MIGRATING MODERNITIES II Unpacking the Undercommons

Semester 1 (Winter)

Wed October 28

Thu October 29 

Fri October 30

The workshop starts on Wed October 28 at 14h00

Universität / Haute École
Ecole Cantonale d'Art du Valais / Sierre
Paul Goodwin
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

MIGRATING MODERNITIES II : Unpacking the Undercommons

This 3 day workshop will explore forms of sociality and collectivity that push against dominant neoliberal and racist logics of power and control. How do artists expose operations of power? What kinds of strategies can artists, curators, architects and cultural practitioners devise to create alternative visions of the city and social life? The workshop will draw on the constellation of concepts, ideas and poetic meditations proposed by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney in their text The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013).

Against the current neoliberal onslaught of professionalization and managerialism, Harney and Moten draw on a black radical tradition to propose an underground within the university. This “undercommons” rife with “possibilities of criminality and fugitivity” precipitates a mode of acting—or being and learning together—that extends outside the university to any institution, inclusive of those that are self-governed or beholden to a regulatory or corrective apparatus. The ‘undercommons’ proposes an alternative to existing notions of critique and resistance, articulating radical forms of sociality and collectivity as both the end and means of life.

The workshop will also be informed by Paul Goodwin’s ongoing research on black urbanism and ‘black ops’ - the articulation of ‘blackness’ as a creative strategy of social and urban improvisation and critique. Students will work in groups to devise artistic strategies that address new forms of sociality and public life based on some of the concepts proposed in the undercommons: fugitivity, commons, study, black aesthetics (improvisation).




Teaching language: English