All that is solid melts into air… and falls back to earth as a hardened brick

Organized in collaboration with:

Saturdays, 12 – 2pm at Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City.

Taught by Adam Kleinman

Why is elegance so seductive, so powerful, and yet so sensitive at the same time?

Is that simply the nature of systems?

And what might be scarified, made obscure, or even accidentally given agency once the parameters are set?

This transdisiplinary seminar seeks to question how abstraction models daily life by investigating how symbolic and other notational systems currently organize the fields of the arts, finance and economics, eco-politics, and the digital sector respectively. The rational behind selecting these disciplines is to draw a wide, but prescient cross-section of contemporary knowledge production.

8-sessions symmetrically divided into 4-quarters, with each quarter featuring two halves (parts a & b) respectively. Each quarter is thematically dedicated to one of our 4-fields of inquiry respectively as well.

The first half (part a) of each quarter is dedicated to tracing how the thematic discipline in question made technocratic moves toward greater abstraction, while the second half (part b) will focus on a ‘return of the real’, which exposed, or attempted to flaw the initial model later in that narrative’s tale. After the complete of each a & b pairing, the group will move on to the next thematic until we cycle through all of them.

Syllabus:

1a. Nixon Shock, fait currency, derivatives, and the raise of quantitative analysis
1b. Run on banks, Long Term Management Capital, the 2007- crisis, and QE 1, 2, 3, and 4

2a. The development of conceptual art (1960s) through ‘relationalism’, and ‘deskilling’
2b. HD, Lo-fi, neo-materialism, and craftsmanship

3a. Kyoto Protocols, Carbon Offset ideology
3b. Green Capitalism

4a. Cyber utopianism, collapsed geographies, simultaneity
4b. The actual mater of cables (their capacity and location), electricity, the use and scarcity of rare earth elements.

Public: students, artists, thinkers, and all others interested in questioning how abstraction frames professional discourse and its production with particular emphasis on the arts, economics, environmentalism, and in the digital section.

Duration: 8 weeks, February 8 – March 29, 2014 (16 hours)

Venue:
Museo Experimental El Eco
James Sullivan #43,
Col. San Rafael
Mexico City