MAY - JUNE 2019

Context-Responsive Art Practice

Seminar led by
Leyla Cardenas

DAY 1 (SEMINAR) Tuesday, May 14
1-4 PM

Wednesday, May 15
1-4 PM*

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.

*Schedule subject to change. Second day session may include an all-day, off-site exploration within Metro Manila.

Queer Filipiniana

Seminar by Nick Deocampo

DAY 1 (SEMINAR) Saturday, May 18 1-4 PM

DAY 2 (SEMINAR) Saturday, June 1 1-4 PM

DAY 3 (SEMINAR) Saturday, June 8 1-4 PM

Recalling one hundred years of Philippine cinema means recalling one hundred years of hetero-normative dominance of the Filipino screen. Resulting from this history is a film culture that favors heterosexual representation over other forms of sexual and gender identities. This condition has marginalized films that embrace homosexual desire and identity. This “normal” state of things will be challenged by a three-day workshop where issues on queer subjectivity, representation, and activism will be tackled by the country’s pioneering figure in queer filmmaking. Going beyond aesthetics and filmic practices, the workshop brings Deocampo’s experience in helping formulate the country’s first LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, which protects the LGBTQ community from discrimination. Dealing with both the theory and politics of queer cinema, this workshop offers an empowering opportunity for those wanting to explore their marginal world to find meaning and purpose in their difference.       

The course covers the following topics:

May 18: Finding the “I” of the Eye: Queer Subjectivity in Cinema
Discussion focuses on the construction of subjectivity which defines and animates the works and politics in queer filmmaking. As a way of personally introducing the subject of queer cinema, the discussant reflects on his process of building his gay subjectivity in his films by fighting against a history of patriarchy and social control.      

June 1: The Optics of Queer Representation
Discussion takes up the topic of queer representation in popular and alternative cinemas. Showing excerpts from popular films, both local and foreign, discussant analyzes queer screen representation in semiotic, psychoanalytic and culturalist ways.  

June 8: Beyond Desire: Queer Activism
Discussion goes beyond the screen text and moves into the politics of real action. Discussant reflects on activities that moved the needle in favor of the queer community—from street marches, gay parades, queer publication, activist filmmaking, community building, to policy legislation.     

Schedule subject to change.

Context-Responsive Art Practice

Seminar led by Köken Ergun

DAY 1 (PUBLIC LECTURE) Friday, May 24
7 PM

DAY 2 (SEMINAR) . Saturday, May 25
2-5 PM

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.

Schedule subject to change.

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.

Schedule subject to change.

Context-Responsive Art

Seminar led by
Raqs Media Collective

DAY 1 (SEMINAR) Wednesday, June 5 1-5 PM

DAY 2 (SEMINAR) Thursday, June 6 1-5 PM

DAY 3 (PUBLIC LECTURE) Friday, June 7 7 PM

Asia Pacific: Visual Histories of War and Postwar

Seminar led by James T. Hong

FILM SCREENING Saturday, June 15
7 PM

SEMINAR Tuesday, June 18
1 PM - onwards

Atrocities, Nationalism, Truth, and Race
Or: The Horror at the Basis of All Good Things

This seminar is an introduction to Hong’s preoccupations, research, and practice. It is a consideration of some of Hong’s work over the years and his particular fixation on Japanese biological warfare in China. Time does not heal all wounds, and those who remember the past are still condemned to repeat it. 

Session 1: A screening of Terra Nullius or: How to be a Nationalist 2015, 79 minutes
(English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, and Fukien with English subtitles)
(this film screening is free and open to the public)

Following three sets of nationalists from China, Taiwan, and Japan, this documentary focuses on the geopolitical issues surrounding the disputed islands known in Japanese as “Senkaku,” in Chinese as “Diaoyutai” or “Diaoyudao,” and in English as the “Pinnacle Islands.” Claimed by Japan, China, and Taiwan, these minor, remote, and uninhabited islands/rocks (approximately 7 square kilometers) are located roughly 170 kilometers northeast of Taiwan, 330 kilometers east of China, and 170 kilometers northwest of the westernmost tip of the Ryukyu Islands. After WWII, the islands were administered by the U.S. government as part of its occupation of Okinawa. Currently the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands are controlled by Japan, which received administration rights in 1971/1972 from the United States.

Possible discussion topics:
The idea of a nation
The birth of a nation
Art and nationalism

Session 2

A presentation of research and work on the topic of Japanese biological warfare in China and a brief overview of the history of biological warfare in the Twentieth century. Because this issue is fraught with controversy in Japan, we will also briefly address the issue of historical revisionism and historical truth.

Since the advent of “news,” there has been “fake news.” One could argue that the origins of any state are shrouded in myth, untruth, and outright lies. In the last few years I have been focusing on conflicts between competing regimes of truth or incompatible interpretations of history, such as the history conflicts between China and Japan concerning certain events in WWII. Since most eyewitnesses are dead or incapacitated, we in the present can only rely on what we read and learn from official and unofficial histories. The “truth” concerning certain historical events is malleable and frequently manipulated to reflect nationalistic, ethnic, scientific, or other political concerns in the present. I have also realized just how much my American education has shaped my conceptual scheme and prejudices.  

 Possible discussion topics:
What is a war crime?
What is history?
What is historical truth?
Art and Truth

Schedule subject to change.

Description will be available soon.

Schedule subject to change.

Asia Pacific: Visual Histories of War and Postwar

Seminar led by
Tuan Andrew Nguyen

End of June
(exact dates and time to be confirmed)


Stay tuned for the schedule of seminars and workshops with: Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Cosmin Costinas, Greg Dvorak, Anselm Franke, Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy, Alfredo Jaar, Eisa Jocson, Joshua Serafin, and David Teh.