Key Work: Tom Keene on “Database (e)State”
31 October 2022
Database (e)State is a practice-based research project prompted by Lambeth Council’s proposed demolition of Cressingham Gardens Estate (CGE) in South London. The project explores how ‘housing databases’ are complicit in the demolition of residential social housing estates in the UK. It aims to elucidate how databases produce some of the bureaucracies and politics that emerge within residential regeneration schemes. And shows the social and technical entanglements of databases, government, activists, and residents facing demolition of their homes.
Key Work: Mohamad Safa on “Collateral Listening: Aural Shocks Beyond Quantification”
11 October 2022
This talk establishes and examines the concept of Collateral Listening, as an inherent aural condition to atmospheres of loudness, particularly in armed conflict. Informed by the controversial category of collateral damage, that operates within the fundamental principles of the Laws of Armed Conflicts, Collateral Listening examines the obscured zones of violence. Territories where untargeted bodies absorb the audible excess of armed conflicts. Spaces, where sheltering victims experience the diffused yet “legitimate” sonic repercussions of shockwaves. As neither targets nor collateral casualties, ear witnesses to aerial strikes are systematically excluded from legal consideration and categorisation. The alienation of the listener, as such, is instrumentalised further by retributive and coercive military practices. Through this extreme listening dimension, entanglements between acoustics, psycho-social trauma, laws of war, geography and technology come to matter.
Screening & Discussion: The Otolith Group on “INFINITY minus Infinity”
25 March 2021
INFINITY minus Infinity draws on several inspirations: the modernist verse of the Jamaican poet Una Marson, the alluvial invocations of the Martinican philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant, the black feminist poetics of the Brazilian philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva, and the racial formation of geology theorised by British geographer Kathryn Yusoff amongst others in order to envision a black feminist cosmos animated by the principles of mathematical nihilism.The phrase “hostile environment” invokes the covert policy of targeting migrants enacted by the UK Conservative government since 2014. It stands for the criminalization of the Afro-Caribbean women and men that migrated to Britain in the 1950s to help reconstruct its industrial infrastructure after the war. INFINITY minus Infinity extends its confrontation with the ongoing hostile environment into an interscalar movement between times and spaces. It brings together dance, performance, music, recital, and digital animation to compose a transhistorical zone in which the unpayable debts of racial capitalism cannot be separated from the ongoing crimes of climate catastrophe.
FA/CRA Forum: Ariella Aïsha Azoulay on “Unlearning Imperial Temporality: Crimes Against Humanity and Repair”
17 March 2021
Ariella Aïsha Azoulay will discuss “Unlearning Imperial Temporality” in relation to the work of Forensic Architecture. Imperial temporality facilitates imperial crimes. The category of the ‘extrajudicial execution’ is a paradigmatic example. The category refers to a situation where a person has been killed without a judicial process. However, it is this dissociation of such killing from the legal system that camouflage that the extrajudicial killing is part of an ongoing crime against humanity. Unlearning imperial temporality would require finding the source of the legality of the extrajudicial killing. Extrajudicial killing doesn’t violate the law or happens without a legal process; it is rather the eruption of the dazzling clarity of the legal system. Unlearning imperial temporality requires attending to the root of the legal regime, to the imperial rights it is made to protect, without which these killings will not be made into discrete cases that at best can be proven to be in violation of the legal system rather then its intended outcome. Forensically speaking, unlearning imperial temporality requires potentializing the temporality of the ‘extrajudicial killing’ and making it appear for what it is - a crime against humanity. In my presentation I’ll discuss a few examples of potentializing history and the importance of the category of crimes against humanity for the discourse of repair.
Key Work: Evelina Gambino & Tekla Aslanishvili on "Algorythmic Island"
2 March 2021
In this talk Evelina Gambino & Tekla Aslanishvili discuss the challenges, conflicts and negotiations that have shaped their individual and collective work in Anaklia and across other infrastructural spaces in Georgia. Born in the field, their collaboration and friendship has travelled across different settings and countries to become a daily element of their respective lives. The continuous conversation in which they are engaged unfolds through different media, from text messages to written samples, stills of Aslanishvili‘s film, meetings, discussions, phone calls, etc. This process is a testament to the impossibility of treating the field as a bounded object as well as fieldwork as an experience that can be contained by any strict time/space or discipline. Bringing together these different political, affective and practical elements, Gambino & Aslanishvili will discuss their practice and future projects.