14.6.2022, Tuesday 18:00 Uhr
Wartenau Assembly #11 freethought: Spectral Infrastructure
- Aula, HFBK Hamburg
Presentations by Irit Rogoff, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Massimiliano Mollona, Louis Moreno, and Nora Sternfeld. Opening words by Wietske Maas (BAK, Utrecht).
Conventionally understood as the operative substrate of contemporary global life, the term »infrastructure« invokes systems such as physical networks for transportation and communication, the organization of waste and utilities, resource flows, digital management, and capital movements. Moving away from these material associations, freethought develops the notion of »spectral infrastructure« toward the ghostly, affective, and fugitive intensities that undergird both infrastructural and quotidian life.
The research conjures the invisible, inaudible, and illegible through textures, rhythms, atmospheres, invocations, gestures, vernaculars, and affects—elements that escape traditional forms of tracking or measurement, calling instead for experimental forms of mapping, sensing, and tracing.
freethought is a collective working in public research and in curating concepts of urgency.
Irit Rogoff, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Massimiliano Mollona, Louis Moreno, and Nora Sternfeld formed freethought in 2011. Traversing disciplines, blending influences, and borrowing forms, freethought experiments with new combinations of criticism and practice in the arts.
»Spectral Infrastucture« is a Public Editorial Meeting convened by freethought and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in collaboration with art education, HFBK Hamburg.
Irit Rogoff is a writer, teacher, curator, and organizer working at the intersection of contemporary art, critical theory, and emergent political manifestations. She is a professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, London, where she heads the PhD in Adsvanced Practices program and teaches courses o 'worldmaking'. Her current work focuses on new practices of knowledge production and their impacts on modes of research, under the title 'Becoming Research' - The Way We Work Now (MIT 2023). As part of the collective freethought, Rogoff was one of the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly, Bergen, 2016. In addition to contributing to numerous anthologies and catalogs, her publications include: Terra Infirma: Geography’s Visual Culture (2000). Looking Away—Participating Singularities, Ontological Communities (2013); Visual Cultures as Seriousness (with Gavin Butt, 2013); Unbounded—Limits’ Possibilities (2012); "Scaling Up" (Hangar, Lisbon 2021) and She has also published in periodicals such as Art Journal, Open, e-flux journal, and Third Text. Rogoff lives and works in London.
Stefano Harney is Professor of Transversal Aesthetics at Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln / Academy of Media Arts Cologne. He is also Honorary Professor in the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. He was Hayden Fellow and Visiting Critic at Yale University Art School in 2019-2020. He is a member of the Global Inquiries and Social Theory Research Group, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is author with Fred Moten of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013) and All Incomplete (2020), both published by Minor Compositions/Autonomedia. He has taught widely in Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe. He works in a number of collectives including freethought, Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective, School for Study, Ground Provisions, and Anti-Colonial Machine. With Tonika Sealy Thompson he runs the reading camp and study project Ground Provisions. He is part of the School for Study, a nomadic collective of university teachers whose exodus from the university marks the space and time to study.
Adrian Heathfield writes on, curates, and creates performance. He is the author of Out of Now (2008), a monograph on the artist Tehching Hsieh; editor of Ally (2017) and Live: Art and Performance (2004); co-editor of Perform, Repeat, Record (2012); and his essays have been translated into ten languages. He conducted the creative research project Curating the Ephemeral (2014–2016) on immaterial art and museal practices; co-directed Performance Matters (2009–2013) on the cultural value of performance; curated Doing Time, the Taiwan pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); was Co-Director with the freethought collective of the Bergen Assembly (2016); served as a curatorial adviser and attaché for the 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016); and co-curated Live Culture at Tate Modern, London (2003). He was President of Performance Studies International (2004–2007).
Massimiliano (Mao) Mollona is a writer, filmmaker, and anthropologist. He is associate professor at the Departmen of rhe Art (DAR) at the University of Bologna and Associate Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths University, London. He has a multidisciplinary background in economics and anthropology and his work focuses on the relationship between art and political economy. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Brazil, Italy, Norway, and the United Kingdom, mainly in economic and artistic institutions with a specific focus on work, class, and post-capitalist politics, and uses a methodology that combines pedagogy, artistic prefiguration, and activism. He is a member of the collective freethought and a co-founder and President of the Institute of Radical Imagination (IRI), which is a collective of activists, artists, and curators who aim to imagine and implement post-capitalist forms of art and life. He was Director of the Athens Biennale, Athens, 2015–2017, and with freethought Co-Director of the Bergen Assembly, 2016. Mollona lives and works in Bologna.
Louis Moreno’s research explores the spatial, historical and cultural modes of financial capitalism with a particular focus on architecture, urbanism and music. Louis is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures and the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, London. Louis is a member of the collectives freethought, Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective and Unspecified Enemies.
Nora Sternfeld is an art educator and curator. She is professor of art education at the HFBK Hamburg. From 2018 to 2020 she was documenta professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. From 2012 to 2018 she was Professor of Curating and Mediating Art at Aalto University in Helsinki. In addition, she is co-director of the /ecm - Master Program for Exhibition Theory and Practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, in the core team of schnittpunkt. austellungstheorie & praxis, co-founder and part of trafo.K, Office for Art, Education, and Critical Knowledge Production (Vienna). She publishes on contemporary art, educational theory, exhibitions, politics of history and anti-racism.