Monday — 07.21.14 — Geo-aesthetics and politics

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Fri.Sat.Monday — 07.21.14 — Geo-aesthetics and politics

0. Friday
1. Saturday
2. About Monday
3. About ‘le peuple qui manque’
4. Links and readings

0. Friday

We will be meeting at 16Beaver tomorrow afternoon at 2pm if anyone would like to join for an informal conversation with Stefan Cristoff. Stefan is visiting from Montreal and has previously been in New York to share experiences from the Quebec student uprising. He also was involved in presenting a booklet which included reports written on experienes during the street protests as well as longer texts that gave background / context to the student strike. This is an opportunity to just meet and discuss in an informal manner. He will be hosting an event later in the evening at Interference Archive on graphic art and Palestine.

1. Saturday

This Saturday, for those of you who were part of the meeting a few weeks ago regarding the attempts to make New York more dependent on Fracked Gas by bringing it through a planned Rockaway pipeline … or for those who are interested in the antagonistic processes necessary in reclaiming a common(s)….

Saturday, July 19th
Meet at 3 PM at Jacob Riis Beach and B. 169th St.

Tell neighbors, friends, family

The power is in our hands, not the regulators’, the corporations’, or the

Construction won’t be done until the fall, according to the company’s own
estimates. We can still stop the pipeline!

This Saturday, Rockaways residents, beach-goers, artists, anyone
concerned about the well-being of New York and the planet will gather
to demonstrate that we, not FERC or Williams Co., are the decision-makers on
the Rockaway Pipeline. We pledge to resist the construction of new
environmentally destructive infrastructure that threatens communities still
recovering from one of the worst urban natural disasters caused by climate
change to date, as well as the beach and nearby wildlife. Alongside this
looming monstrosity, we’ll create a space that gestures at the possibility of
a world other than the pipeline’s-a world in which self-sustaining
communities, not private corporations or rubber stamp agencies, determine the
use of land and space. This new world is already being built in the Rockaways
through the creation of workers’ co-operatives, urban farming projects, and a
community benefits agreement on new development. Resisting the pipeline is
about complementing/expanding this emerging zone of community autonomy, in
direct defiance of an attempt to use the crisis as an opportunity to push
through dangerous and unnecessary new infrastructure for the sake of corporate
profit margins and the United States’ jingoistic foreign policy objectives.

See you at the beach!

Info on the pipeline and its dangers that folks can put in flier format and

Recent media coverage:

2. About Monday

What: Meeting / Presentation / Conversation with’le peuple qui manque’
When: Monday July 21, 7pm
Where: 16 Beaver St., 4th Floor
Who: Free and Open to all

This Monday, we will have a conversation with Kantuta Quiros and Aliocha Imhoff from the Paris-based curatorial collective ‘le peuple qui manque.’ This conversation will bridge their ongoing concerns with art, border thinking, critical cartography, decolonial processes, and the geopolitics of knowledge, with our current ongoing inquiry at 16 beaver into global networks of resistance, collective cultural production, and various forms of the common(s) and commoning the city.

The following quote by Gilles Deleuze may best express these overlapping concerns, just as it has served as inspiration for the very name of this collective:

“This acknowledgement of a people who are missing is not a renunciation of political cinema, but on the contrary the new basis on which it is founded, in the third world and for minorities. Art, and especially cinematographic art, must take part in this task: not that of addressing a people, which is presupposed already there, but of contributing to the invention of a people. The moment the master, or the colonizer, proclaims ‘There have never been people here’, the missing people are a becoming, they invent themselves, in shanty towns and camps, or in ghettos, in new conditions of struggle to which a necessarily political art must contribute. (…) The cinema author finds himself before a people which, from the point of view of culture, is doubly colonized: colonized by stories that have come from elsewhere, but also by their own myths become impersonal entities at the service of the colonizer. The author must not, then, make himself into the ethnologist of his people, nor himself invent a fiction which would be one more private story: for every personal fiction, like every impersonal myth, is on the side of the ‘masters’. (…) There remains the possibility of the author providing himself with ‘intercessors’, that is, of taking real and not fictional characters, but putting these very characters in the condition of ‘making up fiction’, of ‘making legends’, of ‘story-telling’. The author takes a step towards his characters, but the characters take a step towards the author: double becoming. Story-telling is not an impersonal myth, but neither is it a personal fiction: it is a word in act, a speech-act through which the character continually crosses the boundary which would separate his private business from politics, and which itself produces collective utterances.”

Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2. The Time-Image – Editions de Minuit, 1985. University of Minnesota Press

3. About ‘le peuple qui manque’

Le peuple qui manque (A people is missing) is a curatorial platform based in Paris, France. It was created by Kantuta Quiros and Aliocha Imhoff in 2005, and operates at the intersection of contemporary art and research. A people is missing was at the initiative of numerous projects, such as events, exhibitions, publications, international symposiums, film screenings and so on. Among their recent projects (2010-2014): Afropolitan Histories of Art (Review Multitudes, issue 53-54, Spring 2014), Géoesthétique (collective book, 2014, B42); and A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (2013, Centre Pompidou). A people is missing also edits and distributes artists’ films.

Since 2010, le peuple qui manque has engaged a series of projects dedicated to geo-aesthetics, or the idea of contemporary art as a site of global knowledge production. Accompanying a postmodern turn in social sciences, this focus sees contemporary art as a laboratory for the renewal of scientific paradigms, technologies of writings, sometimes capable of challenging forms of authority and regimes of veridiction within scientific fields (such as Ethnography, History or Geography). It can also overcome the difficulties of scientific disciplines in rendering certain archives and so-called ‘minor knowledge’ intelligible and legible. The voices and presence of minorities as political subjects acquire, in art, a heuristic and political value, capable of reformulating a new “ecology of knowledges”.

The recent book they edited Géoesthétique emerged from these thoughts and looks back at the spatial turn in contemporary art, both within cartographic and geographic artistic practices today and spatialization of art history. Pursuing these thoughts, they are presently developing a new series of projects, in the form of scenographies of recent aesthetic controversies, considering curatorial practice as a display of theory, as well as fictional diplomacy, a diplomacy between antagonistic fields of knowledge and politics.

4. Links and readings:

Most of ‘le people qui manque’s texts and publications exist in French, but we include here a few links with short descriptions and information on a few relevant works: