SoAH Research Platform: Geoaesthetics: Locating Art in Unstable Milieux

SoAH Platform: Geoaesthetics: Locating Art in Unstable Milieux
A Live Zoom Talk with Boris Čučković Berger, Anthony Iles and Irit Rogoff
5 May 2020 | 3pm – 5.30pm

‘[W]hat philosophy finds in the Greeks, said Nietzsche, is not an origin but a milieu, an ambience, an atmosphere: the philosopher ceases to be a comet.’– Deleuzue and Guattari, ‘Geophilosophy’, What is Philosophy? 

This event is inspired by the idea that art is unthinkable outside of the relationship of artists to their milieux. Yet the increasingly ‘hostile environments’ that we dwell in, from unaffordable and fully financialised cities, to our planetary health and ecological crises, to the digital melee we orientate and survive within produces milieux framed by fear, continuous expulsions, hyper connectivity and a prevailing precarity. Following theorists such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Georges Canghuilhem, Deleuze & Guattari, and Michel Foucault, we can think about culture as a direct extension of its material, living, economic and atmospheric environment. How then can we think drastically destabilised conditions in relation to contemporary art production? For instance, how does the precarity and nomadism produced by extractive economies and financialised cities impact and shape the work of artists – not just the conditions in which they work, but the artworks themselves? Which methodologies can we use to research and understand this relationship? How can we relate the way conditions make us feel to the work artists make? Are there regularities we can speak of when irregularity becomes the rule?  

Prof. Irit Rogoff, Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths
Dr. Boris Čučković Berger, The Courtauld Institute
Dr. Anthony Iles, Middlesex University

Irit Rogoff is a writer, educator, curator and organizer. She is Professor of Visual Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London, a department she founded in 2002. Rogoff works at the intersections of contemporary practices, politics and philosophy. Her current work is on new practices of knowledge production and their impact on modes of research, under the title of “Becoming Research” (forthcoming). As part of the collective freethought Rogoff was one of the artistic directors of the Norwegian Triennial “The Bergen Assembly” September, 2016 and editor of ‘The Infrastructural Condition” (to be published by BAK). Rogoff is also co-founder in 2017 of “The European Forum for Advanced Practices”, a Europe wide forum for engaging with and developing a set of principles for Advanced, Practice Driven form of Research.

 A significant strand of Rogoff’s work concerns geography, counter cartography and questions of Globalization. In publications such as “Terra Infirma – Geography’s Visual Culture” 2000, “Engendering Terror” (Geography and the Politics of Mobility 2002) , ‘The Where of Now’ (Time Zones, Tate Modern 2004), ‘GeoCultures – Circuits of Art and Globalization” (Open, no 16 , 2009) ‘Oblique Points of Entry” (Contemporary Art from the Middle East 2015) – Rogoff has explored how critical perspectives and emergent subjectivities form the basis for alternative understandings of the relations between subjects, places and spaces.

Boris Čučković Berger works on critical studies in art and media. He is Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where he delivers courses related to media practices of contemporary art; Cold War period criticism and theory; and the methodological frameworks of art history. His doctoral project focused on the historical relationship between the 2008 financial crisis and the increased attention to the materiality of digital production in contemporary art. 

Boris published widely on topics in art history and new media studies such as: open source cultural practices; digitally produced sculptures; and art engaged with workspace infrastructure. He holds degrees in both art history and information sciences from the universities of Zagreb, Leiden, Amsterdam and London.

Anthony Iles recently completed a PhD on the artist-run journal Inventory (1995-2005). He is an Associate Lecturer at Northampton University and a Visiting Tutor at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. He is Commissioning Editor for the series Documents of Contemporary Art published by the Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press. A founder member of Full Unemployment Cinema and a Contributing Editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005, he is the author, with Josephine Berry, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), co-author, with Tom Roberts, of All Knees and Elbows (2012) contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: Writing and Crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product (Buchhandlung Walther König, 2014). Essays and reviews by Anthony have been published in the journals Variant, Cesura//Acceso, Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.