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FEINART Lecture Series "Affordances and Study"
FEINART Lecture Series:

Affordances and Study

Valentina Desideri and Stefano Harney

Today we are witnessing a proliferation of autonomous schools, study groups, library collections, and art and performance spaces. Many of these schools and spaces are being created by artists, curators, and writers. These initiatives are symptomatic of illnesses that have beset formal educational and art institutions, and higher education systems everywhere. They could be said to be efforts to implement a transversal approach to art and study. But how can we guard against these schools and spaces inadvertently contributing to the art and knowledge production ecosystem, and indeed through their very energies and innovations adding value to these very same sick institutions in the process? How can study maintain its antagonism to the institutions and systems that make study impossible? We would like to propose that one way to work on this problem is to think of study as occurring amid clusters and tangles of affordances. We take the word from the original work of JJ Thomas who was keen to find a more imminent relationship between ‘man’ and environment. Thomas was interested in the perception of objects as affordances, things that made things possible. But we will try to dispense with ‘man’ and most especially ‘the mind’ of man, in our application of the concept. In particular we want to suggest that what has been taken as the mind that perceives affordances is itself nothing but a shifting collection of affordances itself, and therefore also, not itself. We would like to think of study as happening amidst and as affordances as a way to prevent its capture and extraction by the knowledge and art production ecosystem. Can affordances help us stay transversal? Finally, we will turn to the question of the ethics of study under such conditions. We will enlist the help here Ximena Davila and Humberto Maturana on love and preservation.

Jun 23, 2022 05:30 PM in London

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