The Invisible seminar: On the Night
5th of April 2016
NODE Space, Hämeentie 135 C

Invisibility may be understood to pose a disruption onto the field of knowledge by introducing a phantasmic element – a body or presence whose features elude or evade our grasp. In this regard, the invisible produces a type of friction, one that performs against the imperative of exposure and appearance central to the contemporary social order.

Expanding upon the critical dynamics of invisibility, the seminar will focus on the topic of the Night and how it may provide a channel onto the politics of appearance and subject-formation. If appearance is central to individuation, and the operations of public assembly, might the Night be used to consider forms of counter-public, where expressions of criminality, drunkenness, erotic encounter, secrecy and festivity occur precisely under the cloak of the nocturnal. The Night will be posed as a space of transformation, in which all types of social and political questions are made to tremble.

The Invisible Seminar is an ongoing research initiative focusing on the theme of invisibility and how this relates to artistic production, social identities, and public life. This leads to questioning the power plays of visibility, and how the space of appearance central to political processes is tensed by what or who remain undercover or out of bounds. Might invisibility allow for a critical tussle with the obligations of appearance? And might invisible practices challenge rational thought as well as systems of arrest by eluding the grasp of (capitalistic) discourse and technologies? In short, invisibility is positioned as a discursive, political and creative tactic.

Brandon LaBelle
Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with sound culture, voice, and questions of agency. He develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. His artistic work has been presented at Liquid Architecture, Melbourne (2015), NGBK, Berlin (2014), Whitney Museum, NY (2012), Image Music Text, London (2011), Sonic Acts, Amsterdam (2010), A/V Festival, Newcastle (2008, 2010), Instal 10, Glasgow (2010), Museums Quartier/ Tonspur, Vienna (2009), 7th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Allegro (2009). Also a prolific writer, his books include Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of Voice and the Oral Imaginary (2014), Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian (2012), Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (2010), and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art (2015; 2006). He is the editor of Errant Bodies Press and Professor at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway.