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Announcement
September 30, 2020

West Hollywood Aesthetics and Politics (WHAP!) 2020: "Black Out: On the Surveillance of Blackness"

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

Weilu Ge, CalArts 2020.

WHAP! stands for the West Hollywood Aesthetics and Politics lecture series. Launched in the fall of 2011, the series is co-hosted by CalArts’ MA Aesthetics and Politics Program and the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division (@WeHoArts). The year-long line-up ranges from political debates to film screenings and performances, as well as conversations about art, architecture, and philosophy.

The fall 2020 series “Black Out: On the Surveillance of Blackness” is curated by Andrew Culp. The theme “Black Out” is prompted by Simone Browne writing about a popular Youtube video that demonstrated how the facial recognition software of a HP webcam failed to work on Black faces. Her provocative challenge is that, at least for the Black target of surveillance technology, increased visibility may not always be the appropriate goal. She instead prompts us to look for “fugitive acts of escape, resistance, and the productive disruptions that happen when blackness enters the frame” (Dark Matters, 164).

All lectures begin at 4:30pm PDT and will be streamed and archived for the public via YouTube.

September 25: CalArts alumni Michael Gardner, Nicholas Nauman, Cory Warren, and Jessica Wawra


October 24: Nicholas Mirzoeff (NYU), "Whiteness, White Seeing, White Space and their Fall"


November 6: Calvin Warren (Emory), “Being Blacked Out/Blacking Out Being: Nihilistic Considerations”


November 20: Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, “Abolishing the Stalker State.”


December 4: Brian Jefferson Jordan (Illinois), "Information Capitalism Meets Racial Capitalism: Surveillance and Racial Criminalization in the Digital Age”

About the MA Aesthetics and Politics Program
The MA Aesthetics and Politics Program offers a unique degree experience that encourages interrogations of the arts and politics in an expanded field. Students specialize in Critical Theory, Global Studies, or Media and Urban Studies and work closely with program faculty and visiting scholars.

For more information on the program, contact Seth Blake at sblake [​at​] calarts.edu

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