Worpswede Speculations #1: Psycho-Materialism – A Symposium at Devil’s Moor. Invited by Tim Voss and Kerstin Stakemeier
With contributions by Kerstin Brätsch/Debo Eilers, Helmut Draxler, Johnny Golding, Anja Kirschner, Benjamin Noys, Johannes Paul Raether, Juliane Rebentisch and Kerstin Stakemeier.
Special Guests: Klasse Michaela Melián (HfbK Hamburg) with the exhibition MOOR MOOR MOOR in the Martin Kausche-Ateliers.
The financialized crisis of global capitalism brought the brutal antagonisms that determine the material realities of life in our societies to the fore – not only in its eruption in 2008, but also in its infiltration of normality ever since. As it seems, the paradigm of our present lies not in the ideology of a unified progress, but rather in its openly materializing non-simultaneity. A non-simultaneity that permeates different geographical regions as well as different forms of labour techniques, media, genders, social groups and singular subjects. This state of stabilised disintegration produces images, forms and materials that open up the view onto fissures, irrationalities, remains and unfinished models belonging to modernity as well as to postmodernity, to the present as well as to the past: we are presented with a panorama without a prospect, a panorama with countless prospects.
In the light of this present moment, a discussion that debates questions of materialism has developed in recent years. A materialism which does not primarily seek to uncover the systematisations of an/other progress, but that instead attempts to locate a universalism which is able to connect the peculiarities of the breakages, the inherited archaisms and the steadily (re)produced disparities. A materialism in which the singularities of the materials acquire a new centrality in which objects and humans, animate and inanimate matter are equally regarded as active assets within a divergent present that is held together by mutual negation, that is held together by crisis. But even the debates around such a crisis-ridden materialism are extremely divergent, depending which discourses or sciences you consult: the New Materialisms of political theory and the Speculative Realisms in philosophy with their ontological tenor seem hardly to relate to political engagements made necessary by a sustained form of capitalist crisis, or even to current artistic inquiries into the ruptures implied in the digital constitution of even the most modernist of materialities today. It is this missing relation, however, which lies at the core of our interest. It is the ruptures of individuation, its actualized materialities and the frictitions of the subject form that finds itself in crisis that we are invested in.
Tim Voss, initiator of the ‘Colonie’, a project of the Künstlerhäuser Worpswede, has invited the art historian and theorist Kerstin Stakemeier to assemble a three day international symposium in Worpswede that will bring those divergent discussions together on the basis of one point of intersection: we want to focus on the materialitities of the riven subject of our present. At this English-language symposium we want to approach ‘psycho-materialism’ in the form of introductions, lectures, workshops, screenings and performances. What determines individuations in the midst of this crisis-ridden panorama? What is the psycho-materialism of the now? What became of the ‘psychopathological alienation’ (Gilbert Simondon) of humankind under capitalism? We want to discuss the subjective side of the materialist equation of crisis together with ten international participants.
Worpswede, a former artists’ colony with a minimum of material resources and an open horizon looking out onto Teufelsmoor, offers a fitting ambiance for a conference on psycho-materialism. The conference will take place in the Schützenverein Worpswede as well as in a former barn. As special guests, Michaela Melián’s class at the HfbK Hamburg will open an installation at the Martin Kausche-Ateliers. A shared weekend with exhibition, lectures, discussions, workshops, fringe events and full board on the cheap.
Come to the colony. Go psycho with us!
The symposium will lead to a small publication, a reader that will include transcriptions of the weekend’s discussions, working groups and panels as well as contributions by participating artists.