The theme of this year’s conference is abandon, a term that encompasses radical renunciation and immersive indulgence in its oscillation between abandonment of and abandonment to, between restraint and luxury, mindfulness and neglect. When we speak of abandonment we indicate a situation in which we take leave of something, or disband a collective entity, or else act in a way that suggests a disaggregation of certain protocols of behaviour, or belonging (as when we “laugh with abandon”). Discourses and scenes of media and politics are generally highly invested in ideas of taking-leave, breaking apart or away, acting with abandon. In the present moment, we believe the term resonates in manifold ways. For instance: with often painful choices between theoretical and political models that have outlasted their effectiveness but to which there seem to be no alternatives; with turns to abandoned objects as new sources of ontologies in which the turn itself is a mode of abandoning an established political-theoretical project; with the obdurate “problem” of pleasure in aesthetics and aesthetic theory as either the obstacle or the medium of the aesthetic’s interface with the political; with the cathexis of the body and its phenomenology as an instrument and medium of political and aesthetic experimentation; with attempts to relinquish the human, and its attendant association with agency, as a category of experience; with contemporary experiences/fantasies of control and resistance to control; with theatricalizations of abjuration and gratification. We invite papers that explore abandon in any number of philosophical, theoretical, artistic, mediatic, generic, and disciplinary contexts.
This year’s conference on abandon supports and feeds into the upcoming ICI Core Project ‘Errans’, which takes the shifting and incompatible meanings of erring as a starting point to explore the critical potentials and risks of embracing error, randomness, failure, and non-teleological temporalities. For further details of that project, please see www.ici-berlin.org/errans.
Papers to be delivered should be 20 minutes in length. Please email an abstract (250-500 words) and a short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 June 2014. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by mid-July.
Organisers: Manuele Gragnolati (Oxford University/ICI Berlin), Christoph Holzhey (ICI Berlin), Brian Price (co-editor, World Picture/University of Toronto), John David Rhodes (co-editor, World Picture/University of Sussex), and Meghan Sutherland (co-editor, World Picture/University of Toronto)