2012, Sat, Mar 17

Animism

Conference Day 1 | Day 2

2 pm Roundtable 2: Animism and Capitalism
(in English)

The second roundtable questions the concept’s history in relation to the critique of the commodity form and its alleged animation. It explores the historical problem of the animation of matter in relation to economy, to desire, and recent transformations of the capitalist imagesphere.

With: Avery F. Gordon (Professor for Sociology at the University of California/Santa Barbara), Tom Holert (art historian and publicist, Berlin), Angela Melitopoulos (visual artist, Berlin) / Maurizio Lazzarato (sociologist and philosopher, Paris), Isabelle Stengers (Professor for The Science of Philosophy at the Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Moderation: Anselm Franke

4.15 – 6 pm Roundtable 3: Animism and Politics
(in English)

The third roundtable is devoted to the political implications of the discussion. It revolves around current political struggles, for instance indigenous and ecological movements in South America, and discusses them from a historical perspective, in terms of the constitution of political representation, recognition, and rights

With: David Abram (cultural ecologist and philosopher, New Mexico), Alejandro Haber (Professor h.c. at the Universidad Nacional de Catamarca, Argentina, working on the theory and Philosophy of archeology), Esther Leslie (School of English and Humanities, London, works on Marxist theory of Asthetics and Culture), Michael Taussig (Professor for Anthropology, Columbia University, New York), Paulo Tavares (Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmith College, London, working on the political and ecological movements in South America), Rane Willerslev (Professor for Anthropology at the University Aarhus, Denmark)
Moderation: Avery F. Gordon (Professor for Sociology at the University of California/Santa Barbara)

7 pm “The Death Ship”
Michael Taussig, Lecture
(Simultaneous translation English – German)

“The Death Ship” (written by B. Traven in 1926) tells stories, better even than the sailors who have no official papers and are worked to the bone. How can a ship be a storyteller? And what about those massive truck tires in the movie “Wages of Fear?” Are they not alive, too? They fill the screen, inching forwards, more alive than any human. Finally, if there is a finally, consider the whirring substance the medicine man takes out of his body in Tierra del Fuego circa 1920 that can see, can kill, can cure, and goes in and out of the body at alarming speed with a great screech, the epitome of Being’s Becoming, the ur-animate.
Michael Taussig is Professor for Anthropology at Columbia University, New York

9 pm Towards an ecology of the invisibles
Tobie Nathan

Since “invisible” beings have appeared on the agenda, the zar, djinn, ‘afritt, melk, who share the world with humans in Ethiopia, Yemen, Somalia, Arabia, the Maghreb, India, and Pakistan, as well as in the migration countries of the West, people have tried to find psychological explanations for the phenomenon. We should take them seriously, analyze the thoughts, theories, and systems their existence implies, in order to see that they draw another image of “the other”, who is different, and at the origin of the true rules of hospitality.
Tobie Nathan is Professor for Clinical Psychology and Psychopathology at the Université Paris 8

Conference participants

The project is accompanied by the publication “Animismus – Revisionen der Moderne”, edited by Irene Albers and Anselm Franke, diaphanes Verlag 2012.

Conference Day 1 | Day 2