Articulate Silences

Lichtbogen opens with the smallest of musical gestures; the flow of air moving across a mouthpiece, a tentative exhalation of breath producing the faintest hint of a tone. From this trembling nucleus of sound, the flute note steadily gains in weight and force, establishing itself within the aural space as its articulation becomes ever more assured. Yet, as soon as the tone appears to have settled into equilibrium it is transformed; its pastel colouration is imbued with a metallic shimmer as bowed strings furtively rise from the periphery, fusing to the flute’s timbre whilst simultaneously altering it. Next, a stuttering piano enters and what was once a pure, unified sound is gradually frayed as the string bowing becomes increasingly erratic, punctuated by the shiver of pitched percussion. Beginning with the intimate, barely audible sound of a breath, this elegant morphing of musical textures serves as a microcosm for the intoxicating…

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Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is proud to present a free public lecture by McKenzie Wark on Friday, November 16 at 7:00 pm as part of the Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer (VASD) Program for Fall 2012.

McKenzie Wark

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is proud to present a free public lecture by McKenzie Wark on Friday, November 16 at 7:00 pm as part of the Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer (VASD) Program for Fall 2012.

McKenzie Wark is a scholar of critical and media theory as well as notable historian of the Situationist International, an international group of revolutionary artists and thinkers. Wark teaches at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, where his courses range from cultural studies to media theory with curriculum engaging with Cinema and Social Action, Game Culture, and the Military Entertainment Complex. He has spoken at such esteemed venues as the Modern Art Oxford, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Columbia University, and MIT among other institutions nationally and internationally. His works span experimental projects from Speed Factory (2000)—a co-authored work with John Kinsella, Bernard Cohen, and Terri-Ann White that developed a quick pace writing technique between authors—to Dispositions (2002), a work culled from Wark’s world travels with a GPS device. His major works also include A Hacker’s Manifesto (2004), addressing the new class division that has arisen with the proliferation of intellectual property, and Gamer Theory (2007), which fuses Wark’s experimental approach with his own media theory.

McKenzie Wark’s recent work—and what he will be speaking on in the public lecture—centers on the Situationist International (SI), a group that sought to subvert the superficial spectacle engendered by advanced capitalism by constructing situations that allowed a freedom from what they deemed to be a fake reality. The SI was founded in 1957, participated in the May ’68 revolts and dissipated around 1972. Wark’s latest book (and title of his VASD lecture), The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International, follows the development of the group and the importance of its seemingly minor players—who are often neglected in accounts of the period in favor of highlighting Guy Debord (Society of the Spectacle). Engaging with the Situationist history, its successes and ultimate failures, remains a crucial piece to understanding the contemporary puzzle of unrest with the Occupy and other like-minded movements, since initiators claim foundations in Situationist International.

Please join us for this special presentation.

Public Lecture
Friday, November 16, 2012, 7 pm
Refreshments and seating beginning at 6:30 pm
Mary Harris Auditorium
The lecture is free and open to the public; however, reservations are highly recommended.

Revolutions and Resurrections: A Workshop on Russian and Soviet Culture (The New School, November 9th)

Revolutions and Resurrections: A Workshop on Russian and Soviet Culture

 The New School for Social Research,
80 5th avenue Room G529
November 9th, 2012

With the cold war over, and the archives fitfully opening, the extraordinary richness of Soviet era philosophy and culture is slowly coming to light. In this workshop, we focus on ‘Lenin’ rival’, Alexander Bogdanov, a founding figure in Soviet science fiction and a highly original Marxist thinker. Boddanov had a select but faithful following after 1917 in Soviet culture. His influence was erased in the Stalin era. Surprisingly, he was not rehabilitated by the new left in the west.

Our workshop will examine what the archive can tell us about the context of his work in the 1920s, the evolution of his philosophical framework before and after 1917, and the relevance today of his systems theory approach to both the natural sciences, social sciences and culture. This workshop is the first of what we hope will be an ongoing dialogue on Russian and Soviet philosophy culture and its western analogues at the New School.

Inessa Medzhibovskaya (The New School for Social Research)
Concepts and Theories of Resurrection in the Bolshevik-Marxist Aesthetics.
This presentation will address key elements of Bogdanov’s thought considered in direct exchanges and in imagined dialogues with Russian religious and Marxist philosophers, critics and ideologues of his era.
Evgeni V. Pavlov (Metropolitan State University of Denver)
Toward Cultural Liberation of Humanity:
Alexander Bogdanov’s Vision of the Future Proletarian Revolution.
Alexander Bogdanov’s influence in the matters surrounding the notions of “proletarian culture” and “cultural revolution” is indubitable. However, the specifics of his proposals, both in his early pre-1917 political activity and his later post-1917 cultural and scientific work, are still not fully explained and made available to the English-speaking educated public. The talk will trace the evolution of Bogdanov’s earlier views on the matter of political, economic and cultural revolution to the later reformulations of the various aspect of the future proletarian revolution in terms of universal organizational science.
McKenzie Wark (The New School for Social Research)
“And worsened the climate for decades.” Bogdanov, systems theory,
critical theory and climate change.
What strikes the contemporary (nonspecialist) reader of Alexander Bogdanov’s Red Star and Essays in Tektology is that in both these texts that wayward Marxist writes about climate change, and gets the scientific principles more or less right. This rather strange surface feature of his writings led me to wonder whether it might be possible to revive a road not taken in 20th century critical theory one that passes through Bogdanov’s Empiriomonism and Tektology, to addressing this most pressing issue of our time. Bogdanov’s work is of considerable interest in reconstructing the intellectual history of twentieth century Russian and Soviet life, but in this presentation I want to explore his relevance for our times.