Context-Responsive Art Practice

Seminar led by
Leyla Cardenas


Slicing Lab - a temporal journey through space.

“A cut and a slice is there any question when a cut and a slice are just the same.
A cut and a slice has no particular exchange it has such a strange exception to all that which is different.
A cut and an occasion, a slice and a substitute a single hurry and a circumstance that shows that, all this is so reasonable when everything is clear.”

—Gertrude Stein, What Happened: A Play (1922)

The space is a metaphysical arena of continually intermittent appearances and disappearances. Anselm Kiefer has said that no empty place is really empty: everywhere is filled up, “almost claustrophobically” with all the traces of the past. The past is always there in the present. I am proposing to work with these traces or “ghosts” as raw material.

Understanding the world in a sculptural way is for me to constantly undo what comes as a frozen stable construct. In this workshop, we will be training the eye and senses to see beyond the surface. By undoing and delayering what surrounds us by a clean an informed incision. Introducing a material and conceptual approach to the problem of site. We will move across historical figures and disciplines that also consider the fabric of space-time as material to work with. While doing so slicing clinically through the material presence of the past.

Suggested Reading:


Context-Responsive Art Practice

Seminar led by Köken Ergun

This seminar will navigate through Ergun's filmmaking practice, unearthing representations of communities that are not known to a greater public and the importance of ritual in such groups. Ergun’s preoccupations are based on forms of contemporary rituals and celebrations, religious or secular, through events such as national holidays, beauty contests, world fairs, and the Olympics. The seminar is addressed to artists and filmmakers inclined toward the importance and role of archives, engagement in artistic research, and collaboration with ethnographers, historians, and sociologists to constitute the current political situations.

Suggested viewing:

Binibining Promised Land (2010)

Context-Responsive Art

Seminar led by
Raqs Media Collective

Memory and Magma: Documents in Eruption

 The Philippine Archipelago is one of the most active sites of volcanic activity. In this workshop, Raqs will take the metaphor of volcanic activity to talk about what happens when art practice enters the domain of memory and reflection.  

Memory and magma work subterraneously; one never knows what will trigger their sudden appearance. Raqs Media Collective's work with documents leads them to discover volatile memories, and to ask what a document is or can be. Sometimes these documents are photographs, at other times they are letters, diary entries, or personal effects. But artistic work with the document can expand its definition to include any object or trace that indexes a reality, affect, thought or sensation. Even the barely legible humming of a song in the voice of a prisoner of war can become a document pointing to a hesitation about the artificial binaries of defeat and victory. 

History and memory, like unstable tectonic plates, collide. Sometimes these collisions cause eruptions. These eruptions may be memories of difficult circumstances and of living within and with unstable social and cultural conditions, or they may simply index the volatile fluctuations that mark everyday life. How can one undertake a seismological investigation of memory? How can one look into the caldera of the volcano of our time and still keep one's feet on the ground? 

Raqs Media Collective's workshop will examine these questions with a view to making artists, curators and all those interested in contemporary art take the temperature of our explosive time.

Suggested Reading: