- Through several meetings, Sprocket syllabus will address the relationship between absence –in its political and aesthetic dimension– and “queer” negativity. Departing from art theory and practice, the program will examine proposals that employ non-signification, as well as formal strategies of vanishing, draining and emptying, in order to renegotiate the normative processes of recognition and legibility.
During the first part of the program (April-June, 2023) we will discuss silence as rhetorical absence and the possibilities it offers for conceiving a negative politics and aesthetics, making use of theoretical tools such as "paraontology" (Marquis Bey) or "the oncology of ontology" (Thomas E. Yingling). The second part of the program (from September 2023) will focus on the ability of performance, dance and theater to conceive an aesthetics of disappearance and absence based on Peggy Phelan's theory of the “ontology of performance”.
The program, directed by Álvaro del Fresno, includes talks, concerts and reading groups in which the work of Chew Wei Li, Lee Edelman, J. Logan Smilges, Mlondi Zondi, Rizvana Bradley, Andrea Long Chu, Monique Wittig, Linette Park, Édouard Glissant or Bobby Benedicto, among others, will be discussed.
Aimed at: all interested persons. These are relaxed meetings in which no previous knowledge is required. We will discuss texts, references and experiences.
FIRST PART OF THE PROGRAM (APRIL - JUNE 2023)
—Reading Group. Thursday, April 13 from 7pm to 9pm —
Departing from Lee Edelman's recent "Bad Education", we will expose the Lacanian concept of "absens" to inquire into the political and aesthetic possibilities of non-signification. We will then present the various conversations that are established as responses and critiques of Edelman's project, exploring the relationship between racialization and negativity, and attending to other models that do employ signification through its saturation, such as Luce de Lire’s proposal. Finally, we will consider the aesthetic strategies mobilized by silence as a rhetorical absence to think a negative aesthetic.
This session will be facilitated by Álvaro del Fresno and Andrea Acosta.
All texts in the reading group will be translated into Spanish.
*To secure your place and access to the materials please send us a DM with your email or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the meeting we will have some drinks and food to enjoy together.
—Performed Lecture: Pink Show Trials - Guilty Until Proven Innocent by Luce deLire Thursday 20th of April from from 7pm to 9pm —
Who's afraid of cancel culture? Not us! Those who seek the causes of “cancel culture” in a pseudototalitarianism and the wickedness of individual characters misunderstand it. Cancel culture is a symptom and not a cause of injustice. In the absence of functional means of social negotiation, people revert to public shaming. The “Pink Show Trials” dramatize this predicament. Show trials should be a stock performance at every queer event in order to channel repressed aggression, train collective reasoning, and terrify the political right. So let's get on stage and sue some counter-revolutionaries ...
Note: The pink show trials belong to the larger project of Pink Totaliterianism. To find out more here: e-flux.com/journal/117/386679/full-queerocracy-now-pink-totaliterianism-and-the-industrialization-of-libidinal-agriculture
Luce deLire is a ship with eight sails and lies down by the quay. In her performances she embodies figures of the collective imaginary. On her website, she offers "existential coaching and consulting". As a philosopher, her interests range from the metaphysics of infinity all the way to queer theory, Media theory, anti-racism, postcolonialism, and political theory. As an editor, she recently collaborated with art journal Texte zur Kunst on a volume titled "trans perspectives". As a person, she likes to [fill the blank]. For more, see getaphilosopher.com
Álvarx del Fresno is an artist and researcher based in Madrid. In their work they explore the performativity of absence and silence in the constitution of identities marked by experiences of negativity. Currently their research aims to elaborate an aesthetics of fading, to account for the limits of signification and to attend to strategies of illegibility and opacity.
Andrea Acosta is a researcher in the field of philosophy and currently lives in Madrid. She has worked making use of embodied epistemology to explore the theatrical possibilities of the body in queer subjectivation practices. She currently focuses her studies in political philosophy, investigating the relationships between community, representation and agency. She explores how the identitarian configuration of collectivity abject to the margins the unassimilable subjectivities in search of the interstices and vanishing points that can propitiate other dissident assemblages.