.3 freethought invites…. Jan Verwoert: What Forces Us to Go into Abstraction
Thursday 11 June 2015, Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen
Why do things work the way they do. Is it because people shape places? So there wouldn’t be a single city, institution or social structure on the planet which wasn’t a product of how people perform whatever they think is the right thing to do and life in the polis would be defined by forces that are infinitely specific. Or is it never about people but first and foremost about (super- and infra-) structures? How else could you explain that a sheer accumulation of power and money can create realities which have nothing to do with people, which are abstract beyond belief because they are manifestations of structural plotting alone, but which shape life in the city with the physical force of a slap in the face? Do we want to look closely at how people perform politics, in the flesh? Or do the structural realities created by superpower and superriches force us to go into abstraction?
about jan verwoert: Jan Verwoert is a critic and writer on contemporary art and cultural theory, based in Berlin. He is a contributing editor of Frieze magazine, his writing has appeared in different journals, anthologies and monographs. He teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, the de Appel curatorial programme and the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He is the author of Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous, MIT Press/Afterall Books 2006, the essay collection Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want, Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2010, together with Michael Stevenson, Animal Spirits — Fables in the Parlance of Our Time, Christoph Keller Editions, JRP, Zurich 2013 and a second collection of his essays Cookie! published by Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2014.