March 20 // Conference
March 21 // Conference
March 22 // Friday Night
Attendance // Ticket information
Preliminary programme
Reading Group

Soft Focus for Breathing Machines

Soft Focus for Breathing Machines, reading group moderated by Jay Tan

Rietveld/Sandberg Library, 17:00-18:30 (Please register beforehand)

Me and my closest far away friend were messaging about who sees who. We wonder about witch-hunty-ness; cutting to expose, separate and name the non-conforming. Hoist it up above the surface into known form. Let’s see everything clearly. The ciliary muscles contract and the lens fattens. And what about those who 'turn a blind eye', or 'look through their fingers'? Things could happen so long as we don’t articulate too much in the open, don’t pull focus. Here things are underneath, still violent but maybe brooding with possibility.

I had a moment at the weekend where I consciously gave up on the muscles in my eyes. I was too tired to focus. My body said let go of all this identifying of forms and outlines. I came home and listened to blurry videos of eye surgery. Video. Eyes. Surgery. All technologies? All tissues? I wonder about the divide/relation between apparatuses and substances. The blade/the lens. That which forms, that which is formed. pre-formed, per-formed. I wonder about the surgery before European doctors sensationalised their 'repairing of the defects of nature' into theatre.

Bhanu Kapil helps by proposing performance as a diasporic technology. We move. Relations shift.  Yuk Hui opens the door to the (mostly) boys club. Come and see… Bergson is worried about the Mechanisation of Spirit, Lyotard is making destabilising shows full of computers in darkened rooms. Are we hypnotised by the 'the immaterials'? How did art fair in all of this? Who relates to landscape painting as technology?

How, and when, to focus my body as a lens? Maybe more than the visible light spectrum can be focused? Maybe more is held than seen?

Session 1:

Juliana Huxtable + Lynn Hershman Leeson Art Forum interview  interview

Roberta Breitmore, a comic by Lynn Hershman Leeson and Spain Rodriguez, 1975

Breathing Machines + other artwork by Lynn Hershman Leeson

What is an Apparatus? Giorgio Agamben

 Session 2

Glitch Feminism by Legacy Russel

Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan Extracts including the bit where the female protagonist slides her consciousness into a mega robot and kills some nasty men ...

+Maybe an article about Worldcoin's Orb eye scanner....?

 Session 3:

Art and Cosmotechnics by Yuk Hui (landscape, the Dao, ontology and technology)

Towards a Relational Materialism: A Reflection on Language, Relations and the Digital by Yuk Hui

Les Immatériaux: A Conversation with Jean-François Lyotard and Bernard Blistène intro by Tara McDowell

 Session 4:

The Sparkly Blog of Bhanu Kapil,

I love Bhanu Kapil’s blog. It serves as notebook, archive of the fragmentary, and gives me good feelings about what a public diary/public portrait that resists the traps of social media could be. 

Mixed Blood a Talk by Bhanu Kapil,

 Session 5: Special guest host: S*an D. Henry-Smith

 Session 6:

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – Spoiler warning: Hoa's backstory describing future-past biotech-magic over-extraction fable and maybe other extracts from The Broken Earth Trilogy.

Jay Tan is an artist and educator who grew up watching a lot of TV in South London. They completed their MFA at the Piet Zwart Institute in 2010 and were a 2014/15 resident at the Rijksakademie. Based in Rotterdam, they make decorative sculptural and video installations heavy in domestic mechanics. This might mean dressing up model racing cars or bejewelling cavities. They teach in the Rietveld Academie Fine Arts Dept and the Masters of Artistic Research at KABK. They have shown work at the CACC Paris, Ujazdowski Castle, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Ellen de Bruijne projects and Gallerie van Gelder, Amsterdam, Futura, Prague, Kunstverein, Amsterdam, Vleeshal, Middleburg, the CAC, Vilnius, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Hollybush Gardens London, Tent and Kunstinstituut Melly (Formerly Witte de With), Rotterdam and RongWrong, Amsterdam.

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