Radical Materialism: Making The World Matter

CUNY Graduate Center, skyroom, Sept 10, 2014

Images and words can be reportage, witness, representation, and simultaneously also constructive, connective, material reality. How does the particular ability of images and words to hold all of these qualities act in a reconsideration of the earth’s resources? Continuing the James Gallery’s ongoing investigations into “things” and “objects,” this conference will open discussion on fossil fuel imaginaries, embodied research, postcolonial ecologies and eco-aesthetics, and the material/non-human turn with visual artists, literary scholars, art historians, designers, geographers, activists, and writers of literature and philosophy. Held in tandem with the exhibition World of Matter, the conference examines the creation of political worlds of words and images by approaching environmental crisis as a material question with deep roots and profound opportunities for the changing life of the earth.

Follow the links to watch the video recordings of the conference.

Conference introduction
by organizers Emily Eliza Scott (World of Matter)
Ashley Dawson (English, The Graduate Center, CUNY) and
Katherine Carl (James Gallery and Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Panel 1: Resource Imaginaries
Petromagic, Ashley Dawson (English, The Graduate Center, CUNY),
Fueling Culture, Jennifer Wenzel (English, Columbia)
Practices for Turning into the Anthropocene, Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse, Smudge Studio
Respondent: D. Graham Burnett (History of Science, Princeton).

Panel 2: Postcolonial Ecologies
Presentations by Graduate Center Ph.D. students developed in the context of Ashley Dawson’s seminar.
Respondents: Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer (World of Matter)

Panel 3: In the Middle of Things
Against Representation, David Joselit (Art History, The Graduate Center)
Deep Weather, screening, Ursula Biemann
Kate Orff (GSAPP, Columbia, and SCAPE Studio)
Drifting Studio Practice, Lonnie van Brummelen (World of Matter)
Respondent: Ursula Biemann (World of Matter)

Panel 4: Eco-Aesthetics and the Material/Nonhuman Turn
Decolonizing Nature, Making the World Matter, TJ Demos (Art History, University College London)
Eco-Sovereinty, Omar Dahbour (Philosophy, The Graduate Center)
Roundtable discussion with Omar Dahbour and World of Matter participants Ursula Biemann, Uwe Martin, Peter Mörtenböck, Helge Mooshammer, and Emily Eliza Scott.

Cosponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum; The Center for Place, Culture and Politics; the PhD Program in English; Pro Helvetia; Speculative Realism and Accelerationism Seminar in the Humanities.