School of Art, Media, and Technology

Streaming Culture: Entangled Activisms

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streaming_culture_logo The early Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously claimed, “You can never step in the same river twice.” Comically, one of the rebuttals to this observation was, “You can never step in the same river once.” The logics of activism invariably relate to ideas of how change happens—how we step in this seemingly paradoxical river. This discussion is an attempt to test and experiment with the linkages between activist practices, ideas of change, and theories of time.

Arguing that theories of activism need to frame activism as essentially a theory of time, the presenters propose that the time of change not be defined chronologically but qualitatively. Rather than sequential time, they propose measureless time. But how can we think and experimentally work with qualitative time today? How do we take into account the ruptures, swerves, emergences, and folds of becoming that sweep us far beyond identity, being, and the logics of critique? What are the new possibilities and techniques of activism and activist art that develop out of these logics of the event? This is an evening to debate and develop new models of time, and in so doing, to rethink and propose new ideas of artistic practice.

A presentation by Iain Kerr, artist, theorist, and founding member of the research collective spurse, is followed by discussion with respondents Brian McGrath, architect, writer, and associate professor of Urban Design at Parsons The New School for Design; Petia Morozov, architect, writer, educator and urban explorer; and Nato Thompson, writer and chief curator of Creative Time.

Presented as part of “Streaming Culture / Art & Politics,” a new interdivisional initiative organized by Victoria Vesna, Visiting Professor (UCLA) and Director of Research, School of Art, Media & Technology, Parsons The New School of Design, in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, on occasion of its 2009/2010 program cycle on Speculating on Change.

If you can’t join us in person, visit to view a live stream of the event.

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue

Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

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