The Poetics and Politics of Sharing

The Poetics and Politics of Sharing

Alok Vaid-Menon and Bini Adamczak in an Online Masterclass Tandem

14 May 2020, 1600 (CEST), Zoom

There are many aspects of sharing and ways in which we can share: Affect, stories, words can be shared; experience can be shared; instagram posts can be shared; property, power, labor can be shared. Sometimes, something supposedly shared is said to legitimize a community, sometimes sharing actually creates community. Sharing often has a ring of harmony to it. But sharing means always already to divide, and questions of sharing are questions of distribution.

This workshop is interested in the poetics and politics of sharing as community formation: both online and offline, and in terms of affective and linguistic, as well as political and economic sharing. Alongside questions of solidary community building beyond the one-for-all or once-and-for-all, the workshop poses questions of distribution of power and material elements: Who organizes the spaces in which communication takes place and communities form, where are the limits and preconditions for these spaces, and how does this relate to physical labor, the labor of birthing, and carework?  

Alok Vaid-Menon will focus on racialized transmisogyny, and notions of community and interdependence in the digital era. Both touch upon notions of the “real”: What is real womanhood, what is real community, what is real connection? How can transfeminist theory and poetics help us navigate this profound time of alienation?

With Bini Adamczak we will discuss the political potential of ways of relating: friendship, solidarity, political desire, sexual economy, and other aspects of economy. What can a queer-theoretical re-examination of critical theory tell us about the systematic and affective roots of the terror of ‘real existing communisms’, as well as about the limits of 1968’s and postmodernist feminisms and emancipatory movements?

Each of the sessions will have a text as a basis for a loose discussion to start out. The workshop will conclude with a joint conversation between Alok, Bini, and the participants. 

Due to the online format, participation is limited. To register and receive the reading material, please send an email to Alex Thinius ( or Divya Nadkarni ( before 1 May 2020. Please include in your email about one or two lines on (1) your affiliation (if any), and (2) why you’re interested in joining the workshop. An email with confirmation and materials will be sent out by 4th May.

Alok Vaid Menon

ALOK (they/them) is an internationally-acclaimed non- binary performance artist, public speaker, advocate, and educator. Using poetry, comedy, lecture, and design — their (trans)disciplinary work traverses themes of gender, race, mental health, and fashion. ALOK appeared on HBO’s “The Trans List” and “Random Acts of Flyness.” They are the author of the poetry book Femme in Public, a meditation on anti-trans harassment, and Beyond the Gender Binary, a clarion call for a new approach to gender in the 21st century. In 2019 ALOK was honored as one of NBC’s 30 LGBTQ changemakers and one of Out Magazine’s Out100.

You can find recordings of their recent talks and performances at

Bini Adamczak

Bini Adamczak (she/her) is a Berlin-based social theorist and artist. She writes on political theory, queer politics, and the past future of revolutions.

Bini Adamczak works (preferably not too much) as an author, performer and visual artist. Her books include Communism for Kids (English translation by MIT Press 2017), Beziehungsweise Revolution (Suhrkamp 2017), Yesterday’s Tomorrow (English translation MIT Press, Forthcoming 2021). See her wikipedia entry for more of her work. You can find her on Facebook and twitter.


Bini’s pic is by Kornelia Kugler
Alok’s pic is by Eivind Hansen

Cancelled: Skin and Fuel

Public Talk and Masterclass by Andreas Malm organized by the ASCA New Political Ecologies Seminar/ Joost de Bloois and Jeff DiamantiPublic Talk and Masterclass by Andreas Malm

Andreas Malm is currently a research fellow at Critical Theory in Berlin, based at the Humanities and Social Change Center, Humboldt University. In 2020, Verso will publish his How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire, and White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism, written together with the Zetkin Collective.

Public Talk: ‘Skin and Fuel: Two Episodes in the History of Fossilised Whiteness’

March 12th 17:00-19:00 | Doelenzaal in the University of Amsterdam library | Kloveniersburgwal 87

From Sweden to Spain, Poland to the US, Germany to Brazil, recent years have witnessed a surging far right at just the moment of intensifying climate breakdown. This far right tends to deny the existence of any climate crisis and insist on maximum production and consumption of fossil fuels and other climate-destroying resources. At the same time, it positions itself as the defender of a racially defined nation – to all intents and purposes, the white nation. What are the historical sources of this configuration? Based on the book White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism, written by the Zetkin Collective and forthcoming from Verso in 2020, this lecture will hone in on two episodes in the history of fossilised whiteness: first, the imperial use of steam-power and its place in nineteenth-century racism; second, the articulation of race in the automobile in twentieth-century US and early twenty-first century Europe. The history of the links between whiteness and fossil fuels remains to be explored in depth. But scratching the surface of these two episodes suggests that the ongoing surge of an anti-climate, pro-fossil-fuel far right is bringing deep historical forces to the fore. The talk will also speculate on various possible scenarios of far-right politics in a rapidly warming world.

Masterclass: White Skin, Black Fuel

March 12th, 10-12:00 | VOC-Zaal, Bushuis (Kloveniersburgwal 48)

PhD and Masters students are invited to a two-hour masterclass on Malm’s forthcoming book, White Skin, Black Fuel: On The Danger of Fossil Fascism (co-written with the Zetkin Collective). Readings available upon request.

Co-hosted by Spui25, the ASCA Political Ecologies Seminar, and the Environmental Humanities Centre (Vrije University)

Art of Listening to Matter: Co-creation with Artificial Intelligence

The third meeting of the Artistic Research Research Group will take place on Friday February 14th, 2020 from 13:00-16:00 at Theorie Trap, Fed Lev, Rietveld (Roeskestraat 96). This meeting is hosted by ARIAS (Amsterdam Research Institute for Arts and Sciences) and will consist of presentations contemplating AI’s existence in a research context, and defining that relationship.

A document with information for the session, including abstracts and biographies of the presenters, can be found in the accompanying PDF file.

This link will lead you to the shared ARRG file, where you can find the texts to be read.


Take that moment. Imagine you could carry, single handedly, all the particles of information that existed within the circumference of the earth within your brain. It feels somewhat impossible. Impossible to grasp such a grandiose amount of data flowing and ebbing, dynamic as the cloud(s). The predictions of Moravec and others on this ‘singularity’ often express concern, if such an entity were to be able to process such volumes, varieties, velocities, and veracities of data, in that such an entity might have a superintelligence beyond human comprehension. Tropes such as this attach little importance, however, to the difference between biology and computation. As Katherine Hayles puts it “responsible theorizing about [artificial intelligence] requires close attention to the materiality of bodies and computational media, a clear understanding of the recursive feedback loops cycling between them, and contextualizations of bodies and machines that reveal how meaning is created through the cascading processes that interpret information.” (p. 155, Cybernetics)
With the purpose to explore such contexts, this edition of In the Art of Listening to Matter: Co-creation with Artificial Intelligence, focuses on the meaning making for how researchers listen to artificial intelligence within their research contexts and practices. +-10 speakers each give 5 min presentations to contemplate: how does ai exist within their research context? and, how do they define their relationship with the ai in these contexts? This session is contribution led, and it is therefore necessary (and nice) that all those attending share thoughts, knowledge, and questions with the group to help form a collective wisdom.
This session will be voice recorded for ARIAS archival purposes. In the case you would like to remain anonymous please get into contact with [katie.clarke [at]] to discuss the possibilities of use.

Critical Issues in the Cultural Industries

Critical Issues in the Cultural Industries

9 EC Course at the VU offered by Ginette Verstraete

Along with the increasing mobility of goods, money, and people and the interconnectedness of cultures through digital media – known as globalization – issues of space and place have been back on the agenda in various disciplines and cultural practices. As if the so-called placelessness that comes with globalization has called forth a renewed attention to what gets lost. This does not mean that place and space in those discussions and practices simply refer back to rootedness, as opposed to movement. Rather, spatiality often gets redefined in relation to the physical and virtual mobilities through which it is reshaped. Interestingly, addressing such new questions about space & place in the arts, design and media also has far-reaching effects for ourselves since it enables us to take the objects of our research beyond their presumed autonomy – beyond the screen or frame so to speak – and into the streets.

Registration before 29 January 12:00 hrs. by sending a message to Please mention your affiliation.


Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene

Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene

ASCA Political Ecologies Workshop announces: Masterclass and Public Lecture with Dr. Cymene Howe (Rice University). Masterclass: Friday, March 6th @ 10:00-12:00 (Location TBA)

For the masterclass, Dr. Howe will discuss political ecologies in conversation with her recent book, Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene (Duke UP). Students can access the book as open access (PDF download) here:

Participants should read 1) the introduction, 2) the chapter on “wind,” and 3) Cristián Simonetti and Tim Ingold’s “Ice and Concrete: Solid Fluids of Environmental Change,” Journal of Contemporary Anthropology 5.1 (2018).

All interested in participating should email ASCA Political Ecologies Workshop organizers in advance:

Jeff Diamanti, Joost de Bloois: