The Daydreamer

Seminar 4: The Daydreamer

Tuesday, December 12 / 15:30 – 18:30

Knut Knaus Auditorium

What particular languages and narratives does artistic practice incite or provoke? How might one speak of artistic works that are fundamentally at odds with conventions of discourse and description? Are there unique forms of knowledge generated by artistic research that require other ways of speaking? The seminar will focus on how the materials and processes of art making generate what we may call “poetic knowledge”. In contrast to discourses based on rational thought – a making sense – poetic knowledge will be considered as being aligned with the irrational and the unnamable, and which requires methods of confusion and unlearning when approaching language and articulation. Poetic knowledge, and the fevers of poetic discourses, will be explored as offering a critical interruption and imagination onto the structures of linguistic and social ordering through a radical position of Not Knowing.

For this fourth and final seminar we’ll concentrate on the figure of the Daydreamer. The act and experience of daydreaming will allow us to follow poetics into what Gaston Bachelard highlights as the “oneiric”: the phantasmic yet no less real shimmering of consciousness. Following Bachelard’s work, daydreaming will lead us into exploring the relation between poetics and love, reverie and childhood, human to nonhuman sharing, and further, into the productive “cosmos” opened up by the small nap that is daydreaming. In addition, the figure of the Daydreamer can be mobilized to query the social conditions of precarity, vulnerability and weakness, allowing us to ask: how might poetics be positioned as the basis for states of non-violent resistance? Can we understand the poetics of the imagination as a general framework for fostering what bell hooks calls a “loving community”? We’ll conclude the seminar by reflecting on a number of artists whose practices capture poetics as a labor of love and commingling, including Erdem Gündüz, Womanhouse, Alice Chauchat, Robert Filliou, Jonas Mekas, and Palle Nielsen.

Bibliography:

Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Reverie

Judith Butler, Precarious Life

Luce Irigaray, The Way of Love

Robert Filliou, The Principles of Poetic Economy

 

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The Fugitive

Seminar 3: The Fugitive
Wednesday, November 22 / 13:00 – 16:00
Knut Knaus Auditorium

What particular languages and narratives does artistic practice incite or provoke? How might one speak of artistic works that are fundamentally at odds with conventions of discourse and description? Are there unique forms of knowledge generated by artistic research that require other ways of speaking? The seminar will focus on how the materials and processes of art making generate what we may call “poetic knowledge”. In contrast to discourses based on rational thought – a making sense – poetic knowledge will be considered as being aligned with the irrational and the unnamable, and which requires methods of confusion and unlearning when approaching language and articulation. Poetic knowledge, and the fevers of poetic discourses, will be explored as offering a critical interruption and imagination onto the structures of linguistic and social ordering through a radical position of Not Knowing.

For this third seminar we will concentrate on the figure of the Fugitive. This will lead to questions of underground culture and secrecy, and how disappearance and hiding are often driven by the need or desire to run away. In this regard, the Fugitive crafts a range of methods, allowing us to delve deeper into what we can call “the art of escape.” While the Monster led us to questions of form and formlessness, the clean and the dirty, the Fugitive forces an encounter with absence and the negative: how fugitivity is always forming the basis for a poetics of invisibility and survival. We’ll follow these topics through a number of artists whose works search for ways to express absence, or perform forms of escape, including Lui Bolin, Bracha Ettinger, Bas Jan Ader, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Theaster Gates. Through their works we’ll deepen a view onto the poetics of the missing.

Bibliography:
Camiel van Winkel, The Regime of Visibility
Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation
Stefano Harvey and Fred Moten, Undercommons
Junichiro Tanazaki, In Praise of Shadows
Bracha Ettinger, Art as Compassion

The Monster

Seminar 2: The Monster

Tuesday, October 31 / 13:00 – 16:00

Knut Knaus Auditorium

What particular languages and narratives does artistic practice incite or provoke? How might one speak of artistic works that are fundamentally at odds with conventions of discourse and description? Are there unique forms of knowledge generated by artistic research that require other ways of speaking? The seminar will focus on how the materials and processes of art making generate what we may call “poetic knowledge”. In contrast to discourses based on rational thought – a making sense – poetic knowledge will be considered as being aligned with the irrational and the unnameable, and which requires methods of confusion and unlearning when approaching language and articulation. Poetic knowledge, and the fevers of poetic discourses, will be explored as offering a critical interruption and imagination onto the structures of linguistic and social ordering through a radical position of Not Knowing.

For this second seminar we will concentrate on the figure of the Monster, including questions of the grotesque and the nonhuman, states of abjectness and hybridity. The Monster will be explored as a poetical figure that relates us to experiences of horror, as well as practices of disfigurement and defacement, mutation and collage – the production of haunted form. While the Fool enabled a consideration of nonsense and stupidity as productive for poetic being, the Monster will steer us closer to questions of materiality and embodiment – or what Mikhail Bakhtin terms “the bodily lower stratum.” Within this lower region, we encounter the uncanny appearances of ghouls and goblins, demons and the demented, and more: one’s own fantasies, where reason and rationality are pulled closer to the unspeakable, or as Mary Douglas beautifully states, the “dirty” center that haunts the social order. Finally, we’ll consider a number of artists whose works show us the dynamics of monstrosity, including Mike Kelley, Thomas Hirschhorn, Marcel Dzama, Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman and Sandra Vasquez de la Horra. Through their works we’ll reflect upon the poetic potential of collage, the fragment, excess, fecal matter and dirty jokes.

Bibliography:

Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World

Julia Kristeva, The Powers of Horror

Jeffrey Cohen, Monster Theory

Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger

The Fool

Seminar 1: The Fool

Wednesday, September 20 / 13:00 – 17:00

Auditorium Knut Knaus

What particular languages and narratives does artistic practice incite or provoke? How might one speak of artistic works that are fundamentally at odds with conventions of discourse and description? Are there unique forms of knowledge generated by artistic research that require other ways of speaking? The seminar will focus on how the materials and processes of art making generate what we may call “poetic knowledge”. In contrast to discourses based on rational thought – a making sense – poetic knowledge will be considered as being aligned with the irrational and the unnameable, and which requires methods of confusion and unlearning when approaching language and articulation. Poetic knowledge, and the fevers of poetic discourses, will be explored as offering a critical interruption and imagination onto the structures of linguistic and social ordering through a radical position of Not Knowing.

For this first seminar we will concentrate on the figure of the Fool, the conditions of laughter, and states of stupidity. The Fool will be explored as a poetical figure that, through a range of practices, from clowning to delirious festivity, locates us on the edge of knowledge. As Georges Bataille suggests, laughter relates us explicitly to the unknown, interrupting knowledge, and the capacity of the Master, with its forceful vibration. We will follow the Fool into states of delirium and intoxication, considering a number of artists and creative expressions, including Joseph Beuys and gestures of the shaman, Hélène Cixous’ hysterical writings, and Charlie Chaplin and his performances of the tramp. The Fool will open up the poetic as being deeply tied to experiences of radical idiocy.

Bibliography:

Avital Ronell, Stupidity.

Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge

Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa”; Angst

Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Philosophy through the looking glass