the interactivity or chemistry between things or the repertoires they enact. Infrastructure space might be good to think with if one wants to think differently because it is too large to be in any one place. It cannot be assessed by its name, shape or outline but rather by what might be called its disposition—its latent properties that unfold over time and territory, its propensities within a context or the potentials in its arrangement. That disposition, that agency in arrangement, like an operating system or a growth medium, decides what will live or die. As if seeing in a split screen, detecting disposition comes with a capacity to see temperament even in the absence of event as well as a capacity to see discrepancy—the difference between what an organization is saying and what it is doing. Adjusting disposition benefits from an artistic curiosity about reagents and spatial mixtures or spatial wiring. Working with disposition allows one to wander out of familiar historical theaters and dominant cultural logics.

Public Talk | Extrastatecraft with Keller Easterling

Thursday, March 23rd | 8PM

Repeatable formulas like spatial products and free zone world cities make most of the space in the world, and some of the most radical changes to the globalizing world are being written in the language of this almost infrastructural spatial matrix. It generates de facto forms of polity that can outpace law, and it is the secret weapon of some of the world’s most powerful players. Exposing evidence of this infrastructural operating system is as important as contemplating the means to manipulate it. But as unlikely as it may seem this matrix space offers special aesthetic pleasures and political capacities—alternative approaches to both form making and activism.

Keller Easterling


Closed Seminar | I’m Here! with Suhail Malik
This seminar demonstrates, by expanded illustration, how direct experience is today structured and heavily conditioned by financial and technical intermediation. This workshop will map basic elements of relational communication, and involve active real-time online research (bring your laptops).

Closed Seminar | The Condition is Social Complexity with Suhail Malik
This seminar will work through the concepts and sociological accounts proposed in Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik’s ‘The Speculative Time Complex’, focusing in particular on what is meant by the ‘speculative time complex’, the political stances from the left and right in reaction to this condition, and the relation between their account of societies structured by complex and large-scale intermediations of the future, and Ulrich Beck’s notion of risk society.

Public Talk | TWhat Must Art Become to Advance a Left Postneoliberalism? with Suhail Malik

Thursday, March 30 | 8PM

The recent electoral successes of the far right in the North Atlantic clearly signal what has been apparent for some time: the neoliberal settlement of the past forty years is now either in terminal decline or undergoing a significant phase shift. Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, this transformation of political economy cannot be contained or mitigated by emergency financial measures: it is now a directly political problem, not least in that the legitimacy of the political institutions of global modernity are now in crisis. And because of the continued economic and political prominence of the North Atlantic in political and business world systems, it is a historical transformation that cannot be delimited as being only a local curiosity; it is rather a globally systemic development.

For more information on the public talk click here.

Suhail Malik

More Events in HWP 2016-17

Public TalkPublic Talk | What Must Art Become to Advance a Left Postneoliberalism? by Suhail Malik