New York: Ways of Reading, Symposium
Participants include American Artist (artist); Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (data-visualization, data analysis, and storytelling collective); Jérôme Bel (choreographer); James Bridle (writer, artist, and technologist); Kate Crawford (Distinguished Research Professor at NYU); Martha Kenney (Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at San Francisco State University); Laura Kurgan (Professor of Architecture at GSAPP, and Director, Center for Spatial Research, Columbia University); Trevor Paglen (artist and researcher); Gala Porras-Kim (artist); Kameelah Janan Rasheed (artist and learner); Steve Rowell (artist); Davide-Christelle Sanvee (performance artist); and Andros Zins-Browne (choreographer).
Presented in collaboration with e-flux, Ways of Reading is an exploratory day of talks, interventions, and performances featuring a multidisciplinary set of artists and thinkers. The symposium examines how forms of information describe, prescribe, organize, and even misrepresent reality. The framework aims to emphasize how data and statistical analysis can function as powerful, yet often incomplete tools that can be wielded to produce exclusionary models for social distribution and recognition. While numerical mistakes are plain to see once revealed, false positives, cognitive biases, and other forms of erroneous thinking are not unique to computational logic alone. The presentations explore data as a theme in general, across various disciplines including public health, urban planning, archeology, geology, and others. Playfully investigative rather than thesis-driven, the symposium proposes that understanding is made richer, if not possibly more truthful, by including a diversity of research practices and forms of critique that take alternative views and approaches into consideration. If we were to present a guiding thought for the day, it would be to remember that: a sparrow, to an ornithologist, is not the same thing as to a poet.
Morning Program – 11am to 1pm
General introduction by Adam Kleinman, Lead Curator for North America, KADIST
Participants: James Bridle, Trevor Paglen, Kate Crawford, Steve Rowell, Gala Porras-Kim
Presentations and discussions by James Bridle, Trevor Paglen, and Kate Crawford will touch upon artificial and nonhuman intelligence, followed by Steve Rowell on remote sensing technology and post-natural landscapes, and a presentation of new research by Gala Porras-Kim that interweaves archeology, space, and psychic regression.
Lunch Break – 1pm to 2pm
Afternoon Program #1 – 2pm to 3:45pm
Participants: Martha Kenney, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Andros Zins-Browne
2pm Martha Kenney will discuss the ways “objective” scientific narratives can reinforce stereotypes about gender, race, sexuality, and class, while Kameelah Janan Rasheed will discuss how notions of time and place change meaning in language.
3.15pm Performance of the iconic work Jérôme Bel (1995), newly reimagined as a remix and rebuttal by Jérôme Bel and Andros Zins-Browne.
Coffee Break – 3:45pm to 4pm
Afternoon Program #2 – 4pm to 6:45pm
Participants: Laura Kurgan, Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (represented by Ariana Faye Allensworth, Erin McElroy, Sam Raby, Manon Vergerio), American Artist, Davide-Christelle Sanvee
4pm The final session begins with a presentation by Laura Kurgan concerning the ethics and politics of mapping, segregation, and data gathering, which is followed by a discussion on dispossession and resistance across communities in New York, San Francisco, and elsewhere by the collaborative Anti-Eviction Mapping Project team. American Artist later considers visibility within networked life.
5pm Plenary Session moderated by Adam Kleinman.
6pm Special performance by Davide-Christelle Sanvee.
The symposium marks the launch of Ways of Reading, an eponymous three-year KADIST initiative comprising seminars, exhibitions, and commissions taking place across North America, curated by Adam Kleinman. The program is part of a series of international projects that seeks to deepen KADIST’s investment in international collaboration by working with a curator, who works to establish key issues of social relevance in the region to guide production and research, located in various regions for a three-year term.
The Ways of Reading symposium is co-produced with e-flux and with the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.
e-flux is a publishing platform and archive, artist project, curatorial platform, and enterprise which was founded in 1998. Its news digest, events, exhibitions, schools, journals, books, and the art projects produced and/or disseminated by e-flux describe strains of critical discourse surrounding contemporary art, culture, and theory internationally. Its monthly publication e-flux journal has produced essays commissioned since 2008 about cultural, political, and structural paradigms that inform contemporary artistic production.