Conference Report on "The Diagrammatic Practice of the Micropolitical – the Spatio-temporal Expression of Play between Power, Knowledge and the Aesthetics of Existence"
Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), Zurich,14 - 16 November 2013
A report by Katja Čičigoj
> Conference Outline
This is but a meagre illustration of the heterogeneity of approaches and themes tackled in the presently reviewed symposium. Yet the problem might be tied not so much to the approximate nature of this illustration, as to the illustrative mode of writing itself. Illustrative, analytical, disputational, descriptive, critical ... can the standard modes of academic enunciation, anticipated by the genre of a conference report, accommodate the emphatically micropolitical nature of a conference on micropolitics – and play? In other words, can the present article successfully relay the playful and micropolitical nature of the symposium at the ZHdK, which was performed through the tight intertwining of its formal and social dramaturgy with the theoretical and practical problems tackled? If we want the event to resonate in writing, however, we can try to take writing as precisely such a practice – of play, trial, and experimentation, aimed at conveying the play, trial, and experimentation, the micropolitical dynamics of the event written about. So here we go again:
(Try Again, Fail Better)
(Try Again, Fail Better II)
(Try Again, Fail Better III)
(Try Again, Fail Better IV)
Expanding upon the micropolitical consequences of the performative nature of the symposium, we could notice how the symposium did not contrast the widely discussed progressive precarisation of academic and artistic labour (the blurring of the boundary between work and free time via the commodification of the everyday, affectivity, relationality and creativity) with a reactionary criticism aimed at reinstating a historically failed and libidinally restrictive solution. On the contrary, we could view its micropolitical performative strategy as pushing certain liberatory tendencies of the "factories of knowledge" in late capitalism even further, yet astray, creatively twisting them to foster new "lines of alliance and spaces of liberty": a shared space of commu/onal experience where art, theory, politics, life and friendship coexist, mutually enrich each other in an immanent process of commu/onisation. Serious play in face of the late capitalist dictate of joyful work: a welcome refreshment in face of the (too) many theories of art and/as labour. And yet…
(Try Again, Fail Better V)
Maurizio Lazzarato's reconceptualization of the notion of the event might thus be appropriate to express the micropolitical way of functioning of the symposium: "A political event does not in the first place change either the world, or society; it limits itself to operating a reversal of perspectives of subjectivity and opening a passage from one mode of existence to the other. The event-driven rupture constitutes but a sketch, a start whose realization is undetermined, improbable, and even 'impossible' following the principles of the established powers."
(Try Again, Fail Better VI)
"Mon/ defending as one's own life
Tue/ moving as weeping King Kongs
Wed/ harbouring as part of a collective
Thu/ shooting for documents of imagination
Fri/ playing for some loving serenity
Sun/ relinquishing everything as a discrete dancer"
(discoteca flaming star: "Agora")
The brochure of the Symposium with abstracts of contributions, the curatorial statement, and the text of the lecture by Maurizio Lazzarato can be downloaded here: http://www.code-flow.net/events/kunsthof-2013/20131114-20131116-symposium/symposium-brochure.pdf
Dimitrina Sevova & Christoph Brunner
Post-Fordist City and the Playground of Precarity
Susanna Perin (Rome): "Self Made Urbanism Rome"
m-a-u-s-e-r (Mona Mahall & Aslı Serbest, Stuttgart): "Lend Form. Borrow Content. "
Espace Temporaire (Magdalena Ybarguen, Geneva): "Breaking in and provoking spaces of freedom"
Paolo Caffoni (Milan): "Living in a City Called Macao"
Respondent: Jens Badura
T. Melih Görgün (Istanbul): "Unfortunate Stranger"
Screening: Activist Practices and Unplaying the Public Space
RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co; Zurich): "reservoir news"
Introduction: Daniel Hauser
Marcelo Expósito (Barcelona): "Tactical Frivolity + Rhythms of Resistance"
Life as Resistance – The Politics of Precarity – The Body as Transindividual
Gerald Raunig (ZHdK, Zurich): "New Spaces of Liberty / Communists Like Us"
Isabell Lorey (University of Basel, Basel): "Government through Precarization and Presentist Democracy"
Joshua Simon (Goldsmiths College, London): "Dividual: Between The Society of Control and Neomaterialism"
Respondent: Roberto Nigro
Outside and the Play of Power
Roberto Nigro (ZHdK, Zurich): "Outside, Micro-politics, Revolution"
Anja Kanngieser (Goldsmiths College, London): "Sonic geographies: towards a careful listening"
Kerstin Schroedinger (ZHdK, Zurich): "Material Interventions (III) " (Lecture-performance)
Respondent: Karmen Franinović
Ungrounding Playgrounds – Folds of the Inside
discoteca flaming star (Cristina Gómez Barrio & Wolfgang Mayer, Berlin): "Agora"
Adrian Rifkin (Goldsmiths College, London): "A Good Laugh is not to be Sneezed At"
Michael Hiltbrunner (ZHdK, Zurich): "untitled (Isou et les Isouiens)" (Performance)
Respondent: Romy Rüegger
Performance: The Game of Chance and Biopower I
David Maroto (The Netherlands): "Illusion Buzzword Bingo" (Performance)
Wiktoria Furrer, Sebastian Dieterich in cooperation with Elke Bippus (ZHdK, Zurich): "Micropractice. Practicing engagement and resistance"
Parallel Film Program
Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni (Paris): "In Search of UIQ"
Talk Followed by Discussion
Maurizio Lazzarato (Paris): "Micropolitics and the Refusal of Work"
Performance: The Game of Chance and Biopower II
Franziska Koch in collaboration with Jacky Poloni (Zurich): "Jack Black part two (to be continued)" (Performance)
The Serious Play of Knowledge Production – Organization Between Work and Play – and the Practice of Deschooling
Kuba Szreder (Loughborough University, Leicestershire): "Playing seriously in the age of project-making"
Diego Segatto (Palestine): "Re-activating the Common: new roles for the University in the social order"
Respondent: Christoph Brunner
Undoing the Institution and the Politics of Dis-Play
David Dibosa (University of Arts, London): "Turning the museum inside out"
Carmen Mörsch (ZHdK, Zurich): "Micropolitics in the Gallery: Rethinking education as queer practice."
Binna Choi (CASCO, Amsterdam): "Exile from the World"
Daniel Morgenthaler (Helmhaus, Zurich): "Touching Up the Institution"
Respondent: Dimitrina Sevova
Chiara Fumai (Milan): "Shut up, Actually Talk"
© bei der Autorin und bei KULT_online
Fotos: Patrick Cipriani, 2013