AM – masterclass – Patricia Reed


Masterclass: Art, Subjectivity and the ‘Cold World’ 
by: Patricia Reed

Patricia Reed is a Berlin-based researcher and webdeveloper who works together with Avans professor Sebastian Olma in an Avans research project “Aesthetichs and the Copernican Trauma”. Aim of the project is the launch of a web journal with contributions of various authors. Patricia will be in ’s-Hertogenbosch later this month and accepted our invitation to give a masterclass at AKV|St.Joost.

The ‘Cold World’ describes our technosphere, composed (intentionally and/or accidentally) of amassed bits as the convergence of digital, atomic, and hydrocarbon age. It is an alienating world of big data, finance-capitalism, and planetary-scaled crises underscored by the seeming impossibility of understanding what this world is. The term ‘Cold World’ indexes not only the complex world ‘out there’ that overflows epistemic traction, but our general existential crisis as humans within it. No human brain can grasp or master this world, despite the fact that we’ve built it. The reactions to this ‘Cold World’ can be largely classified as withdrawing from complexity, across the political spectrum.

This masterclass looks beyond the “either-or deadlock” of techno-fetishism* versus techno-pessimism** while investigating how our current reality forces us to contend with a world where we are no longer the radiant centre of activity and how this fundamental alters our self-understanding as human. This transformed self-understanding produces a series of cascading consequences: How do we evaluate ‘human experience’ when much of this world is not available to us sensorially? How do we understand (or rewrite) the role of art in this world (or preferably, the otherworld)? What role do humanities play in a world utterly dominated by big-tech? What new alien-alliances and collective subjectivities need to arise for political mobility?

Additional concepts to be discussed in this masterclass include Inhumanism, Cosmotechnics, Generic Situatedness

*Techno-fetishism (the Silicon Valley mentality) believes in solving all problems through technological means, and not socio-political change.

**Techno-pessimism is a cry for a ‘simpler time’ suggesting we have lost our ‘human nature’ (thereby essentialising what the human is, both neglecting how this category has historically omitted most humans from its purview, and the ways in which technology is in itself, fused to the human across cultures and regions).

Masterclass: Art, Subjectivity and the ‘Cold World’ by Patricia Reed
Location: ’s-Hertogenbosch, masterbuilding AKV|St.Joost
Date: Tuesday 30 january 2018
Time: 10 – 16.30 hrs
Language: English
Participants: 20 MA-students

Please email our office if you are a master student at AKV|St.Joost and if want to participate in this masterclass:
Registration closes on friday 22 january.