Video School

Melanie Gilligan: Popular Unrest & Other Works

This trailer from Spectacle Theater introduces three video series by artist Melanie Gilligan, Crisis in the Credit System (2008), Self-Capital (2009), and Popular Unrest (2010). Gilligan’s episodic dramas, inspired by the genre conventions of contemporary prime time and cable television, shed light on the visceral abstractions that interact to produce the neoliberal subject—abstractions of the [...] Read more

Nina Power: The Wound of Work

In her 2010 lecture “The Wound of Work,” Nina Power considers transformations of work, labor, and consumerism in relation to feminism, the body, and art. Drawing in part on her 2009 book One-Dimensional Woman, she discusses the collapse of the distinction between work and leisure, the feminization of labor, the informatization of work, and the [...] Read more

Bernard Harcourt, François Ewald, and Gary Becker: “American Neoliberalism: Michel Foucault’s Birth of Biopolitics Lectures”

This video documents an unprecedented gathering of thinkers representing schools of thought that rarely meet: French philosophy and American economic theory. In this 2012 discussion at the University of Chicago, American economist Gary Becker (1930–2014) and French historian and philosopher François Ewald—who in the 1970s was assistant to Michel Foucault at the Collège de France—meet [...] Read more

Michel Foucault: The Culture of the Self, first lecture (part 1 of 5)

In 1983, approximately a year before his death, French philosopher Michel Foucault delivered three lectures in English at the University of California, Berkeley, in which he traced the development of the idea of the self, or the individual subject, in Western culture. In the first of these lectures, “The Culture of the Self” (Reel 61 [...] Read more

Michel Feher: The Journey to Self-Esteem: How Human Capital Blossoms

French philosopher Michel Feher (founding editor and publisher of Zone Books) recently delivered a riveting eight-part lecture series titled “The Age of Appreciation: Lectures on the Neoliberal Condition,” at Goldsmiths, University of London. In the fourth lecture, “The Journey to Self-Esteem: How Human Capital Blossoms,” Feher presents what he calls the “main character” of the [...] Read more

NourbeSe Philip’s contribution to the Words Aloud 7 Spoken Word Festival

M. NourbeSe Philip’s work sends a deep linguistic, formal, economic, social, cultural, institutional shudder throughout the system we have inherited. Her language tangles in and out of itself in ways that make plain (and then cover over again) that English itself is impossible to separate out from the racist colonialism that undergirds the modernism we [...] Read more

Cornel West: DiversityInc Diversity-Management Best Practices Keynote

I have been thinking about this piece for too long, have delayed my words, my contribution, for weeks now. I have been trained, like many of us have been, to understand my own lateness as a colossal incompetence with deadlines. This deviation from the academic or philosophical norm of a majority who seem to be [...] Read more

Fred Moten: Blackness and Poetry

Considering West’s call for a deeper education, one that is not taught in a great many institutional arenas that tend to be linked to business and to capital in ways that preclude this kind of questioning, Fred Moten’s work here unearths the philosophical connections between possession and subjectivity that contaminate the very notion of the [...] Read more

keyon gaskin: “its not a thing”

It is in this spirit that I include the work of keyon gaskin (who chooses not to follow the rules of grammar that employ capital letters to designate proper names­­––the proper here being precisely the problem). If Moten provokes a consideration of the ways in which subjectivity itself is bound up with possession, he also [...] Read more

Trinh T. Minh-ha: Reassemblage

Who made these borders and whom do they serve? This question is taken up by Trinh T. Minh-ha in her 1983 film Reassemblage, which remains one of the most incisive and poetic critiques of the philosophical paradigm that colonialism has passed down. True to the idea that no radical statement can be uttered in inherited [...] Read more

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me

Thinking (art) education, and specifically a critique of the forms of knowledge we take for granted, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ reading and discussion of his recent book Between the World and Me for the Lannan Foundation seemed a good place to end. The book recounts that one of Coates’ most profound insights occurred in his seventh-grade French [...] Read more

Tiziana Terranova: Capture All Work

In this talk given at Transmediale 2015 in Berlin, Tiziana Terranova discusses her concept of “free labor” more than a decade after she first theorized the production of value from digitally enabled activity (much of which was previously not understood as labor) in the early ’00s. Terranova argues that the discourse around early “web 2.0” [...] Read more

Bifo: After the future

Though it may seem that the line of inquiry presented in this series has already nose-dived into a debilitating, dystopian paralysis, there is nevertheless some hope that may be embraced on the noopolitical frontier, even though we are surrounded by Intermorphs, living in a simulation, and are deep in the process of selling our souls. [...] Read more

Suely Rolnik: Beyond Colonial Unconscious

Brazilian theorist and psychoanalyst Suely Rolnik speaks here about ethics, and what she calls “body-knowing,” or “drive-knowing,” specifically in regards to the practice of Brazilian anthropophagy. Rolnik’s talk contributes to a thriving body of knowledge produced around the question, in particular Eduardo Viveiro de Castro’s theorization of multinatural perspectivism, evolving in conversation with the philosophy [...] Read more

Silvia Federici: Women, Reproduction, and the Construction of Commons

The well-known Italian feminist Silvia Federici argues here for the importance of a gendered and feminist perspective on ideas and practices of the commons. For her, this implies centering the idea of the commons on the concept of “reproduction.” This classical Marxist term refers to the means by which society reproduces itself, materially and socially. [...] Read more

Isabelle Stengers, Cosmopolitics: Learning To Think With Sciences, Peoples and Natures

The main actant here is Gaia. Although her name does not appear in the title of this lecture, her presence and insistent intrusion is inescapable, as we witness daily everywhere around us. Gaia is an ancient figure, the primal Greek mother goddess, older than the gods of the Greek cities. But she does not represent [...] Read more

Voices of Black Panther women

At once heartfelt, mirthful, infuriating, and inspiring, this panel brought together five Black Panther Party women to discuss their roles in the historical party for the self-preservation of African-American life and liberty through armed resistance and socialist organization. Although the panel was held in 1990 at the University of California, Berkeley, about twenty years after [...] Read more

Bernard Stiegler: Digital Inquiry Symposium Keynote

Exploring themes that have informed much of his prodigious oeuvre, Bernard Stiegler’s keynote lecture at the UC Berkeley Center for New Media’s Digital Inquiry Symposium focuses on the role of technics in the evolution of the human and what he calls, following both Plato and Derrida, the pharmacological nature of humanity’s relationship to their use. [...] Read more

David Harvey: Reading Capital Vol. 1, chapter 15, part 1

In this lecture, part of the larger Reading Capital series filmed at the City University of New York Graduate Center, David Harvey examines Marx’s theory of social change, the role that technology plays in this theory, and how the interconnected “moments” of the societal process are deeply affected by the introduction of new technologies. Harvey [...] Read more

Jonathan Beller: The Digital Ideology

Working through ideas that he elaborates in greater detail in his underappreciated 2006 book The Cinematic Mode of Production: Attention Economy and The Society of the Spectacle, Jonathan Beller’s talk at the New School’s Internet as Factory and Playground conference in 2009 starts with a consideration of the rapid change in the power of the [...] Read more

Christian Fuchs: Raymond Williams, Herbert Marcuse, and Dallas Smythe in the Age of Social Media

In this talk, Christian Fuchs details the work of Raymond Williams, Herbert Marcuse, and Dallas Smythe as it relates to his research on digital labor, the value-production of social media, and the impact of all this on the relationship between technological communication and anticapitalist revolution. The talk covers some of the theoretical underpinnings of his [...] Read more

Noam Chomsky debates with Michel Foucault (1971)

What is human nature? This video serves as a kind of “methodological” foundation to the problematics proposed within this series. A young, slightly naive Noam Chomsky meets a cheeky, exuberant Michel Foucault in 1971 to engage in a public debate at Eindhoven University. These debates were edited and put together as a series for broadcast [...] Read more

Terence McKenna, Rupert Sheldrake, and Ralph Abraham, first roundtable on “The Evolutionary Mind” (1998)

The counterculture, that configuration of students, activists, thinkers, self-experimenters, and pleasure-seekers who emerged over the course of the late ’60s in the United States, specifically in California, in many ways initiated a set of sociocultural transformations that would serve as the catalyst for a systemic shift in political economy. The decline of the political and [...] Read more

John C. Lilly: Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove (1998)

Also emerging from the discursive cradle of the counterculture, John C. Lilly worked as a neuroscientist, focusing on interspecies communication, specifically dolphins, before expanding his intellectual scope to become a consciousness researcher. Much of his work on human-nonhuman communication would serve as the basis for his self-experiments over the course of the ’70s with a [...] Read more

Timothy Leary, Interview in Folsom Prison (1973)

Perhaps the most infamous “hippie philosopher” of his generation—and one might also dare suggest, the most intellectually sloppy (the man is hands-down creepy!)—Timothy Leary is best known for his oft-cited call to arms, “turn on, tune in, drop out,” the motto of the Summer of Love and, in many ways, a statement that exposes the [...] Read more

George Smoot: You Are A Simulation and Physics Can Prove It

Much of the preceding foray into the counterculture and its reflections on the evolution of mind, human biocomputers, and the neurological revolution easily glides into one of the more hotly contested debates in contemporary physics, that of “simulation theory.” It is certainly the case, as Foucault’s archaeological examination of epistemological formations have shown, that any [...] Read more

Gilles Deleuze: Societies of Control and Antipsychiatry

This anonymously authored video lecture departs from Gilles Deleuze’s enormously influential 1990 essay “Postscript on Societies of Control,” while also finding its more immediate audiovisual reference in the 2010 eponymous video essay by Gary Hall, Clare Bichall, and Peter Woodbridge, published by Culture Machine. The author here attempts to expand the arguments of Deleuze’s brief [...] Read more

Tiqqun, excerpt from Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl — “The Young Girl as War-Machine”

Who is the new subject of advanced capitalism? Is it the reprogrammed human biocomputer, the -dividual, the transhuman, the post-species life-form, the cultural cyborg, or the Intermorph? The anonymous philosophical-activist circle that forms the journal Tiqqun, collective authors of The Coming Insurrection and Introduction to Civil War, advance the metaphor of the “Young Girl” as yet [...] Read more

The Official Health Goth Fitness Manifesto

Perhaps a more recent lifestyle trend propagated by the imagination industry, or one form-of-life embodied by Tiqqun’s Young Girl, is the “Health Goth” fad, coexisting with numerous other same-same differences, such as Normcore, Lumbersexual, Cutester, or Spornosexual. Health Goth was initiated as a theory-practice “experiment in aesthetics” by Portland artists Mike Grabarek, Jeremy Scott, and [...] Read more

Wendy Brown: Homo Economicus

In this interview with Sam Seder, Wendy Brown, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, discusses her recent book Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, in which she assesses the threat to democracy posed by neoliberalism and the transformation of the individual subject into human capital. In an analysis based on Michel [...] Read more

Jason Read: The Social Individual: Collectivity and Individuality in Capitalism (and Marx)

In this 2011 talk, philosopher Jason Read considers the concepts of the social individual (which exists in mutually constitutive relationship with the collective) and species being (which exists in mutually constitutive relationship with nature) in Karl Marx’s early writings alongside French philosopher Gilbert Simondon’s analysis of individuation and transindividuality. Read argues that Marx’s and Simondon’s [...] Read more

10 Theses on the Digital

In this paper delivered at the Bochum Media Studies Colloquium in May 2012, media theorist Alexander Galloway (NYU) explores the relationship between philosophy and digital computation by proposing ten principles that he would later develop into a book about the French philosopher François Laruelle, titled Laruelle: Against Digitally (2014). Galloway’s most important argument in the [...] Read more

Peter Wolfendale: Freedom, Agency, and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

Recorded as part of the event Get Reassembled: Time, Intelligence, Acceleration at PAF and curated by Amy Ireland, Katrina Birch and Diana Khamis, the initial aim of this lecture by Peter Wolfendale (philosopher and author of Object-Oriented Philosophy: Numenon’s New Clothes [2014]) is to try to explain the problem of Artificial General Intelligence by way [...] Read more

The Machine that Changed the World

Perhaps the longest and most comprehensive documentary about the history of computers consists of five one-hour episodes. The Machine that Changed the World was produced jointly by WGBH Boston (PBS) and the BBC. It was originally broadcasted in England in 1991 and in the early months of 1992 in the US. Its release was accompanied [...] Read more

The Incredible Machine

This 1968 short film is about the experiments at Bell Laboratories by scientists who used computers in communications research on computer-generated movies, photographs, music, and speech. The score and main title and credits of the film were produced on a computer. The video can also be described as exhibiting the operating logic of “media art,” [...] Read more

Conference of the American Society for Cybernetics in Bolton, UK, 2013

This documentary was shot during the 2013 conference of the American Society for Cybernetics in Bolton, UK. This particular gathering was unusual due to the organizers decision to change the format and allow for an open dialogue among the participants rather than structuring it around the usual presentation of papers. The main theme of the [...] Read more

Google and the World Brain

This documentary from the BBC’s Storyville series is about the opaque links between Google’s various services and the company’s most ambitious desire: to conjure artificial intelligence. The film connects H. G. Wells’s prediction in the 1930s about the emergence of a World Brain to Google’s own attempt. The film features arguments and legal battles between [...] Read more

Suhail Malik: Information Tukhology

In his keynote address for the Incredible Machines Conference held in Vancouver in 2014, Suhail Malik, one of the theorists associated with accelerationism and speculative thought, argues that the evolution of digital technologies is bringing about new forms of what he describes as “difference and contingency-making” processes that are liberated from material, historical, and therefore [...] Read more

The Trouble with Art Criticism: JJ Charlesworth, Adrian Searle, Melissa Gronlund, and Tom Morton—Moderated by Teresa Gleadowe

Part of a series of panels at ICA about, well, trouble (there’s a “trouble with painting,” one with curating, and so on), this panel ended up not exactly focusing on what so many people have described as a current crisis of criticism, but rather on contexts, forms, and questions. Gleadowe opened the talk with the [...] Read more

Jennifer Allen: How do we talk about art?

“Before we decide how we talk about contemporary art, we usually decide that we’re going to speak in English.” Arguably, one of the largest discussions in art criticism (or art writing, more broadly) in recent years followed David Levine and Alix Rule’s article at Triple Canopy on what they termed International Art English. When compared [...] Read more

Roberta Smith: Criticism, a life sentence

Smith confesses at the beginning of the event that she does not lecture; she gives the same talk at every event and uses it as a prompt to reach the Q&A session. It’s true. There are many versions of this piece (with different titles) on different video platforms online. This is the shortest, most succinct [...] Read more

Dan Fox: Dear Claes

What do you stand for? There was a moment when one text seemed to really resonate with a number of people talking about art and criticism: Claes Oldenberg’s “I Am For…” (Statement) from 1961, where the artist advocates for a certain kind of art—active, reactive, political but still open-ended and generative. Oldenberg writes of an [...] Read more

Rosi Braidotti on Crisis, Capital and Austerity – Interview by Andrea Mura

Philosopher and feminist theoretician Rosi Braidotti delivers a powerhouse punch of astute insights into the contemporary implications and monstrous resonance of Deleuze’s assessment of societies of control for today. The transversal, hybrid, multilateral operations of advanced capitalism display a complexity of entanglement that no single disciplinary approach, no mono-perspective methodological tool, and no solitary operation [...] Read more

The Myth of the Given: Nominalism, Naturalism & Materialism, by Ray Brassier

“The myth of the given,” as proposed by the American philosopher Wilfred Sellars, is as much a problem for art as it is for philosophy. Effectively, it is a model of perception that proposes there is a world (i.e., objects) that can be spontaneously apprehended (or “given” to perception) without the perceiving consciousness (i.e., the [...] Read more

“This is Art”: The Anatomy of a Sentence, by Thierry de Duve

Thierry de Duve deftly dissects the deceptively simple injunction “this is art” to show how Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain of 1917 forces us to rethink Kantian aesthetics when encountering “candidates” to be considered as art. De Duve outlines three categories of art theory that are unable to deal with the challenge of Fountain: i) art in [...] Read more

Simon O’Sullivan: On the Production of Subjectivity

This presentation by Simon O’Sullivan is introduced as a description of the key tenets of his recent book On the Production of Subjectivity: Five Diagrams of the Finite-Infinite Relation. However, his lecture quickly expands to critique work by philosophers associated with Speculative Realism. O’Sullivan develops an argument that is inspired by but also challenges some of [...] Read more

Matter, Material, Immaterial: Art, Philosophy and Curating Thirty Years After Lyotard, by Robin Mackay

In this lecture presented at the “Speculations on Anonymous Materials” symposium held at the Fridericianum, Robert Mackay interrogates the exhibition Les Immatériaux, curated by Jean François Lyotard at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1985. By doing so, Mackay explores the importance of understanding the philosophical, political, ethical, and aesthetic import of “immaterials” in the construction [...] Read more

Peter Brook: What Can Photography Do for Prison Reform?

“Our heads,” the prison reform activist Peter Brook argues, in this brilliant discussion of photographic interventions into the profound injustice of the American prison system, “should be exploding with disgust.” Correctly flagging the singular urgency of his endeavor, Brook, in his contribution to SFMoMA’s recent symposium, “Bearing Witness,” notes from the sad irony that while his own intervention as a blogger, lecturer, curator, and aggregator of information about prison photography, is web-based, the community of prisoners he seeks to address is prevented from accessing internet that is his platform.

Everything Was Moving: Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin in Conversation with David Goldblatt

I have little use for the word art; it doesn’t exist in my vocabulary,” the South African photographer David Goldblatt tells us in this deeply rewarding dialogue with London-based artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin; “I’m concerned with real issues, real things, real people, and the effects of these things.” At a time when Broomberg and Chanarin, who were raised in Johannesburg and London, respectively, understood Soweto, by virtue of economics, politics, and geography, as a “parallel universe,” David Goldblatt was driving into that apartheid-torn South African township in a 4x4 truck in order to photograph and report upon its nightmarish living world.

Post-Net Aesthetics

This panel, organized by Karen Archey and held at London’s ICA, builds off of Rhizome’s previous “Net Aesthetics” panels from 2006 and 2008. The “post” in the title is a reference to the rise of post-internet art, a movement that consciously acknowledges the impact of the internet on the production and distribution of art. The [...] Read more

Robin Peckham: Tracing the Post-Internet—A Case Study in Curatorial Process

Hong Kong–based writer, gallerist, and curator Robin Peckham discusses “Art Post-Internet,” the large-scale survey of “post-internet art” that he co-curated with Karen Archey at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. He begins by laying out some of the thorny historical and theoretical background of the term and goes on to describe the process of producing this [...] Read more

Artie Vierkant: Immaterial vs. Material

Recorded at the 2013 Post Digital Cultures conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, artist Artie Vierkant discusses his influential work and theories regarding art production in the post-internet world. Vierkant is known for his essay “The Image Object Post-Internet” in which he makes one of the central claims of post-internet art: in the reality of the present [...] Read more

DLD 2012: Ways Beyond the Internet

In this video, introduced by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist at the DLD Conference in 2012, artists and thinkers associated with post-internet art present their work and ideas in connection to the movement. Obrist begins by discussing a conversation he had with the late artist Nam June Paik. He recalls Paik telling him that cinema became [...] Read more

Ben Vickers: Learning from the Limits of Digital Space

Presented at the 2013 Post Digital Cultures conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, curator and theorist Ben Vickers discusses the impact of networked, digital technology on global culture and society, then focuses on how the discourse of the art world is failing to keep up. He charts some of the contemporary digital phenomena that are re-shaping the [...] Read more

Salon | Lunch Bytes | On Releasing, Distributing & Exhibiting Art Online

Curators Melanie Bühler and Fabian Schöneich moderated this 2013 Art Basel panel about recent trends and questions around the exhibition of art online. The panelists are figures associated with the post-internet movement, including artists Aleksandra Domanović and Oliver Laric, and curators/writers Domenico Quaranta and Ben Vickers. A running question throughout the introduction and subsequent presentations addresses [...] Read more

Peter Osborne: What makes Contemporary Art Contemporary? Or, Other People’s Lives

In this lecture, Peter Osborne revisits some of the arguments in his book Anywhere or Not At All: The Philosophy of Contemporary Art (2013). Mainly, he focuses on contemporary art’s relationship to narrative, in particular in video and film work, by looking at two works by Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari. Osborne argues that a possible [...] Read more

Suhail Malik: Exit not Escape—On The Necessity of Art’s Exit from Contemporary Art

In this series of lectures at Artists Space, Suhail Malik discusses the predominant polemics on the conditions of contemporary art and its critical uncertainties. The argument is presented around the axioms of contemporary art as a field of activity that not only includes artworks but also common places, idiolects, received ideas, judgments, justifications, social and [...] Read more

Suhail Malik: The Problem with Contemporary Art is not the Contemporary

In this series of lectures at Artists Space, Suhail Malik discusses the predominant polemics on the conditions of contemporary art and its critical uncertainties. The argument is presented around the axioms of contemporary art as a field of activity that not only includes artworks but also common places, idiolects, received ideas, judgments, justifications, social and [...] Read more

Suhail Malik: A History of Negations

In this series of lectures at Artists Space, Suhail Malik discusses the predominant polemics on the conditions of contemporary art and its critical uncertainties. The argument is presented around the axioms of contemporary art as a field of activity that not only includes artworks but also common places, idiolects, received ideas, judgments, justifications, social and [...] Read more

Donna Haraway: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene—Staying with the Trouble

“The sky has not fallen. Not yet.” In this brief, dazzlingly associative presentation, the feminist philosopher of science Donna Haraway begins from the observation that the best work across academic disciplines takes for granted a rejection of individualism as either an object of study or a methodological approach. Life is relationality all the way down; [...] Read more

Karen Barad: Re-membering the Future, Re(con)figuring the Past—Temporality, Materiality, and Justice-to-Come

Delivered as the keynote at the 2014 Annual Feminist Theory Workshop at the Women’s Studies Department of Duke University, theoretical physicist and feminist theorist Karen Barad outlines some of her most innovative concepts, such as “spacetimemattering” (matter as the ongoing differentiating of the world) and “quantum entanglement.” These traverse physics and philosophy, situating Barad’s main [...] Read more

Lisa Robertson and Aisha Sasha John: In Conversation

This conversation was hosted in 2012 at The Arts and Letters Club in Toronto by the Toronto small press BookThug and the Toronto New School of Writing. It formed part of a launch of both poets’ new publications: Lisa Robertson’s Nilling: Prose, and Aisha Sasha John’s Gimme yr little quiet. The conversation begins in the [...] Read more

Fred Moten: Collective Head

Critical theorist, educator, and poet Fred Moten delivers a keynote at the 2014 conference “Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies” at the Performance Studies department at New York University. The talk is within the closing plenary at the conference that is dedicated to the late José Esteban Muñoz—a colleague and comrade of many of the conference [...] Read more

Jared Sexton: People-of-Color-Blindness

In this 2011 talk at University of California, Berkeley, noted critical race scholar Jared Sexton draws on his recent articles to develop some of the most trenchant implications of the Afro-Pessimist position as a historical reading, a performative analysis and a political ontology. He is concerned to emphasize both the foundational character of racial slavery [...] Read more

Landscapes of Capital, Circulation and the State: Farocki, Paglen, Sekula

Alberto Toscano discusses the notion of photographic landscape and its relationship to abstraction under capitalism. He considers the disconnect between decontextualized photographic registration of the abstract, devoid of subjectivity, landscapes of capital—a la the school of New Topographics—and its experience. Paraphrasing Alan Sekulla, these works spiritualized the deserted and depopulated landscapes of capital into objects contemplation, in the mystifying translation of a site of production into a site of imaginary leisure. Toscano talks about the notion of "operational images" in the works of Harun Farocki and Sekula’s formulation of "instrumental image."

Dipesh Chakrabarty: The Anthropocene Project, An Opening

What would it mean to “decline the invitation” of the Anthropocene? Historian and theorist Dipesh Chakrabarty elaborates his lecture from the question of what the Anthropocene invites us to think. There is, he argues, a rhetorical power structuring the “age of humans” that bears inspection. When the human is understood as effecting change at the [...] Read more

Bruno Latour: The Anthropocene and the Destruction of the Image of the Globe

In the last of four Gifford Lectures delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Bruno Latour examines a structure of thought that subtends the Anthropocene. Like Haraway, he is interested in asking what kinds of shapes, figures, tropes, and presuppositions organize our thinking about ecological crisis, and how a different way of conceptualizing these rhetorical forms [...] Read more

Elizabeth Kolbert: The Sixth Extinction

Elizabeth Kolbert, a writer for the New Yorker, discusses her extraordinary new book, The Sixth Extinction, a history of the calamitous ecological crises that have befallen planet earth, including the irrevocable “sixth extinction” we may now be living through as a result of human impact on the biosphere. The mode of this talk, as of [...] Read more

James Bridle: Machine Visions (3 parts)

“How do you make pictures of the world,” is the question that animates James Bridle’s vital work as an artist and theorist, and this is the question he takes up in his recent talk at Aperture Gallery. “How do you show the world as it really is when the contemporary world, what drives it, is…almost always invisible to us?” Bridle’s practice has famously located in the Predator drone the key emblem of our present political reality and taken on its instrumental representational codes and their bloody but hidden outward effects as a crucial problem in any critical analysis of our present condition.

Denise Scott Brown: Encounters with the Palimpsest

Part of a symposium on contemporary architectural activity in historic cities, Denise Scott Brown begins by stressing the importance of a “Situationist view” of urban design, an approach wholly inclusive of the layering of contexts inherent to any locale. Moving through initial examples to introduce both the depth and diversity of site specificities for which she’s spent decades advocating, Scott Brown touches on Learning from Las Vegas to plainly state that The Strip is certainly indicative of such a palimpsest, “not as much in time, unless you count geological time—which you should do—and then it’s many millions of palimpsests.”

Teddy Cruz: Where is Our Collective Imagination?

After an introduction by Krzysztof Wodiczko, architect and artist Teddy Cruz discusses his San Diego-Tijuana border-based practice. Emphasizing the politically generative potential of conflict situations, Cruz presents an array of actions demonstrating that the “construction of citizenship,” key to his theses, begins in sites of contestation and marginalization—in his specific work, the immigrant neighborhoods of [...] Read more

Reinhold Martin and Patrik Schumacher: Architecture and Politics: Parametricism within or beyond Liberal Democracy?

In recognition of generative design’s full saturation into the entire discipline of architecture (à la firms like that of Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry), the organizers of The Politics of Parametricism structured a program that would waste no time in addressing the political complications of the zeitgeist’s preferred fashion. This opening event doesn’t disappoint, as evidenced by the succession of writings that eventually followed. Since this conference, Patrik Schumacher—who coined the term ‘parametricism’—has unintentionally become the case in point for a necessary reaffirmation of architecture’s socioeconomic role and responsibility.

Norma Rantisi: Artists’ Resistance in the Inner-city—Challenging or “Smoothing” the Process of Gentrification in Montreal’s Mile End?

Geography and Planning professor Norma Rantisi lectures on the potentials and unanswered questions resulting from recent anti-displacement struggles in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood. Beginning with an overview of artists’ typecast role as “first-stage” gentrifiers and then examining the historical and real estate market conditions for gentrification specific to Mile End, Rantisi illustrates the prototypical Richard Florida-style creative class ideologies that coalesced to make the area attractive for large-scale corporate investment, like that of French video game developer Ubisoft. As rents eventually rose, and the artist community was threatened, Rantisi explains how groups organized to push back, highlighting the efforts of the Pied Carré artist lobby to secure 200,000 sq. f[...] read more

Victoria Hattam and Hito Steyerl: Photography and Political Agency?

Hito Steyerl discusses how the reality we exist in consists of images. She posits that images have begun 'crossing the screen', the process of image materializing into things, people, infrastructure and landscape. In this crossing, images are bruised and damaged and reality appears to us as the wreckage caused by this movement. Steyerl grounds this conception of the image away from representation and as a catalyzing action or event by example of protestors ceasing a television station from Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujicǎ's 'Videograms of Revolution' 1992. Protestors created pictures for broadcast whose affect were catalysts towards the Romanian revolution and Steyerl looks to this relationship with image away from associations with document, record and representation. Steyerl draws a s[...] read more

Video School features monthly programs of videos selected by artists and thinkers on issues relevant to their practice and contemporary artistic discourse. Related to each program’s thematic, existing videos include lectures and conversations compiled from various online sources.