Zooetics, Mycomorphlab, 2015
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Quand fondra la neige, où ira le blanc*
[And where will the white go when the snow melts]

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The erg's annual seminar
February 8, 9, 10, 2016
Bozar, Brussels - Salle M et salles Terarken
Palais des Beaux-Arts, rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles
www.bozar.be

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The seminar gathers students, researchers, professors, and is open to the public around lectures, discussions, screening, musical events, and performances, as erg is inviting philosophers, historians, scientists, artists, writers, dancers, filmmakers and musicians to present their work, share their research and their ongoing projects.
erg is fully involved in research in art, and the annual seminar, by choosing not to consider history and theory as entities separate from art practices but on the contrary as a necessary parts inherent to any relevant project in today’s artistic context. It draws from the resources of scientific, technological, and artistic research, developing pedagogical prototypes, models, and formats.

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This seminar proposes a reflection and a consideration on how attention takes part to the building of the self, on how, from a historical and philosophical point of view, our economic choices form us (and deform us), exploring the absurdity of our modern-day work environments, of the architectural ideal of “urbanity through density” that is supposed to offer a sense of community; our enthusiasm regarding “shared knowledge” technologies; as well as the gap separating the violence of the anonymous administrative machinery from the ideal of “release” aimed at by certain dancing techniques.
This event will explore various issues and interrogation: the mastery of our own minds and the notion of ascendancy in art practices; the space of the margin and the figure of the ghost within a performative, solo regimen; the thin boundary separating reason from madness through a cinematographic and musical approach of writing; the maintaining of a society remote from language and recording its traces and forms so that a memory of gestures and of images emerging from reality may settle, thus question the relations between norms, illness and madness, at the crossroads of politics, economics and psychiatry.
Artworks in progress will be presented which proceed from experiments aiming at exploring new approaches of human knowledge – scientific methods and the institutional infrastructures, leading research around other life forms – from mammals to molluscs to microbes –, and imagining projects, prototypes and interfaces for future interspecies ecologies.
Through the study of literary narratives, scientific and cosmological archives, we will consider quantum and nuclear physics and scientific responsibility, as well as anthropocentricism, the way we impose our ideas on the world, and the uncertainty of human motivations.
The seminar will conclude on the economy of sacrifices and the analysis of mechanisms through which was established the dogma of embodiment and of transubstantiation, as well as on a collective exploration of film archives kept at the Musée royal d’Afrique centrale (MRAC) in order to build a fresh point of view, following by a dance solo, and a screening night featuring live filmed theatrical performance and experimental films offering a spatial-temporal sense proper to the choregraphic and cinematic experience.
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The seminar Quand fondra la neige, où ira le blanc will present interventions and works by:

Polina Akhmetzyanova – Cyriaque Villemaux, Santiago Borja, Matthew B. Crawford, Tacita Dean, Fernand Deligny – Renaud Victor, Michael Frayn – Michel Bitbol, Aglaia Konrad – Raphaël Pirenne – Alexander Schellow – Anna Seiderer – Patricia Van Schuylenbergh – Grace Winter, Latifa Laâbissi – Christophe Wavelet, Dominique Lambert, Jorge León – George van Dam – Isabelle Dumont, Catherine Perret, Sylvain Prunenec, Pascal Rousseau, Anri Sala – Jemeel Moondoc, Béla Tarr, Gediminas & Nomeda Urbonas – Rikke Luther – Jaime Stapleton, Koyo Yamashita - Julian Akira Ross, among other guests (subject to change).

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.In co-production with BOZAR CINEMA, in collaboration with le Musée Royal de l'Afrique centrale, Le P'tit Ciné, Université Paris 8 Vincennes-St-Denis, P.A.R.T.S.
and the support of The Federation of Wallonia-Brussels and WBI (Wallonia – Brussels International)

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* from a painting by Remy Zaugg
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mains de George © Jorge León
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February 8, 2016, Bozar, Salle M et Salle Terarken
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10:00 Salle M
Opening remarks by Corinne Diserens, director of erg

10:30 Salle M
Opening lecture by Matthew B. Crawford
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Matthew B. Crawford is a philosopher and mechanic. He is author of the New York Times best-selling book Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (2009) and The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (2015).
In The World Beyond Your Head, Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one's own mind. We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.
In his book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Crawford brings alive an experience that was once quite common, but now seems to be receding from society— the experience of making and fixing things with your hands. Those of us who sit in an office often feel a lack of connection to the material world, a sense of loss, and find it difficult to say exactly what we do all day. Shop Class as Soulcraft seeks to restore the honor of the manual trades as a life worth choosing. For anyone who feels thwarted by their own material stuff, Crawford makes a case for reclaiming some measure of self-reliance.
As a speaker, Crawford draws from the history of philosophy to consider how our economic choices form us (and deform us). In doing so, he turns an inquiring gaze on the absurdities of the modern workplace, the psychology of consumerism, and some of the weirder consequences of our technological enthusiasm.  Often darkly funny, he mixes stories of contemporary life with careful arguments to illuminate our ongoing struggle to live a fully human life, and to figure out what such a life might consist of. 

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break
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12:00 Salle Terarken
Polina Akhmetzyanova, Cyriaque Villemaux, Intégration
Pour un duo chorégraphique post-administratif (travail en cours)
[For a post-administrative choreographic duet (work in progress)]

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with the support of P.A.R.T.S., Carthago, PACT Zollverein, Akademie Schloss Solitude

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Intégration echoes the administrative procedures anyone seeking a “legal cohabitation form” has to go through. Without this form, a non-European immigrant living with a European citizen cannot obtain a residence permit. Among other injunctions, the administrative machine asks the enquirers to render their intimate life public by giving the authorities their love letters, as well as any other “proof” of a private relationship between consenting adults. Anonymous officials – completely unknown to the enquirers – then examine the forms required for this procedure.
The abruptly intrusive character of this procedure that provides Intégration’s initial clutch is intertwined with a second one. It is related to the artistic training received by so many European dancers, where the omnipresence of so-called release techniques forms today’s choreographic artists what Mallarmé called the “language of the tribe”: a normative practice – that of the phenomenon of systematic eviction of tensions, which supposes a gesture rationale aligned on a regulated order, particularly effective in that it does not speak its name and remains unquestioned. As part of the gap existing between the violence of the anonymous administrative machine and the ideal of release aimed by these techniques with regard to “contemporary dancers” bodies, satire seems to be the most fitting genre to feed the chorographical fiction intended by Intégration.

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lunch break
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14:00 Salle M
Pascal Rousseau, Mind Control. Art et emprise psychique au XXe[Mind Control. Art and psychic ascendancy in the 20th Century]

We will be dealing with fascination, ascendancy and systems of influence in 20-century artistic practices.

The intervention will focus on Rousseau's ongoing research, an extension of his work on art and telepathy, or the utopia of direct communication in 20th-century art, and of his exhibition Cosa mentale. Imaginaries of Telepathy in 20th-Century Art, currently showing at Centre Pompidou – Metz until March 28th, 2016. This exhibition traces the history of a little known yet major utopia from the 20-century avant-gardes – the telepathic becoming of art in the age of the immaterial revolution of telecommunications – and shows how the fantasy of a direct projection of thought that did away with the language’s conventions, had a tremendous impact on the birth of the early forms of abstractions. The idea of a telepathic becoming, ubiquitous in science fiction, re-emerges in 1960-70s psychedelic and conceptual art before coming back today in contemporary practices mesmerised by the “shared knowledge” technology and the rise of neurosciences.

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16:00 Salle M
Latifa Laâbissi and Christophe Wavelet, in conversation

Choreographic works, installations, lecture demonstrations, pluridisciplinary collaborations: mixing genres, reflecting upon and redefining formats, Latifa Laâbissi’s work seeks to bring onstage multiple offstage perspectives; an anthropological landscape in which stories, figures and voices are placed and highlighted. Dance “codes” are disturbed by recalcitrant bodies, alternative stories, montages of materials infiltrated by certain signs of the times. Going against the prevailing abstract aesthetic, she extrapolated a movement vocabulary built from the confusion of genres and social postures, from the beginnings of modernity: a disguising of the identifications revealing the violence of conflicts involving the body and returning a twisted, contorted image. Digging subterranean links between the history of performance and collective imagination, the figure is Laâbissi’s tool for exposing certain symptoms of colonial denial/repression, and for turning against itself the mechanisms of alienation it produces. For Latifa Lâabissi the artistic action implies a displacement of traditional modes of production and perception: transmission, the sharing of knowledge, materials and the porosity of formats are inseparable from the creative process.
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followed by a screening of :
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Anri Sala, Long Sorrow (2005)
with Jemeel Moondoc, saxophonist

It’s a rather particularly set-up situation, rather than a narrative structure. It’s more a succession of tinted situations, colored by moments of tension, gestures and music that can make you feel. The location is Märkische Viertel, an area in North Berlin with high and long buildings, very close to where the wall used to be. It was built between 1965 and 1974 as a new concept of living. The architectural ideas employed were very new for the time, and was supposed to bring a feeling of community. The motto was “urbanity by density”. The construction started immediately after the isolation of West Berlin by the wall. The Western part of the city was left to deal with too many people and too little space.
The first inhabitants arrived in this area between the First and the Second World War. Working class families have always inhabited this neighborhood. By 1974 when the project was finished (around 17000 apartments were built), the press said that it was simply a ghetto situation camouflaged by beautiful social and architectural ideas. Some press images, which appeared at the time, are thought to have been staged. There is a very long building there, the longest one (1.1 miles or 1.8km long), nicknamed by its inhabitants: “Lange Jammer” (Long Sorrow). The apartment where the shooting took place is on the top floor.

Long Sorrow is a requiem for the end of dreams. Its protagonist is the famous free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the African-American musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension.

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18:30 Salle M
Conversation with Jorge León, filmmaker, George van Dam, composer and Isabelle Dumont, playwright.
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in collaboration with Le P'tit Ciné.
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The masterclass will focus on the issues raised by the cinematographic and musical adaptation of the email correspondence between French psychoanalyst Jacques-Alain Miller and Iranian psychoanalyst Mitra Kadivar, who was detained by force in a Tehran psychiatric hospital in 2013. Jorge León seizes these digital exchanges in order to explore the mythical dimension of the real, tragic event experienced by Mitra, and to question the fine boundary between reason and madness.

This masterclass offers the opportunity to witness a reflection on an ongoing writing process from a cinematographic and musical point of view. With extracts from filmed sequences and from sonic explorations, we will dive inside a tortuous creative process in which emails devoid of initial literary claims become the inspiration of the creation of a documentary film-opera.

This event is also part of a masterclass cycle specifically dedicated to the staging of music in documentary film, organised during the 2015/16 season by Le P'tit Ciné and DVDoc, and supported by Sabam.
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Béla Tarr, The Turin Horse, 2011
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February 9, 2016, Bozar, Salle M
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9:30 Salle M
Gediminas et Nomeda Urbonas, Psychotropic House : Zooetics Pavilion of Ballardian Technologies & Rikke Luther, The Learning Site & Jaime Stapleton

Psychotropic House: Zooetics Pavilion of Ballardian Technologies constructs reality through ideas inspired by the living technology described in the collection of stories Vermilion Sands (1971) by the English science fiction writer J.G. Ballard. Most of these technologies provoke a critical view towards contemporary natural and bio-technological sciences, visions and inventions.
Psychotropic House… is an experiment that aims to articulate Zooetics*, a notion in progress to explore new ways to engage human knowledge – scientific methods and the infrastructure of institutions – and research with other forms of life—from mammals to microbes to mollusks—and to imagine designs, prototypes and interfaces for future interspecies ecologies. It is a 5 year long framework for investigating the confluence of fiction and technology for the future interspecies communication. It draws upon the resources of artistic, technological and scientific research; develops prototypes and models, pedagogical and discursive formats. The Zooetics project is led by Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, artists in collaboration with Tracey Warr, writer and Viktorija Siaulyte, researcher.
Zooetics aims to reach out beyond biomimicry or sustainability; it imagines the future challenges of anthropocenic, posthumanist era. In the Anthropocene the human species has infiltrated every aspect of the planet – its climate, its soil, air, water, its future. The mass extinctions of many species are predicted as one of the likely outcomes of global warming. Zooetics is undertaking research to learn more about other species in order to redress the balance and move away from anthropocentricism. We cannot communicate directly with other species but we can observe and learn from proximity, the kind of durational proximities that zookeepers, farmers, fishermen, animal behaviorists, hunters, foresters, pet-owners and others have with other species. We are already sharing our habitation spaces and cities with spiders, mice, rats, woodworm, bedbugs, fleas, mosquitos, cockroaches, flies and microbes and bacteria. Our cities and their interstices are also colonised and utilised by often unseen species: the urban fox and hare, birds of prey utilising motorways as hunting grounds, birds using traffic updrafts and motorways to navigate, owls nesting at airports.
We have already adopted biomimicry, taking inspiration for efficient design from other species. However we could take that further into imagining a future empathic towards all other, non-human forms of life – interpreting that broadly to include not only mammals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles – but also plants, trees, rocks, air, water and the planet itself – all life. There is still a huge amount to learn from and mimic in the interconnected systems, mutualisms, parasitisms, and environmental adaptations of other life.
The programme of Zooetics drew the initial inspiration from the territory of the university campus bordering the Lithuanian National Zoo. A showcase of Zooetics research – the Zooetic Pavilion – is speculatively placed on this boundary, blurring and converging the separated spheres of human and non-human knowledge.
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12:00 Salle M
Michael Frayn, Copenhagen, a lecture by Michel Bitbol

“Analyzing his own early plays, Frayn once wrote that 'what they are all about in one way or another is the way in which we impose our ideas upon the world around us'. And that conflict between the objective universe and our often helpless attempts to give it personal structure and order, underlies almost everything he has written.
Set in a stark limbo beyond the grave, the play Copenhagen (1998) explores what may have transpired when the German nuclear physicist, Werner Heisenberg, made a mysteriously inconclusive visit to his former teacher, Niels Bohr, in Nazi-occupied Germany in 1941. Was Heisenberg seeking knowledge or absolution? Was he trying to recruit the older man to the German atomic bomb program or warn him of it? The play was a logical extension of all Frayn's previous work. It was not just a cerebral thriller about nuclear physics, or a morality play about scientific responsibility. It was also a profoundly moving meditation on the uncertainty of human motivation and the infinite mystery of a universe we grapple unavailingly to understand.”
(Michael Billington)

Writing about Copenhagen, scientist and philosopher of science Michel Bitbol declared: “The second theme I would like to consider is that of anthropocentration. Bohr’s character summarizes the philosophical shift that occurred during the formative years of quantum mechanics when he exclaimed, ‘We have replaced man at the centre of the universe.’ This provocative sentence gathers clues disseminated in Bohr and Heisenberg’s work. The titles of Bohr’s two books refer to human knowledge rather than to the image of the world. The task assigned to the physician consists in ordering human knowledge rather than discovering a natural order. Physics has to become a science studying the relations between man and nature rather than a science studying nature ‘in itself.’ Man, Bohr writes quoted by Heisenberg, is not a decentralised spectator anymore but the central actor in the ‘theatre of life.’ Here Bohr’s sentence seems to formulate a systematic rebuttal of the image of man lost in an infinite universe, deprived of centre and of meaning, that terrifies Galileo’s interlocutors in Berthold Brecht’s play. The constitutive role of the Bohrian man indeed seems to be at a polar opposite from its Copernican role described by Brecht: It is ‘(…) earthly, miserable, [confined to a] tiny star which is not independent and round which nothing revolves.’ Are things really as such, however? To what extent may we attribute a neo-Ptolemean position to Bohr in opposition to Galileo’s Copernicanism? And first of all, what precautions are we to take when we shift the ‘neo-Ptolemean’ and ‘Copernican’ qualifiers from astronomy to the theory of knowledge?”
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lunch break
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14:30 Salle M

Fernand Deligny
Screening of Ce gamin, là, 1975, a film by Renaud Victor, captions by Fernand Deligny (88 min, n/b)

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followed by a lecture by:
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16:00
Catherine Perret, A propos d’un “geste nôtre” [About a “gesture that has become ours”]

In 1967, after thirty years of experiments around children in special needs, Fernand Deligny went to the Cevennes in order to follow an autistic child, Janmari. There, several young adults joined him, fascinated by his institutional experiments. Until his death in 1996, he took in children suffering from precocious infantile autism or judged incurable. “We went looking,” he said, “for what would make us invisible for that kid; invisible, but not quite.”
In order to give shape to this “not quite,” to bring it to life, Deligny invented along with his companions a new way to create a society removed from language and from what went along linguistic communication: the need to understand others and oneself, the mirror of the other and the love toward other human beings.
Where there are no words emerges a reality regulated by coincidence. Traces, rhythms, forms one needs to record so that in the absence of a shared space a common memory may settle, a memory made out of gestures and of images. From tales to film, from theatre to cartography, Deligny summoned all the registers of art and of all possible media. Thus he invented, for the duration of his experiment, unheard-of tools designed to remember communally what could not be lived together.

In this lecture, Catherine Perret will focus on the film Ce gamin-là, more precisely on the way Deligny’s use of the camera serves as to initiate and reveal what may “take place” there, between two captive bodies of spaces ignoring themselves and modes of being excluding themselves: that of the autistic child, and that of the adult nearby, who suddenly contribute to a gesture that has become “ours.”

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19:00 Salle M
Béla Tarr, Le Cheval de Turin [The Turin Horse]
2011, film, 2h26, sous-titres français

“A director always makes the same film, as the saying goes. Between his first feature-length film, Family Nest (1977), and The Turin Horse, Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr indeed went from the Communist era to the next, from the city to the desolate countryside, from over-the-shoulder close-ups to large tracking shots from a crane… Yet, as Jacques Rancière states in Béla Tarr, The Time After (Univocal, 2013), his films ceaselessly chart the same movement, ‘a journey coming back to its starting point.’
At the film premiere in Berlin in 2011, the director declared that The Turin Horse would be his last film. Watching the end credits, one starts understanding why. After spreading out the movement described by Rancière, with a symphonic breadth in Sátántango or in Werckmeister Harmonies, Tarr here works on his motif in the purest fashion. Those who have seen his films know how much we leave them struck down, out of breath from the extraordinary evocative power of his black-and-white sequence shots and from the absolute pessimism of his portrayal of humanity. The terrifying madness of The Turin Horse stems from the author pushing his logic to a point of no return, further radicalising an artistic approach that had already passed for the epitome of radicalism in film … yet the film begins with a touch of (dark) humour in order to focus the viewer’s attention on an anecdote that, while serious, remains amusing nonetheless. It is an occurrence that allegedly disrupted Nietzsche’s life. As it was pulling a hansom cab, the horse suddenly stopped and refused to move. To urge it to move again, the driver beat the animal over the head, which triggered a bout of compassion in the philosopher’s heart. Nietzsche put his arms around the animal’s neck and spent the next ten years of his life in a state of mild dementia. …
The first signs of the curse appear on the horse, as is shown by a close-up that will keep on haunting you after the screening. Bringing its mute subjectivity and the mystery of its irreducible otherness against man, the animal stops eating. This opaque refusal echoes Friedrich Nietzsche’s story, implying the vacuity of all will to power, and therefore of all human endeavour. How could Béla Tarr make another film after this?” (Isabelle Regnier, LE MONDE | 29.11.2011)

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Tacita Dean, Event for a Stage, 2015, Location photograph. Photography Zan Wimberley.
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February 10, 2016, Bozar, Salle M
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10:00 Salle M
Dominique Lambert, Archives Georges Lemaître

For the 50th anniversary of the passing of Georges Lemaître, we are having a look on the life and work of whom we may consider as the “father of the Big Bang.” Georges Lemaître was a major scientist, a friend of Einstein, but he was also a priest. We will see how he brought together, without confusion or separation, science and faith. Lemaître was also interested in art: music and literature. We will se how, for this great physician with a humane, endearing personality, cosmological researches may go hand in hand with a reading of Molière.

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11:30 Salle M
Santiago Borja, Suprasensible : projet sur les corps astraux et les plans invisibles [Suprasensitive: a project on astral bodies and invisible planes]

Santiago Borja’s address on Suprasensitive: a project on astral bodies and invisible planes at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion (Barcelona) is based on his research in recent years into the historic references at the start of Modern Movement and the influence that early 20th century esoteric practices in Europe have had on him. For Borja, the development of modern architecture and the language used in its interpretation and theorizing contain traces of these influences, which are most obvious in the prevailing lines of analysis, particularly phenomenology. Using the tools of the visual arts, he detects a connection between architecture and esotericism, which he sees as a sign that modernity was inspired more by mysticism and spirituality than by the inculcated notion of rationality. He locates the source of these esoteric practices, which sought to give a different meaning to life, in a natural reaction to the birth of industrialization and mechanization in the late 19th century. The resurgence of the same practices today may well be a response to the same constraints imposed on us by modern life.

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lunch break
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14:00 Salle M
Colonial archives, on-going researches

in collaboration with The Musée royale d'Afrique centrale, Tervuren

Introduction by Guido Gryseels, director and Patricia Van Schuylenbergh, head of the history and politics service
Interventions by Aglaia Konrad, Raphaël Pirenne, Alexander Schellow, Anna Seiderer, Patricia Van Schuylenbergh and Grace Winter.

A research group gathering artists, art theorists, and curators, will show the first contours of a work led on photographic archives and films made between the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century in Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. This research aims at collectively exploring these images, kept at the Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale (MRAC), in order to renew their perception and their scope through a partnership between erg, the MRAC and Université Paris 8.
Two research topics are simultaneously developed. The first one focuses on the images’ aesthetic and political gesture, interrogating the processes of elaboration of the represented subjects, the exegesis created out of it, but also the gesture of re-appropriation engaged by the artists; the second topic focuses more specifically on Olga Boone’s unreleased films. Director of the MRAC’s ethnography section between 1930 and 1970, Boone was the first female ethnologist to lead fieldwork missions in Central Africa.

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19:00 Salle M
Sylvain Prunenec, Oleg Mimosa

Oleg Mimosa (2006) is Sylvain Prunenec’s adaptation of Room, a solo act by Deborah Hay. According to the agreement he signed with the choreographer, the orally transmitted score was “performed,” gone through once a day during the three months preceding its first public performance, the adaptation spontaneously revealing itself to the performer.
The show and its interpretation are based on the Wholegg Theory principle, articulated in the late nineteenth century by German ornithologist E. G. Ovum, and which led, during the twentieth century, to developments in the fields of philosophy and of arts, including choreography.
For Deborah Hay, the Wholegg Theory is based on a complex metaphor in which the space of the performance is imagined as being egg-shaped. The audience is at once remote from the performance (the yolk) and linked to its core by a curled space covering an organic, flexible matter (albumin). The nature of this system and of its dynamics is defined as “centered multi-cell.” This theory opens up a space for radical trends, known as poached, hard-boiled or beaten dance..

Duration: 25 min
Choreography: Deborah Hay
Adaptation and performance: Syvain Prunenec
Production: CNDC – Angers
Co-production: Les subsistances - Lyon, Centre G. Pompidou - Paris, Centre national de la danse - Pantin, Festival d’Automne à Paris (2006)

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followed by :
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Tacita Dean, Event for a Stage
2015, 50min, english, French transcription

Tacita Dean, with actor Stephen Dillane (The Hours, Game of Thrones), presented a live theatrical happening performed over four nights at the 2014 Sydney Biennial, two 16mm cameras rolling on each occasion. Dillane changed elements of his appearance each night and, snatching pages from Dean who was sitting in the front row, recited Shakespeare, popular texts and personal stories, whilst also announcing adjustments in the camera set-ups and the changing of reels. Dean has returned to this tense scenario and cut into the material according to the systemic logic that emerged over the course of the serialised performance, inscribing changes in time and space, illustrating or actualising a form of deep choreography. William Fowler, 59th BFI London Film Festival

Dir-Prod-Scr Tacita Dean. With Stephen Dillane. UK-Germany 2015. 50min. Co Commissioned by Carriageworks and the 19th Biennale of Sydney in Association with ABC RN additional support Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery New York/Paris

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21:00 Salle M
Between the frames. Japanese experimental film: prolific years 1975-1980
Curated and presented by Koyo Yamashita, and in discussion with Julian Akira Ross

The Japanese experimental film movement became strong in the late 1960s and saw its highest peak in the late 1970s. Under the influence of the works made by their predecessors – such as Toshio Matsumoto's avant-garde documentaries and artistic feature films – a new generation of filmmakers started making films during that time. Many of them were fascinated by the mechanism of the moving image. This program highlights this specific period in the history of Japanese experimental cinema, taking as landmarks two seminal works: Atman (1975) by Toshio Matsumoto – which manages to create an extraordinary spatiotemporal sensation that only the cinema viewing experience can produce – and its best product of influence, Spacy (1981) by Takashi Ito. Amost all the films in this program have never been digitized and their importance is underestimated both outside and inside Japan. Here is a rare opportunity to view these films in 16mm and question film history.

Atman / Toshio Matsumoto 1975/16mm/11 min
My Movie Melodies / Jun’ichi OKUYAMA 1980/16mm/6 min Dutchman’s Photograph / Isao KOTA 1974/16mm/7 min/muet
Switchback / Nobuhiro KAWANAKA 1976/16mm/9 min
Film Display / Shunzo SEO 1979/16mm/5min/muet
Heliography / Hiroshi YAMAZAKI 1979/16mm/6 min
WHY / Keiichi TANAAMI 1975/16mm/11 min
Hikari / Nobuhiro AIHARA 1978/16mm/3 min
Still Movie / Yoichi NAGATA 1978/16mm/3 min/muet
Xénogénèse / Akihiko MORISHITA 1981/16 mm/ 7 min
Spacy / Takashi ITO 1981/16 mm/10 min

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February 9 & 10, 2016, Bozar, salles Terarken
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ANRI SALA

AIR CUSHIONED RIDE
(2007, vidéo, couleur, son, 6 min)

What I call a place is where one remembers having been. A place is not only made of space but also of time, it holds its own qualities, whether they are architecture, sounds or events. Some places have no buildings or dates to be remembered, but they produce their own soundtrack.
I came across a rest area for trucks while driving across Arizona and listening to baroque music on the Arizona Public Radio. As I drove closer, going in circles around the trucks, radio waves from an unknown station playing country music started to interfere with the baroque chamber music I was listening to. This phenomenon is called cross modulation or a spurious emission. The different radio waves would swap due to the parked trucks that worked to alternately redirect one piece of music while blocking the other. In the course of a full circle, the music would shift several times, always at the same places. When a truck left, it opened up a new passageway in the “truck wall” creating a potential for a new cross modulation.
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A SPURIOUS EMISSION , the recorded sound was transposed and arranged into a score for baroque trio and country music. The formal musical score is played alternatively on cembalo, gamba, and viola, then suddenly lead-guitar, bass and drums. The video has been drawn over to include a drummer who was outside of the camera range.

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Coordination : erg (école supérieure des arts), Bruxelles
Information : sammy.del.gallo@erg.be