Giovedì sera--30.6.05 -Rassegna di parole intorno alla piscina-word review around a swimmingpool
1. Su questo giovedì
About this Thursday
2. Su 5 parole
About 5 words
3. Su Chris Gilbert
About Chris Gilbert
1. Su questo Giovedì
Cosa: Discussione intorno alla piscina, progetto di Nikola Uzunovsky
Quando: giovedì 30 giugno, h: 18.30
Dove: Magazzini Ligabue IUAV-FDA fermata S. Basilio, Venezia
Chi: chiunque possa
Ci troveremo giovedì sera di fronte allo spazio universitario dei magazzini ligabue intorno al progetto della piscina di Nikola Uzunovsky per discutere e parlare su
cinque parole tali lo spazio, il quotidiano, l'autonomia, la ricerca e la disciplina in relazione al tema dell'università come spazio libero per la sperimentazione.
1. About this Thursday
What: Discussion around the pool, a project by Nikola Uzunovsky
When: thurday 30 june, 6.30 pm
Where: Magazzini Ligabue IUAV-FDA fermata S. Basilio, Venezia
Who: whoever can come
We will meet Thursday evening in front of the University building at Magazzini Ligabue around the pool project developed by Nikola Uzunovsky to discuss and
talk about five words: space, daily life, autonomy, research and discipline related to the theme of the university as a free and experimental space
2. Su 5 parole
Abbiamo individuato cinque parole che caratterizzano l'università.
Se partiamo dal presupposto che l'università dovrebbe essere - e non è - uno spazio di libertà, di pratiche sperimentali, allora queste cinque parole potrebbero non assumere una grande importanza, si renderebbe necessario allora rivederne il loro ruolo nell'università di oggi o che è sempre stata.
Abbiamo inoltre pensato ad alcune opere d'arte che si mettano in relazione con ognuna di queste parole, e che possano trattare o rappresentare questi nodi intorno al tema dell'università.
2. About 5 words
We have identified five words that characterize the university. If we start from the fact that the university should be but is not a space of freedom, of experimental practices then these five words might not have such an importance and would be necessary to reevaluate their role inside what the university is today or has always been. We have also thought about a work of art we think could be related to one and each of these words so to analyze how the theme of the university is
treated and represented.
3. About Chris Gilbert
Counter-Campuses within the Universal University
by Chris Gilbert
Today perhaps nothing could be more clear - if undertheorized or only beginning to be theorized - than that we live in a period of "general intellect." That is to say, a period in which the bulk of labor - of production and reproduction - is of the immaterial or intellectual variety. This condition alone, which may be associated in general with post-Fordism, was brought to quantum new heights with the service and information economies of the 1980s and 1990s, and it has explosive effects on the university, on its social position and even on the internal disciplinary divisions that it both relies on and enforces.
Consider the following thesis: whereas the university, as a site of knowledge production in a culture that produced materials or produced via materials - paradigmatically in the factory - was once a determinate space in the productive field, at present (in the Global North) we could all be said to live and operate within the expanded field of the university. It would follow that this "universal university" would be the emergent paradigm for (knowledge) production. This thought immediately raises the question of what happens to the institution of the university - call it the non-universal university - within this larger field of knowledge production. Does it become defunct? Does it persist as state of obsolescence? Or does it, perhaps along with obsolescence and various forms of dereliction, reinscribe knowledge within a community - a community that can be, on the one hand, either restrictive and class-driven or on the other hand inclusive, provisional, and emancipatory?
In this light it may be useful to consider the now vast number of artists and artists groups that have, within the field of general intellect, of immaterial production, chosen to create communities of learners. Often these learning communities operate in ways that are in marked contrast - hence in a way "counter" to - the class-based, hierarchical, arborescent communities of what is left of an increasingly corporatized (non-universal) university. They are likewise distinguished by their promoting non-heirachical, non-instumentalized, or peer-to peer learning, while at the same time engaging with broader issues concerning knowledge production, ownership, and circulation.
The following random topics may serve as useful beginning points for a discussion:
1. The expanded space of the university, which has occurred with the expansion of immaterial labor, can been understood through one of its seemingly privileged sites: information technology and especially the internet, which is both the site of much immaterial production and of open knowledge sharing among peers (such as that which sometimes occurs at hacklabs and more often on wiki pages). (Unfortunately this privileged site is often turned into fetish, that is to say, as the site rather than a site of such work). By the same token, the library, which was historically the topographic focus of the university - as is evident from looking in university campus maps such as those assembled in the Christian Phillip Mueller's project Branding the Campus - now has at best that role symbolically. It has been replaced by the internet archive, a "library" of users that are both "inside" and "outside" the university, and learning today suffers from this displacement to the extent that the internet has become regulated by commercial, consumerist forms of knowledge and dissemination (advertising).
2 . Artist-run self-institutions seem to have important points of contact with Antonio Negri's "soviets of mass intellectuality." In Empire Negri writes, "The first of these conditions derives from the tendential hegemony of immaterial labor and thus from the increasingly profound reappropriation of technico-scientific knowledge by the proletariat [italics mine]. On this basis, technico-scientific knowledge can no longer be posed as a mystified function of command, separate from the body of mass intellectuality (p252)."
Negri goes on: "The destruction of the state can be envisaged only via a concept of the reappropriation of the social essence of production, of the instruments of comprehension of social and production cooperation." Both of the above seem quite applicable the new self-institutions. Negri concludes: "Here, therefore, is where the Soviets of mass intellectuality are born."
3. The role of art today in the architectonic of the university may be compared, somewhat problematically, to the historical role of philosophy. First, it is important to note that both art and philosophy are often seen as privileged sites of pedagogy. Kant, writing more than two centuries ago about the proper architecture of the university, described philosophy as a lower faculty whose role it was nevertheless to monitor the higher faculties of law and theology. In this role, philosophy's independence was intimately related to its powerlessness. Is it possibly that art occupies a similar relation to other "higher" discourse such as politics, economics, sociology - that it is, at once their handmaiden and queen (to use Kant's terms).
5. Today, there are many signs (albeit quite non-isomorphic) of rupture with the liberal idea of the autonomous university. For example, Venezeulan president Hugo Chaves has recently embarked on an initiative to create his own "counter-campuses," university level programs that would counter the capitalist orientation of most university trained intellectuals. By contrast, in the U.S, misnamed groups operating under the banner of "academic freedom" have laid out programs to review and curtail university curicula around the country (and have promoted their cause through means that are reminiscent of 1950s blacklisting). These initiatives, the one creative - opening a new field - and the other constricting, are hardly symmetrical. The one says in effect that "another world is possible" while the other works to undermine even the ability to arrive at such an enunciation.
Chris Gilbert is a curator of the Baltimore Museum of art.