INTRO | PROGRAM | TICKETS | SPONSORS | PHOTO | CREW | ARCHIVE | SI


Opening of the Festival

Nirmal Puwar
The Otolith Group
Dara Birnbaum; Peggy Ahwesh

Fri., Oct. 1, 7.30 p.m.
Lecture and short films____Kinodvor, Kolodvorska 13, Ljubljana


Nirmal Puwar
Space Invaders
Lecture

Nirmal Puwar's lecture Space Invaders looks at the 'arrival' of women and racialised minorities in spaces from which they have been historically or conceptually excluded, such as the art world or the public domain. Formally, today, women and racialised minorities can enter positions from which they were previously excluded. However, social spaces are not blank and open for 'any body' to occupy. There is a connection between bodies and space, which is built, repeated and contested over time. While anyone may, in theory, enter, it is certain types of bodies that are tacitly designated as being the 'natural' occupants of specific positions. Some bodies are deemed as having the right to belong within, while others are marked as trespassers who are, in accordance with how both spaces and bodies are imagined (politically, historically and conceptually), circumscribed as being 'out of place'. Not being the somatic norm, they are 'space invaders'. Investigating the paradox of the increasing proximity of hitherto outside 'dissonant' bodies with inside 'proper' bodies, allows us to see how less obvious, nuanced exclusion operates within institutions via the tacit reservation of privileged positions for the somatic norm. A brilliant analysis journeying through ontological anxiety, social cloning and super surveillance, taking us from high theory to everyday cultural spaces and back again...

Nirmal Puwar (b. 1967) has recently joined the sociology department at Goldsmith College, London. Her publications include Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies Out of Place (2004), a co-edited book on South Asian Women in the Diaspora (2003) as well as a special double issue of the journal Fashion Theory on Orientalism (2003, English & Brazilian Portuguese). Nirmal Puwar is part of the editorial collective of the international journal Feminist Review and has contributed to special issues on Globalisation, Fashion & Beauty and Labour Migration. Her work has also been published in a range of journals including Multitudes (2004, in French) and Derrive Approdi (2004, in Italian). Besides her scholarly activities she is involved in art and culture, and has, for instance co-directed a film-based exhibition that is currently being shown at The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, London.

Puwar's work is receiving growing recognition, and surprises and inspires her readers:
"Space Invaders is the book we've all been waiting for! Puwar masterfully shows how neither bodies nor the spaces they occupy can be neutral...Her insights are original, her analysis clear and forceful, and the overall result is surprising, convincing and breathtakingly illuminating. Absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in power and politics."
(Professor Moira Gatens, Chair in Philosophy, Sydney University)


Sci-fi Film Cycle:

The Otolith Group (Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, Richard Couzins)
Otolith

Otolith links three historical moments: the mutant future of the 22nd Century, the ambient fear of the early 21st Century and the post independence era of the mid 20th Century. The voice-over addresses the viewer from a dangerous future that positions the present as historical ruin. This mode of address allows Dr Usha Adebaran Sagar, the fictional narrator, who resides in a permanent state of weightlessness that prevents habitation on Earth, to speculate on the evolution of humankind through an investigation of the archives of her female ancestors: the 21st century researcher Anjalika Sagar and Ms. Anasuya Gyan Chand, grandmother of Anjalika and 20th century Indian feminist.

The Otolith Group (founded by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun) uses the form of the essay film to test the hypothesis that agravic space-time may be reconceived as a temporary heterotopia for concentrating the apprehension of disorientation that accompanies global crisis. Through their understanding of microgravity as a field of forces that immerses and extends subjectivity, the group proposes that the navigation of the agravic field allows the awareness of the groundless systems that support the Era of the Pre-emptive Nuclear Strike.

Anjalika Sagar is an interdisciplinary artist who studied Social Anthropology and Hindi at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. She has worked in England and India with a range of filmmakers and development groups. As a sound artist Sagar has collaborated with a variety of musicians and composers such as Talvin Singh, Jem Finer, Heiner Goebbels and the Future Sound of London. Anjalika Sagar is the founder of the Multitudes list and the co-moderator of the Undercurrents list. With the Otolith Group she will produce the first retrospective of the work of the London based Black Audio Film Collective in 2006 at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

Kodwo Eshun studied English Literature and Theory (BA Hons, MA Hons) at University College, Oxford University and Post Colonial Discourse Analysis (MA Hons) at Southampton University. He is a Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, Course Leader in Public Arts at the Dutch Art Institute, University of Twente, Visiting Tutor at De Ateliers, Amsterdam and Artist and Tutor in Residence at Nanjing Institute, China. He is interested in the utopian potential of interdisciplinary Afrodiasporic culture and has published and lectured extensively in this area.


Peggy Ahwesh
She Puppet

"Like earlier magical entertainment that generated new notions of the body as a technology, such as late 19th century trick films (magicians transforming women into butterflies, skeletons or angels, etc), Lara Croft is the girl-doll of the late 20th century gaming world. What we like most about her is that she is a collection of cones and cylinders - not a human at all - most worthy as a repository for our post-feminist fantasies of adventure, sex, and violence without consequence. The limited inventory of her gestures and the militaristic rigor of the game strategies created for her by her programmers, is a compulsive repetition of sorts, offering some kind of cyber-agency and cyber-prowess for the player. As I played the game, I recorded it live on tape, collecting hours of footage. Then I re-edited the material as 'found footage'. Ignoring the original drive of the action, I make Lara a vehicle for my thoughts on what I see as the triad of her personae: the alien, the orphan, and the clone. Quotations are from The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, The Female Man by Joanna Russ, and Afro-futurist and jazz mystic Sun Ra." (Peggy Ahwesh)

Over the last two decades, Peggy Ahwesh has produced one of the most heterogeneous bodies of work in experimental film and video. A true bricoleur, her tools include narrative and documentary styles, improvised performance, Super-8 film, found footage, digital animation, and Pixelvision video. With playfulness and humor, she investigates cultural and gender identities, the role of the subject, language and representation.


Dara Birnbaum
Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman

Explosive bursts of fire open Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, an incendiary deconstruction of the ideology embedded in television form and pop cultural iconography. Appropriating imagery from the TV series Wonder Woman, Birnbaum isolates and repeats the moment of the 'real' woman's symbolic transformation into super-hero. Entrapped in her magical metamorphosis by Birnbaum's stuttering edits, Wonder Woman spins dizzily like a music-box doll. Through radical manipulations of this female Pop icon, she subverts its meaning within the television text. (sources: www.eai.org)

An architect and urban planner by training, Dara Birnbaum studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the San Francisco Art Institute. She began using video in 1978 while teaching at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she worked with Dan Graham. Recognized as one of the first video artists to employ the appropriation of television images as a subversive strategy, Birnbaum describes her early video tapes as "attempts at slowing down 'technological speed' in order to arrest movements of TV-time for the viewer".

PROGRAMME:

Nirmal Puwar (GB)
Space Invaders
Lecture, Kinodvor
English with Slovene overtitles

Otolith Group (Anjalika Sagar in Kodwo Eshun, Richard Couzins) (GB)
Otolith
Short film
GB, 2003, DVD, colour, 22'
English with Slovene subtitles

Peggy Ahwesh (USA)
She Puppet
Short film
USA, 2001, DVD, colour, 17'
English with Slovene subtitles
With the permission from: Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
http://www.eai.org
http://www.hi-beam.net

Dara Birnbaum (USA)
Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman
Short film
USA, 1978, DVD, colour, 5'50''
With the permission from: Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
http://www.eai.org
http://www.vdb.org
Organisation: City of Women
In co-operation with: Kinodvor
With the support of: The British Council

Free admittance