Faculty Rit Premnath in ‘Dictionary of the Possible’ Discussion by Shifter Magazine

Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 4-6 pm
The Bark Room
The New School
2 West 13th Street, Room M101
New York, NY 10011

Discussion Leaders:
Siddhartha Lokanandi
Rit Premnath

Recommended Readings:
An Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak by Sara Danius, Stefan Jonsson
Needs by Ivan Illich from The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power

Dictionary of the Possible

We are happy to kick off the final set of Dictionary Of the Possible meetings with a discussion led by Siddhartha Lokanandi and Rit Premnath. They will be discussing the limits of theory as a legible and generative language when it comes to conversations with art communities outside the relatively small academic bubbles we inhabit. They will use the keyword “Unnameable” in attempting to speak about other modes of discourse and communality that bind artists together elsewhere – particularly certain visual art communities in India that they are also a part of. The “Unnameable” will function as an entry that sits uncomfortably within the dictionary as a reminder of an outside that speaks another language.

This is the fifteenth meeting in an ongoing series of public discussions, each concentrated on unraveling a keyword – a term that carries with it both a sense of urgency and agency in our present climate. By inviting artists, writers, activists and philosophers to propose terms and lead discussions, SHIFTER has opened up its editorial process to the motivations of others.

The format of these discussions is central to the project. We do not use the standard mode of lecture or presentation. Rather, we invite two speakers to prepare brief remarks of around 10-15 minutes around the chosen term and pose critical questions for all those present. The conversation is immediately opened up for all. The purpose of the short readings recommended by the discussion leaders is to help stimulate ideas and discussion.

The yearlong series will culminate in SHIFTER’s 22nd issue Dictionary of the Possible. This dictionary will catalog the many keywords taken up for discussion, accompanied by a list of questions provoked during each meeting. Rather than providing static definitions we envision a dictionary that continually incites discussion.