WHAT’S THE POINT? UNRULY KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION IN ART AND RESEARCH, EDUCATION AND ACTIVISM

Lecture by NORA STERNFELD

30th of October 2013, Node Gallery

“While key words such as ‘artistic knowledge production’ or ‘practice based research’ have become ubiquitous in the artistic and curatorial field, I would like to focus in my lecture on the long tradition of dissident knowledges: as critical knowledge production and emancipatory research have always been an integral part of activist practices and anti-capitalist movements and, today, are more prevalent than ever.

Rather than denying the emancipatory value of knowledge production, we have to come to terms with the fact that it might be, at the very same time, both critical of and complicit with capitalism. Taking this into account I will have a look at different artistic strategies, practices and processes of critical knowledge production that confront the canon. Doing this I would like to come back to Derrida’s dissident fidelity with Marx, when he emphasizes the important relations of interpretation and change: I will ask ‘What is the point of acting and thinking today?’ when Marx says: ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”

Nora Sternfeld