Screens and Screams, The Wild and the Weird

BG1 Turfdraagsterpad 9, room 0016 |  8 February, 3-6 pm.

Special ‘hors serie’ Seminar of the Film-Philosophy and Cross-Media Seminar on Media Ecologies, Ethics and Affect. Organized in collaboration with MIT, convened by Eugenie Brinkema. With Nadine Boljkovac and Julius Greve.

Professors Nadine Boljkovac of Falmouth University and Julius Greve of University of Oldenburg will present paired lectures exploring questions of media ecology, ethics, affect, and temporality. Professor Boljkovac’s lecture, “Screens and Screams: Post-Cinematic (Im)Materialities and Perception,” asks: In our perilous time of ‘post-truth,’ how are we to perceive of the cinema’s future? With respect to the cinema’s propensity to directly reveal time and its contact with the objects and subjects it exposes, via works including Michael Haneke’s Amour (2012), this talk contemplates how the medium might continue to expose ourselves to ourselves in ethical and affective modalities. Professor Greve’s lecture, “The Weird and the Wild: Media Ecologies of the Outré-Normative,” traces the conceptual affinities that the genre conception of “the weird” entertains in regard to earlier traditions, genres, and discourses in American literature and culture—chief of all, “the wild.” Examining the works of a diverse group of writers, theorists, and filmmakers, including Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Ligotti, H. P. Lovecraft and Wu Tsang, Greve will delineate the media-ecological and ethico-aesthetic conditions of the meeting between the weird and the wild in American artistic practices. These lectures are relevant for scholars working in film and media studies, cultural analysis, American studies, literary studies, gender studies, philosophy, and critical theory.

Nadine Boljkovac (PhD, Cambridge 2010) is Senior Lecturer in Film at Falmouth University. Her monograph examining affect and ethics via Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, Untimely Affects: Gilles Deleuze and an Ethics of Cinema (Edinburgh University Press 2013), was reissued in paperback in 2015. A second monograph in progress, Beyond Herself: Feminist (Auto)Portraiture and the Moving Image, assesses works by international filmmakers and media artists. Most recent peer-reviewed works appear in‘Materialising Absence in Film and Media,’ a Special Dossier (ed.s Saige Walton and Nadine Boljkovac) for Screening the Past: A Peer-Reviewed Journal of Screen History, Theory & Criticism (2018); The Anthem Handbook of Screen Theory (2018, ed.s Hunter Vaughan and Tom Conley); and On Style: Transdisciplinary Articulations (2018, ed. Björn Sonnenberg-Schrank).

Julius Greve is a lecturer and research associate at the Institute for English and American Studies, University of Oldenburg, Germany. He is the author ofShreds of Matter: Cormac McCarthy and the Concept of Nature (Dartmouth College Press, 2018), and of numerous articles on McCarthy, Mark Z. Danielewski, critical theory, and speculative realism. Greve has co-editedAmerica and the Musical Unconscious (Atropos, 2015), Superpositions: Laruelle and the Humanities (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2017), and “Cormac McCarthy Between Worlds” (2017), a special issue of EJAS:European Journal of American Studies.

Chinatown Invisible: Hybrid-Mapping and Making-Do

8 February, 3-5 pm. Room 1.01A, University Theatre (Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18)

Lecture by Liska Chan (University of Oregon) in ASCA Cities Seminar on Repairing Infrastructures

As a part of a larger conversation about landscape representation, this talk introduces and analyzes the hybrid-mapping I conducted in a creative research project about Manhattan’s Chinatown, entitled Chinatown Invisible. Hybrid-mapping is a type of image-making I have developed to interrogate the combined socio-cultural and biophysical legacies of a constantly changing landscape and expressly to facilitate a focused interpretation of the everyday lives of urban dwellers. In Chinatown Invisible I begin to interrogate a quotidian practice I call ‘making-do’, which I define as the act of using ordinary, readily available, and inexpensive materials to repair or adapt existing physical structures to suit the needs of immigrant occupants of urban neighborhoods. Capturing and understanding ‘making-do’, as I have defined it, is important because it is a practice that sheds light on the ways first-generation immigrant cultures informally claim space in new urban territories, and how those cultures shape the ongoing physical evolution of neighborhoods like Chinatown. At this time, when more people than ever are migrating, it is important to understand how immigrants shape their new landscapes, as well as how those landscapes shape immigrant cultures over time.

Liska Chan is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Design at the University of Oregon. Her creative work, scholarship, and teaching pursue three intertwined lines of practice and thinking. The first is landscape palimpsests and involves research into historical patterns of human settlement and infrastructure that have left both social and physical legacies in contemporary landscapes. The second is landscape perception and the deep influences common perceptions and ideals have on how we build places. The third is a pursuit of new mapping methods combining both measurable and indeterminate aspects of landscape. Her creative practice and teaching reference phenomenology, visual studies, and perception theory while being grounded in techniques of drawing, art, and spatial design.

Preparatory reading for the seminar:
– Bustamente, Cesar Torres, “Crisis in Landscape Representation.” Kerb Journal of Landscape Architecture 17.1 (2009): 53-60.
– Boym, Svetlana. “On diasporic intimacy: Ilya Kabakov’s installations and immigrant homes.” Critical Inquiry 24.2 (1998): 498-524.
The readings are available via: www.dropbox.com/sh/34j4t13xaed2gx3/AACr-Ky-lfc4M1eN_qBqiJZFa?dl=0

Please also note that the talk by Asher Boersma (University of Siegen), “The Challenge of Scaling: How Infrastructure is Lived” will take place on Thurs. 14 March, 3-5pm, in room 1.05, P.C. Hoofthuis (Spuistraat 134), 3-5pm. Our full second semester programme can be found at www.cities.humanities.uva.nl, and for other upcoming events/announcements, see the list below.

Artistic Research: Sharing Methods and Practices with Rosanne Jonkhout and Clare Butcher

February 5 | 15:00-17:30 | Vox-Pop Creative Space

Rosanne Jonkhout

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Clare Butcher

The third meeting of the Artistic Research Research Group will take place February 5th from 15:00-17:30 at Vox-Pop Creative Space for the Humanities (Binnengasthuisstraat 9). During this meeting, Rosanne Jonkhout and Clare Butcher will both give a presentation on their research and practice. A short introduction and bio of the two presenters can be found in this invitation.

Rosanne Jonkhout

Rosanne’s practice centres around how a she might be part of dismantling coloniality when she is a product of it herself. Can a white person contribute to decoloniality without further obscurification and persistent misconceptions? Her research led to identifying the ways in which her own discipline, the European contemporary art-world, is entangled with coloniality and whiteness. In her presentation for ARRG Rosanne will share her research and her findings with the participants of ARRG. How can a decolonial, white contemporary artistic practice be sustainable?

Rosanne Jonkhout graduated studying Fine Art at ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Arnhem in 2016 and finished the research master Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam last summer. Besides publishing texts and exhibiting work as part of her own practice and a collective, she currently works for the research department at Rietveld Academie and as artist assistant. Together with Nagaré Willemsen, Rosanne founded the collective ‘Rosanne & Nagaré’. This collective employs diverse media, ranging from performances to workshops, that centre vulnerability. In these installations, they create new realities that reconsider our daily life and hereby approach the conversation about decoloniality in a different way.

Clare Butcher: Grafting the Anarchive

How can anarchival approaches to the Johannesburg Biennale generate a methodology for decolonizing exhibition histories? 

The Johannesburg Biennale grafted itself into the last moments of apartheid South Africa’s cultural isolation in 1995. After the country’s first democratic elections its internal political turmoil was dialed to the max. And together with the gradual incorporating of the Global South into an emerging brave new “art world”, the Johannesburg Biennale’s brief existence stands as an interrupted testament of its time: a faded facsimile, a scattered un-archive. Having collapsed in 1997 in the face of compacted issues around its second edition, the full story of the biennial’s rise and fall has not yet been comprehensively narrated – even twenty years after its closure. And while comprehensive narration is not the aim of this research, there is indeed an art historical imperative to collate an account of Africa’s largest showing of international contemporary art to that date. But how that record is collated is also a matter of concern. Which sources of knowledge inform an archive that is as yet suspended, waiting to be shaped? How to even speak of producing exhibitions, Knowledge (capital K) and archives when these colonial constructs are themselves in an urgent process of disassembling and reimagining?

In the spirit of the “anarchive” – as conceived of by Erin Manning and the Senselab – this research particularly focuses on the second edition of the biennale – Trade Routes: History and Geography curated by Okwui Enwezor – which opened the same week as the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in South Africa; was the larger of the two biennale editions; more international in scope; and closed its doors early due to budget cuts. With these confluences in mind, the research draws on the importance of collective and personal accounts, as well as the significance of anecdotes, ephemera and idiosyncratic materials in constructing an unfaithful history of the event. Three bodies of personal collected materials – that of an artist in the exhibition, the only local member of the curatorial team, and the head of the African Institute for Contemporary Art (biennial foundation) – will offer a triangulated set of perspectives that begin to trace and trade the routes of the political, aesthetic, infrastructural making and breaking of the biennial. Through a collaborative process generated around these materials, shaped in conversation with other voices and bodies, I hope to develop an anarchival methodology which speaks to questions of the entanglements within and around such cultural encounters with notions of memory (re)construction and possible erasures of the past within post-colonial, post-apartheid art history. Could an embodied, multi-valent grafting together of other voices and accidental documents not yet claimed by any “official” archive inform a framework for decolonizing (and perhaps redeeming) the study of exhibitions?

Clare Butcher is an art educator from Zimbabwe, who cooks as part of her practice. She is coordinator of unsettling Rietveld Sandberg and teaches in both academies. She was aneducation Coordinator for documenta 14 and has taught at KABK in the Hague, the Piet Zwart Institute’s Master of Education in Art, and the University of Cape Town. Her own formal education includes an MFA from the School of Missing Studies, an MA in Curating the Archive from the University of Cape Town, and partici­pation in the De Appel Curatorial Program. Some collaborative and individual endeavours include Men Are Easier to Manage Than Rivers (2015); The Principles of Packing… on two travelling exhibitions (2012) and If A Tree… on the Second Johannesburg Biennale (2012).

This link will lead you to the shared ARRG file, here you can find the extra materials for past and upcoming meetings.

Sound, Ontology, and Race: Which way does the turn go? 

Sound, Ontology, and Race: Which way does the turn go? 

NICA Masterclass with Dr. Alejandra Bronfman (University at Albany, SUNY)

Date: Tuesday 11 December, 15:00-17:00
Location: Potgieterzaal, University Library (UB), Singel 425, Amsterdam
Registration: nica-fgw@uva.nl 
C
ontact: C.J.Birdsall@uva.nl

During this masterclass we will work through a recent debate on the meaning of the recent ontological turn in Sound Studies, and in particular its relationship to race, politics and history. In turn, authors Marie Thompson, Annie Goh and Christoph Cox puzzle through what it means to bring materialism to bear on sound and listening. Is this problematic to considerations of sonic alterity and the politics of knowledge production? What are the productive critiques and fruitful considerations to bear in mind as we develop our own research projects? This workshop will invite participants to critically engage with these texts and think through the implications for imagining their own research directions. 

Reading preparation

– Thompson, Marie. “Whiteness and the Ontological Turn in Sound Studies.” Parallax 23.3 (2017): 266-282.

– Goh, Annie. “Sounding Situated Knowledges: Echo in Archaeoacoustics.” Parallax 23.3 (2017): 283-304.

– Cox, Christoph. “Sonic Realism and Auditory Culture: A Reply to Marie Thompson and Annie Goh.” Parallax 24.2 (2018): 234-242.

Dr. Alejandra Bronfman is Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY. Her recent book, Isles of Noise: Sonic Media in the Caribbean (University of North Carolina Press, 2016), considers the politics and poetics of sound and broadcasting in Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti in the early 20th century. Future and past research interests include histories of race, the production of knowledge, and the materiality of media, its archives and infrastructures. Currently she is developing a project on sound, toxicity and environment in Vieques, Puerto Rico during the military occupation of the island. Another project decenters Cold War histories with a focus on Cuba-Haiti clandestine broadcasting in the early 1960s. 

 

 

Listening to Racism in the United State, or Why Sound Matters

Public lecture by Dr. Jennifer Lynn Stoever (Binghamton University, SUNY)

Date: Tuesday 11 December, 9:00-11:00
Location: Doelenzaal, University Library (UB), Singel 425, Amsterdam
Contact: C.J.Birdsall@uva.nl (no registration necessary for this lecture)

We talk too often about race and racism as if they are solely visual concepts. Jennifer Stoever’s lecture will unsettle the assumed relationship between race and looking by introducing the concept of the sonic color line and exploring the often undetected ways in which sound and listening have also functioned to produce and enforce racial hierarchies throughout U.S. history and in our present moment. Stoever will also discuss how the sonic color line has shaped sound media such as the radio, and how sound media, in turn, have disciplined us to hear race.  With examples ranging from nineteenth century American pop opera stars to cold war radio to #blacklivesmatter, this lecture explores how sound and listening not only register the racial politics of our world, but actively produce them. Stoever argues that sound matters in our everyday lives and that we can work to shift our historically and culturally conditioned listening practices toward a more equitable world.  

Dr. Jennifer Lynn Stoever is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sounding Out!. She is currently Associate Professor of English at Binghamton University, where she teaches courses on African American Literature, sound studies, and race and gender representation. She is the author of The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening (NYU Press, 2016).