I just wrapped up a fellowship with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s (Un-)Learning Place! These were five wonderful days with fantastic people from around the world challenging institutions, our assumptions, realities, etc. Many thanks to HKW and the facilitators of our track, Spaces of Theory, including diffrakt: center for theoretical periphery and raumlabor berlin! Here’s a collection of my thoughts via my Instagram account:
(BERLIN, Germany) – Guten Tag! I’m honored and excited to be one of the selected fellows for The (Un-)Learning Place, a program by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. What a great start to 2019 and how fitting having just been immersed in anthropogenic food futures, sustainability and decolonization with China Residencies and Mekong Cultural Hub / British Council this past Fall. I’m in Track 5 on Space/Theory. I can’t wait to be back in Berlin, one of my favorite cities in the world! Let’s take this on. See you soon!
The present is characterized by a crisis of the established epistemic-political order. Outdated categories and terms no longer function. Representational logics fail to grasp the complexity of contemporary phenomena and increasingly global societies, whose change is accelerated by digital infrastructures. In this situation, it is necessary to unlearn established modes of referring to the world and to rethink methods of constructing, situating and criticizing reality.
During the Opening Days of HKW’s new long-term project The New Alphabet , HKW will set up a unique space for gathering, discussion and workshops—a unique (Un-)Learning Place curated by Boris Buden and Olga von Schubert. In the five-day curriculum international participants are invited to take part in (Un-)Learning Tracks to work with curatorial, artistic, or activist strategies in close collaboration with self-organized research collectives and independent artists, researchers and curators.
How do the cultural techniques of archiving, integrating, and classifying transform archived knowledge from within? Can the necro-aesthetics—the presentation of dead beings—in Natural History Museums be reframed by changing museum taxonomies? How do body molecules tell stories of their century-old political suppression and how can they be reread? What are modes of resistance in digital network cultures and how is it possible to navigate through increasingly opaque streams of data and information? What would spaces of learning and unlearning look like in a world permeated by institutional infrastructures of dominance and cultural supremacy? How can a library of African diasporic writing be cataloged without reproducing oppressive categories? And what role does our understanding of the workings and logics of theory and its institutional practice play within?
In five (Un-)Learning Tracks the (Un-)Learning Place seeks out strategies to navigate through the inherent classification and ordering systems of archives, libraries, museums, institutional architectures, and digital networks and offers approaches to situating, negotiating and ‘(un-)learning’ research in artistic, site-specific, poetic, and bodily practices. Together with eight independent curatorial, activist or artistic collectives, and invited guests, the (Un-)Learning Place offers its 80 international participants the opportunity to investigate new strategies for interdisciplinary research and potential crossdisciplinary collaborations in the fields of Translation, Digitality, Archiving, Embodied Infrastructures as well as the Politics of Space and Theory, in order to challenge established perspectives and collectively develop ways of restructuring the order of things.