Cite as: John David Rhodes, Welcome to the conference Abandon: World Picture Conference, ICI Berlin, 7–8 November 2014, video recording, mp4, 05:34 <>
7 – 8 Nov 2014


By John David Rhodes

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:05:34
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Conference

Abandon: World Picture Conference

Keynote by Laurence Rickels
Live performance by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder

The term abandon encompasses radical renunciation and immersive indulgence in its oscillation between abandonment of and abandonment to, between restraint and luxury, mindfulness and neglect. When we speak of abandonment we indicate a situation in which we take leave of something, or disband a collective entity, or else act in a way that suggests a disaggregation of certain protocols of behaviour, or belonging (as when we ‘laugh with abandon’). Discourses and scenes of media and politics are generally highly invested in ideas of taking-leave, breaking apart or away, acting with abandon. In the present moment, we believe the term resonates in manifold ways. For instance: with often painful choices between theoretical and political models that have outlasted their effectiveness but to which there seem to be no alternatives; with turns to abandoned objects as new sources of ontologies in which the turn itself is a mode of abandoning an established political-theoretical project; with the obdurate ‘problem’ of pleasure in aesthetics and aesthetic theory as either the obstacle or the medium of the aesthetic’s interface with the political; with the cathexis of the body and its phenomenology as an instrument and medium of political and aesthetic experimentation; with attempts to relinquish the human, and its attendant association with agency, as a category of experience; with contemporary experiences/fantasies of control and resistance to control; with theatricalizations of abjuration and gratification.


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)

Organized by

Manuele Gragnolati
Christoph F. E. Holzhey
Brian Price
John David Rhodes
Meghan Sutherland
An ICI Event with support from the Faculty of Modern and Medievl Languages and the Department of Italian at the University of Cambridge

This year’s World Picture Conference was a collaboration with the ICI Berlin and fed into its Core Project ERRANS, which takes the shifting and incompatible meanings of erring as a starting point to explore the critical potentials and risks of embracing error, randomness, failure, and non-teleological temporalities.