space RE:solutions


keynote speakers

call for papers



participants and abstracts


review board




Methodologies of Destabilisation
Lucy Britton, Elizabeth DuBois, Susannah Haslam, María del Mar Pizarro, Verena Schwarz, Lucy A. Sames
Goldsmiths, University of London

Keller Easterling in her book Enduring Innocence articulates academic strategies that serve to limit – including litigious corrective proof, an exercise in academic ventriloquy or a three-part sermon; being journalistic, encyclopedic or totalizing. But in the face of this potential methodological minefield, then, and in the midst of a perhaps utopian call of the contemporary academic, the question remains: how do we proceed? How do we start a project? These pitfalls leave us suspended between action and stasis - to move through this problematic space requires the assumption of a set of methodologies that do not simply voice, or indeed theorise our concerns, but seek to intervene and converse with them; to not only mediate, but to unveil new contingencies; to challenge the stagnant, oft-deemed archaic ways of reading and processes of acquiring knowledge and the way in which this knowledge is communicated. As a newly formed research collective exploring elusive, complex sites of knowledge production and Geopolitical points of tension, error and failure, Aleph is treading this unstable ground and finding great value in this process of exploring experimental methodologies. Prof. Irit Rogoff describes a theorist as 'one who has been undone by theory' and describes the work of theory as the unravelling of the very ground on which it stands. It is this methodology of destabilization that we propose to discuss in our paper. The paper would present our 'working through' - this struggle born of academic institutions where the liminalities between theory and practice are inherently problematic – where simply applying or exemplifying a theory through case study is no longer enough and the expectation is to develop a strategy of academic research that moves away from merely tracing the subject.


Fortified Knowledge
Eduard Freudmann
& Lina Dokuzovic
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

The article analyzes the ways in which oppressive structures, particularly those of “fortress Europe,” have relocated and localized themselves within the framework of education, with a focus on neoliberal university reforms fortifying the so-called European Higher Education Area. While the EHEA, advanced by the Lisbon Agreement, promotes the maximal mobility of higher education within Europe, a flipside exists in which migration is more strictly regulated and sanctioned, supporting structural discrimination, the result of which is two classes of movement: mobility and migration. These concepts will be analyzed within the framework of social resistance movements on the level of transnational struggles, as the protests against university reforms have expanded to a transnational level.

The notion of economic World Systems Theory, of a (neo-)colonial division of the globalized world according to center/periphery/semi-periphery is applied in order to scrutinize the expanding growth of “higher education areas” for building competitive “knowledge economies” as an exploitative saviour for a failing capitalist order. This model allows a clearer analysis of the colonial role of (re-)education and the role of reforms in contemporary neoliberal capitalism. The analysis thereupon concludes by positing that very inquiry against modes of resistance towards oppression, examining whether or not the uniting of struggles on a transnational level can suffice as strategies for resisting capitalism’s entry into all spheres of life and its reproduction through education, thereby utilizing “translocality” as a tool for uniting struggles, not only against the transgressive nature of capitalist appropriation, but as a transcending struggle against what is taking place in the “center,” understanding the inherent link between geopolitical regions.



Video Demos at MIT's Media Lab:
Exploring the Visual Interface between Specialized Research and the Public
Madeleine Clare Elish
Columbia University's

This paper explores the visual culture of representing technological research. Based on
interviews and ethnographic field work at MIT's Media Lab in the Personal Robots Group and the Fluid Interfaces Group, and contexualized by a brief history of witnessing as a means of validating scientific and technological research, this paper explores the problem of what is seen and not seen, and indeed, what it means "to see" representations of technological innovation and future technological utopias. In particular, I explore the production of video demonstrations (demos) as a mediated form of communication and mode of storytelling about the future. Through situating the material practices that construct and influence the production of video demos, as well as through formal analysis of the media texts, I hope to problematize what it means "to see" technological demonstrations. What kinds of knowledge production occur within video demos, which often act as the interface between highly specialized technological research and a general public? What kinds of publics are addressed? How do these representations come into dialogue with existing techno-social imaginaries? What are the unique problems that attend visual representations of research in progress? And how might such studies engage with technology researchers and media makers, positively influencing future representations? By exploring theoretical as well as practical considerations of creating visual representations of technological research, this study contributes to an interdisciplinary dialogue around the social implications of new technologies, and takes seriously the role of visual communication in global diffusion of ideas.


Fast and Furious Tools
Ruby Sircar
Graz University of Technology

In 1997, shortly after the New Delhi Metropolitan Area Municipality decided to tear down 3/5th of the residential housing – due to rising estate value and because it was argued that the residencies were illegal – Shudhbrata Sengupta stated that there no longer exists public space but merely public perceived private space. Delhi had been torn down for the second time within less then 90 years, earlier due to to the megalomania of the British Raj, now through liberal globalised market speculations. Each time, within the twinkling of a decade, strategies were developed to visually break and regain the space lost to economic gambles. These strategies varied, during the years, depending on social and political regulations; nevertheless people silently fought for regaining the space and developed a visual language which masked the city's discontinued narrative. Today these strategies are supposed to be quite successful, compared with other post-colonial metropolises (such as Hong Kong, Mumbai etc.), even though the Punjabi Baroque and the demolition of old village structures within the city limits continues. The questions this presentation will ask are whether the strategies to occupy public space, which have been developed by the locals, can be adapted to other localities – such as Western or European urban structures? Which translational tools must be applied to these strategies to create a cultural value exchange? And how to generate a discussion which allows this intercommunication (as for example proposed by the Delhi-based Khoj Programme)?


PANEL 2 was canceled


Amila Sirbegovic
University of Technology, Vienna

In the Bevo area in the city of St. Louis a Bosnian community, in search of its own post Yugoslav identity, unintentionally contributed to the city renewal. This paper gives an insight into to the current situation of this particular mid-city, it questions the impact of positive discrimination and racism on its development and shows how a post - September 11th – minaret is changing the homogeneity of this area. Considering current political developments in the EU such as ban on minarets in Switzerland or the rise of right wing parties with
anti-immigration and islamophobic paroles in Holland or Austria, what can we learn from an immigration country like USA, that traditionally cultivate religious freedom?
This research is focused on "visible" phenomena of migration, such as social construction of space and its connections to the built environment. The work focuses on migrants from Bosnia and migrants in Bosnia, especially concentrated on three cities: Sarajevo (BiH), Vienna (Aut) and St. Louis (USA). Self experience in the form of my own migrant identity is an integral and important part of research methodology of this work. Being a migrant, reshaping of its own environment is part of search of the own identity. In particular, the
second and third generation is creating a new, hybrid draft of their own lives, where the own history of migration needs to be rethought again. International movement of people affects and changes space, recreating, redefining and reshaping it and every individual involved. Migration results in creating a new, vibrant, ever changing identity of individuals as
well as of the cities, which are embedded into the new created transnational space. How is the built environment modified by this transnationalism? Can migration be seen as a tool for reshaping the city, opening new possibilities and visualizing the unplanned, unthinkable and unregulated city?


Motor City Illusions, Fairytales Driven Over The Sea
Dan S. Wang
Columbia College Chicago

Through information and experience gathered from sited research in two places, Detroit, Michigan, and Penglai, China, I present an analysis of what I call neoliberal illusion. I weave together strands of observation and thought by bringing into symbolic relationship not only the two places, but also two people, Henry Luce and Grace Lee Boggs.

In a 1941 Life magazine editorial the American media tycoon Henry Luce sounded a call for “the first great American Century.” The next year the same magazine warned of national defeat were labor not properly disciplined in America's industrial capital, in a feature titled “Detroit is Dynamite.” At once optimistic and reactionary, Luce's media empire reflected the nation's consensus self-image. The certitude with which Luce argued for his vision of the United States in the world mirrored his own formative experience, having been born in Penglai, China, a place long associated with Taoist legends and sea-borne mirages, the son of American missionaries zealously committed to “bringing up” a backwards China through modernization and Christianity.  

By combining theory work, production of drawn and documentary imagery, and engaged activism, I connect the distressed Motor City at the fading end of the American Century to the quietly booming tourist town of Penglai at the beginning of the Chinese Century, now host to mirages of the neoliberal kind: tourism and multinational manufacturing. I end with a description of the place- and space-specific political and cultural work being done in de-industrialized Detroit currently. I identify Grace Lee Boggs, longtime Chinese-American Detroit radical, as the figure representing the movement of global citizens envisioning a world free from illusion, and who recognize the revolutionary potential present in the reality of our social and environmental conditions.


Notes on a possible relation between art + video + technique:
Audiovisual practice, technologies and poetics in Argentina.
M.A. Anabella Speziale
Universidad de Buenos Aires

This presentation aims to share the pedagogy work done as a professor of two design courses of different Universities in Argentina (Universidad de Buenos Aires and Universidad Nacional de San Martín) with a diverse group of students interested in the dynamics between visual art, audiovisual design and poetry. The courses seek to examine the relation between technological poetics and artist creations studying the different approaches to produce discursive forms using video as a field of experimentation. Today video is simply one instrument within a repertory available of techniques for artists to express their views. The use of this medium as a resource has a no pre-established formats. This emergent phenomenon creates new pieces that can be watched on a screen or that can require displacements and intervention from its viewers. For example, video can be use at different types of installations that can involve space, data capture, subsequent editing, and then being shown. At the courses the students use the notion of habitat, they create pieces that blur the roles of viewing, negotiating, and experiment the art form. For addressing any productive practice including even the artistic one, we take into account the Greek concept of Techne, proposed by Vilem Flusser, from which derives the word technology, Thus, as Arlindo Machado points out, the machine it is offered to the Subject like an open system in which s/he can find the possibility of action and redefinition of the worlds where s/he lives. It is important to understand this relation between art, poetry and technique from different theoretical angles, such us audiovisual design, media and cultural sciences. My proposal for this presentation is to think about questions and strategies that relates educational processes with research of new critical forms of expression. For doing this videopoetry and video installations will be taken as a key genres of analysis. These formats embody specific resources that allow us to study not only the visual art practice, but also the symbolic expression of technologies and the particular way of reading that each user has about it. This work follows the idea that video can be considered as a medium to recognize issues concerning the discourses around technological poetics as an indeterminate discipline field, where creative processes, poetry and the development of new technologies can be examined.

The Mise en abyme Effect: Politics and the Fantasy of Total Visibility
Margot Bouman
Parsons The New School for Design

In my essay, I argue that the fantasy produced by visual narratives using mise en abyme both draws attention to itself and embodies the ideal form of an argumentative structure. As André Gide and Lucien Dällenbach show, textual and visual mise en abyme narrative structures includeflashbacks, the reproduction of a story within the story, a telescoping inward of recessionary space and the placement of a self-contained image within an image. Due to the subjective nature of these narrative frames, they become what Slavoj Žižek describes as fantasy, or “an element which ‘sticks out’, which cannot be integrated into the given symbolic structure, yet which, precisely as such, constitutes its identity.” Certain forms of mise en abyme produce the supposition that total visibility gives rise to total knowability. I choose two televisual examples of mise en abyme drawn from sports, and recent, Bush-era politics: the discourse produced by refereeing decisions made in the 2010 South Africa World Cup; andthe case for war on Iraq made to the UN Security Council in 2003 by then-US Secretary of State, Colin Powell. These examples both assume that by progressively breaking down the evidence into a mise en abyme of smaller and smaller components, the technological gaze can progressively access more reliable knowledge. Both the discrepancies between these non-fictional accounts and their shared base assumptions will help draw out the fantasy elements that they have in common.



Talking Space
Nada Zerzer
Vienna University of Technology

In this paper I present results from field research on the issue how heteroglossic people in the three regions of Carinthia, Primorska, and the Trst/Trieste region experience their multilingualism and its representations in everyday day life.
The research focus is on space – created by people using more than one language in their everyday life and by the representations of the languages in their living environment – the towns and villages. This paper wants to take a closer look at life with – or in – heteroglossia and at possible integrative handling of it.
Theoretically, areas of cultural contact are spaces of imagination, of untold cultural riches and of fathomless potentialities: where cultures and languages meet, circulate and merge, new forms of culture can emerge, i.e. individual compositions of those very components, of this very situation.
Opposition and conflict are parts of life and society and can not be erased, but when suppressed, they will recur, maybe in violence (Mouffe 2005). To avoid violent conflicts society has to find ways to balance contradictory positions as sometimes are found around heteroglossia and the representation thereof. The imponderabilities and contentious issues around heteroglossia are also included in this research.
As architecture being the art and science of space, it knows far more ways to create space than by building houses, rooms, walls and decorating them. Focusing on the inhabitants’ social practices as constituents of space, I concentrate on the relations of speakers and languages and their representations in heteroglossic regions. The  representation of heteroglossia and its importance for social constructions of space is discussed using visual material from the three regions, collected by the author and by research participants, presenting examples from different contexts and areas of social life.


Visual Sociology and Organization of Space: Comparative Analysis
Marina Semina
Lomonosov Moscow State University

I am teaching the course on Visual sociology for 4 years at MSU. From one side we are trying  to teach students to express modern issues through visualization, i.e. visualization as an example or illustration of social problems. From the other side visual objects itself could generate new issues to investigation. One of the issue which was developed during the course was the issue of visualization of city and organizing of space. Trying to deeply understand the modern processes, we are trying to use  multiple methods in order to get rich results. We use audio diaries in combination with photo-reports. We have found, that the combination of these two methods works better than constructing of video films. (When people making audio notes their consciousness is more open, they less control their behavior. They don’t afraid to look silly, and feel more relaxed when they know, that they are not seen. And then, later they could provide  a best examples of their thoughts).

Online focus groups: We found out, that  visualization of issues with the help of the internet gives us invaluable opportunity to understand how people perceive this world.

In general we use comparative approach: we compare: city, regions, countries and nations

As a result of the course there was constructed a collection of works. Below we would like briefly enumerate a few articles, which rises the most important issues:

L. Miklina, N. Kuzmina, The city, which we have constructed… (Devoted to the modern Moscow architecture)



Contention of Antiromaism as a Part of the Process of Decoloniality of Europe
Ivana Marjanovic

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

I would like to present the paper that I wrote in summer 2009 after brutal demolition and fencing of a Roma slum next to Belville, a residential area erected to accommodate guests of the international sports event Universiade Belgrade 2009 as well as after series of resistance actions organized by slum residents, Belgrade artists, activists and cultural workers (mainly from the platform “Belgrade Other Scene”) in which I took an active role. Furthermore, I would present segments of the film Uglyville. A Contention of Anti-Romaism in Europe, based on my paper, that I co-directed together with Eduard Freudmann in 2010.

My paper gives an account of actions against Roma people carried out by Belgrade authorities in spring and summer 2009 prior to and during the international sports games Belgrade Universiade 2009 and during the Serbian presidency of the international Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005–2015. I will term these actions racist, though they are presented in the media differently. I claim that these actions are setting a frame with and within which to examine the “colonial power matrix” (that was coined by Hanibal Quijano and  re-proposed by Walter Mignolo)  in contemporary Europe. This matrix allows for historical patterns of racism (known from the colonies) and new forms of contemporary racism to be implemented in EU integration and security policy today. The actions I will analyze are important, as they make visible the processes of discrimination and segregation in EU and further more, they allow for a different development of the relation between capitalism and antiromaism. Finally, I will propose that the concept of inclusion as it is promoted by the Roma Decade is based precisely upon the exclusion of differences for the sake of belonging to the colonial matrix of power.

The film based on this paper is a critical analysis of the interrelation of racism (i.e. anti-Romaism) and capitalism in so called New Europe (Europe after 1989) but also an exposure of strategies of resistance to its necropolitical governance.



On the Ground: Reflections on Visual Culture in Conflict Zones
Krista Geneviève Lynes
San Francisco Art Institute

What constitutes the image culture of conflict and war in the contemporary moment? What role do new media play in negotiating the proliferating perspectives of embedded journalists, soldiers, civilians and spectators around the world? What becomes visible through these new mediations and what remains or becomes newly invisible through them? Current representations of the wars inherit a great deal from the first Gulf War's 24-hour visual culture, but have been supplemented with images taken with video cell phones,
embedded journalists, and soldiers creating their own videos of battle scenes. Such new visions—relying on more grainy amateur production equipment, as well as alternative channels of distribution and reception— have shifted the vantage points on the war from the spectacular heights of smart bombs and aerial campaigns to the more grounded perspective of the desert road, the city street, the inside of an advancing tank, or the inside of a family's home. This paper examines how artists, journalists, civilians and soldiers offer visions that negotiate the poles of visibility/ invisibility, and how the grounded perspective of new media affects the expanded field of visual culture. Such a grounded perspective initially suggests a kind of democratizing of images of the war, not only because the number of actors recording their experiences has multiplied, but because these videos are channeled through traditional news media as well as blogs, email campaigns, YouTube and other viral avenues. However, the immediacy of these new media forms also render certain subjects and modes of
seeing impossible, even as they cloak themselves in the guises of a new form of objectivity. Through an examination of different videographic forms in the current conflicts (experimental film, personal video, and journalistic accounts) in Iraq and Afghanistan, I hope to shed light on the rhetoric of conflict in the expanded field of new media.





In/visible Borders: Mapping the Strait of Gibraltar
Teresa Callejo Pajares
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


In my paper I strive for an analysis of the conditions of visibility of the border between Spain and North Africa. In other words, how it has come to be imagined not only as a national border but also as a global geostrategic site at the turn of the century. The reason I consider this topic worth exploring is the increased political, economic and social stakes that are now invested in this space as the Southern border of Europe, and how these are being debated in terms of visual representation through the instauration of the Integral System of Surveillance of the Strait of Gibraltar (SIVE). In this sense it has become a strong marker for notions of belonging, citizenship, language, and race, which are enacted at this specific site and are dispersed to both sides of the border through the media. 
My aim will be to offer a multidirectional approach that will encompass the numerous debates present in the Spain and North-Africa border site. Firstly, through an analysis of the dominant discourses disseminated by mainstream media and the role of the SIVE in political and popular imagination; and secondly through a series of works by cultural agents that deal with specific issues of mobility, language, technology, labor and gender as they are being precluded by the SIVE. The importance of these works resides in their critique of the dominant discourses in mainstream media as a normative force for restrictive State policies. They pick up on the obscurities and inconsistencies that render invisible the human perspective in and around the border site, and are a countering force, an alternative, to the constraining univocal the perspective of European and International neo-liberal policies.


Employing Social Art Practice: Exploring New Methods for Research and Geopolitical Realities
April Bojorquez & Matthew Garcia
Arizona State University

This paper will explore the execution of a social art-based project in the urban Southwest United states, and how it has informed new methods for conducting art practice and ethnographic investigation. The Elote Blanco Project began as a typographic mural on a storage trailer from which white maize is sold. Situated on a vacant lot in urban Phoenix, Arizona, the mural has made an aesthetic contribution to the site and has inspired continuous visual cultural production. With a reliance on gallery and museum space for the display and discourse of art, the Elote Blanco Project attempts to engage and serve a larger community through the execution of civic and social art-based projects, deconstructing traditional notions of art in place. Additionally, the Elote Blanco Project explores how maize-based food practice, taking place in the southwest, demonstrates the persistence of a maize-based culture across geopolitical borders. As the foundation for numerous culinary dishes and the nourishment of millions, maize continues to provide a nutritious subsistence, culturally and economically, despite globalizing processes. Arizona's geopolitical situation on the U.S./Mexico border has adversely affected the sites development and the project itself. Recent anti-immigrant legislation encouraging "attrition through enforcement" of Mexican immigrants in Arizona, has subjected Elote Blanco to dramatic social, cultural and economic shifts. Unexpected Arizona politics have left a lasting impact on the social, cultural, and political landscape, much like a natural disaster. The diaspora and exchange of maize; the site specificity of the Elote Blanco Project; and the tangled roles of artist and ethnographer; provide various entry-points for exploring broader cultural processes and the dialectic relationship between maize foodways and identity as they enter new territories.




INANNA: Female Developers of Interactive Art in Public Space
Stefanie Wuschitz
Vienna University of Technology

In the last five years Syria has experienced an increase of western imports and huge growth within the IT field. While Syria's socialistic one party system is adapting neoliberal economic strategies that encourage repression, young female artists use the opportunity for examining new tools of artistic expression. My research focuses on the application of new technologies by young women artists in Syria. During a field trip beginning of June 2010, I collaborated with eleven female syrian artists in Damascus. The collaboration was set into the framework of a workshop, with the aim of developing interactive stories, that articulate individual narrations in public space. How do women artist make use of open source technology in public space? How do they transform it and what conflicts do they have to deal with, specifically when they want show their work? The participants of the eight days workshop came from a theater, media and sculpture background, but also software development. My
research method of a site specific art workshop served as a vehicle to translate different forms of agency and observe different nuances of self-representation, including my own. The Theory of the Open Source movement clashed with a reality of failing internet access in Syria, as well as censored websites and the problem of restricted downloads from USA hosted websites. In the paper I will describe the participant's project development, as well
as social dynamics during the workshop period and connect these micro processes on a macro level.


Transition into Marginalisation: On the construction of femininities and masculinities within Latin American guerrilla movements
Luisa Dietrich
University of Vienna

The present paper proposes to work on the construction of femininities and masculinities within left-wing political-military organizations (guerrilla groups) in Latin America. It highlights the gendered images in this particular type of societal organization, functional to armed struggle and its different forms of representations of female and male combatants. Particular interesting is the attempt to deconstruct the concept of “female/male guerrilla fighters” to identify emerging subgroups of women and men, structured by their extraction (urban-rural), generational, as well as ethnic aspects. The transition from a space functional to armed struggle towards post-conflict space is traversed by a different logic, accompanied by rigid and traditional gender stereotypes, which create breaks and continuities in those constructions of femininities and masculinities: women are conflated with peaceful and innocent victims, while males are pushed into the role of active agents of history, which has specific effects on perpetuating gendered inequalities in post-conflict reconstruction. This paper will highlight methodological challenges to work with different sources to establish changing gendered constructions functional to different spaces: armed struggle and transition towards post-conflict.

Feminism, Peace Activism and Visual Strategies
Katharina Hübner
University of Vienna

My paper explores visual strategies in women?s peace activism. Though female anti-war protest is not a new phenomenon, within the last years several peace initiatives with a female and/or feminist representation have emerged all over the world. Some authors have used terms like "feminist performance activism" (Kutz-Flamenbaum) or "parody" (Goss/ Heaney) to describe the successful tactics activist groups like CODE PINK: Women for Peace apply to spread its anti-war message. Indeed, pictures of women participating in demonstrations dressed in pink have spread all over the country, provoking strong reactions, both positive and negative. This highly visible activism may in some contexts implicitly or explicitly refer to women?s peacefulness, paying symbolic tribute to motherhood and "femininity". Yet these discourses are combined and troubled with non-essentializing, courageous and uncompromising peace activism, which includes travelling to conflict zones and risking arrests, against very harsh criticism from many different sides. Beyond this, I will discuss the methodological and theoretical challanges that emerge when trying to adapt this approach to women?s peace activism outside the U.S.




Of Metal, Blood and Soil: Towards a Generative Ecology of Live Art
João P. Marques Florêncio
Goldsmiths, University of London

Live Art and Performance have, since the dawn of the Gay Liberation movement, been a core strategy in the construction of a common space and a sense of belonging amongst LGBTQI identified individuals. However, recent works in the fields of feminism, continental philosophy and queer theory, have shown that what was once a political movement fighting for the right to differ, has lately become a strategy aimed at nothing more than homonormalization, i.e. at the capture of queer modes of being by the social and State structures that have, since immemorial times, organized and given meaning to our heteronormative western societies. Given the above, the aim of my paper is to propose a generative ecology of live art and performance as one possible critical methodology for understanding the relationships established amongst bodies gathered in queer performance environments in a way that will always take into account the ontological tendency to self-differ or become-other that, following vitalist materialists like Henri Bergson or Gilles Deleuze, lies within every single body (human and nonhuman). What then will follow are some critical considerations on the dynamics, strategies, and political potentials of understanding performance art from an ecological perspective that takes into account the creativity at the heart of all materiality and the implications such theoretical apparatus might have for grasping difference, communities, and the production of the social in a generative rather than conservationist way.


Queering Colonialism or Queer Imperialism? Migrating Images and Methodologies of Spatial Transgression
Ernst van der Wal
University, South Africa

This paper investigates queer as mode of theoretical criticism and praxis that aims to destabilise normative myths; inter alia those narratives of normality that still pervade contemporary visual culture. Queer, as a theoretical, political and/or cultural methodology and discourse, is concerned with aspects of (sexual) transgression, as well as the rejection of fixed conceptions and normative readings of identity. By proposing a reading of sexuality against the grain of compulsory heterosexual/homosexual structures, queer is interested in the potentiality of multiple ways in which (sexual) identities can be organised and disorganised in society (Sedgwick 1990; Rich 1986; Weinberg 1996). This is particularly relevant to the visual narratives of identity that circulate in post-colonial/post-apartheid (South) Africa as queer offers a critical mode of investigation into globalised structures of heteronormative proscription that still pervade the visual culture of African countries. Ironically, new modes of thinking about and applying transgressions of the normative, such as a queer strategy, draw largely on Western culture. As such, it can be argued that the establishment of queer visual spaces in Africa underlies a new form of cultural and/or sexual imperialism. By investigating this relationship of ambiguity and contradiction, this paper proposes that contemporary South African visual culture constitutes a space of intersection between (instead of an absolute delineation of) the various sexual discourses that circulate in both African and Western visual culture. By arguing for a reading of visual spaces (be it media spaces or documented performances of identity) as hybrid bodies of knowledge, this paper demonstrates that queer plays a vital role in the simultaneous inscription and erasure of colonial discourses that still linger in the sexual and racial palimpsest of Southern Africa.





Space Complicities: Vectors of Conjunction
Karin Reisinger
Vienna University of Technology

In order to contemplate politics of current space complicities I will consider a wide range of material: from strategies of the literary figure Bartleby, the Scrivener and his theory impact and to those of marginalised actors in space, entering sites of exceptions and producing new conjunctures. What do the texts by Agamben and Deleuze have in common? Reading publications on contingency (Agamben, 1998) and a formula (Deleuze, 1994) through the lense of space matters, one deeply influential figure shows: Bartleby, the Scrivener (Melville, written in 1853). Melville described strategies of inhabiting in North America in the 19th century. The complicity between him and his employer is an essential point in building a relationship, be it father-and-son-like, or be it lovers-like, and in deconstructing formal constraints at the same time. This complicity helps Bartleby take possession of space and remain without fulfilling formal conditions, thus changing functions of spaces. "I prefer not to" becomes a central phrase of negation in times of land seizure causing specific conjunctures. So far, two main questions should be raised to understand politics of space complicities: how does the spatial apparatus of exception work, including genealogies and defence? And: what possibilities do complicities of local actors have in order to deconstruct the closeness and finishedness of exceptions? I exemplarily relocate the typology of exception to the transnational system of national parks: gardens of Western society, emerged in the history of colonisation of North America, the number is still increasing worldwide today. In this set of connective geographies I want to show built as well as lived complicities by considering genealogies, logistics and risks of examples that emerge in liaison of exception
and lines of deterritorialisation, formal and informal, local and global, tradition and change.


Great «Americas» of Visual Culture
Serguey Naymushin
Ural State University, Ekaterinburg

Discovery of America and other places was a finite task because the Earth is an ultimate object and the terminal result of creation or development. Another case of Internet allows us to say that its creation and development over a short period leads us not only to the regular discoveries of different "continents", like Google, Facebook, Youtube, but also to the regular appearance and creation of those like (Paul C. Adams). That "continents" and "islands" are channels of transmission of Visual Culture. Modern Visual Culture is, first of all, an Internet-culture, because of unique Internet-responsibility and dynamics. Social micro and macro processes, like commerce, colonization, failure of financial empires, war and protest are reflected by internet-societies in short time (Scott McQuire, Nikos Papastergiadis). Internet-continents are colonized by new "users" in real time, which brings us to new groups, societies and communication, including own rules, behavior and languages (Annemarie Jonson, Alessio Cavallaro). We are found in character of seekers and searchers, and "students", which opens the doors of something, what is a discovered knowledge of somebody else. Cognition in Internet is transformed to studying and becomes application-oriented practice. It concerns not only discovering of Internet continents relatives with commercial benefits, but also a creation within. Cyberspace topology has time measurement and very closes consequences of actions in spatio-temporal relation. We ought to ask about the actor of Visual Culture, its primary and secondary customers, users and uninterested people. That is why we cannot investigate actions without inclusion of actors and users with their own economical interaction. Otherwise, our work would be Internet-geographical, topological description of concrete Video Culture channels. We need to actualize our internet-experience to get experimental material for inductive about the interaction of different channels and forms of Internet Visual Culture.




Living Rooms: The Art of Mobilizing Belonging(s)
Florian Bettel, Julia Mourão Permoser & Julia Rosenberger
University of Applied Arts Vienna

In the context of migration and cultural diversity, the political mobilization of belonging has become increasingly important. Anti-immigrant political actors gather support on the basis of exclusionary discourses that classify certain groups as not-belonging and use this logic to justify restrictive policies and discriminatory practices. Also at the level of everyday practices, conflicts are increasingly perceived through the lens of ethnic and cultural differences. To study the mobilization of belonging therefore enables us to understand better processes of maintenance, crossing, or shifting of subjective boundaries. However, despite the growing interest in belonging in the scientific literature, the development of a full-fledged analytical framework capable of capturing the 'thick' aspect of emotions and the anti-essentialist aspect of fluidity and imagination is still lacking. The main objective of this presentation is to present an innovative analytical framework that – building upon the cultural studies, material culture and social science literatures on belonging, as well as artworks – develops a new approach to theorizing belonging through the analysis of space (in particular, of living-rooms), as well as of belongings (material objects, in particular furniture and decorative objects). Our analytical framework conceptualizes objects as carriers of meaning inasmuch as they function as "projection screens" for narratives of belonging and of longing. Once imbued with such meanings, visual elements acquire symbolic character, and become themselves a tool in the social construction of belonging. Artists and social scientists will conduct interviews in living rooms, which are owned by inhabitants of the Wiener Gemeindebau (social housing). This research on belonging(s), combined with the outcome of focus groups, will lead to an artistic/scientific intervention: Pieces of belongings will be arranged/mobilized by different groups of inhabitants to create what should be the most respectively the least wanted living room of another group of inhabitants.


Would You Betray the Original?
Mareike Bernien & Kerstin Schrödinger
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Goldsmiths, University of London

In our text "When translation becomes violence/Übersetzung die Gewalt wird" on Walter Benjamin's concept of translation and Pasolini's complicated semi-documentary "Notes on an African Orestie", we came up with the questions: Can translation be seen as a betrayal of the original? And how does translation appropriate the original and thereby betray it? The translation betrays the original meaning with the notion that it stays true to it. According to Walter Benjamin, a space between the original and it´s translation is an essential assumption behind the process of transformation. What happens if that space disappears? When is translation becoming an act of violence? In our contribution to the conference we would like to draw on this idea of original, betrayal and violence among several film scenes that operate with modes of translation. In a sort of lecture performance we would like to test simultaneous translations of their various aspects. By that we hope to elaborate on the space between original and translation, subtitle and dubbing. As part of the lecture we would like to show a short video intervention.
"Translating the other/When translation becomes violence"
Mareike Bernien and Kerstin Schroedinger 2010, 7 min.
The video intervention examines a scene from Antonioni's L'eclisse and frames the racist and sexist structures with which the film operates. The main character of the film visits her neighbour, who is the daughter of Italian colonisers. Her apartment is full of souvenirs. The female visitor, inspired by the interior, "blacks up" and adopts an imaginary 'wild' and 'tribal' dance. The video intervention tries to reveal the patterns of framing non-white culture as 'otherness', a projection charged with a conception of uncultivated wilderness. In combination with an objectified female body, this position connects otherness with 'naturalness' and 'bareness'.

From Web Mashups to Real-Time Visual Practices: Posthistorical or Cosmopolitical Condition?
Denisa Kera
National University of Singapore

From web mashups to real-time visual practices: posthistorical or cosmopolitical condition?
The famous dictum by Alexandre Kojève about the "disappearance of Man at the end of history" states a simultaneous appearance of a being completely defined and even reduced to space and nature. The posthistorical condition is defined as a state in which we do not have any new historical challenges but we are simply "externalizing" ourselves into space and nature and returning to animality by becoming just an "extension (Ausdehnung) of space". Recent visual and spatial practices such as web mashups, location based technologies and mobile real-time video are just an extreme manifestation of this Kojève's interpretation of Hegel. We are translating and turning into data and sharable signals all our public but also private histories and lives and externalizing everything into space, objectifying it and connecting it to millions of other data. Historical humans externalized into space are turning the whole world into play with signals, a new form of language, an infinite stream of data, similar to what Kojève called "the language of bees". Whether this reduces the human historical and political dimension to disembodied and disengaged unity of some future biopolitics or it creates a possibilities for new politics involving non-humans in some cosmopolitical (Bruno Latour) game remains to be seen. These recent visual and spatial practices are also active tools which place the humans back into the picture. On one side they are means of creating hybrid networks in which humans and non-humans dissolve, on the other they are also a type of phenomenological tools placing back the human experience in the technological world. All the geoware, geotagging and the different ways of monitoring, annotating and visualizing space are the new compass and astrolabes with which we explore the hybrid worlds between the digital and the physical, the human and the non-human, the known and the unknown or the emergent. These tools connect not only the humans with the non-humans but also transform the whole relation between what is small and big, private and public, local and global and in the most general sense also the human and the cosmic. How to evaluate and speak of this extreme linking of everything with everything else without differences on these data visualizations and mashups that are often shared in real time? Are we witnessing the birth of a new cosmography of some web 2.0 universe, a personal colonisation of media, public space but also the whole globe by millions who publish, share, organise, annotate and mash content? How to conceptualize these recent technological and visual practices related to space and data in the context of the discussion between the posthistorical condition and cosmopolitics? I will use examples of recent projects working with sensor data and visualizations as well as our own recent design project (Living Avatars Network) working with mobile real-time video and geolocation to discuss this dynamics between the posthistorical and cosmopolitical condition.



Institute of Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology
Karlsplatz 13, A-1040 Vienna, Austria

Visual Culture Unit
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