University of Bergen – Curatorial

During this seminar we’ll map out a problem that concerns the sensorial and the intelligible, and open up for discussion possible consequences and approaches for curatorial practices. The Problem (in a nutshell): To speak or think of a better world (however this ‘better world’ is figured as an object of political contestation), is to speak or think of a world that does not yet exist in the concrete here and now of this world. In this way any struggle for a better world, is also a struggle for learning how to witness a world that is not yet concretely manifest. What is meant by ‘world’ (and there are many) is simply a locatable, shared site where life activities take place, including the conditions of experience belonging to that world. These conditions of experience are shaped by frames of reference belonging to a world that condition experience in a certain way. Frames of reference set a certain perspective as to how/what to see, hear, know, or question – making it difficult to think outside such referential frameworks. Considering that the configuration of worlds (as they are) is reinforced/reproduced through knowledge, language, modes of sensing, etc. adaptive to its constitutive frames of reference, the question of witnessing otherworlds, is a question of thinking and sensing non-adaptively, and developing practices to enable such possibility. We will rely heavily on Sylvia Wynter’s exemplary work on ‘genres of being human’ as a primary frame of reference for world configurations, while speculating on her demand for the need to rethink human practices within and for planetary dimensionality. Topics of (possible) discussion:
  • 'Human genre-confirming truths' or Adaptive truths
  • Limits of critique (reinforcement of existing worlds, even as a negative object)
  • Sociogeny (which Wynter extends from Frantz Fanon) – as that which addresses the biological over-determination of ‘being human’ undergirding the ‘monohumanism’ of homo oeconomicus – Wynter asks of us to make claims on the human as a hybrid bio/mythoi creature
  • How the scalar/spatial dynamics of planetarity are distinct from those of globalization, or rather how they need to be
  • Counterfactual Worlds / Fiction
  • Situatedness (in the context of Planetarity), Site and Location