Navigation Beyond Vision – Art After Culture Conference Series

5-6 April, 2019

Lecture and panel discussion at HKW, Berlin on April 5-6, 2019, in the frame of e-flux’s 10th year anniversary, in partnership with the Harun Farocki Institute and the CCC Research-Based Master of Visual Arts at HEAD – Genève. More details here.

Talk Title:
Orientation in a Big World: On the Necessity of Horizonless Perspectives

This talk argues that speaking of a ‘politics of location’ or ‘situatedness’ today, demands heightened attention to the complex field conditions that co-produce any instance of localization. At what threshold does the local or situatedness end? What are the conceptual borders that come to delimit this distinction, and through what relative scale is ‘situatedness’ understood? These questions are bound to the problem of planetary navigability in a moment of unprecedented interconnection, requiring a better, practical grasp on the relationship between the discrete and the continuous to construct modes of orientation that are released from a strictly human scale. The ‘horizon’, it will be argued, serves only to reinforce existing “genres of being human”, to borrow the expression from Sylvia Wynter, in both its geometric form and especially in its ubiquitous usage as a linguistic index of orientation for futurity as such. Because the horizon only exists as a marker of human optical limitations, it is confined to small-world functions, whereas today a crucial task lies in situating thought/activity within a big-world perspective, and the new spatio-temporal perceptions that necessarily co-emerge with it.