Nepantlas #01. »To Find Comfort in Unsettlement«
Moderated by Daphne Dragona (online talk)
30.07.20, 14:00–15:30 CEST
With the recent corona crisis, the world felt fragmented and connected at the same time. As borders closed and people found themselves grounded, ways of remote communication and work prevailed. Popular apps and platforms kept individuals, families, communities and teams together with the screen becoming the context and the stage. A new »safe« connected reality came in contrast with an »outside« world where anxiety and mistrust for physical encounters emerged, and forms of discrimination and racism were strengthened. The new practices of quarantine quickly raised questions: What changes if (or once) localities, languages and habits meet [only] in the virtual sphere, and how would this shape forms of resistance and solidarity? How do sovereign technological infrastructures affect our ways of relating? Which networks and tools can be used to empower new forms of world-building and life-making?
Nepantlas is a cluster of online talks focusing on »architectures« and infrastructures – social and technological – based on relations of care, respect and interdependence. The title is inspired by the work of Gloria Andalzúa who uses the Nahuatl word Nepantla to express the potential of spaces lying in between, at the cracks between worlds. A nepantla operates as a bridge and allows scenarios to merge, perspectives to shift, and affective bonds to be made. Wishing to explore the possibilities of such spaces within today’s fragmented world, the program turns its attention to initiatives that aim to provoke change and empower social transformation. Feminist and queer infrastructures, machinic and living networks, pirate media and end to end protocols will be revisited and discussed as examples of systems that create relations within and among communities, temporalities and cultures. In accordance with its topic on transformation for the 30 year anniversary, the Akademie Schloss Solitude invites former fellows and special guests to discuss models that help in articulating new realities and encourage one to move within and between territories, networks and worlds.
»Gloria Anzaldúa's contribution to knowledge is not only radical, poetic, and academically sound. It is also written from and as an act of generosity. It is exactly in her gesture of revealing while maintaining, departing while grounding, that I nurture my thinking at the intersection of many histories that criss-cross my own. This weaving in and out of Nepantla points to how knowledge is lived materiality, with the body being the locus of thinking and producing; that the personal is indeed the political, and that the political is always the collective.«
Referring to Anzaldúa’s influential work, Pedro Oliveira will discuss the potentialities of border thinking, when thinking at the border is living knowledge. These potentialities can be found in the sonic (and physical) occupation of public space as a rehearsal for different futures, and ultimately at the moments surrounding the crossing of borders and producing a sounding body which is coded, spectralised, and weaponised. Through thinking with and from Nepantla, Oliveira will discuss how states of Nepantla are engineered into the infrastructures of everyday life for some, while offering a space of playful disorientation for others. Being true to Anzaldúa's idea of Nepantla this talk will not be about opposing modes of consciousness, but rather about sites of and for productive unknowings. As part of the seminar, Oliveira will present examples from his own research and artistic work, as well as other artists in whom he finds inspiration and resonance.
The online talk will be held in English and is scheduled to last 45 minutes. With a short intro on the person of Pedro Oliveira, there will be examples of his own research and artistic work and how these are connected to the Nepantla idea of Gloria Anzaldúas. Followed by a question and answer session.
We invite you to join us on Thursday, 30 July 2020 at 2 pm to follow the moderated seminar online and to discuss it afterwards.
If you are interested, please register in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vimeo Live Streaming: https://vimeo.com/event/186732
Pedro Oliveira is a researcher, sound artist, and educator working with the colonial articulations of listening and the policing of bodies in public and border spaces. He holds a PhD from the Universität der Künste Berlin/Germany and has worked as a research and teaching assistant in media and cultural studies at the Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf/Germany, as well as a lecturer in musicology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Currently, he is an Artist-in-Residence at the Max-Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt am Main/ Germany, continuing his research on the politics of automated accent and dialect recognition in the asylum procedures of Germany.
Daphne Dragona is a curator and writer based in Berlin. Through her work, she engages with artistic practices and methodologies that challenge contemporary forms of power. Among her topics of interest have been: the controversies of connectivity, the promises of the commons, the challenges of artistic subversion, the instrumentalization of play, the problematics of care and empathy, and most recently the potential of kin-making technologies in the time of climate crisis. Her exhibitions have been hosted at Onassis Stegi, Laboral, Aksioma, EMST, and Le Lieu Unique. Dragona was the conference curator of transmediale from 2015 until 2019. Articles of hers have been published in various books, journals, magazines, and exhibition catalogs by the likes of Springer, Sternberg Press, and Leonardo Electronic Almanac. She holds a PhD from the Faculty of Communication & Media Studies of the University of Athens/Greece.
The anniversary activities of Akademie Schloss Solitude are supported by