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2015, Sat, Feb 28

HANDS / TOOLS / GESTURES

With Birger Priddat, Christine N. Brinckmann, Wolfgang Beilenhoff, John Akomfrah, Bernhard Siegert, and Gregory Williams

The workshop films form the starting point of the second day of the conference: a small selection of specific films, chosen according to thematic and associative terminological fields, provide an opening for each panel and serve as a common knowledge base for presentations and discussions.

HANDS / TOOLS / GESTURES
Using observations of the execution of work from art-historical, philosophical, and film-theoretical perspectives, this panel will outline the history of production and of the transformation of labor between the poles of material and immaterial production. What practices of manufacturing and production, what work media and techniques, what choreographies and gestures of labor are negotiated and shown in the films? What individual and socially effective regulations and potentials for attachment and commitment become visible, or remain invisible, in the execution of labor?

With
Birger Priddat (economist, philosopher, Witten/Herdecke University), Christine N. Brinckmann (film theorist, University of Zurich) and Wolfgang Beilenhoff (film theorist, Ruhr University Bochum), John Akomfrah (artist, writer, theorist, London), Bernhard Siegert (media historian, theorist, Bauhaus University, Weimar)
Moderator: Gregory Williams (art historian, Boston University)

Contributors

John Akomfrah is an artist, writer and cultural activist. He has produced various documentaries, feature films, and gallery installations, which have won prizes and critical acclaim across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Known principally as one of the originators of Black British Cinema and latterly as a trailblazer for British digital cinematography, Akomfrah was a founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective. His most recent works are Peripeteia, Psyche, At the Graveside of Andre Tarkovsky and The Stuart Hall Project, a single-channel work that premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in the World Documentary Competition.

Wolfgang Beilenhoff is professor emeritus of film studies in the department of media studies at Ruhr University, Bochum. The focuses of his research include the theory and aesthetics of Russian formalist film, as well as the difference between seeing and reading with respect to media. From 2002 till 2008, he headed the research project Medialität und Körper: Das Gesicht im Film at the inter-university research institute Media and Cultural Communication (Aachen, Bochum, Bonn, and Cologne). In 2008/2009 he was a senior fellow at IKKM (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar). He is currently working on the research project Masse und Medium: Historische Figurationen filmischer MassenBilder.

Christine N. Brinckmann is a German filmmaker and film theorist. The first female professor of film studies in Switzerland, she established the Department of Film Studies at the University of Zurich in 1989, laying the foundation for a field that is now firmly embedded in the humanities curriculum. Until 2002, she held the department chair as Professor of Film Studies. She has published seminal texts on many subjects, including film history and narrative theory, especially with respect to Hollywood films; American documentarism; aesthetics of experimental film; and feminist issues. Her films have been featured at many international experimental-film festivals.

Birger Priddat is a professor, philosopher and economist. Since 2009, he has held the chair in political economy on the Faculty of Economics at Witten/Herdecke University. He was additionally a visiting professor at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen until 2014. Priddat was a research fellow at the Zentrum für Religion, Wirtschaft und Politik at the University of Basel from 2010 to 2012, visiting professor at the University of Basel from 2011 to 2013, and at the Center of Excellence at the University of Konstanz (Cultural Sciences, subgroup “Unknowing”) in 2011/2012. His monograph Akteure, Verträge, Netzwerke: Der kooperative Modus der Ökonomie (2012), draws on his intensive research on the theory of political economy, the future of work, and the history of economic thought.

Bernhard Siegert is a cultural and media scholar. He is the Gerd Bucerius Professor of the history and theory of cultural techniques at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and, since 2008, director of IKKM (international institute for research on cultural techniques and media philosophy) in Weimar. Since 2013, he has additionally served as speaker of the DFG research group “Media and Mimesis.” Focuses of his work include: the ship; genesis and limits of representation; excessive mimesis; textile media – textile arts; and history and theory of cultural techniques. His current book, Cultural Techniques: Grids, Filters, Doors, and Other Articulations of the Real, will be published this year in New York. He is editor of Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung and Archiv für Mediengeschichte.

Gregory Williams is an associate professor of contemporary art and the director of graduate studies in History of Art and Architecture at Boston University. An editor-at-large of Brooklyn’s Cabinet magazine, he has published numerous art reviews in periodicals such as Art Journal, Artforum, frieze, Parkett, and Texte zur Kunst. He has written catalogue essays and book chapters on Martin Kippenberger, Imi Knoebel, Rosemarie Trockel, and Cosima von Bonin, among others. His book, Permission to Laugh: Humor and Politics in Contemporary German Art, was published in 2012. With Roy Grundmann, Williams directed the conference Labor in a Single Shot in Boston in November 2014.