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LOGIC OF WORLDS: Curating Video Reading Seminars 2010 PDF E-mail
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Second Seminar: BOOK VI Section 2 Kierkegaard pp.425-435
Date: June 16th 2010
Time: 5.30pm – 8pm
Place: Card Room, Chelsea College of Art and Design
Meet: Block A reception at 5.30pm near the canteen

Address: Chelsea College of Art and Design, John Islip Street, London SW1
Nearest tube: Pimlico

Reception Entrance is opposite Tate Britain’s Manton Entrance.

Download the reading material:

“BOOK VI Section 2 Kierkegaard" pp. 425-435” (File Size: 5.1Mb - High Res')

SEMINAR 2: Convener Matthew Poole (June 16th 2010)

Only the truth which builds up is a truth for you.
Kierkegaard (Badiou, LoW, p.426)

Seminar 2 follows on from the 1st Seminar in March 2010, where the discussion centred around Badiou’s mapping of the unfolding of the event. Here ‘becoming’ unravels itself into various forms creating modification that, with the right conditions, lead to maximal effects transforming, retrospectively yet immanently, a becoming through its generation of itself as site that creates the singularity which, with luck, becomes the event (Book V LoW, p.374).

In Seminar 2 we jump to Book V Section 2 – Kierkegaard. Here Badiou explores Kierkegaard’s ‘Christian Paradox’, which complicating Hegel’s ‘World Spirit’ locates the place of becoming within the subject; the locus of world-making as immanent to the becoming of the subject. This is posited as an unusually close reading of the Cartesian subject, and enacts a complex dialectic that sees the subject as both locus and consequence (i.e. the vector of the force of its own affect), where ‘truth’ is the inexistent between these points, which insists as the potentiality of this force and being – it is the inexistent ‘something’ (which is in actuality a ‘nothing’ that does not and will not exist qua existence), which prompts and fuels the possibility of the becoming of the subject.

This matrixial subject, and the world it creates as the subject, is determined by Kierkegaard’s investigations of choice. The taking of a decision is the moment of becoming of the subject, the moment of change. For Kierkegaard the subject is the manifestation of and the form-making force of its own ‘subjective truth’. What concerns Badiou is the relation of this subjectivity as a specific localized ‘cut in time’ - what he calls ‘the subject as a point of truth’ (LoW p.6) - and the concept of the eternality of this moment as ‘Eternal Truth’ for Kierkegaard, and ‘generic multiplicity’ for Badiou. This move posits the importance of fidelity to the truth (as the truth of the subject’s being and appearance) over the will of the subject (where ‘will’ would be defined as intrinsic to the subject, and ‘truth’ in this formulation is extrinsic to it), as the truth itself is always already inexistent and therefore cannot be a part, as such, of the subject, even though the becoming of the subject relies on it’s force.

This seminar will discuss this relationship as it relates to art as a subject-forming force. We will ask if the ‘Art’ of artworks is, in fact, this same type of inexistent ‘truth’ that insists between the existence of what there is and what can be thought. The discussion will try to elaborate what type of force Art is, if, and if (sic), it is of the order of the inexistent.

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“BOOK VI Section 2 Kierkegaard" pp. 425-435” (File Size: 5.1Mb - High Res')

Curating Video has established an ongoing research of the politics of lens-based media, working through specific inquiries regarding the status of the image and its potentiality for change in contemporary culture.

A study of the operations of the image necessarily implicates its contingent political factors, including its distributory mechanisms such as information media, the gallery, the art world, as well as the effects of democratic power now: the production of space that is destined to the private, the faith in social redemption through aesthetic reconfigurations and the self constraint of subjectivities to normative principles. Curating Video has responded to these conditions in: an anti-humanist critique of the ideological weight of the (immaterial) image, looking instead to its object-hood; the rhetorical force of the image and possibilities for rethinking the grounds that politics requires, and; an analysis of the worlds produced already under the conditions of neo-liberalism that are understood as conservative, modificatory or ‘Evental’.

This series of reading seminars focuses on Alain Badiou’s book Logic of Worlds where we anticipate an expansive discussion of the text and how its thesis might implicate or problematise certain conditions of curation, art production and interaction with art and vice-versa. Each session will be selected and introduced by either members or affiliates of Curating Video. During the process of the seminars new sessions are open for nomination by attending readers.

The first session was held on March 18th at Chelsea College of Art and Design.

SEMINAR 1: Convenor Amanda Beech (BOOK V The Four Forms of Change 355-380)
In Logic of Worlds, Alain Badiou points to a key problem between the difference of ordering world as regulated by an already-existent “state of the situation” and on the other hand an event as a genuine transformation brought on by what is unforeseen and unanticipated. The event makes itself visible and marks the difference between “Simple Becoming” and “True Change”. (Book V LoW) The difficulty of philosophising change points to the exacting tensions between ontological formations, the production of worlds in the transcendental sense and the dialectic of Truth and subjectivity that is the make-up of the trans-ontological Event.

We now seek to expand our critique in a series of reading seminars that look to the demonstrative act that is required for any notion of difference, asking how this might take place given that most productions of world might easily be seen as mere modifications of it. This issue brings us to radical conceptions of site, subjectivity and appearance that breaks with causality, bioethics. phenomenology and humanism, and conceives a world that is not ‘for us’.

How does this philosophy figure in/for the political? What is it to think such a radical conception of discontinuity and how can this thinking if it is to be thought, retain its disconnectedness from politics so as not to fall into the trap of a cult of genealogies, where inconsistency marks the implicit denial for such change, whilst at the same time protecting its facility to break with existing systems? What place does critical culture take within this thought? Is the only task for culture to measure the distance between the condition of history-power-state from politics-thought-truth – and could this measure in itself confine critical culture to new obscurities?