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Adorno's Grey and Other Refusals

A conversation with Hito Steyerl about the production of images and the relationship between politics and aesthetics

Values


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Philosophy / Theory

Organizing Institutions

Slought, Temple University's Department of Film and Media Arts

Organizers

Nora Alter

Opens to public

10/09/2012

Time

6:30pm

Address

Slought
4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Economy

25% Formal - 75% Informal

Slought is pleased to announce a public conversation with filmmaker and writer Hito Steyerl, in dialogue with film scholar Nora Alter, on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 from 6:30-8:00pm. The conversation will be preceded by a screening of Hito Steyerl's Adorno's Grey (approx. 14 min).

Legend has it that Theodor W. Adorno had the auditorium where he taught at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt painted grey to aid concentration. In Adorno's Grey, a team of conservators burrows into the wall of this auditorium hoping to reveal the layer of grey paint beneath it. A voiceover recounts an incident in 1969 when, after three female students approached and bore their breasts to him during a lecture, Adorno collected his papers and ran away in a panic. This would be his last lecture.

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"In her works, Hito reflects upon the role of traveling images, those images, that crowd the realms of suburbs and the lowlands of the web. Images that change their meaning, outlook, framing, caption and often also their protagonists by traveling through time and space. She put some interesting questions like: Which role do digital modes of communication play in creating new political and aesthetical articulations? How do they accelerate, slow down or modify conflict, civil war and the writing of history? How are media – video or audio tapes, jpegs or posters – implicated in violence? How does the struggle over copyright and reproduction- over making things seen and heard - factor into these considerations? And is a withdrawal from representation perhaps a new form of strike or refusal?" — Rabih Mroue

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker and writer based in Berlin. She teaches artistic media practice at the University of Arts Berlin. Her latest works include: The Kiss 2012, Adorno's Grey 2012, The Body of the Image 2012 (performance), Abstract 2012, Guards 2012 as well as the lectures Probable Title: Zero Probability (2012) with Rabih Mroué and I dreamed a dream (2012).

Nora M. Alter is Chair and Professor of Film and Media arts, Temple University, and the author of Chris Marker.