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#AGI: Accelerate General Intellect
2016 New York Summer Residency

Image: Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1967

July 18/19: Pratt Institute, Manhattan Campus (144 West 14th Street)
July 20th: Future of Mind Symposium
July 21st: The New School (University Center, 63 5th Avenue)
July 22nd: e-flux (311 East Broadway)

Participants: Jason Brogan, Ahmed El Hadi, Amy Ireland, Katarina Kolozova, Nick Land, Eden Medina, Reza Negarestani, Patricia Reed, Pete Wolfendale, and more.

The New Centre for Research & Practice is thrilled to announce its New York Summer Residency. #AGI Accelerate General Intellect is taking place between July 18 - 22, 2016. On July 20th, we will host a panel during Future of Mind Symposium as part of a collaboration with the New School’s Centre for Transformative Media and Humanity+.** Please join us for a week of seminars, workshops and panel discussions at Pratt Institute, The New School for Social Research, and e-flux, as our resident artists, thinkers, and writers speculate about the future implications of collective thought and cognition on philosophical, political, and technological developments.

What does it mean to accelerate the general intellect in the age of artificial intelligence? #AGI begins from the investigation of distributed networks from which thought assembles and into which it disperses. Unlike in the past, general intelligence, algorithms, and networks are together becoming as irreducible to the efforts of “universal” intellectuals as cultural and political movements have become to “universal” leaders. Will the future enable a more radical, integrated, but also more complex mode of cultural and political engagement? One predicated upon what Marx describes as, “the conditions of the process of social life itself… under the control of the general intellect.”*

#AGI explores the new intensifying developments in the field of AI that are making possible subjectless modes of the general intellect, more collective and more general than any single individual or network.

The Residency is free for The New Centre Friends and Members (to become a member, please visit: http://thenewcentre.org/membership/member/). General admission is by donation. Space for each location has specific limits, to secure seats please register for #AGI.

SCHEDULE

July 18th at Pratt Institute /// Moderated by Tony Yanick
09:00 – 09:30, Coffee
09:30 – 10:00, Introductory Remarks
10:00 – 12:00, Pete Wolfendale
12:00 – 13:00, Discussion
13:00 – 14:00, Lunch
14:00 – 14:30, Ahmed El Hady
14:30 – 15:00, Discussion
15:00 – 16:00, Katarina Kolozova /// Video Conference from Macedonia
16:00 – 16:30, Discussion

July 19th at Pratt Institute /// Moderated by Mohammad Salemy
09:00 – 09:30, Coffee
09:30 – 10:00, Introductory Remarks
10:00 – 11:00, Matteo Pasquinelli /// Video Conference from Berlin
11:00 – 11:30, Discussion
11:30 – 11:45, Break
11:45 – 12:30, Amy Ireland
12:30 – 13:00, Discussion
13:00 – 14:00, Lunch
14:00 – 15:00, Joshua Johnson & Keith Tilford
15:00 – 15:15, Break
15:15 – 17:00, Nick Land
17:00 – 18:00, Discussion
July 20th: Future of Mind at The New School
15:30 – 16:45, The New Centre Panel Discussion with Reza Negarestani Patricia Reed, & Peter Wolfendale

July 21st at The New School /// Moderated by Jason Adams
09:00 – 09:30, Coffee
09:30 – 10:00, Introductory Remarks
10:00 – 11:00, Patricia Reed
11:00 – 11:30, Discussion
11:30 – 11:45, Break
11:45 – 14:30, Lunch
14:00 – 14:30, Eden Medina /// Video Link from Indiana
14:30 – 15:00, Discussion
15:00 – 15:15, Break
15:15 – 17:00, Reza Negarestani
17:00 – 18:00, Discussion

July 22nd at e-flux 18:00 – 21:30pm
Audio-acoustic intervention by Jason Brogan
Plenary session with Amy Ireland / Nick Land /Reza Negarestani / Patricia Reed / Pete Wolfendale /// Moderated by Jason Adams, Mohammad Salemy & Tony Yanick

 



* Karl Marx, Grundrisse (London: Penguin Books, 1973), 706.
** Please visit the website for the Future of Mind symposium for information on registration to attend this event separately.
To view the complete list of our activities in 2015, please visit List of New Centre Activities.

One of The New Centre for Research & Practice’s central mandates has been to provide new possibilities for our members and students, especially those who practice their work outside or in-between existing institutional frameworks. We help those transitioning between one degree and another, or between one institution and another, to expand their research networks beyond what can be offered by any single institution. Our members and certificate students enjoy access to face-to-face, real-time engagements with emerging thinkers and scholars, collaborating with them and with each other while producing new forms of knowledge.

To apply in our rolling Certificate Programs please visit our Programs section. All of our seminars are conducted online via Google+ Hangouts, enabling participants to engage from anywhere in the world. Our Certificate Students automatically become Members of The New Centre and thus receive all members’ benefits, including access to our twelve Re:search Groups, our Writing Centre, our Member Symposia, reading groups, and roundtable events, as well as opportunities to publish their research on our &&& platform.

If you prefer to become involved with The New Centre prior to applying for a Certificate Program, we recommend becoming a Friend or Member, or enrolling in any of our available seminars. Among other services, becoming a Member provides you access to our entire 2014–15 and 2015–16 video archives, while Friends gain lifetime access to all of our member services.

 

 

Mission Statement


The New Centre for Research & Practice is conceived upon the idea that the space of knowledge is a laboratory for navigating the links between thought and action. Our pedagogical approach bootstraps the conventional role of the Arts and Sciences to construct new forms of research and practice alongside, within, and between the existing disciplines and technologies. The New Centre’s aim is a constructivist one, to assemble an environment, both virtual and actual, that inspires our members to invent alternate understandings that can be put into collective practice.


List of New Centre Activities


/// 2015

The New Centre for Research & Practice enjoyed a momentous 2015, which included a partnership with e-flux, three international conferences, twenty-two seminars, and twenty-three roundtables, reading groups, and emergency-response events. We also published our first e-book, and our organizers were interviewed for an edited collection, “Politics of Study”. In addition, we successfully placed several of our certificate students into a range of graduate degree programs, while welcoming a number of new certificate students into our program.

Over the course of Summer 2015, we partnered with e-flux to produce Superconversations, a series of responses to Supercommunity, as part of the 56th Venice Biennale. In July, we partnered with Université de Technologie de Graz & IZK Institute for Contemporary Art for the Knowledge Forms, Forming Knowledge conference, a two day conference at Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien (watch). And in August, we partnered with Deakin University (an institutional member of The New Centre) to produce Alien Aesthetics, a two day conference in Melbourne, concerned with xeno-visions, -sounds, and -mediations (watch).

In Fall 2015, we continued this pattern initially in October, via our partnership with The Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute, through which we broadcast a month-long seminar by Fernando Zalamea in Brooklyn entitled, “Grothendieck and a Theory of Contemporary Transgression” (watch). Finally, in December 2015, we partnered with e-flux to produce Machines That Matter, a conference held at e-flux’s headquarters in Manhattan.

In addition, throughout the year, we collaborated or partnered with a variety of institutions, including Center for Transformative Media at Parsons: The New School for Design, Department of Cultural Studies at University of Minnesota, Graduate Media Department at University of Buffalo, Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Sociales (Bogota), Corporación Para el Desarrollo de la Educación y la Investigación Social (Bogota), FOAM Collective, Michigan Political Science Association, Newcastle University, Department of Philosophy at Aquinas College, Sydney School of Continental Philosophy, & Momenta Art.

 


Membership Overview
#JoinTheNewCentre

ACCELERATE ACADEMIA: As a member, you will become part of a research network through which to workshop ideas and develop practical knowledge in a manner that accelerates, intensifies and transversalizes existing academic frameworks. The New Centre is an expanding network of organizers, affiliates, members and friends from a vast array of fields and disciplines including digital pedagogy, computer programming and scholarship in the arts and sciences. We are coming together to assist those interested in seeking knowledge in arts, sciences and humanities. Our goal is to augment conventional research practices of reading and learning at the graduate level.

ECOLOGIZE KNOWLEDGE: As a member of The New Centre, you will gain access to connections, resources and services that ecologize what otherwise might remain isolated practices of knowledge production and distribution. The success of the membership drive will facilitate group research projects, the maintenance of affordable enrollment fees for graduate-level seminars, the offsetting of overall operating costs for the year, and the provision of more adequate payments to the instructors for their work. In addition, funds raised will be applied towards scholarships for those who deserve to study with us, but cannot afford our programs.

SHAPE THE FUTURE: As a member, you will ensure democratic control over The New Centre through voting participation in our annual general meetings, thereby assisting the Organizing Committee and the Board of Directors the future plans of the organization. Further, by becoming a Member or a Friend of The New Centre, you will directly contribute to the development and sustainability of the institution, while holding those of us involved with the day to day activities accountable for the quality of our work and the effectiveness of our actions.

Membership with The New Centre will engages you as a part of our mission to accelerate academia, ecologize knowledge and shape the future, both inside and outside the institution. Any additional funds raised beyond our initial goals will go towards recapacitating what The New Centre can do, including planning and holding an annual Summer Program, organizing symposia and conferences, launching a publishing platform and digital library, and organizing a working group to develop The New Centre’s website into an open-source and non-commercialized social media nexus.

The New Centre offers several levels of membership in addition to regular seminar enrollment, which together enable us to offer affordable graduate-level seminars, provide access to our archived seminar videos, plan and hold our summer school, organize symposia and conferences, facilitate group research projects, and enable members to distribute their materials on our mailing list, amongst other services. Aside from helping to support the operating costs of The New Centre, our paid memberships ensure democratic control over the institution by providing voting participation in our annual general meeting.



 
Certificate Programs

The New Centre for Research & Practice is authorized as a Licensed Proprietary School (LPS) by the State of Michigan, USA, to provide graduate-level certificates of competency in a range of fields and disciplines. Our certificates are intended to complement, enhance, and intensify MA and PhD programs from existing accredited colleges and universities, as well as to recognize those enrolled in our seminars to broaden the scope of independent research and practice.

Presently, The New Centre offers certificate programs in Critical Philosophy, Curatorial Practice, Social & Political Thought and Transdisciplinary Research & Practice. The award of a graduate-level certificate from The New Centre requires the completion of twelve one-credit seminar modules. Once you are accepted as a certificate program student, any previously completed seminar module at The New Centre can be applied towards your certificate. Modules are transferable between programs to create a unique plan of study, to be approved by the Certificate Programmer. In addition, a program may require a project to be completed in order for a certificate to be awarded. The cost of each certificate programs is USD 1600.

Please contact info@thenewcentre.org if you would like to receive a copy of The New Centre's Student handbook.



 

Admissions



To apply for our Graduate-level Certificate Programs, complete The New Centre's Application Form.


Art & Curatorial Practice

Programmer Mohammad Salemy

The New Centre’s Art & Curatorial Practice Program is one of the only international curricula responding to the challenges that cultural and economic globalization as well as planetary telecomputation have together created for the production and distribution of contemporary art and knowledge in the 21st century. The Program engages with the fields from a critical standpoint by encouraging students to question the institutional assumptions about the role of artists and curators with a focus on the epistemological and social ramifications of art making, exhibitions, their surrounding activities, and their political economy. Part historical, part conceptual, and part practical, the program encourages students to form their own critical approach by focusing on research topics and connecting specific materials from within the discourse of contemporary art to other fields of knowledge from the sciences and humanities. As part of its practicum, the program will include the publication of research and student-curated events and exhibitions. Rather than issuing stand alone certificates, The New Centre’s Art and Curatorial Practice complements existing, accredited MA/PhD programs at other higher educational institutions by introducing students to newer concepts and methodologies which have yet to be incorporated in art and curatorial curricula at accredited universities and colleges, thus preparing students for either entering these institutions or providing them additional knowledge and skills for professionally entering the field as artists or curators. Through their course of study, the students will meet and become part of the network of professional artists, critics, curators and thinkers who are currently involved in the fields of art and curatorial practice.


Critical Philosophy

Programmer Levi Bryant

The New Centre’s Critical Philosophy Program is devoted to developing philosophy adequate to the problems and questions posed by the 21st century. The rise of the Anthropocene, which threatens global catastrophe, developments in physics, neurology, and biology, transformations in global capitalism and the way in which the military, media, and economic systems are now intertwined and exceed the boundaries of nation-states have all generated new conceptual challenges for philosophy. These transformations have posed a set of questions about the nature of reality, knowledge, and ethics that cannot fully be addressed by the resources of traditional philosophy alone and require new philosophical concepts. Students in the Critical Philosophy Program will attend seminars in critical contemporary philosophy seldom taught in university graduate programs. In addition, students will take seminars devoted to the history of philosophy and how that history might be appropriated in terms of the present and future conditions. Above all, students will be encouraged to develop research projects of their own devoted to thinking ontology, epistemology, and ethics within the frame of the contemporary.


Social & Political Thought

Programmer Jason Adams

The New Centre’s Social & Political Thought Program is designed to intensify students’ capacities for comprehending and disturbing power relations as they exist today, in the increasingly undemocratic, markedly unequal, globalized world of the early 21st century. The seminars proceed by way of juxtaposition, generating divergent readings of the classic texts of political theory through a historically-informed and future-oriented encounter with more recent social & political thinking. The Social & Political Thought Program is distinguished however, not only in its synthesis of genres, but also in its affirmation of practice: mobilizing both classic and contemporary political thinking to question dominant assumptions about contemporary events in all of their legal, rhetorical, technological, aesthetic, economic and spatio-temporal ramifications. Just as the old is brought into a nexus with the new, so too is theory brought together with practice. And while the conventional liberal and communitarian, radical and critical threads of social and political thought are engaged throughout the coursework, the program emphasizes breadth of understanding across tendencies, as much as depth of fluency in any one tendency.


Media & Technology

Programmer Olivia Lucca Fraser

If, following a roughly dialectical bent, we take concepts to be what mediates and modulates our relation to the world -- the circuits of communication and control in which we find ourselves -- then 'media' and 'technology' are names for the concept's material existence. They are the forms of our efferent alienation from the world we inherit, both the paths of the world's past and future humanization, and the relentless volatilization of our present humanity. It is this material existence of the concept that our programme aims to investigate. Though the horizon of our research is certainly universal or global in its scope, our seminars will each be grounded in particular case studies of technological mediation, ranging from cryptocurrency to mathematical formalisms, pornography to AI, sound art to cyberfeminism. Neither purely reflective nor purely technical, the majority of our seminars will seek to combine theory and practice, many aiming to train the students not only to theorize about this or that techno-aesthetic assemblage, but to tinker with it, build it, exploit it, and adapt it for themselves. This may involve learning how to construct a diagonal proof in logic, programme a machine learning algorithm, or code digital soundscapes on the fly, to invoke just a few upcoming seminars.


Transdisciplinary Research & Practice

Programmer Tony Yanick

The New Centre’s Transdisciplinary Research & Practice Program aims to explore the interfaces between the arts, sciences, and vernacular knowledge by engaging with strategies that capture complexity, cultivate new ecologies of knowledge, and affect individual and collective transformations. This program offers theoretical and practical support to enhance and realize issue-based transdisciplinary projects unrestricted by the constraints of any one discipline. The program provides support and access to resources and community, offering seminars that cannot fit into a discipline-specific program, but are at once between, across, and beyond all disciplines. This program is ideal for those interested in research across specializations and professions; including graduate students designing theses and dissertations and undergraduates seeking to enhance their skills in research methods, qualitative research, interdisciplinary / multidisciplinary / transdisciplinary approaches from a range of perspectives, and arts-based or community-based researchers.


Spring 2016 Seminar Schedule

Complexity and Computation:
An Introduction to Measures, Paradigms and Programs

Instructors: Reza Negarestani
Program: Critical Philosophy
Credit(s): 3
Module: 1, 2, & 3
Date: January 24 - April 10, 2016
Time: 11:00am - 1:30pm

DESCRIPTION
This seminar is an introduction to two widely popular yet often culturally misconstrued topics, complexity and computation. Why are social sciences no longer tenable without an extensive restructuring around theoretical and applied dimensions of these two subjects? Why is in the absence of a systematic engagement with the all-encompassing consequences implied by the findings and advances in computation and complexity sciences, philosophy's regression to antediluvian platitudes inevitable? And at the same time, why should the vogue culture surrounding complexity and computation be approached with a critical vigilance and extreme caution? By presenting a survey of some of the key ideas in complexity sciences and computation which have direct implications for philosophical and political thinking, this seminar sets out to tackle and answer these questions.


Curatorial Practice III:
Curating the Future Now!

Instructors: Mohammad Salemy
Program: Art & Curatorial Practice
Credit(s): 1
Module: 3 of 3
Date: Saturdays: February 3rd - March 5th
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:45 PM EST

DESCRIPTION
The 20th century, particularly after the Second World War, witnessed the emergence of a new class of cultural producers named curators who worked with with artists, museum officials, and private collectors to organize art exhibitions. Through an ongoing process of self-specialization, curators began to play a decisive role not only in the production of art, but in shaping the function of the individual artist as well. Over the course of the last two decades, in turn, many universities have begun to offer curatorial studies programs, focusing on the development of the curator’s role in constructing associations between art, artists and audiences, as well as elaborating the significance of exhibitions as the key space for approaches to contemporary art and society.


REQUIREMENTS
This seminar is the final module of the Curatorial Practice series of seminars.* It will consist of 6 strictly hands-on workshops which continue the work of the seminar from the previous module. Participants will collaborate closely with the instructor in small groups, and at times will work on an individual basis, in order to utilize the cybernetic strategies developed in the previous module.** The seminar will assist in the further development, installation & presentation of the planned exhibition and conference in March at Prague’s TranzitDisplay. In addition, the seminar will focus and contribute to the production and publication of the events’ catalogue.


Art and Value:
Towards a New Rationalist Aesthetics

Instructors: Peter Wolfendale
Program: Critical Philosophy
Credit(s): 2
Module: 1&2
Date: Thursdays: March 3rd - April 21st
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST; 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM GMT

DESCRIPTION
What is art? Contemporary art is haunted by this question, sometimes obsessed by and sometimes outright hostile to it, but never truly free from it. This constant tension is sublimated by those philosophies of art that developed during the transition from modern to contemporary art, which resolve the conflicts between traditional aesthetics and contemporary practices by dissolving them, indexing art to its institutional reality and the historical context of the artworld. That this dissolution is no solution is apparent in the continued strife between aesthetics and philosophy of art, which fluctuate between superposed identity and resolute distinctness, as much as the constitutive crisis of self-identity that determines contemporary art as such. Nevertheless, if we aim to provide a genuine solution, we must remain sensitive to the historical process of self-definition driving the institutional evolution of art. We must trace the various moments of its self-imposed split from craft: as propaganda, decoration, or entertainment; examine the gradual reinforcement then sudden collapse of the barriers between mediums: the dialectic of concrete figure and abstract form in painting and sculpture, the subsequent rise of performance and installation, and the eventual emergence of the exhibition as its own medium; and explore its tumultuous relationship with literature, music, drama, cinema, and other institutionalised practices that covet the title of arts.

But we must go deeper still if we wish to free contemporary art from this question. The only way to define art that accounts for its continuity with and distinctness from other ‘aesthetic’ domains and practices is to transmute the question: what is the value of art? Since the end of the 20th century, there has been a concerted effort to rehabilitate the aesthetic dimension of art, beginning with the question of sensation, engaging with the status of pleasure, and ultimately returning to the classical concern with beauty. However, this development essentially ignores the issue from which classical aesthetics emerged, namely, the status of beauty as a value comparable to (and for some, identical to) truth and goodness. It was the slow reduction of beauty to a specific sensible quality in the aesthetic tradition that enabled the artistic rejection of beauty in the first place, catalysing the crisis of definition that has lead us here. The rehabilitation of the ‘aesthetic value’ of this quality thus invites the deeper question of what such value consists in, and, if it extends beyond the domain of art, what is peculiar about the form it takes in that domain? These questions demand that we return to the philosophical roots of aesthetics, and determine whether there is a place for a more expansive concept of beauty qua value: encompassing perfection, sublimity, and fascination as well as harmony and simple prettiness, and sufficient to articulate the relations between natural wonders, crafts, arts, and ‘art’ simpliciter.

The goal of this seminar is thus to answer one question – ‘What is art?’ – by addressing more foundational questions about the nature of value. This strategy is thoroughly rationalist in spirit, but our pursuit of it will be equally rationalist in practice: it will involve exploring rationalist themes in the aesthetic tradition from Plato to Hegel, and leveraging ideas about reason, freedom, and normativity from contemporary rationalist thought. However, it remains a research seminar. The relevant questions must be broken down further, and what would constitute adequate answers remains to be seen.

REQUIREMENTS
The seminar will be composed of eight two and a half hour sessions, each of which will be split between an lecture of around 30-60 minutes and a group discussion of around 90-120 minutes. Readings will be set for each week, and students will be expected to engage in group discussion on the google classroom page in between sessions. The final assessment will consist of a 2500 word essay on a topic agreed upon with the instructor in advance.


Anti-Oedipus:
Deleuze & Guattari Beyond the State

Instructors: Levi Bryant
Program: Critical Philosophy
Credit(s): 3
Date: TBA
Time: TBA

DESCRIPTION
The hypothesis for this seminar is that the State is essentially a theological structure. In conceptualizing theology as a State structure we should take care to distinguish this structure from religion and the supernatural. Although many forms of religiosity are, in a sense, theological, the distinguishing mark of theology is not the presence of the supernatural or the divine, but rather that of the sovereign that overcodes all other elements of a particular social field. There are thus purely secular theologies as in, for instance, those forms of sociality organized around a sovereign leader, a master-signifier such as “the party”, or ontotheologies like Nietzsche's where all of being is subordinated to a key term such as the “will to power”.  

This structure is what Deleuze and Guattari refer to as “Oedipus” in Anti-Oedipus. Thus, Oedipus should be thought as much broader than a particular structure of the family or a psychoanalytic theory and instead as a theological form of thought that manifests itself in forms of labor, thought, science, metaphysics, politics, art, and, of course, religion. The thesis of this seminar is that it is essentially this theological structure of thought and practice that Deleuze and Guattari target in their politics.  Deleuze and Guattari strive to go beyond the State, and therefore propose an a-theism, an anarchism, or a form of thought, practice, and politics where the site of the overcoding sovereign is void or absent. Through a close reading of Nietzsche & Philosophy, Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature, and Anti-Oedipus, this seminar will explore the mechanisms by which the State is formed, how it functions, and why subjects become so ineluctably attached to these theological formations. Above all, we will look at the strategies of flight from the State and how these formations might be contested.

REQUIREMENTS
Participants in the seminar will be required to write one weekly post addressing some issue in that week’s reading or the prior week’s seminar discussion.  In addition, students will be required to respond to one other student's blog post each week. Blog posts and responses are to be posted every Saturday prior to the Tuesday seminar meeting to the classroom’s page .  At the end of the seminar, students will be required to write a 2000 – 3000 word essay dealing with some of seminar's themes or to produce a media or artistic artifact based on the issues discussed over the semester.  Students are free to propose other projects as well.  These projects will be due two weeks after the last seminar session.


Thinking Fictions I:
Topias & Invention

Instructor: Ben Woodard & Tony Yanick
Program: Transdisciplinary Research & Practice
Guest(s): Anne-Françoise Schmid, Rasheedah Phillips, Moor Mother, Ytasha Womack, Ed Keller, & Deneb Kozikoski
Credit(s): 1
Module: 1 of 2
Date: Saturdays: May 14th, 21st, 28th, June 4th
Time: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM EST

DESCRIPTION
Can a proper boundary between fiction and speculation be made? Whereas Kant attempted to construct a critical net to limit the excesses of idealism, recent forays into speculation and ontology have raised questions regarding the reality of fictions, the status of speculations, and the actuality of models and simulations which push against critical limits.


Temperature Check:
The Making of a Biennial Where Art is Centre-Stage

Instructor: Maria Lind & Binna Choi, Maria Lind, Azar Mahmoudian, Margarida Mendes, & Michelle Wong
Program: Art & Curatorial Practice
Guest(s): Tyler Coburn, Apolonija Sustersic, Doug Ashford, & Walid Raad
Credit(s): 2
Module: 1 & 2
Date: April 5, 11, 18, & 25; May 3, 9, 18, & 23
Time: 4:00 - 6:30 PM EST

DESCRIPTION

Eight sessions divided into four “duo-sessions” with one artist and one text connected to this artist’s practice as the focus points for each. Maria Lind and one of the other members of the curatorial team is responsible for each duo-session.

This course is drawing from the concerns of the upcoming Gwangju Biennial, opening 2 September 2016, and the process of its making. In the midst of infra-structural focus in the sphere of art in many parts of the world, among worries about commercial interests and populist programming, art itself seems to be partly forgotten. We want to direct our attention to art works and projects, addressing the performative aspect of art, not performative art, in terms of the question, "what does art do?". A central part of this is art’s capacity to project, to say something about the future.

Within this direction, a handful of strands have emerged through the practices and works of the artists who have been invited so far and our research process in general: “above and below ground” – on struggles over land, natural resources and the faculties of the earth; “the labor point of view” – the persistent engagement of artists with changing working conditions and their effects on daily life; “between molecules and cosmos” – how the minutest and invisible elements have wide-ranging effects at the same time as cosmos becomes a stage for action; “new subjectivities” – the enlightenment subject is continuously challenged by the pharmaco-pornographic paradigm as well as both old and new models of performativity; “the right to opacity” – how strategies of abstraction can produce artistic and other kinds of space to maneuver.




 

Session 1 – Tuesday April 5
artist presentation: Tyler Coburn
Moderation: Margarida Mendes, Maria Lind

Session 2 – Monday April 11
group reading
Moderation: Margarida Mendes, Maria Lind

Session 3 – Monday April 18
artist presentation: Doug Ashford
Moderation: Michelle Wong, Maria Lind.

Session 4 – Monday April 25
group reading
Moderation: Michelle Wong, Maria Lind

Session 5 – Tuesday May 3
artist presentation: Walid Raad
Moderation: Azar Mahmoudian, Maria Lind

Session 6 – Monday May 9
group reading
Moderation: Azar Mahmoudian, Maria Lind

Session 7 – Monday May 16
artist presentation: Apolonija Sustersic
Moderation: Binna Choi, Maria Lind

Session 8 – Monday May 23
group reading
Moderation: Binna Choi, Maria Lind


Outer Edges:
21st Century Spatial Metapolitics

Instructors: Nick Land
Program: Critical Philosophy
Credit(s): 2
Module: 1 & 2
Date: Sundays: June 12th, 19th, 26th, July 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th
Time: 10:30AM - 1:00PM EST

DESCRIPTION
This Seminar is concerned primarily with the tradition and prospects of geopolitical anarchy snd its related literature, as exemplified by the principle of Dynamic Geography theorized by Patri Friedman. The other significant theorists of this tendency whose work will be reviewed and discussed are Robert Nozick, and Scott Alexander. The object of the seminar is the cultural current that counterposes dissociation in space to resolution in time. ‘Metapolitics’ – in this sense – designates the strategic perpetuation of ideological irresolution into (fractured) space. Geography is thus advanced as an alternative to dialectics.

Central preoccupations of the seminar will include: Universality, particularity, peculiarity, singularity; the ‘meta-’ function in philosophy; cognitive investment of space; exit and voice; nationality as an epochal construct; spatial subtexts in the conception of property; politics and diplomacy; boundaries, borders, and frontiers; seasteading and space colonization.

The course consists of two modules, each of four weeks. The first module will concentrate on political philosophy, the second will ramify the discussion into historical and science fictional / futurological territory.

REQUIREMENTS
Each module of the two-part seminar will be composed of four two and a half hour sessions, each of which will be conducted as an extended seminar. During this period material blogged the previous week will be discussed alongside the set material. Based upon the set readings, online news and commentary, and ongoing class discussion, students will be expected to contribute ~400 words of content to the seminar blog on relevant topics. (This will additionally be posted to the google classroom page for everyone to read and comment upon as they wish, providing some preliminary threads for the group discussion). The final assessment will consist of a 2500 word extended essay on a topic agreed upon with the instructor in advance.


Architecture and Accelerationism

Instructors: FOAM Collective (Ryan John King & Ekaterina Zavyalova)
Program: Art & Curatorial Practice
Guest(s): TBA
Credit(s): 1
Module: 1
Date: Saturdays: March 19th - April 16th
Time: 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM EST

DESCRIPTION
From environmental sensors and learning thermostats to massive data centers and smart cities, an invisible shift has occurred within architecture and this shift purports that metrics and quantifiable data ultimately determine spatial decisions that will maximize client investment return rates. Globalization has produced spaces that resemble closed circuits of production and consumption with the ability to host crowds, enclose a public and control flow in artificial environments. The Quantified City consists of market driven platforms, shaping and optimizing space beyond the singular work of an Architect, for human and non-human users and traded on global derivative markets.

The Architecture and Accelerationism seminar focuses on the identification and conceptualization of emerging spatial conditions by combining Architectural theory and accelerationist literature while focusing on the spatialization of tech-secessionist ideologies, crypto-sovereignty and decentralization. The seminar aims to place current spatial and architectural developments in the framework of modernity, or more accurately its meltdown. it stake out a new economic framework where the architectural transactions are financed or banked not with mortgage derivatives but crypto-equity. The seminar takes as its starting point the text ‘Junkspace’ by architect Rem Koolhaas, which states that “Modernization had a rational program: to share the blessings of science, universally. Junkspace is its apotheosis, or meltdown… Junkspace spells the end of Enlightenment”.

Paired with the text ‘Meltdown’ from the philosopher Nick Land where, “Level-1 or world space is an anthropomorphically scaled, predominantly vision-configured, massively multi-slotted reality system that is obsolescing very rapidly”, the architecture theory component of the seminar will be complemented with a spatial reading of Accelerationsim. The goal of this seminar is to explicate the notion of meltdown and describe how exchanges and economies of virtual communities can be applied to a site-specific location by Architecture, short-circuiting algorithmic paths in space. Over the course of 4 seminars guest lecturers will be invited to present on the themes of each seminar session.

REQUIREMENTS


Mediating Freedom:
From Human Rights to Contemporary Art

Instructors: Victoria Ivanova
Program: Art & Curatorial Practice
Credit(s): 1
Date: TBA
Time: TBA

DESCRIPTION
Both human rights and contemporary art may be approached as regimes of mediation inscribed into larger projects of global ordering. From producing archetypes of universal subjecthood to organising how agency, ethics and reality are conceived, these two regimes have historically functioned as image-makers for different strands of the global liberal project.

The seminar will explore various sides of the argument that contemporary art has effectively stepped into the shoes of the human rights project as a system more attuned to the needs of neoliberal deterritorialisation than its self-declared mission. How does the concept of an individuating subject become activated in the two regimes of Contemporary art and human rights? How do human rights and contemporary art deal with political and aesthetic change and to what ends? What are the limitations of these two regimes’ mediating powers and are they relevant in dealing with the issues that face the world and humanity today?

We will use texts, films, artworks, specific case-studies and a presentation by guest speakers as the basis for class discussion. For the final session, students will be asked to respond to the main arguments of the seminar by producing either a paper, a presentation or any other form of digital content that can be shared with the seminar participants.

REQUIREMENTS


The Limits of 21st Century Capitalism

Instructors: Nick Srnicek
Program: Social & Political Thought
Credit(s): 1
Date: Tuesdays, July 5 – 26
Time: 12:00–2:30pm EST

DESCRIPTION
At the end of the 20th century, capitalism appeared stronger than ever before. The alternative economic systems had disappeared, inflation had become manageable, and the threat of major crises receded from the core capitalist countries. Proponents declared that we had reached 'the end of history', while economists assured themselves that their expertise led to a 'great moderation' that had overcome the business cycle. The fall from grace of the new economy in the early 2000s led to minor concerns, but economists and politicians were still confident in the security and success of global capitalism.

The 2008 crisis changed all this. Even as neoliberalism continued apace, economists suddenly became aware that something was amiss. Subsequently, the mainstream of the profession has become vocally concerned over the long-term problems facing capitalism. Larry Summers (ROLE PAST PRESENT) speaks of a ‘secular stagnation’, Joseph Stiglitz (ROLE PAST PRESENT) identifies the current moment as a ‘great malaise’, while economists like Robert Gordon and Tyler Cowen warn that the glory days of American growth are over. This is paralleled by the long-standing criticisms coming from the usual places – Marxists emphasising the decline in the rate of profit, or the expanding surplus population, while post-Keynesians warn of financial instability. All is not well.

REQUIREMENTS
This course will examine the long-term trends of contemporary capitalism – what it will undergo in the next few decades – and examines the major problems of global capitalism today. It will try to answer the question, what is the long-term outlook for capitalism?


Falling Down a Wormy Rabbit-hole:
Conceptions of Time via Smolin, Metzinger, Barbour, & Unger

Instructors: Diann Bauer
Program: Art & Curatorial Practice
Credit(s): 1
Module: 1
Date: TBA
Time: TBA

DESCRIPTION
In this seminar, participants will examine the claim ‘time is real’, made by physicist Lee Smolin. They will look at how this intuitively true and straightforward statement, once set against the conceptions of time which have gone through many loops in the 20th century, is actually a radical one that allows for novelty and invention.

The seminar will also explore the contrary position of physicist Julian Barbour, who argues that the apparent passage of time is an illusion. The class will spend a week on Thomas Metzinger asking the question: who or what is the “self” that understands these conceptions of time external to the phenomenological experience of duration? The final week will focus on the collaborative work of Smolin and philosopher and politician Roberto Unger, revisiting the idea that time is real as well as their claim that there is only one universe at a time. An investigation of conflicting conceptions of temporality requires more time than these four session allow, therefore, this seminar is developed to function as a brief survey and an invitation to further research.

REQUIREMENTS
The seminar will be composed of four two and a half hour sessions, each commencing with a brief introduction to the weeks reading followed by a group discussion covering the remaining time. Readings will be set for each week, and students will be expected to write 400 words on some aspect of the week’s topic in advance. This includes the first week. This will be posted to the google classroom page for everyone to read and comment on, providing some preliminary threads for the group discussion. The final assessment will consist of a 1500 word essay on a topic agreed upon with the instructor in advance.


Remediating Political Theory / Repoliticizing Media Theory

Instructor: Jason Adams & Tiziana Terranova
Program: Social & Political Thought
Credit(s): 2
Module: 2
Date: TBA
Time: TBA

DESCRIPTION
Within the academic context, political theory has generally been housed only in political science departments - or, in the form of political philosophy, within philosophy departments (traditional political science departments also sometimes retain the latter nomenclature). Media theory, on the other hand, has developed within a much wider array of academic frames: communication, english, and even art departments, or media studies, liberal studies, humanities, and transdisciplinary environments. And yet, political theory and media theory alike derive from comparable attempts to move beyond disciplinary methodologies and canons, so as to engage the always political question of mediation. Whether expressed in the form of modes of governance, modes of production, perception, communication, or representation, each of these modes mediate the manner in which people are enabled to, or disabled from, interfacing with the world.

This seminar concerns the divergent geneses of the fields of political theory and media theory, as well as the tensions that have occasionally emerged between the two as a result, particularly in recent years. While media theorists read political theorists, political theorists rarely read media theorists. The outcome of this asymmetrical relationship is that the mediating conditions of possibility for contemporary modes of governance and modes of production remain little-understood by political theorists. Conversely, those media theorists who are not interested in political theory not only ignore the political conditions of possibility that privilege some modes of perception and communication over others, but also circumvent potential resonances between the two fields.

REQUIREMENTS
The seminar seeks to address this impasse, identifying particular threads of political theory that engage media theory and particular threads of media theory that engage political theory. At the same time, it seeks to survey the prevailing approaches to interdisciplinarity, indisciplinarity, and transdisciplinarity, addressing the question of how critical engagement alongside, within, and between them might be more effectively transversalized. The seminar’s objective will not be the celebration of one point of departure in opposition to another point of arrival, but the engagement with moments of resonance between multiple, differently-situated, yet overlapping fields of research & practice.


PAST SEMINARS

 

New Rationalism:
The Shape of Systems to Come | Reason & Time

Instructor: Reza Negerastani Module: 1&2 Date & Time: Sunday: January 11th, 18th, 25, February 1, 15, 21, 22- March 1st 11:30 AM - 2 PM EST



#Accelerate I:
The Accelerationist Reader

Instructor: Mohammad Salemy & Jason Adams Guests: Diann Bauer, Benjamin Noys, Nick Srnicek, & Ross Wolfe Credit: Module: 1 of 2 Date & Time: September & October 2014



Curatorial Practice II:
Curating the Future

Instructor: Mohammad Salemy Module: 2 of 3 Date & Time: Dec 20, & January 9, 16, 30 12:00 - 2:20



Building the Commune:
Insurgent Government, Communal State

Instructor: George Ciccariello-Maher Date & Time: Tuesdays: January 13th - February 3rd 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM EST



Emergency Government:
The Political Theory of Decisionism

Instructor: Jason Adams Guests: Bruce de'Medici, Jasbir Puar, & Jerome Roos Credit: Module: 1 of 1 Date & Time: October 2014



Philosophy and Mathematics I:
Consequences of Diagonalization

Instructor: John Bova Date & Time: Thursdays February 5th, 12th, 19th and Friday February 27th 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM EST



Reintroduction to Metaphysics I:
The Speculative Return

Instructor: Peter Wolfendale Module: 1 of 2 Date & Time: October 2014



Anthropol:
The Future of Human Insecurity

Instructor: Nick Land Module: 1 & 2 Date & Time: Sundays: October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th & November 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST



The Anarchy of Objects I:
Objects and Regimes of Attraction

Instructor: Levi Bryant Module: 1 of 2 Date & Time: October & November 2014



Global Politics of the Anthropocene

Instructor: Carlos Amador Date & Time: Mondays: Feb 9th - Mar 2nd 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM EST



Artifice & Alienation:
SF Cinema as Critical Political Thought

Instructor: Jason Adams Module: 1 of 1 Date & Time: Fridays: October 16, 23, 30, & November 6 6:00 - 8:30 PM EST



Entangled Legacies:
Institutional Collections and Curatorial-Editorial Agency

Instructor: Anna-Sophie Springer Module: 1 of 1 Date & Time: Mondays: November 16th & 23rd and December 14th & 21st 4:00 - 6:30 PM EST



Capital as Computation & Cognition:
From Babbage’s Factory to Google’s Algorithmic Governance

Instructor: Matteo Pasquinelli Date & Time: Tuesdays: March 3rd - 24th 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST



Curatorial Practice I:
Here & Now

Instructor: Mohammad Salemy Guests: Julieta Aranda, Suhail Malik, Martha Schwendener, & Charles Stankievich Credit: Module: 1 of 2 Date & Time: October and November 2014



Grothendieck & A Theory of Contemporary Transgression

Instructor: Fernando Zalamea Guests: Robin Mackay, Reza Negarestani, Christopher Vitale, Lucca Fraser, Knebel, Guerino Mazzola, & Giraud Credit: Date & Time: October 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, & 24th 6:30 - 8:30 PM EST (except the 24th: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM EST)

Professor Zalamea‘s lectures will introduce the groundbreaking work of twentieth century French mathematician Alexander Grothendieck in relation to the work of C.S. Peirce, Novalis, P. Valéry, theories of topoi and sheaves, networks, art, and music, towards a generalized theory of transgression for mathematics, philosophy, and contemporary culture in our transmodern world.

*In Conjunction with the Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute, at Pratt Manhattan Campus, The New Centre for Research & Practice will be live-streaming the lectures.


Reintroduction to Metaphysics II:
Method & Practice

Instructor: Pete Wolfendale Module: 2 of 2 Date & Time: Thursdays: March 12th - April 2nd 10:00 AM - 12:30PM EST; 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM GMT



Hyperstition & The New Weird I:
Entities and Worlds/Genres and Climates

Instructor: Ben Woodard and Tony Yanick Guests: Lendl Barcelos, Amy Ireland, Nicola Maciandaro, & Jeff Vandermeer Credit: Module: 1 of 2 Date & Time: November & December 2014



Bitcoin and Philosophy

Instructor: Nick Land Module: 1 & 2 Date & Time: Sundays: March 22nd - May 5th 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST; 11:00 PM - 1:30 AM UTC+8



Towards Xenofeminism:
Gender, Technology, and Reason in the 21st Century

Instructor: Laboria Cuboniks Guests: Virginia Barratt, Patricia Reed, & Ben Woodard Credit: 1 Module: 1 Date & Time: Fridays: November 21st & 28th; December 5th & 12 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST; 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM AST; 11:00 PM - 1:30 AM GMT; 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM GMT+10



The Horror of Security:
Contemporary Geopolitics in a Permanent Beta Phase

Instructor: Jairus Victor Grove Module: 1 of 1 Date & Time: Wednesdays: November 4, 11, 18, 25 6:00 - 8:30 PM EST

DESCRIPTION
Contemporary geopolitics as curated by the United States is in a permanent beta phase. Neuro-torture, algorithmic warfare, drones strikes, cybernetic nation-building are not means or ends but tests. Can a polis be engineered? Can the human operating system be reformatted? Can violence be modulated until legally invisible while all the more lethal? Each incursion, each new actor or actant, new terrains from brains to transatlantic cables, all find themselves part of a grand experiment. Over the course of this seminar we will explore how classically Realist concepts of order and national interest have been subtly displaced by subterranean violence entrepreneurs that populate the transversal battlefield of security politics. Doomsayers like Paul Virilio, Lewis Mumford, and Martin Heidegger who foretold a kind of terminal and self-annihilating velocity of security's technological saturation are today being shown to have been optimists. Security doesn’t know totality or finality: it bleeds, mutates, and reforms.


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