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Announcement
October 1, 2018

MaHKUscript. Journal of Fine Art Research, issue 4: "Whatever Speculation", seeks contributions

MaHKU, Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design

Falke Pisano and Camila Sposati, Discourse <-> Dialogue, 2017.

MaHKUscript. Journal of Fine Art Research is the successor of MaHKUzine. Journal of Artistic Research (2006–11). This online publication series consciously moves away from an accolade concept of artistic research in order to concentrate fully on the idiosyncrasy and specificity of research in the domain of fine art. For this purpose, MaHKUscript selects annually a topical research theme.

Over the past three years, the following theme issues have appeared:

2016: "Experimentality" (contributions by a.o. Andrew Pickering, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Peter Weibel, and Natasha Ginwala)

2017: "Critical Spatial Practice" (contributions by a.o. Markus Miessen, Lara Almarcegui, Mi You, and Jane Rendell)

2018: "Reclaiming Artistic Research – First Thoughts ..." (guest-edited by Lucy Cotter with contributions by a.o. Falke Pisano, Dora Garcia, Liam Gillick and Samson Young)

The fourth issue of MaHKUscript will focus on the topicality of “Speculation” in an era characterized by the absence of certainty.

The current logic of a result-driven culture and its neoliberal focus on free market mechanisms support a flat worldview that continuously demands transparency and visibility. Thus it produces a horizontalist world that—with its twitter-democracy and the ubiquitous blogosphere—brings a “net culture” into being that leaves no room for rest, concentration, contemplation, creation and experiment.

In such a worldview, knowledge is instrumentalized and consequently produces patterns of thought homogenized through a disciplining dispositive that uses neoliberal concepts such as expert-knowledge, stakeholders, and knowledge transfer as its formatting requirements. The planet that emerges is shaped by globalized—cognitive—capitalism where verticalist perspectives such as reflexivity, imagination, and historic profundity are reduced as much as possible to horizontalist frameworks, thus leaving them very little room.

In its interaction with human existence, art, like philosophy, is virtually the ontological purveyor of verticality. It is therefore up to art to critically map and investigate the current rather narrowed and overstrung situation, and to demand renewed attention for different forms of reflection that search for a more subtle balance.

With this goal in mind, MaHKUscript’s 2019 issue "Whatever Speculation" will focus on a key-concept in the history of—artistic—thinking, i.e. speculation.

Nowadays speculation has been devalued to a one-dimensional economic meaning. It seems that speculative thought about future forms of knowledge and solutions to problems surrounding existence and social viability has made way for an almost self-evident resignation to the present moment and status quo—leaving a blurred view of complex issues that characterize the here and now.

For that reason it is extremely urgent to reconsider different and alternative connotations of speculation and to bring them up to date. The addition “Whatever” emphasizes that these connotations should always matter to the realities that we live in. Therefore, it is essential that we investigate this methodological question: starting from the artistic perspective, how could we engage in tasks of considering, revealing, and speculating in order to arrive at not-yet-known-knowledge and new, forward looking narratives, scenarios and modes of imagination.

For this fourth issue of MaHKUscript, the keynote author is Marina Vishmidt.

MaHKUscript also invites artists, researchers and other thinkers or knowledge producers to submit a proposal for a contribution. Interested authors can send in an abstract of 300 words max. In this summary, they should articulate how their submission could be constructive and innovative in the topical debate about the state of speculation.

Editor: Henk Slager (Utrecht)

Editorial Advisory Board: Chus Martinez (Basel), Hongjohn Lin (Taipei), Inci Eviner (Istanbul), Irit Rogoff (London), Maria Hlavajova (Utrecht), Marquard Smith (London), Mick Wilson (Gothenburg), and Ute Meta Bauer (Singapore).

For more information and submissions: mahkuscript [​at​] hku.nl

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