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<nettime-ann> Under Fire - Oct 22
Jordan Crandall on Tue, 24 Oct 2006 04:06:27 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime-ann> Under Fire - Oct 22


.
We invite you to participate in Under Fire.
 
Under Fire is an ongoing art and research project for the analysis of war
and political violence. It explores the organization, representation, and
materialization of armed conflicts:  their structural, symbolic, and
affective dimensions.
 
The next Under Fire will take place during the period 16 October - 10
December 2006, as a project for the International Biennial of Contemporary
Art of Seville.  
 
At the core of this project is an online forum.  We invite you to subscribe
to the forum and participate in the discussion.  To subscribe, send a blank
email to: underfire-join {AT} underfire.eyebeam.org
 
Further information: http://underfire.eyebeam.org
 
 
SCHEDULE
 
OCT 16 - OCT 21
PRELUDE
AMIR PARSA 
 
OCT 22 - OCT 28
WAR INFRASTRUCTURES
ALAIN JOXE
with JOHN ARMITAGE and PAUL N. EDWARDS
Intervention: KELLER EASTERLING (on the global industry of subtraction);
RAQS MEDIA COLLECTIVE (on the act of 'turning a deaf ear')
Insertions: MANUEL DELANDA (on war ecologies); CHALMERS JOHNSON (on military
baseworlds); SASKIA SASSEN (on territory, authority, and rights)
 
OCT 29 - NOV 4
VIOLENCE AS SYSTEMIC CONSEQUENCE
LORETTA NAPOLEONI 
with JAMES DER DERIAN and NABEEL ZIAD
Intervention: TREVOR PAGLEN (on stealth installations)
Insertion: MAHMOOD MAMDANI (on the legacy of the Cold War and the roots of
terror)
 
NOV 5 - NOV 11
CULTURAL FICTIONS AND SYMBOLIC REALITIES
NEGAR MOTTAHEDEH
with RYAN BISHOP, RADHIKA SUBRAMANIAM, and ANANYA VAJPEYI
Intervention: CALEB WALDORF (on ecologies of suspicion)
Insertions: JEAN BAUDRILLARD (on the irreducible singularity); TERRY
EAGELTON (on terror as symbolic form); KLAUS THEWELEIT (on war as symbolic
system of desire)
 
NOV 12 - NOV 18
RELIGION, POLITICS, MEDIA, AND WAR
MELANI MCALISTER
with MARY KELLER, JOHN WILLIAM PHILLIPS, and ANA VALDES
Insertion: TALAL ASAD (on the inseparability of modern politics and
religion)
 
NOV 19 - NOV 25
SECULARISM AND RELIGIOUS REVIVALISM
BARBARA VICTOR
with SABA MAHMOOD and HAREL SHAPIRA
Insertion: JACQUELINE ROSE (on Zionism); ARTHUR KROKER (on born again
ideology)
 
NOV 24 - NOV 25
SEVILLE ENACTIONS
            TARIQ ALI, OKWUI ENWEZOR, GEMA MARTIN MUNOZ, and EYAL WEISMAN
            with CALEB WALDORF and ANA VALDES
 
NOV 26 - DEC 2
POWER, SPECTACLE, AND REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS
RETORT
with IAN DOUGLAS and THOMAS KEENAN
Interventions: MARKO PELJHAN (on information tactics); SLAVOJ ZIZEK (on
traversing the fantasy)
 
DEC 3 - DEC 10
VIOLENCE, SENSATION, AND POLITICAL SPACE
NIGEL THRIFT
with BRIAN HOLMES, ANAHID KASSABIAN, and AMIT RAI
Interventions: ARIELLA AZOULAY (on the visual presence of death); RULA
HALAWANI (on sites of intimacy)
Insertions: BRIAN MASSUMI (on the politics of affect); FRIEDRICH KITTLER (on
love)
 
 
In structural terms, Under Fire is a programmatic zone that allows for three
different modes of engagement:  discussion, enaction, and assembly.  Each of
these modes involves varying degrees of materiality, incorporating both
online and onsite locations.  A continuous flow of discussion runs through
the core of the project, yet this discursive material gets assembled and
enacted in varying forms and rhythms to meet very specific conditions of
reception -- whether in terms of geographical context, media environment, or
social setting. Each enaction and assembly provides a vital platform, to
help synthesize the material and bring it to a new level of organization, as
well as to catalyze new relationships between participants.
 
What emerges is a communications ecology of actors, intensities, and rhythms
both synchronous and dissonant.  It is a communications ecology that
connects people in very real historical circumstances, who participate from
different cultural locales and disciplinary perspectives, ranging from the
humanities to the social and political sciences to journalism and activism.
It allows for the manifestation of agencies, identities, and drives and the
development of interdisciplinary, cross-cultural social networks,
cultivating new forms of assembly.
 
This instantiation of Under Fire is a project for the International Biennial
of Contemporary Art of Seville (http://www.fundacionbiacs.com).
Additional support provided by Eyebeam, New York.
http://underfire.eyebeam.org
 
 
THEMES
 
At the structural level, Under Fire foregrounds the structural conditions of
violence. It addresses issues of economic production, territory, and
operations of power.  It looks to the history of the western
military-industrial complex and its expanding network of extraterritorial
enclaves and communications infrastructures.  It looks at the rise of the
privatized military industry and the global commercialization of arms,
espionage, security, and military force.  It looks at the production of
militancy and its construction of the enemy other.  It understands acts of
violence as symptoms or effects of structural conditions, and situates
cycles of conflict within the workings of a global system.  In this way it
probes the nature of power and its resistance. Yet, at the same time, it
also aims to understand the intersection of space, system, and power in
non-socioeconomic and semiotic terms.  To this end, it draws from the
physical sciences, philosophy, and science studies to incorporate recent
theories of emergent organization and the ontogenic, nonlinear generation of
behaviors and forms.
 
At the symbolic level, Under Fire looks at the representation of violence
and the role that images play as complex registers of symbolic meaning.  It
aims to decode media using the tools of semiotic analysis, focusing on the
social and cultural construction of knowledge.  In this way it furthers
development of a critical spectatorship. Yet at the same time, it explores
non-linguistic-based networks of interpretation.  Here representation is
understood less in terms of a discrete visual artifact and more in terms of
a dynamic, processual assembly -- or what could be called a media ecology.
The image becomes a malleable, reproducible, and re-frameable event,
produced by a multiplicity of human and technological applications.  Such a
media ecology involves not only perception but sensation.  It operates at
the symbolic, imaginative, and affective levels. It necessarily incorporates
material, intensive realities that resist symbolization, but which in every
case play a powerful role in shaping consciousness and the belief systems
that motivate action.
 
Following from this, at the affective level, Under Fire does not simply
focus on meaning but on the affective and motivational realms of human
experience.  These include the embodied qualities, sensations, magnitudes,
and textures that form the substrata of communication, argument, and
judgment.  In other words, on par with the content of a particular message,
equal attention is given to the quality of embodied resonance it engenders.
Under Fire explores the ways that affects are harnessed and molded --
through drill, routine, and symbolic ritual -- in the training technologies
of war, marketing, and religion.  It therefore explores the role that
affects play in the production of collective identifications, aggressions,
and "militarized subjectivities."  As such, it explores the politics of
affect -- whether in terms of the politics of fear, desire, or otherwise.
It positions the affective realm as a biopolitical frontier.  It seeks to
understand how power operates at the level of the affective, and, in turn,
how the affective becomes political.
 
This leads to important questions.  How, then, is politics is constituted in
this space between affect and discourse?  In other words, how is politics
constituted between ineffable states of embodied expression on the one hand,
and larger rhetorical strategies on the other?  Under Fire follows this line
of questioning.  It asks:  When is expression or action rendered
intelligible as a political force? When does expression cease to simply turn
around and around itself, and instead erupt into the arena of the political?
What are the operations of power that determine its legitimacy? What is the
role of the imaginary?  What is the difference between violence and
politics; when does violence become political?  How are new political spaces
opened or invented?  And in turn, how is subjectivity constituted therein --
in terms of self-affectivity or discursive construction?  In terms of the
repetitive, embodied internalization of expressive acts, or symbolic
insertions into the public arena?
 
Addressing these and other questions Under Fire inquires into the status of
political speech and moves toward what could be understood as a performative
politics -- a politics that can incorporate a multiplicity of somatic and
symbolic registers, filtered by cultural fictions, imaginaries, intensities,
and arts of the self. A performative politics that has the potential of
inventing a new form of public speech and existence.
 
Under Fire brings together a diverse cross-section of artists, media makers,
educators, activists, political analysts, media researchers, writers,
performers, cultural theorists, social scientists, architects, organizers,
networkers, and other scholars and practitioners who are interested in
contemporary media culture, political violence, technology, power, social
movements, and global politics.
 
 


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