Praxis 6: Imaginaries in Transition: Aesthetics, Desires and Politics 

What is the imagination, what is the imaginary? How do they drive our artistic process; how do they shape our political consciousness?
Nummer und TypMAF-MAF-Pr00.19H.006 / Moduldurchführung
ModulÄsthetische Praxis 
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungYvonne Wilhelm, Quinn Latimer
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 10
ECTS21 Credits
VoraussetzungenCourse language: English
ZielgruppenMFA students
Lernziele / KompetenzenIn this praxis seminar, we will explore the potential of the imagination and the imaginary in contemporary artistic and discoursive practice, as well as in the specific practices and projects of the participating students. In addition, we will discuss and explore the format of the workshop as an increasingly expanding social artistic practice.
InhalteWhat is the imagination, what is the imaginary? How do they drive our artistic process? As we continually create and process images in our minds, aided in this operation by signs and symbols, we project our ideas onto the outside, that which we might call the real. These projections—a kind of desire—often control our daily life, our thinking and feelings, language and consciousness. As constructions of reality, the imagination affects both our individual interpretation of the world and common experiences as aesthetic, affective, sensitive forms of being together. But the imaginary is ambiguous: it can be manipulative and pathological as well as inventive and virtuosic, as conservative as it is transformative. Indeed, how to understand our projections that cannot be reconciled with so-called reality? In art, the forces that produce the imagination cannot be separated from looking, that is, the gaze and aesthetic/poetic modes of making. Is control of one's imagination, over aesthetic experience itself, a myth? Do recent technologies shape our consciousness? How is the imagination a collective endeavor? How is it tied to memory—all those “pictures”—and how does it construct the present and thus the future?

In this praxis seminar, we will attempt to answer some of these questions, while exploring the potential of imagination for our artistic practices. Your work, projects, and ideas on the subject will be centered, as we examine the aesthetic processes that we each initiate as artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, curators, or other. Two of the seminar days will comprise close readings and group discussions. The remaining three days we will develop and hold workshops, focusing on our specific practices and their relationship to the seminar’s subjects, including transcultural concepts to transgress the dualisms between inner and outer worlds, the entanglements of vision and everyday life, the human and inhuman, the digital and the analogue.

About the teachers:

Quinn Latimer is a writer and editor whose work often explores feminist economies of writing, reading, and image production. She is the author of Like a Woman: Essays, Readings, Poems (2017), Sarah Lucas: Describe This Distance (2013), and Film as a Form of Writing: Quinn Latimer Talks to Akram Zaatari (2013). Her writings and readings have been featured widely, including at REDCAT, Los Angeles; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Radio Athènes, Athens; the Poetry Project, New York; the Venice Architecture Biennale; and Sharjah Biennial 13. Latimer was editor-in-chief of publications for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel.

Yvonne Wilhelm is an artist and professor, teaching at the ZHdK MFA, who has been experimenting with forms and medialities of knowledge, political representations and epistemic disobedience. Her practical focus is on post-digital time-based formats, installative-performative settings and research-led art.
Bibliographie / LiteraturReadings will include the social function of the imagination per Cornelius Castordiadis, the aesthetic power of the erotic imaginary per Audre Lorde, the postcolonial imaginations of Marguerite Duras, and collective imaginations such as the Swiss Robinson family. In addition, texts by Édouard Glissant, Edward Said, Angela Davis, Media Farzin, Wallace Stevens, Bernard Stiegler, Hito Steyerl, and Tiqqun will delineate disparate aspects of the imaginary, one that is alternately feminist, literary, technological, authoritarian, abolitionist, aesthetic, and/or ecological.

There will be a reader that we will use during the seminar.
Leistungsnachweis / Testatanforderung
  • Min. 80 % attendance time
  • Semester report
TermineTime: 10:00 - 18:00 o'clock

23 October
21 November
2 / 3 / 4 December
Bewertungsformbestanden / nicht bestanden
Termine (5)