April 4, 2016

“Bots, Bodies, Beasts—The art of being Humble”

Gerrit Rietveld Academie
Anton Westbom Weflö, Johanna Ehde and Till-Michael Hormann, Bots, Bodies, Beasts – The art of being Humble, 2016. For Studium Generale Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.

Four-day conference-festival curated by guest curators who have each inaugurated a discursive and performative program.

This year’s conference is about bots, bodies and beasts. It focuses on the notion of the posthuman and the blurring of traditional distinctions between the human and its others—be these bots or beasts. How can a critical notion of the posthuman be a tool for understanding the present? How can it help us make sense of our flexible and multiple identities? Can it redefine humanity’s place in the technological and biological continuums we are part of?

April 6
Vernissage featuring Rietveld Uncut, an annual joint presentation of art projects by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, forming an ongoing setting for the symposium.

April 7
Maaike Lauwaert: “A Buzzing Field of Exchange”
How can we obtain an expanded understanding of what objects and humans are or can be? They are all part of a buzzing field of exchange that remains largely hidden to us. Curator and critic Karen Archey will focus on the posthuman body, identity and sexuality; artist Cécile B. Evans will be discussing research for her new project What the Heart Wants, which explores what it could mean to be human in the future; artist Hans-Christian Dany will ask us to leave the humanist attitude of control; Neïl Beloufa will screen Kempinski, a film in which a farmer describes a world in which he is the only human left; curator Melanie Bühler will focus on the autonomy of artworks in the context of this new, expanded understanding of objects; and musician and artist Geo Wyeth will do a performance.

April 8
“If I Can’t Dance: Propositions on the Subject”
The program of the day comprises the presentation of three works of art that connect theory with artistic practice: Xavier Le Roy’s performance Product of Circumstances; Keti Chukhrov’s film Love Machines; and a new live experience by Alicia Frankovich. Each of the artists’ works intersects with a number of disciplines, from biology and choreography, philosophy and poetry, and visual arts and performance, to create artistic and experimental propositions that speak to the complexity of living bodies.

April 9
Mohammad Salemy: “Systems of a Greater Sum”
“Systems of a Greater Sum” begins from the assumption that humans have always already been posthuman; it will be about the expanded concept of technology towards the twin tasks of politicizing what is at stake in the ongoing cybernetic revolution, while shedding light on the technological underpinnings of the larger social fields.

With: Allen Feldman, Amanda Beech, Matteo Pasquinelli, Victoria Ivanova, Adam Kleinman and Manuel Correa.

April 10
Anselm Franke: “Mapping and Being Mapped. Navigation Systems, Control Environments and Cognitive Maps”
What does it mean to be led astray by a map, taken “off-road,” for instance by your GPS? Is art perhaps offering ways of leaving a scripted space or a cognitive scheme, reflexively inducing a cognitive crisis, an experience of ontological groundlessness? How can art explore and respond to the cognitive crisis of capitalist technologies? And what will then be the next refuge for complexity and resilience?

With: Brian Holmes, Filipa Ramos, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Alexandra Anikina, Jan Peter Hammer. Screening of Harun Farocki’s Parallel I-IV, 2012–14; Screening of Jan Peter Hammer’s Tilikum; Screening of Julien Prévieux’s Patterns of Life. 

During the conference the results of a workshop for first year students—conceptualized and guided by artist L.D Garnier—will be presented.



Rietveld Uncut, an annual presentation revealing the process of making within the academy to the outside world.
Curators: Tomas Adolfs & Tarja Szaraniec

Studium Generale Rietveld Academie, an exploratory theory program aimed at all departments, open to the public.
Chief curator: Jorinde Seijdel
Assistant curator: Jort van der Laan

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