Tag Archives: Derrida

DERRIDEAN DECONSTRUCTION WITHOUT DERRIDA

30 Apr

DERRIDEAN DECONSTRUCTION WITHOUT DERRIDA

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: Beaubourg268, San Francisco

Description

On April 1993 Jacques Derrida delivered a lecture titled Specters of Marx at an academic symposium sponsored by the University of California at Riverside on the topic “Whither Marxism?” Since then a slew of critics and commentators, from Aijaz Ahmad to Terry Eagleton to Richard Rorty (to name only a few), have reproached the Sephardic-Jewish Algerian Marxist for the effective indifference and utter contentlessness of his post 1989 approach to a Marxism without Marxism, which is to say a Marxism deprived of its malevolent historical content. Upon re-reading Derrida’s Specters of Marx in today’s post 2008 Credit Collapse, post 9/11 political landscape, one can’t help but agreeing with the anti-derrideans of the 90s; not only has Derrida passed away, his theoretical specter too seems impotent – without substantial force or relevance in the short twenty first century.

But is there then a way to save Derrida without Derrida? which is to say a derridean deconstruction that doesn’t defer to the specter of a purely imaginary “New International”, one “without status, without title, and without name . . . without party, without country, without national community”? More pointedly: what would a positive hauntological manifestation that didn’t rely on Derrida’s empty, formalistic messianism, look like? How would an institution that embraced the specter of an effective utopia function?

This is the first of three talks that will make up a 150 page text on The Becoming Resurrection.

This event is free but capacity is limited.

AN OPEN INVITATION TO THE PUBLIC / 18 NOV

19 Nov

If you live in the bay area, and you are at all interested in joining, or even contributing something to our little beaubourg – we invite you to leave a comment on our Beaubourg 268 blog (below). Beaubourg 268 is located  at the southern periphery of the San Francisco Peninsula. Adjacent to San Francisco State Universiity, the institution’s new home is a modest two story residential building that hopes to attract educators and students alike. The ground floor contains a small garden, sound studio, and outdoor planning areas; the second floor holds a small archive-library, along with lodging accommodations.

Most of the artists and thinkers in Steven Henry Madoff’s new big book, Art School suffer from one of two opposing superstitions: either art schools are the new business schools preparing designers and emerging artists for the real world, or art schools are the new pockets of resistance and reform informing social stakeholders for the real world challenges of global consumer capitalism. As a literary terrorist, one of whose concerns is the future of art school, I sometimes am asked: “Which theoretician should I know?” To their astonishment, I have yet to reply to them with the usual French names: Baudrillard, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, etc. Rather, I’ve tended to answer with one of two names: Gina Clark & Robert Hansen.

Gina Clark was born and raised in Southern California. Over the past decade she has worked across a variety of media including performance, film, photography, installation, and curating. Within these practices, the desert-based CalArts graduate has supported the preservation of the innovative and exploratory arts; always mindful of the fact that we are living in an age dominated by Domesticity & Artifice.  Robert Hansen is a sound artist, visual artist, writer and founder of the renowned group Mini Voyeur. From its initial formation, the group was exploring properties in speech, sound and acoustics; all the while, infusing humor in to the concepts of music, memory and logic. Robert has maintained an extended library of recorded audio and video documents created with the help of friends and family.

The newly established Beaubourg 268 will offer the public a series of classes, projects and improvisational “adventures” that remain more or less outside the existing coordinates of art schools such as Cal Arts and Goldsmiths. Under its co-founder Gina Clark, her weekly Carnal Knowledge workshops will stress the emancipatory potential of performance, as it relates to issues as varied as familial piety, animal welfare, and Czech cinema. Students, if they so desire, will have an opportunity to work with Clark’s nonprofit group, Unsichtbar Birnbaum Exploratory. Sound artist Robert Hansen will offer weekly workshops to appreciate the visual arts, through the lens of sound, music, or voice. I will offer bi-monthly ‘Reading’ Slavoj Zizek group seminars to provide theoretical supplement for those emerging artists who desire it. To the degree that art schools can play a “revolutionary” role today, I will attempt to open up a space in which isolated Japanese youths and North Korean defectors can be heard.

As the art teacher John Baldessari put it “[I]f you’re lecturing in a class and there’s a car crash outside, you better bring that car crash into what you’re saying or you’ve lost them.” It is from this perspective that the crucial first step, for us, is to foster an informal classroom environment that treats art as both a past-time and a means for exploration. To the degree that students may indeed require a postpostmodern vocabulary, Beaubourg 268 firmly believes that what students need most is the unconditional permission to use everything in the world, including their own naivete, fears, and desires.

Beaubourg 268 will be comprised with approximately fifteen students from the surrounding area who are diverse in terms of their backgrounds, ages, and aspirations. We invite every one – no matter what your age or artistic background – to participate in the fun. Ideally, we here at the beaubourg want to learn from you as much as you might learn from us. An informal meeting is set for Tuesday, 19 January 2010. The official opening is set for mid-February.