OUT NOW: To Seminar 

Issue no5
Oct / Nov 2017
REMIX

Out now in the Metropolis M Books Series: To Seminar. Contributions by Camila Sposati, Falke Pisano, Henk Slager, Inci Eviner, Irit Rogoff, Jan Verwoert, Jeremiah Day, Job Koelewijn, Margo Slomp, Maria Hlavajova, Marijke Hoogenboom, Marquard Smith, Mick Wilson, René Francisco, Sara Sejin Chang, Sarah Pierce, Steven Henry Madoff, Tiong Ang, and Vivian Sky Rehberg.

Roland Barthes’ essay “To the Seminar” (1974) argues that a seminar is characterized by a series of indirect triangular relationships as flexible links between institution, transference, and text. These three components ceaselessly complement one another and therefore keep the dynamics and the plurality as “unpredictable rhythms” going. However, as soon as these indirect triangular relationships start taking more direct forms, there is a serious risk that one of the corner points (institution, transference, or text) becomes dominant, which could lead to a narrow focus on “knowledge production”, “community”, or “method.” This situation is very characteristic for the current art school curriculum: the dogmatic research jargon and the academic illusion of a “community of practice” both effectuate a strong stress on nouns such as knowledge and method. To break the deadlock of institutional instrumentalization, updating Barthes’ understanding of“seminar” as a verb seems to be surprisingly relevant for our times.

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Metropolis M Magazine for contemporary art No 5 — 2017