QAYYEM Programme in
Methodologies of Hope
QAYYEM Programme in Curatorial Research:
24-29 September, Alexandria, Egypt
When the words to describe the political ecologies of our times are missing, when the violence of the nation state and the almost insurmountable brutality of the global economy, hidden in plain sight or acted out, affect how we move, eat, drink, sleep and love each other, when crises proliferate inside, outside and around the existing institutions and weigh upon art production, and when there is no hope that this will change anytime soon, the question is how to find a new language, escape the logic of monetarisation, take care of each other, set art histories, common platforms and publics in motion, build new institutions and create archipelagos of hope.
The third and final session of Qayyem doesn’t propose answers to the above-mentioned questions, but attempts to investigate possible futures considering global perspectives and local contexts. Assistant professor in curating and mediating art at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University Bassam El Baroni will give a talk about some of the ideas in circulation around curating in the post-internet era and attempts to understand what the implications of these are for curating moving forward. Following will a practice-based workshop about instituting with art facing the crisis at all fronts and the notion of the commons as a central value, led by director of CASCO Art Institute Binna Choi, and a late night school about collaborative publishing projects, led by sociologist, writer and independent curator María Berríos, drawing inspiration from her experiences with the Chilean editorial collective vaticanochico, a three-person group that produces editorial projects and identifies itself on its website as a “tartamuda (stuttering) institution.”
The session will close with a round-table discussion around the proposed curatorial theories and practices with all the co-investigators moderated by the curatorial team.
All sessions will be organised by MASS Alexandria (2 El Madina El Monawwara Street). Morning sessions start at 10am and are open to the public. Afternoon sessions start at 3pm and are for registered participants only. Exceptions will be made.
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
WELCOME TO ALEXANDRIA
7pm-9pm Registration and informal get-together
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
COMPUTATION AS CURATORIAL MUSE, CURATING AS COMPUTATIONAL MUSE
10:00am Part 1: Keynote lecture by Bassam El Baroni
This talk looks at some of the ideas in circulation around curating in the post-internet era and attempts to understand what the implications of these are for curating moving forward. Computation is often interpreted as an algorithmic aid to the human curator and/or considered speculatively to signal the emergence and gradual realization of robo-curation and the withering of the human curator as was once understood. Both views seem to be highlighting curating in its “sortal” capacity as a form of selection and matchmaking but stop short of considering how the pressures exerted by computation contribute to the transformation of curation, seemingly directing it toward more epistemic concerns and an emphasis on conceptual synthesis. Between essentially thinking curating as a particular form of sorting, and, thinking curating as a practice with stakes and a role to play in the epistemic construction of world(s) is a type of gap; it is perhaps a “useful abyss” that dreams (or, for some, nightmares) about computational futures help bring to the fore. In what sense can the further automation of curatorial processes influence and shape the discussion on curating, its labour, and its education?
3:00pm Part 2: Seminar led by Bassam El Baroni
The seminar will further unpack the concepts and threads of thought brought up in the keynote and engage with a number of texts by various thinkers as well as look at various art works that tackle similar concerns.
Thursday, 26 September
ENGAGING WITH ART WHEN THE EARTH CLOCK IS TICKING
10:00am Part 1: Lecture by Binna Choi
Lecture and workshop about the place of art/its situatedness, institutional change and what it means to work as an "ecosystem", study as a mode of practice that encompasses art and other discipline in the trans-disciplinary mode, with the notion of the commons as a central value in the time of the imminent catastrophe if not never-ending crisis.
3:00-5:00pm Part 2: Workshop with Binna Choi around the ideas presented in her lecture
7:00pm-9:00pm Part 1 of a 2-day Night School.
Presentation by María Berríos.
Friday, 27 September
ENGAGING WITH ART WHEN THE EARTH CLOCK IS TICKING
10:00am Part 3: Continuation of the Workshop. Led by Binna Choi
3:00pm-5:00pm Part 2 of a 2-day Night School.
Facilitated by María Berríos.
Saturday, 28 September 20192pm-7pm
2:00-4:00pm Round-table discussion between all co-investigators. Moderated by the curatorial team.
5:00pm Food and drinks on the beach.
1-30 October, Alexandria & Cairo, Egypt
During the residency, the six curators selected for the programme have the opportunity to meet both the directors of MASS Alexandria as well as invited guests for mentoring sessions. Walks, communal dinners and studio visits will complement the programme. The residency will culminate with a public presentation of the projects by the participants.
Images (c) Zyad Refaat, Berit Schuck, Mohammed Adel Dessouki