Circulations Chase Workshop
Behind each of the crises that define our enduring neoliberal present lies a problem of circulation. Whether it takes a migratory, financial, humanitarian, securitarian, ecological, or epidemiological form, a crisis is declared when things don’t flow the way they should.
Gathering researchers and projects that engage with a wide range of contemporary emergencies, the Circulations workshop sets out to explore the intersections that can be traced between different modes of governing circulation today. In so doing, it will ask whether the commonalities among diverse circulatory regimes allow us to posit the notion of a logistics of power, which would account for how entities circulate in our highly interconnected societies – from people to data, through commodities, energy, capital, or pathogens. In order to assess the validity of such a broad and cross-disciplinary notion, the workshop sets out to examine the spaces, technologies, infrastructures, rationalities, and epistemologies currently at work within, or produced by, diverse circulatory regimes.
With a specific focus on our increasingly generalised urban condition, the workshop will look at how paradigms of circulation materialized in the physical space of the modern city – particularly in relation to the development of economic liberalism – seeking resonances and divergences across the European and colonial context. Turning to contemporary urban and territorial formations predicated upon the notions of ‘resilience’ and/or ‘smartness’, the workshop will ponder whether those constitute a mere update, or an actual mutation, of the modern paradigm of circulation. Addressing the processes of rationalisation and optimisation at the heart of the logistical imaginary, we will challenge their declared neutrality, paying particular attention to the unthought effects on bodies and to the role of racialised operations in the management of systems of circulation.
A workshop/conference organised by Francesco Sebregondi, Dele Adeyemo, and Andrea Bagnato
17–18 May 2018
Session 1: Liberalism, Colonialism, Contagion
Some of the worst epidemics of our time, such as cholera and HIV, have their roots in the colonial transformation of previously wild territories, whether the Bengal wetlands or the
Congo rainforests. Undetectable in colonial times, pathogens could travel freely along the routes that enabled the 19th-century global circulatory regime of commodities and people. At the same time, the necessity of governing ever-growing masses of urban dwellers overlapped with the imperative of controlling and limiting the circulation of whatever matter was deemed to be “infectious” within the city.
Starting from the histories of Lahore, Cairo, and Teheran, we will ask how techniques of vector and disease control intersected with the construction of infrastructures, particularly of water provision. How do the micro-geographies of pathogens inform our understanding of the role of laissez-faire paradigms in shaping the modern city? How do they expose the inconsistencies inherent in the promise of Western modernity to bring order to the rest of the world?
- Nida Rehman (PhD candidate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge) - Shehab Ismail (Postdoctoral fellow, Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science) - Azadeh Mashayekhi (PhD candidate, Department of Urbanism, TU Delft)
- Andrea Bagnato (chair; independent researcher)
Session 2: Logistics, Urbanisation, Security
Can logistics be considered as the main technical instrument of today’s societies of security? Can it be thought of as the operating system of the contemporary urban
hardware? Behind these questions lies a particular understanding of logistics, which sees it operating as much on the acceleration of certain flows than on the hindering of others. Drawing, for instance, on a study of the Gaza blockade, it becomes clear that the spatial and political technology used to obstruct circulations across contemporary zones of exclusions shares much in common with the one tasked with lubricating the flow of goods, capital, and labour around the globe. The nexus of logistics, urbanisation, and security may, therefore, be traced around their joint articulation of a differential response to the problem of circulation(s).
Along these lines, does the contemporary logistical condition constitute a mere update, or a mutation, of the modern paradigm of circulation? How is the centrality of the human body/ subject displaced by the sensory and computational infrastructures pervading the environment of urban, logistical, and security operations? What does the rise of smart/ resilient environments – where human and non-human agencies alike tend to be addressed as mere data points within a matrix to be constantly optimised – entail for our understanding of the urban and our capacity to intervene in its politics?
- Ross Exo Adams (Associate Professor, College of Design, Iowa State University)
- Orit Halpern (Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University)
- Claudia Aradau (Professor of International Politics, Department of War Studies, King’s College London) and Martina Tazzioli (Lecturer in Geography, Swansea University)
CIRCULATION(S) Public conference Keynote lecture by Christina Sharpe
Session 3: Infrastructure, Race, Calculation
Viewing what Naomi Klein has identified as a dynamic of Disaster Capitalism in the process of urban development whilst simultaneously bearing in mind what Christina Sharpe conceptualised as the Wake, the ongoing disaster of the trans*atlantic slave trade, we will ask in what ways has disaster become integral and can a racial analysis of recent urban catastrophes (e.g. Grenfell, Sandy, Katrina) help us describe the function of contemporary urbanisation?
- What are the ‘unthought’ linkages and flows that constitute the processes of urbanisation? - By reflecting on the fungibility of Black bodies and the imposition of regimes of subjection, what insights might we gain into the emergence of resilience strategies in the wake of chronic urban crises and the biopolitics of urban development?
- How might a critical engagement with Black cultural practices of refusal in relation to logistics of power be used to rupture or even reverse circulations of capitalist accumulation?
- Christina Sharpe (Associate Professor, Tufts University)
- Anita Rupprecht (TBC) (Lecturer, School of Humanities, University of Brighton) - Dele Adeyemo (chair; PhD candidate, Centre for Research Architecture)
Automated Environments: Feminist Futures
The effects of automation are rarely limited to economics or issues around the division of labour. Changes to production and the service industries that are a result of increased automation are actively shaping our cities and how we interact with them. Architecture’s engagement with the futures that come with these processes are manifold and embrace both the positive and negative potential of automation. From additional leisure time and a focus on individual agency and creativity, to dystopian visions where unemployment and inequality run rampant, it is without question that the built environment can affect the shape of things to come.
Automated environments may have eliminated certain gender associations ascribed to specific jobs, but they have also reinforced gender roles and inequalities. Technology and the direction it takes is influenced by prevalent social tensions and disparity; as such, if we are to reduce inequality and gender stereotyping, we must aim to avoid replicating existing pernicious social dynamics and, instead, unearth architecture’s potential to facilitate change. Can architecture and the design of spaces allow both men and women, humans and non-humans, to express their full potential and provide a working alternative to the status quo?
As one of the event respondents, CRA Director Susan Schuppli will discuss 'Logistical Nightmares', the centre's yearlong programme of events, workshops, pedagogical experiments, and field investigations that explore the increasing ubiquity and prominence of logistics as a mode for organising social life and politics.
Speakers including Marina Otero, Nina Power, Femke Snelting and Ellie Cosgrave will discuss whether automation can lead to a feminist utopia and, if it does, what those spaces might look like.
Monday 5. March 2018
Henry Bradley, a 2017 MA Research Architecture graduate, recently filmed and edited a short film documenting the CHASE Advanced Research Craft Workshop Session co-organised by Goldsmiths and Birkbeck, University of London.
This two-day advanced training workshop brought key practitioners in film, video, and sound together with CHASE PhD students and staff to explore new research methods for creating moving-image works organised around an ecological sensibility; one that is attuned to both human and non-human modes of perception.
The evening performance by musician Alison Blunt & the screenings of Havarie and El Mar La Mar with directors’ Q&A are free and open to the public – see Schedule for more information on these events and locations.
The Chase AHRC network includes the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex, the Open University, The Courtauld Institute of Art, and Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, SOAS, from the University of London.
Organised by Susan Schuppli, Daniel Mann, Joel McKim, Esther Leslie and Lou Miller.
Sonic Acts X Centre for Research Architecture
24.02.2018 | Dansmakers, Sonic Acts Academy, Amsterdam | 10:00-19:00
At Sonic Acts Academy 2018, a group of MA students from CRA will present their research project 'Unless the Water is Safer than the Land' as part of Logistical Nightmares at the Unpacking the Processes of Artistic Knowledge Symposium.
Logistical Nightmares is a yearlong programme of events, workshops, pedagogical experiments, and field investigations. It is an initiative by the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. The programme explores the increasing ubiquity and prominence of logistics as a model for organising social life and politics at a global scale. Lorenzo Pezzani, a head of the MA studio in Forensic Architecture, will host the programme. He will present some of the tutors, such as Charmaine Chua, and moderate a panel with the Research Architecture MA students from Goldsmiths.
Image © Pieter Kers.
Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time, by Arash Kamali Sarvestani
Filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani discusses his 2017 film, Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time, co-Directed with Behrouz Boochani. The film was recently screened at the 2017 London Film Festival.
The documentary film was shot in a detention centre where asylum seekers trying to reach Australian shores are indefinitely detained. Secretly shot on a mobile phone by Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani while detained on Manus, in Papua New Guinea, the film is a collaboration with Dutch-Iranian filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani. Boochani recounts, via the testimonies of fellow inmates, the abuse and violence inflicted and the precarious state of limbo they find themselves in. Chauka, the name of the dreaded solitary confinement unit within the detention centre, was originally the name of a beautiful bird and symbol of the Manus Island. By interweaving dialogue with two Manusian men and shots of daily life on the island, the film gives a much-needed voice to Manus inhabitants, understandably distressed by the current situation. With marked restraint, the film exposes lives broken by shocking immigration policies.
Location: Centre for Research Architecture RHB 312
Free / all welcome
Date: 13. October 2017
Practical Politics Roundtable Discussion
Practical Poltics takes the form of an informal roundtable discussion with members of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths staff, Postgraduate students, and invited guests, focusing on practical modes of engagement and intervention into situations of crisis and injustice. The discussion explores the ways in which we go about setting up research or investigative projects that combine opportunities for critical reflection and creative practice, but that also aspire to be politically consequential ‘on the ground.'
The Centre looks forward to welcoming guests and participants, Vikki Bell, Michel Feher, Thomas Keenan, Lorenzo Pezzani, Susan Schuppli, and Eyal Weizman.
Vikki Bell is Professor of Sociology and current Head of the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She studied Social & Political Sciences at Cambridge and gained her PhD at Edinburgh University in 1992. Vikki Bell is the author of four monographs, including Culture and Performance (Bloomsbury, 2007). Widely published in peer-reviewed journals, she has addressed questions of ethics, aesthetics, subjectivity and politics across the social sciences and theoretical humanities. Recently her work has explored cultural-aesthetic aspects of transitional justice in Argentina. The most recent publication from this project is The Art of Post-Dictatorship: Ethics & Aesthetics in transitional Argentina (Routledge, 2014). This work has recently extended to include Chile.
Thomas Keenan is Director of the Human Rights Project and Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Literature, Human Rights Program at Bard College. He holds a B.A. from Amherst College, a Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. from Yale University. He is the recipient of the following awards: Fellowship, Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture, Rutgers (1991–92); Shorenstein Fellow, Joan Shorenstein Center for Press and Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard (1998). He is the author of Fables of Responsibility: Aberrations and Predicaments in Ethics and Politics (1997); articles in PMLA, New York Times, Wired, Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, among others. He was the editor of The End(s) of the Museum (1996) and co-editor of New Media, Old Media (2005); (1988). He is an editorial and advisory board member of Journal of Human Rights, Grey Room, WITNESS, Scholars at Risk Network.
Michel Feher is a philosopher who has taught at the École Nationale Supérieure, Paris, at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a founding editor of Zone Books, NY (in 1986) as well as the president and co-founder of Cette France-là, Paris (in 2008), a monitoring group on French immigration policy. For Zone Books, he has co-edited with Gaëlle Krikorian and Yates McKee the volume Nongovernmental Politics (2007) and is currently co-editing, together with Wendy Brown, the Near Futures series. He is the author of Powerless by Design: The Age of the International Community (2000) and of the forthcoming Rated Agencies. The Political Lives of Investees (Zone books, Spring 2018).
Location: Centre for Research Architecture RHB 312
Free, all welcome
Date: Friday 6. October 2017
Global Legal Action Network with Dr. Ioannis Kalpouzos
This year a new component to the Forensic Architecture Studio is being undertaken by students in the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths. The Live Project offers students the opportunity to engage with real-time events, organised as a focused and research-intensive exercise. This intense hands-on workshop will introduce a new mode of teaching, running for the first 5 weeks of the academic year. Students work in small groups of people with different backgrounds, skills and interests, engaged in a continuous flow of discussions and reviews, turning the class into a collective agency of sorts.
As part of this programme, the students will be following the work of GLAN (Global Legal Action Network)’s initiatives regarding the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. GLAN is a non-profit organisation bringing together legal practitioners, investigative journalists and academics to pursue innovative transnational legal actions, co-founded by Dr. Ioannis Kalpouzos, who visited the Centre to discuss the Network’s current and ongoing investigations.
GLAN is a non-profit organisation that identifies and pursues innovative legal actions in the ‘Global North’ aimed at protecting the human rights of individuals and communities in the ‘Global South’. The Network is an independent organisation made up of legal practitioners, investigative journalists and academics, focused upon challenging of injustice through legal action for the disempowered. Following on from Dr. Kalpouzos’ talk, the students will embark upon exploratory investigations into cases pertaining to the work conducted by GLAN.
Dr. Kalpouzos is Lecturer in Law and co-convener of the International Law and Global Affairs Group at City Law School. His research explores the law of armed conflict, international criminal law and the law on the use of force. His research focuses on the role of non-state armed groups in international law, particularly in the context of ‘new wars’; on law and new technologies of war, particularly their influence on asymmetry in conflict and the influence of increasingly autonomous weapons; and on international criminal law and ‘banal’ or ‘structural’ criminality.
Dr. Kalpouzos is a Member of the Athens Bar (Greece) and the book review editor of the Journal of Conflict and Security Law. Dr. Kalpouzos was awarded a Harvard Law School Institute of Global Law and Policy collaborative grant for his research on Law and Technologies of War.
GLAN explore and utilize legal avenues that promote accountability for human rights violations occurring overseas through legal actions in partnership with local grassroots organisations. GLAN also conducts policy relevant, fast reaction legal analyses that supports the work of partner organisations. GLAN provides the necessary platform to explore and develop legal strategies by combining legal and investigatory expertise.
Location: Centre for Research Architecture RHB 312
Date: 4. October 2017
The Seen Unseen by Mariam Ghani
Artist, writer, and filmmaker screens her 2016 film "The Seen Unseen", an inquiry into the afterlives of US-run black sites in Afghanistan, and excerpts from Faqir Nabi's unfinished 1986 film Soqoot, which uses a fictional framework to look at the effects of omnipresent surveillance during the Communist period. She will discuss how these films relate to ongoing research and collaborations, respectively the experimental archive Index of the Disappeared and the feature film and curatorial series What we left unfinished, and how the regime's resistance to being known, seen, or narrated recurs across and affects both projects.
Followed by a Q&A led by Meenakshi Thirukode (MA Goldsmiths).
Ghani's work looks at places and moments where social, political, and cultural structures take on visible forms. Solo exhibitions include the Queens Museum of Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Rogaland Kunstsenter, and the Gatchina Museum. Notable group exhibitions and screenings include the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Liverpool Biennial, the Sharjah Biennial, the Dhaka Art Summit, dOCUMENTA 13, the National Gallery in DC, the Secession in Vienna, the CCCB in Barcelona, and the Met Breuer, MoMA and the Guggenheim in New York. Recent texts have been published in Creative Time Reports, Ibraaz, Triple Canopy, and the readers Critical Writing Ensembles, Dissonant Archives, and Social Medium: Artists Writing 2000-2015.
Structural Violence and International Criminal Prosecution
Public Lecture in CRA, RHB 312 Monday February 6th at 5pm
International criminal law's basic mandate, as described in the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, is to prosecute "serious crimes of interest to the international community as a whole." The enterprise aims to provide accountability for the most egregious forms of violence.
We will argue that this mandate has far too often led to a preference to prosecute those responsible for spectacular acts of overt violence which are easily translated into images of faraway barbarity. If international criminal law stops there, it will reaffirm and perpetuate the longstanding critique against it, namely, that it is an instrument of neocolonialist domination. In this moment of increasing fragility of the international criminal legal enterprise, we believe this problem may be addressed through due regard not only to spectacular forms of violence, but also to seemingly mundane, banal, violent processes. These too can in be granted a measure of accountability at the international criminal court through existing legal instruments. We will demonstrate this through several examples, part of which we have been personally involved in.
Making Claims with Images
MA / PhD Seminar Critical Finance, Housing & Activism
October 20-21 2016, RHB 312 10-5pm
In “Paying Paul and Robbing No One: An Eminent Domain Solution for Underwater Mortgage Debt”, Cornell Law Professor Robert Hockett changed the status quo of foreclosures by using speculative tactics against speculative practices. His paper proposed to reinterpret existing legal frameworks around evictions in the US and introduced the notion of bypassing the impediments of the system through collective agency in order to shape a more hopeful scenario for indebted households. Eminent domain could be used against eminent domain by reversing its logic while keeping its essence: if property can be seized for the common good by state powers (for example, building a public highway) individual debt could also be bought by state powers for the common good of conviviality in a particular community.
This Round Table addresses the different tools that the world of finance and real estate speculation can provide in order to think critically about possible modes of resistance within the violence of the recent housing crisis. —Daniel Fernandes Pascual (PhD candidate).
Guests: Desiree Fields, David Madden
PhD Presentations: Mirna Pedalo, Daniel Fernandes Pascual & David Burns
Please contact s.schuppli (@gold.ac.uk) for more information
Achille Mbembe Lecture Series
Three lectures by Professor Achille Mbembe hosted by the Centre fot Research Architecture
November 7, 8, 9
RHB 342 6-8pm
Professor Achille Mbembe, born in Cameroon, obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and a D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris). He was Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University, New York, from 1988-1991, a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 1992, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1996, Executive Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (Codesria) in Dakar, Senegal, from 1996 to 2000. Achille was also a visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001, and a visiting Professor at Yale University in 2003. He has written extensively in African history and politics, including La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun (Paris, Karthala, 1996). On the Postcolonywas published in Paris in 2000 in French and the English translation was published by the University of California Press, Berkeley, in 2001. In 2015, Wits University Press published a new, African edition.
Risking Everything: The Computational Politics of Prediction, Security, and Secrecy
Risking Everything: The Computational Politics of Prediction, Security, and Secrecy
A one day workshop organised by Luciana Parisi & Susan Schuppli
Supported by the Centre for CulturalStudies & the Centre for Research Architecture
May 20, 2016 10:00-18:0
PSH LG02, All welcome!
Protocols, Public Keys and Politics: An Introduction to Cryptography
Protocols, Public Keys and Politics: An Introduction to Cryptography by Sarah Louise Renwick
23 February 7-9pm in CRA Studio RHB 312
general introduction to cryptography looking at some historical ciphers and how to break them in addition to a high level overview of the mathematics behind modern cryptographic ciphers and why they are secure. A discussion on the social and political effects of cryptography and the consequences of new laws on secure peer to peer communication. A brief introduction to the block chain and the anonymity issues associated with Bitcoin along with some novel applications of the technology.
Sarah Louise Renwick is a PhD researcher at the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway. She has a broad interest in the area of cryptography with the focus of her research being in the field of searchable and verifiable encryption.
Organised by Ming Lin & the Free Seminar (MARA) All welcome / Free
Extraterritorialities in Occupied Worlds: Book Launch & Public Lecture
Lecture by Professor Zygmunt Bauman
Introduction by the book editors Dr. Maayan Amir and Ruti Sela
Respondent Professor Eyal Weizman
16 March 5-7pm
RHB 312, Centre for Research Architecture
The concept of extraterritoriality designates certain relationships between space, law, and representation. Within familiar legal and political contexts, the concept of extraterritoriality has traditionally been applied to people and to spaces. Extraterritoriality regulates the function and circulation of people and things in space and across borders, sometimes by exclusion, sometimes by exemption. The book Extraterritorialities in Occupied Worlds is a collection of essays that explores contemporary manifestations of extraterritoriality and the diverse ways in which the concept has been put to use in various disciplines. The inquiry into extraterritoriality found in these essays is not confined to the established boundaries of political, conceptual, and representational territories or fields of knowledge; rather, it is an invitation to navigate the margins of the legal–juridical and the political, but also the edges of forms of representation and poetics.
This volume is a part of Amir and Sela’s Exterritory, an ongoing art project that wishes to encourage both the theoretical and practical exploration of ideas concerning extraterritoriality within an interdisciplinary context. The project aims not only to draw on existing definitions of extraterritoriality but also seeks to charge it with new meanings, searching for ways in which the notion of extraterritoriality could produce a critique of discriminating power structures and re-articulate new practical, conceptual, and poetical possibilities. The Exterritory Project takes shape through art works, research, and various interventions, collaborations, and public events.
All welcome / Free
MA / PhD Seminar Technosphere
Guests: Heather Davis, Esther Leslie, The Otolith Group
Students: Anna-Sophie Springer (PhD), (Eeva Sarlin MA student)
1:00-2:00 Screening Cruzon Goldsmiths: Medium Earth, dir. The Otolith Group
2:00-3:00 Discussion with The Otolith Group
This video emerges out of fieldwork conducted in the Port of Rotterdam as well as individual research and collaborative writing that delved into the politics of our contemporary logistical condition. The documentary cross-cuts between temporalities and geographies to explore the ways in which the Port is deeply entangled with the histories of colonialism, the legacies of maritime labour, the advent of automation, the speculative fictions of global finance, the threat of sea level rise, and the ecological consequences of an infrastructural imagination that have carved a trading zone out of the liquid architecture of the sea.