3 June 2014

Recorded Lecture: Akira Mizuta Lippit, "Like Cats and Dogs - Cinema and Catastrophe"


Ever since 'Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture' announced its open research program, it has been hard to dismiss its excellent line-up of speakers, both academics and artists. Amongst the names is that of Akira Mizuta Lippit, whose presentation "Like Cats and Dogs - Cinema and Catastrophe" at The Museum of Kyoto on 21 June 2013 was expanded into an essay published digitally in both Japanese and English.

Broaching such classic subjects as mixing metaphors, catastrophe and kitlers, Lippit performs his hallmark critical analysis with gusto on the films of D. W. Griffith, Leni Riefenstahl and Alain Resnais, quite cheekily linking catachresis, cats and filmic representation, and suggesting by the end, "Isn't every film image ultimately a cat?"
"But does a real cat (and cats are always real, it seems) have to be in every scene of catachresis? Is this the way to underscore the rhetoric as if there were some natural and thus non-catachrestic relation between the image of the cat and the trope of catachresis? Are cats the real figures of catachresis? Is a scene of catachresis without a cat incomplete, a catalexis?"
The essay can be found on the Parasophia website, available for download in ePub and pdf formats.

17 May 2014

Exhibition: The Part in the Story Where a Part Becomes a Part of Something Else, Witte de With | Center for Contemporary Art, 22 May - 17 August 2014, Rotterdam

Photo courtesy of Anne Schwalbe
The BiM team relish a little garnish of intertextuality with our intertextuality and thus couldn't resist flagging this quirky and fleeting morsel in Rotterdam over the next few months. "The Part Where a Part Becomes a Part of Something Else" at the Witte de With | Center for Contemporary Art, exhibiting from 22 May to 17 August of this year, promises to deliver on its title by both "spinning off" from and playing epilogue to their now closing long-term program "Moderation(s)", which teamed The Netherlands with Hong Kong to produce some stunning and considered work.

Over forty artists from around the world come together to conceive what it means to interpret, moderate and transmit. Amongst the associations, "time, duration and space", "memory and inscription", "transformation", "pleasure" and "encounters" take centre-stage, all of which themes developed organically throughout "Moderation(s)" over its two-year stint at the Witte de With.
"An epilogue is the final chapter at the end of a story. It can occur a significant period of time after the main plot has ended, and may offer scenes only tangentially related to the subject of the story. An epilogue can continue in the same narrative style and perspective as the preceding story, although occasionally the form can be drastically different from the overall story."
 Celebrating the flows and divergences from its mother-project, "The Part Where a Part Becomes a Part of Something Else" savours a messy, entangled process of conversation of works between, amongst, and becoming other works, produced by artists, curators and audiences who have had almost two years of creative dialogue to feed upon.

Read more about the exhibition and their concurrent public program on the gallery website. Also included is a fairly thorough exhibition guide and information on the previous project "Moderation(s) for those who choose to read further.

10 May 2014

Conference: Bodies beyond Borders. The Circulation of Anatomical Knowledge, 1750-1950, 7-9 January, Leuven

After a bit of upheaval, major relocation of the Bodies in Movement headquarters and two long, painful months of internet silence (during which time most of the BiM team curled up into a tiny, modem-less ball in the corner of an empty room and rocked back and forth, wailing in pitiful denial), we are happy to announce that the BiM blog is back online and on track for constant future updates.

And, to top off the list, we present a fascinating meld of history, medicine and humanities straight from Belgium's Leuven. Celebrating the birth of anatomist Andreas Vesalius 500 years ago, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven will play host to 'Bodies beyond Borders. The Circulation of Anatomical Knowledge, 1750-1950' on 7-9 January 2015.

The conference will fit in with two larger pursuits at KU Leuven: a research project on anatomy, scientific authority and the visualised body in medicine and culture in Belgium, 1780-1930, which investigates the history of anatomy in the country during the long nineteenth century; and an exhibition, 'Unravelling the Body. The Theatre of Anatomy', commemorating Vesalius and his influence on the anatomical tradition. However, further extending its scope, the conference seeks a wider conceptual and geographical focus:
Knowledge does not move by itself - it has to be carried. To better understand how anatomical knowledge moves from place to place, we will seek to trace the trajectories of its bearers.
The call for papers is open until 1 June 2014, with notification of acceptance distributed in early July. Organisers welcome contributions concerning the transit of anatomical knowledge in the widest interpretation of the phrase - from scientists, body parts and models to films, dissections and wall maps. Confirmed speakers include Sven Dupré, Helen Macdonald and many more. See the conference website for further details.

6 March 2014

Somatechnics 4.1, Special Issue on the Somatechnics of Movement

http://www.euppublishing.com/journal/somaThe folks at BiM are brimming over with excitement as we announce the launch of Somatechnics 4.1, a special issue on the Somatechnics of Movement. A long time coming, we're finally able to bring into print a selection of authors who may be familiar to some as participants at our Bodies in Movement conference in 2011. The line-up includes: an evocative extension by Michael O'Rourke of his original keynote with response; ghostly musings by Line Henriksen; Peta Hinton on cyberfeminist politics; Rebecca Coleman discussing 5:2 urge; Karin Sellberg's meditations on "the gap"; Gavin MacDonald charting affectively; Johanna Hällsten's situated sound-spaces, and interval and creativity by Anne Douglas and Kathleen Coessens.
We would like to thank all the contributors for making this possible, right from the very beginning in a few conference rooms in Edinburgh almost three years ago right through to now. Thanks for the wonderful support and patience - and we hope that everyone enjoys reading the journal as much as we enjoyed working on it.

24 February 2014

Conference: Philosophy after Nature, 3-5 September, Utrecht


Fresh off the presses, and with the digital ink still wet (or non-existent) on their new website, comes a ridiculously exciting joint Annual Conference of the Society for European Philosophy and Forum for European Philosophy, held at Utrecht on 3-5 September and entitled "Philosophy after Nature". While the call for papers remains wide, encompassing "all areas of contemporary European philosophy"), conference organisers are keen for contributions and panels which address the titular theme of the event - "Philosophy after Nature",
"in the sense of being in pursuit of nature's consequences. We invite perspectives on critique, science, ecology, technology and subjectivity as bound up with conceptions of nature and experiments with various positions in contemporary thought."
Confirmed plenary speakers currently include eminent figures Françoise Balibar, Rahel Jaeggi, Mark B. N. Hansen and (most enviably for this reporter) Michel Serres. Abstracts are due by 17 May 2014, which leaves plenty of time to produce presentation and panel proposals. The conference website currently lacks content, but the CFP can be found at the Society for European Philosophy website. Academics, graduate students and independent scholars are all welcome to submit.

19 February 2014

Conference: Authority & Political Technologies 2014, 2-3 June, Warwick

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/rsw/authorityandpoliticaltechnologies/apt2014/Recently announced conference event "Authority & Political Technologies 2014: Power in a World of Becoming, Entanglement & Attachment" is aiming for a reinvigoration of post-structuralist theory at its intersection with the social sciences in early June this year at the University of Warwick. The Institute for Advanced Study gives this intriguing statement of intention:
"the issues that post-structuralist theory placed on the critical social science agenda have become more vital than ever - be that the concern for the complex and dispersed nature of power and agency; the imbrication of power and economics with knowledge and science; rethinking the relation between equality and difference; the political/contested/changing nature of embodiment, biology and ecology; or the efforts of states and others to establish and exercise power over life itself. We maintain that now is the time, not to reject post-structuralist perspectives, but to reinvigorate and transform those traditions through empirical and political work that is creatively engaged with current problems."

No less ambitiously, the conference promises a thrillingly line-up of excellent keynote speakers - Louise Armoore, William Connolly, Christian Borch, Costas Douzinas, Amade M'charek, Luciana Parisi and AbdouMaliq Simone - which guarantees provocative discussion on the conference topics from diverse academic perspectives within the humanities.

Abstract submission is open until 10 March, with suggested themes raging from biopolitics and religion to necropolitics and authority. Further information can be found on the conference website along with the online abstract submission form.

9 February 2014

Article: Tyler Coburn, "Charter Citizen"


A new edition of e-flux, hot off the digital presses, hits us with some juicy morsels this month, including this text by Tyler Coburn, "Charter Citizen". Coburn tests the temperature of a recently ended radical libertarian venture - the establishment of autonomous cities within host country Honduras' borders - in order to reconceive capitalism anew.

"Charter Cities", Coburn explains, build off economist Paul Romer's theory that sets of carefully considered rules encourages economic growth, investment and innovation; and that introducing such "good rules" into a zone with weaker ones would encourage further economic and financial advancement within the host state, in investment, labour force and civil and political structures. But Coburn notes that the dominant and fundamental mode of political engagement at the grassroots level becomes movement - voluntary migration (both in and out) becomes political, democracy conditional and citizenship privatised; at an international level it becomes dependent on tenuously balanced comity and contract.
"Whether floating in international waters or sprouting on foreign territory, these proposed cities are the proving grounds for the technolibertarians’ foray into governance. In fact, they already demonstrate a concrete link between technology and geopolitics: venture capitalist Peter Thiel donated the same amount of startup funds to [charter city venture] the Seasteading Institute as to Facebook."
Also in this month's edition of e-flux online, available to non-subscribers, is a recent instalment by Reza Negarestani, whose work "Differential Cruelty" we spotlighted on BiM. Find these articles on the e-flux journal online.