This lecture series takes queer theory’s conversation about intimacy as a starting point to discuss some of its cultural possibilities, mediated forms, and philosophical trajectories in the context of Corona.Infrastructures of Intimacy and the Deplatforming of Sex: Susanna Paasonen, lecture, ICI Berlin, 11 February 2021, video recording, mp4, 48:55 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e210211>
Sven Lütticken teaches art history at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and theory at the Dutch Art Institute. He is the author of Secret Publicity: Essays on Contemporary Art (2006), Idols of the Market: Modern Iconoclasm and the Fundamentalist Spectacle (2009), History in Motion: Time in the Age of the Moving Image (2013), and Cultural Revolution: Aesthetic Practice after Autonomy (2017), and regularly contributes to journals and magazines such as New Left Review, Texte zur Kunst, e-flux journal, Grey Room, and Afterall.Sven Lütticken, ‘Trials, Tribunals, Reconstructions’, lecture presented at the symposium Over and Over and Over Again: Re-Enactment Strategies in Contemporary Arts and Theory, ICI Berlin, 16 November 2017, video recording, mp4, 55:07 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e171116-1>
Public feminism today travels by way of a technological update of collective speech acts of avowal and confession understood as already constituting political action — a practice familiar from 1970s feminism. And correspondingly, critiques of #MeToo have added little to the anti-feminist reactions of the 1970s. The talk argues that current activism warrants another look at two theoretical positions from the 1970s that related truth, speech, and sexuality — and were radically at odds with one another: Foucault famously denounced modern-day compulsory self-revelation as being premised on the dubious discursive linking of truth and sexuality and saw in psychoanalysis an agent of this confessional coercion. For Lacan, on the other side, the speaking subject is constituted by an unbridgeable gap between desire, knowledge, and truth, and hence, while the act of speaking may produce knowledge, it can never close the rift between knowledge and truth constitutive for the desiring subject. What is the constellation of sexuality, speech, and truth in feminist collective, mediated practices? What are the implications of ‘speaking up’ today? Can a reflection on the valences of recent confessional practices help force psychoanalysis to reposition itself in light of current feminist critiques?
Nadine Hartmann is a cultural theorist working in the field of psychoanalysis and feminist philosophy. She wrote her dissertation about philosophy and the girl, with an emphasis on Georges Bataille and Luce Irigaray. She is co-convenor of the feminist event series ‘Spellbound’, which examines phenomena of collective mental contagion and mass hysteria.Nadine Hartmann, Hashtag Confessions: What Can Psychoanalysis Say About #MeToo?, lecture, ICI Berlin, 10 March 2020, video recording, mp4, 52:28 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e200310>
Didier Debaise is a permanent researcher at the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) and the director of the Center of Philosophy at Free University of Brussels (ULB) where he teaches contemporary philosophy. He is one of the co-founders, with Isabelle Stengers, of the Groupe d’études constructivistes (Geco). His main areas of research are contemporary forms of speculative philosophy, theories of events, and links between American pragmatism and French contemporary philosophy. He wrote three books on Whitehead’s philosophy (Un empirisme spéculatif, Le vocabulaire de Whitehead and L’appât des possibles), edited volumes on pragmatism (Vie et experimentation), on the history of contemporary metaphysics (Philosophie des possessions), and wrote numerous papers on Bergson, Tarde, Souriau, Simondon, and Deleuze. In 2017, two of his books appeared in English: Nature as Event: The Lure of the Possible and Speculative Empiricism: Revisiting Whitehead. He is currently working on a new book, Pragmatique de la terre.Didier Debaise, Nature and its Others: The Invention of a Political Force, lecture, ICI Berlin, 24 February 2020, video recording, mp4, 54:04 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e200224>
At the same time, writers and philosophers rediscovered the Southern Italian metropolis, which had been a major travel destination for previous centuries. In the summer of 1925, the city witnessed a remarkable gathering: Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, Theodor W. Adorno, Ernst Bloch, and Alfred Sohn-Rethel came to Naples, and their visits inspired them to reflect on quite similar questions — namely, the specific quality, range, and influence of surroundings, environments, and habitats — albeit from a historical materialist perspective focusing on the human subject and its socio-economic conditions.
Walter Benjamin and Asja Lacis used the term ‘porosity’ to describe Naples. Adopting this term as its key analytical category, the talk aims at relating these Neapolitan knowledge formations — biological and philosophical — in order to address some decisive aspects of modern ecological thinking.Christina Wessely is professor for the cultural history of knowledge at Leuphana University Lüneburg. She studied history and German literature at the University of Vienna and the Freie Universität Berlin, received postdoctoral fellowships from the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and from Harvard University, and held research positions at the University of Vienna and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Recent publications on the history of ecology include Löwenbaby (2019); ‘Watery Milieus. Marine Biology, Aquariums, and the Limits of Ecological Knowledge circa 1900’ in Grey Room 75 (2019), pp. 36–59; and the co-edited volume Milieu. Umgebungen des Lebendigen in der Moderne (2017).Christina Wessely, Milieus, Environments, Life Forms: Biology and Critical Theory in the Gulf of Naples, lecture, ICI Berlin, 27 January 2020, video recording, mp4, 35:22 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e200127>
The lecture presents some of the main issues addressed by the ERC project ‘AN-ICON’ (2019–2024), exploring ‘an-iconology’ as a new paradigm able to address the challenging landscape of contemporary image production and consumption. Subjects relating to an-icons are no longer visual observers in front of images isolated from the real world: they become experiencers living in a quasi-world that offers multisensory stimuli and allows sensorimotor affordances and interactions. These new forms of image experience require a new understanding, as they are bound to radically change human relations to images.Andrea Pinotti is professor of aesthetics at the Department of Philosophy of Università degli Studi di Milano. He recently was EURIAS Senior Fellow at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study (2017–2018) and received the Wissenschaftspreis of the Aby-Warburg-Stiftung (2018). His main research interests include aesthetics, art theory, art history, the morphological tradition, image theories, and visual culture studies, memory studies, and theories regarding empathy. He is currently in charge of the ERC-funded project ‘AN-ICON — An-iconology: History, Theory, and Practices of Environmental Images’.Andrea Pinotti, ‘An-Icons: Environmentalizing Pictures’, lecture presented at the workshop Art and the Digital Environment: Reconfiguring Images, ICI Berlin, 30 January 2020, video recording, mp4, 35:58 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e200130-1>