FILM SCREENING: “Moments of Silence”
Bigert & Bergström, 14:00 min. HD, 2014
A meditative memento on the importance of collective memory, Moments of Silence compiles a series of these moments into a film to examine one of the few remaining activities that shape a collective human experience. Bigert & Bergström are an artist and filmmaker duo based in Stockholm. Their films and artworks have been shown in institutions world-wide—including Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; ICA, London; and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo—and included in the Venice Biennale, the Moscow Biennial, and the Singapore Biennial, among other exhibitions. They are currently working on a trilogy of short films that examine the public statement as a performative act. Moments of Silence (2014) is the first film in the series, and will be followed by Important Message to the Public (2015) and Explosion of Speech (2016).
SOUND INSTALLATION: “Blues Speaker [for James Baldwin]”
Walkthrough with Mendi + Keith Obadike
Location: University Center, 65 5th Avenue, Social Justice Hub
Artists Mendi + Keith Obadike present Blues Speaker [for James Baldwin], a multichannel sound artwork installed in The New School’s University Center from April 1 through 30. Part of the city-wide celebration The Year of James Baldwin, it celebrates James Baldwin’s keen understanding of the social role of the blues. Baldwin (1924-1987) was a key figure at the political juncture of music and words in the United States. This immersive sound installation turns the entire University Center into one speaker, resonating across four floors on three sides of the new building. Conference attendees are invited to experience the sound installation before attending the discussion with the artists and others about how listening contributes to interdisciplinary studies of power, inequality, and social justice. Preceded by a reading of excerpts of Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues (1957) by musician and poet Karma Mayet Johnson at noon.
AUDIO WORK: “The Revolutionary”
Iman Issa, 5:58 min. audio, 2010
Issa’s work explores the relationship between history, memory, language, and objects. She does this through the presentation of multiple forms, including sculpture, text, video, photography and sound. The Revolutionary, an audio work created using text-to-speech software, tells the convoluted story of a political radical, using contradictions and ambiguity to present an enigmatic portrait.
ONGOING: “Ping Pong Drawing”
Friday, April 24, 12:30–7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 25, 2:00–6:00 p.m.
Wato Tsereteli, artist and Founder of CCA Tbilisi, leads a non-verbal listening exercise adjacent to the What Now? symposium lecture hall. Providing an experimental space for reflection and response for audience members in between and following the conference programming, artists and non-artists alike are invited to share a plain sheet of paper, leading to conversation by means of visual expression. In contrast to a table tennis game that is based on competition, Ping Pong Drawing develops a perspective built on collaboration, respect, and serendipity, and furthermore articulates the potential to have individual dialogue within oneself while drawing. This simple situation positions drawing as an extraordinary practice—comparable to yoga—that has the potential to disrupt habitual patterns. The project aims to amplify an essential quality of artistic practice as a process based upon unexpected consequences, creating new narratives in our collective consciousness and the world around us.