Shifter: Unlearning Intersubjectivity

Public Program
May 4, 2019

Saturday, May 4, 4–6pm
Unlearning Intersubjectivity
Katherine Rochester, Lou Canto & Samantha Ozer

Art in General
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Unlearning Intersubjectivity reflects on themes of learning and unlearning through collective thinking and speaking. Katherine Rochester and the artist collective Lou Cantor lead a discussion based on their recent co-edited volume, Intersubjectivity, Volume II: Scripting the Human published by Sternberg Press. They will be joined by curator Samantha Ozer to consider how, in contexts such as these public discussions, intersubjectivities are formed and reformed through performance and engagement. Rather than a conclusion, the conversation hopes to be a bridge to future enactments of our collective projects.

Unlearning Intersubjectivity is part of the series Learning and Unlearning, organized by Shifter in collaboration with Art in General. The aim of these shared gatherings is to unlearn the assumptions and prejudices we hold about each other and ourselves. Previous installments in the series have included Unlearning Work in Fall 2017 and Unlearning Dystopia in Spring 2018.

Avi Alpert teaches literature and critical theory in the Princeton Writing Program where he focuses on the impact of globalization on modern thought and institutions. His writing examines what it means to be at once a private individual and a global subject, and how this dual demand has shaped modern life. His first book, Global Origins of the Modern Self, from Montaigne to Suzuki, offers a global history of the self, from Renaissance Europe to modern Japan. He has co-edited Dictionary of the Possible, Shifter Vol.22, and also writes art criticism and fiction.

Lou Cantor is a Berlin based artist collective founded in 2011 (presently consisting of Jozefina Chetko and Kolja Glaeser) whose main scope of interest is grounded in intersubjectivity and interpersonal communication. Lou Cantor’s practice explores the polysemic minefield of contemporary communication, where medium, message, and meaning constantly fold back into each other. Based on the collectives actual field of research they regularly release readers and contribute to various publications. Previous exhibitions include Hypersea, curated by Juliette Desorgues; The Policeman’s Beard is Half Constructed, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; Spiritual Reality, Decad, Berlin; Fellow Travelers, apexart, NY; Cyborg Dreams, Pitt St, NY; The Labour of Watching, leto gallery, Warsaw and OSLO10, Basel; Language and Misunderstanding, CUNY, NY; Epistemic Excess, Artists Space, New York; 7th Berlin Biennale and New National Art, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw.

Samantha Ozer is an independent curator and the lead salon producer & Researcher in the Museum of Modern Art’s Research & Development department. In this role, she works with Director Paola Antonelli to organize the salon series, which explores the potential and responsibility of museums as public actors, with the vision of establishing our institutions as the R&D departments of society. By inviting experts from a range of professional backgrounds, R&D tackles timely issues, often with a focus on the intersection between global culture, technology, and art & design. Through external projects, she researches the transformation of biopolitics in a contemporary neoliberal context, with a particular focus on the reframing of our conception of individual subjectivity and collective power.

Sreshta Rit Premnath is an artist works across multiple media, investigating systems of representation and reflecting on the process by which images become icons and events become history. Premnath is the founder and co-editor of the publication Shifter and teaches at Parsons, New York.

Katherine Rochester is an art historian and curator with a specialization in modern and contemporary art and film. As Associate Director of Curatorial Research at VIA Art Fund, she works in a curatorial capacity to connect ambitious contemporary art projects to the resources they need to succeed. Her doctoral thesis engaged with experimental animation, the terms of its reception, and the conventions of its display in interwar Europe. Staying active as an independent scholar and curator, she continues to publish on her dissertation topic and is co-editing a series of books on the concept of intersubjectivity for Sternberg Press in Berlin. Recent exhibitions include MONUMENTality and Bauhaus Beginnings, both at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

Shifter is a topical publication that aims to illuminate and broaden our understanding of the intersections between contemporary art, politics, and philosophy. Shifter remains malleable and responsive in its form and activities, and represents a diversity of positions and backgrounds in its contributors. The publication is edited by Sreshta Rit Premnath and Avi Alpert.

Project Description:

Learning and Unlearning in collaboration with Shifter