Melanie Gilligan, Cooper Francis

Workshop with Melanie Gilligan and Cooper Francis (both New York)
June 4h annd 5th, 2016

Rather than accepting a 2001 »cybernetic hypothesis« that postulated historical stasis grounded in transparent information flows and techniques of population management, this workshop will examine on-going efforts to engineer the technical infrastructure of a global market that still characterizes our world. In this way, it is shown that this is a fragile and incomplete rather than “imperial” process that unfolds through the largely adversarial dynamics between firms, nations, and those individuals who must work for their livelihood. This workshop further addresses the challenges of engaging with such trajectories while situated within a present in which the technical support of memory and communication has already been overhauled, a process that has contributed to what has been called a »crisis of experience« (Benjamin) and an »[incapacity] to participate in the socialization of the world« (Stiegler). What, in fact, does it mean to orient oneself and discover possibility amidst so much data?

In this workshop, Melanie Gilligan and Cooper Francis will examine such questions through an emphasis on the importance of art (and, in particular, narrative) to historical experience. In addition to Francis’ own research on the paradigmatic importance of Microsoft Excel and Gilligan’s recent video work »The Common Sense«, this workshop will discuss texts by Bernard Stiegler and Gilbert Simondon on technical anthropology, as well as Peter Osborne and N. Catherine Hayles on the challenges of constructing a contemporary experience of history.

Due to limited capacities we ask for registration under: hannes.loichinger[at]leuphana[dot]de

In preparation for the workshop a reading list will be sent to the registered participants.

Melanie Gilligan is an artist and writer based in New York and London. »The Common Sense« (2014/15), Gilligan’s latest episodic video work is a three-part project presented across multiple institutions and has been on view at de Appel Arts Center, Amsterdam, Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht and De Hallen Haarlem. Previous solo exhibitions include Chisenhale Gallery, London; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Banff Centre; and Galerie Max Mayer, Düsseldorf. Gilligan’s critical writing on art, politics, and economics has appeared in publications such as »The Market« (Whitechapel, 2013), and »Intangible Economies« (Fillip, 2012), as well as in journals and magazines including Grey Room, Artforum, Texte zur Kunst, and Mute magazine.

Cooper Francis is a writer, translator and software developer who completed his post-graduate studies at the London Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy and whose work focuses on the relation between the philosophy of history, technology and art. His latest research, the product of several years working as a data engineer for US startups, looks to understand the technical configuration of the contemporary world and the philosophical as well as anthropological significance thereof. He has presented intermediate results of this project at Harvard, Kent, Nijmegan and Notre Dame universities in addition to cultural institutions such as MaMa in Zagreb. Cooper’s writing has appeared in IEEE engineering journals as well as publications like »The St. Petersburg Paradox« (Swiss Institute/Karma, 2016). His translation of Giorgio Agamben’s book »Taste« is forthcoming with Seagull Press.