Jean-Baptiste Naudy on Thu, 20 Sep 2007 19:45:22 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> "Discussions about Politics and Design", Ze Dos Bois (Lisbon) September, 20-21, 2007.


Discussions about Politics and Design

Ze Dos Bois, Lisbon, September, 20-21, 2007.

Conferences on the occasion of the finissage of Société Réaliste's Transitioners exhibition.

Participants: Eric Alliez (Paris), Vicken Cheterian (Geneva), Cosmin Costinas (Vienna), Jose Neves (Lisbon) and Olivier Schefer (Paris).

Ze Dos Bois is currently presenting the exhibition Transitioners, a project by the Paris-based artistic cooperative, Societe Realiste. Transitioners is a trend design agency specialized in political transitions. Transposing the principles of prospective design, generally used by "fashion trend agencies", to the field of politics, Societe Realiste questions the revolution (transition?) as a central category for the contemporary western society. Transitioners surveys the mutations of the revolution as a form. How a "democratic transition" can be produced? What is the role of design in the permanent conversion of politics into mythology? How the effect of an event on people can be transformed into a controlled affect?
On the occasion of the exhibition's finissage, Ze Dos Bois and Societe Realiste presents a conferences and debates program, entitled "Discussões a propósito de política e design".

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2007, 7pm.

By Societe Realiste

Société Réaliste will introduce the participants of these discussions and reformulate some key points of the Transitioners project, from its genesis to its main aesthetical and political perspectives. Some topics to be discuss during the two-days conference will be synthetized, from the problematics of an artistic science to an experimental approach of design, from the necessity of understanding the main integration strategies of Late Capitalism politics to some linkage between different chapters of the recent history of political revolutions.

By Eric Alliez

(In French) « The most important scientific mind of the 19th century, more than Cezanne, was Seurat, that died at the age of 32." This specific affinity felt by Duchamp for Seurat will be the center of this presentation. Another important question will be the Seurat's contradictory heritage, especially in the confrontation between Matisse and Duchamp. In Modern art, there is this point that is not related to pictural Modernism but on the contrary, through forces and forms, to an archeology of the contemporary, of which Matisse and Duchamp are precisely the two fundamental paradigms.

Eric Alliez is a philosopher, professor at Middlesex University, London, since 2004. Scientific director and editor of the complete works of Gabriel Tarde (Empêcheurs de penser en rond/Le Seuil, Paris) and Gilles Deleuze, Immanence et vie (with Danielle Cohen-Levinas, Françoise Proust, Lucien Vinciguerra, PUF, Paris, 2006), creator and co-editor of the review Multitudes. His most recent books are La Pensée-Matisse (with Jean-Claude Bonne, Le Passage, Paris, 2005) and L'Œil-Cerveau (with Jean-Clet Martin, Vrin, Paris, 2007).

By Jose Neves

The representation of the communist militant is the result of a one century-long creative work. In Portugal, this process has been accentuated in the end of the 30s and has been strengthen by the recognition of PCP, at the beginning of the 40s. This communication strategy has been the occasion of melting various sensibilities that formed the communist idea of the revolution. While analyzing the discurses of communist intellectuals - and more particularly historians' ones - we will see how two main understanding, the vanguard one and the common one, have created a productive tension, now possible to encounter in the writings of authors like Toni Negri and John Holloway.

José Neves is an historian. Currently finishing a thesis about Communism and Nationalism in 20th Century Portugal at ISCTE, he has recently coordinated the collective book Da Gaveta para Fora - Ensaios sobre Marxistas (Afrontamento, 2006).

By Cosmin Costinas

The autumn of 1989 was the spectacular moment needed by the already unleashed liberal machine to proclaim a grand finale before entering the age of unshattered expansion and disbelief in any possibility of social change. The almost ritualistic and choreographed nature of that autumn was nowhere more striking than in the case of the Romanian revolution. The radical proclamation of the end of a political construction employed both a highly symbolic scenario of "the revolution" haunting the modern European imagery (with the occupation of the public space, where the public space is understood as streets and central squares, the storming of a palace climaxing in a regicide), as well as a scenario of a media-generated reality. The act of the king leaving his palace was doubled by an equally significant moment, that of a contested and confused Ceausescu at the balcony of his palace, failing to grasp the codes of the "live history", exposing himself as the product of a pre-media regime of reality and allowing a media story to take over. But the dozens of hours of tape that constitute the Romanian revolution have also aquired an uncanny status of a founding mythology, random gestures and spontaneous phrases becoming projected as the ultimate references for the Romanian second republic.

Cosmin Costinas is a writer and freelance curator, external editor of the reviews Idea Arts + Society e Version, and consultant for visual arts at the Romanian state television. His most recent projects include Textground (Prague, 2004) and Laicitate dupa Complicitate (Bucharest, 2005). He is currently working on a book about Romanian contemporary art of the 21st century (with Mihnea Mircan) and he is part of the editorial team of the Documenta 12 Magazines project in Kassel.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007, 7pm.

By Vicken Cheterian

"Color Revolutions" raised a strong hope. They turned out to be a deception. All of them had their specific history, their own biographies. The youth went to protest for different reasons, to reach distinct objectives. What did the youth in Serbia want in 2000? In 2003 Georgia? In 2004 Ukraine and in 2005 Kyrgyzstan? What did "they" promit them? After some years, are these countries more democratic? Were they the beginning or the end of non-violent pro-democratic westernized revolutions? Are the jihadists the revolutionnaries of the 21st century? Is the revolution a solution for the problems of our societies, in the East, in the West?

Vicken Cheterian is a journalist, specialized in international politics. Born in Lebanon, he has covered conflicts in the Middle East, then in Caucasus and Central Asia. Currently living in Geneva, he is working for Cimera, a non-for-profit organization, and he is a frequent collaborator of Le Monde Diplomatique, Paris.

By Olivier Schefer

We'll try to see how and why color seems to be the very _expression_ of the artistic revolution of the modernism. This lecture will endeavour also to reflect on the self-construction of the modernism, which creates its own mythology through colors. Following aspects will be studied : the quest of autonomy, the spiritual dimension of colors, the exhibition as artwork.

Olivier Schefer is professor of aesthetic, philosophy and fine art at the University of Paris I Sorbonne. He works on the romantic period and its modern influences. Latest pulications : Anish Kapoor catalog's (Svayambh, éditions Fage, Paris, 2007), Les corps du retour (Zombies), in Fresh Theorie (éd. Léo Scheer, Paris, 2006), Résonances du romantisme (éd. La Lettre volée, Bruxelles, 2005).

By Societe Realiste

To conclude the two-days public discussion, Societe Realiste will try to summarize some of the main points debated between the participants, by linking modernist stakes of the colour (Alliez, Schefer), examples of political transitions (Cheterian, Costinas, Neves) and the core problematics of the Transitioners project. Then, Societe Realiste will open the conversation on a critical hagiography of some stakes of the Revolution Mythology by using several examples such as the ones of Saint Thomas More or Olinde Rodrigues.

Societe Realiste is a Paris-based artistic cooperative created by Ferenc Grof and Jean-Baptiste Naudy, that manages the development of several research and economical structures such as a laboratory for the study of urban signs (IGM), an immigration agency (EU Green Card Lottery), a trend design bureau specialized in political transitions (Transitioners), an administration dedicated to the politics of the space (Ministere de l'Architecture), a legislative consulting firm, expert in competitive and sustainable lawmaking (Cabinet Societe Realiste Conseil), a counter-biennial (Manifesta 6.1), a company designing marketing models for the contemporary art field (PONZI'S), or a collective finance fund for individual projects (OTC).

More info:
With the support of Instituto Franco-Português; Chama Vermelha; Instituto das Artes.
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