Art and the Politics of Estrangement
SFSIA 2015 | Saas-Fee

June 5 – 23, 2015

Faculty Bios

Armen Avanessian studied philosophy and political science in Vienna and Paris. After completing his dissertation in literature, “Phenomenology of the Ironic Spirit: Ethics, Poetics, and Politics of Modernity” (published in 2010), he was a freelance journalist and editor in Paris and a publisher in London. From 2007-2014 Avanessian worked at the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at the Free University Berlin, while being also a Visiting Fellow in the German Department at Columbia University and at the German Department at Yale University, while regularly teaching at art academies. In 2012 he founded the bilingual research platform Avanessian has edited several volumes on Accelerationism und Speculative Realism, his recent books are: Phänomenologie ironischen Geistes. Ethik, Poetik und Politik der Moderne (Fink, 2010), (together with Anke Hennig) Präsens. Poetik eines Tempus (Diaphanes, 2012) and Metanoia. Spekulative Ontologie der Sprache (Merve, 2014), (together with Andreas Töpfer) Speculative Drawing (Sternberg, 2014), Überschrift. Ethik des Wissens – Poetik der Existenz (Merve, 2015)

Franco Berardi Bifo was born in Bologna, Italy in 1949, Franco Berardi Bifo is a writer, media-theorist, and media-activist. As a young militant he took part in the experience of Potere operaio in the years 1967-19073, then he founded the magazine A/traverso (1975–81) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy (1976–78). Involved in the political movement of Autonomia in Italy during the 1970s, he fled to Paris, where he worked with Félix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis. He has been involved in many media-projects, like Telestreet, and Bifo published the books The Uprising (1912) After the future (2011) The Soul at Work (2010), Felix (2001), Cibernauti (1994), Mutazione e Cyberpunk (1993). He contributed to the magazines Semiotext(e), Chimères, Metropoli, and Musica 80 and is currently collaborating to e-flux.journal. Coordinator of the European School for Social Imagination (SCEPSI) he has been teaching at Ashkal Alwan in Beirouth, PEI-Macba in Barcelona, Accademia di Brera in Milano, and has been lecturing in social centers and Universities worldwide.

Mathieu Copeland (b. 1977, lives in London) has been developing a practice seeking to subvert the traditional role of exhibitions and to renew our perceptions of these. Amongst many others, he co-curated the exhibition ‘VOIDS, A Retrospective’ at the Centre Pompidou—Paris and the Kunsthalle—Bern, and edited the anthology ‘VOIDS’. He curated ‘A Choreographed Exhibition’ at the Kunsthalle—St Gallen & La Ferme du Buisson, ‘Soundtrack for an Exhibition’, ‘Alan Vega’ and ‘Gustav Metzger’ at the Musee d’Art Contemporain—Lyon. He initiated and curated the series ‘A Spoken Word Exhibitions’, ‘Reprise’ and ‘the Exhibitions to Hear Read’. A professor at the HEAD – Geneva, he lectures in numerous art school and universities throughout the world. Invited curator at the Jeu de Paume, Paris in 2012-2013, and guest-curator at Le Plateau, FRAC Ile-de-France Paris, 2014-2015, he recently edited ‘Choreographing Exhibitions’, and realized ‘The exhibition of a film’ – an exhibition as a feature film for cinemas.

Anselm Franke is a curator and writer based in Berlin. He is Head of Visual Art and Film at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. In 2012, he curated the Taipei Biennial, Modern Monsters / Death and Life of Fiction. His project Animism was presented in Antwerp, Bern, Vienna, Berlin, New York, Shenzhen, Seoul and Beirut in various collaborations from 2010 to 2014. At the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, he co-curated The Whole Earth. California and the Disappearance of the Outside (with Diedrich Diederichsen), and After Year Zero. Geographies of Collaboration (both 2013).

Charles Gaines received his BA from Jersey City State University and his MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has taught at California State University, Fresno from 1967-1989; he is currently on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts, 1989 to the present. He has had over 70 one-person shows and several hundred group exhibitions in the US and Europe. One person shows include, Pomona College and Pritzer College galleries, Pomona, California; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles and LAXART, Los Angeles. Recent group exhibitions include; Prospect.3, New Orleans, 2014; Montreal Biennial 2014; “All Of This And Nothing”, Hammer Museum Invitational, curated by Anne Ellegood and Douglas Fogle, Los Angesles, 2011; “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles” 1960 – 1980, Curator: Prof. Kellie Jones, MoMA PS1, 2013, Hammer Museum, 2011; “State of Mind/Art from California Circa 1970”, Berkeley Art Museum and Orange County Museum of Art, co-curated by Constance Lewallen and Karen Moss, October 2011; “Under The Big Black Sun: 1974-1981”, Paul Schimmel, curator, October 2011, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; He was included in the Venice Biennale, 2007; the Triennale der Photographie, Hamburg, 1999; and Esslingen, 2004; and the Whitney Biennial, 1975. He is represented by The Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and Susanne Veilmetter Los Angeles Projects. He has published Theater of Refusal: Black Art and Mainstream Criticism (Univ of Cal, Irvine, 1993); Art, Post History and the Paradox of Black Pluralism. Merge, vol.12, 2004, p. 52; The New Cosmopolitanism: Preeminence of Place, California State University, Fullerton, March, 2008; Reconsidering Metaphor/Metonymy: Art and the Suppression of Thought, Art Lies, Issue 64, Winter/2009, Ben Patterson: The History of Gray Matter From the Avant-Garde to the Postmodern, catalog essay, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, November, 2010.

Anke Hennig recently moved from Berlin to London where she is currently tutoring MA Photography students at CSM and organising the international research group ‘Retro-Formalism’. Her most recent book, ‘Present Tense: A Poetics’, co-authored with Armen Avanessian, is due to be published later this year by Bloomsbury and her next, ‘Poetonomy’, is in progress. She is also a member of the editorial board of the online journal ‘Apparatus’ and of the advisory board of the Czech online publishing project ‘Sdvig’.

Quinn Latimer is an American poet, critic, and editor based in Basel and Athens. She is the author of Rumored Animals (2012), which won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and Sarah Lucas: Describe This Distance (2013), which explores the work of Lucas as well as shame, palindromes, passivity, and fertility statuary. Other recent book projects include Stories, Myths, Ironies, and Other Songs: Conceived, Directed, Edited, and Produced by M. Auder (2014) and Film as a Form of Writing: Quinn Latimer Talks to Akram Zaatari (2014). A regular contributor to Artforum and a contributing editor to frieze, Latimer also contributes essays and poems to many artist monographs and critical anthologies. Her writings and readings have been featured widely, including at Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Serpentine Galleries, London; Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy; and Qalandia International, Ramallah/Jerusalem. She was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University in New York, and currently teaches at Geneva’s Haute école d’art et de design (HEAD). She is Editor-in-Chief of Publications for documenta 14.

Suzana Milevska is a theorist and curator of visual art and culture from Macedonia. Her interests include postcolonial critique of hegemonic power regimes of representation, feminist art and gender theory, participatory and collaborative art practices. She holds a PhD in visual culture from Goldsmiths College London where she taught from 2002-2004. In 2004 Milevska was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at Library of Congress. She taught visual culture and gender at the Gender Studies Institute and history and theory of art at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. In 2010 she published the book Gender Difference in the Balkans and edited The Renaming Machine: The Book that summarised her long-term cross-disciplinary curatorial and research project The Renaming Machine. In 2012 Milevska was awarded the ALICE Award for Political Curating and the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory. In 2013 she was appointed the Endowed Professor for Central and South Eastern European Art Histories at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna.

Warren Neidich is a Berlin and Los Angeles based wet-conceptual artist, theorist and writer who explores the interfaces between cultural production, brain research and cognitive capitalism. His interdisciplinary works combines photographic, video, internet downloads, scotch tape and noise installations. His work has been exhibited internationally in such museums and galleries as the ICA, London, The Ludwig Museum, Koln, The Museum of Aktuelle Kunst, Vienna, The Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, The Kunsthaus Zurich, The Whitney Museum of Art, NYC, PS1, MOMA, NYC, LACMA, Los Angeles and the The Walker Art Center. Selected Awards and Fellowships include: The Fulbright Specialist Program, Fine Arts Category, University of Cairo, 2013; The Murray and Vickie Pepper Distinguished Visiting Artist and Scholar Award, Pitzer College, 2012; The Fulbright Specialist Program Fellowship, Fine Arts Category, Faculty of Fine Arts – University Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje, Macedonia, 2011, The Vilem Flusser Theory Award, Transmediale, Berlin, 2010, AHRB/ACE Arts and Science Research Fellowship, United Kingdom, and the Madrid Abierto Public Sculpture Award. He is author of Blow-up:Photography, Cinema and the Brain, DAP, 2003, Cognitive Architecture: From Biopolitics to Noopolitics, 010 Publishers, 2009, The Psychopathology of Cognitive Capitalism Part 1, Archive, 2012 and The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism Part 2, Archive, 2014. His Resistance is Fertile is forthcoming in 2015 published by Merve Verlag, Berlin.

John Rajchman is a philosopher and professor of art history at Columbia University (New York)Teaching in Paris in the 1980s, he has long involved with contemporary French philosophy; with Etienne Balibar, he is co-editor of French Philosophy Since 1945: Problems, Concepts, Inventions (The New Press, 2011). His philosophical books and writings have been translated into many languages. He has also written extensively on contemporary art and architecture. A founding member of Semiotexte, a former member of the board of October, he was on the intellectual advisor for ANY, a 10 yearlong architectural symposium, meeting in different global cities in the 90s. Currently he is a Contributing Editor of Artforum. He has also written many critical essays for museums and galleries, including Richard Serra’s Retrospective at the Museum of Modern of Art in New York, Mira Schendel’s Retrospective at the Tate Modern in London (currently at the Pinocteca in Sao Paolo) and Xu Bing’s Retrospective at the Tapei Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan, and has participated in many biennials, panels and discussions about contemporary art.

Gerald Raunig is a philosopher, art theoretician. He works at the Züricher Hochschule der Künste and at the eipcp (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies); habilitation and venia docendi at the Institute for Philosophy, University of Klagenfurt/A; member of the editorial boards of the multilingual webjournal transversa l and the journal Kamion. His books have been translated into English, Serbian, Spanish, Slovenian, Russian, Italian, and Turkish. Recent books in English: Art and Revolution. Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century, translated by Aileen Derieg, New York/Los Angeles: Semiotext(e)/MIT Press 2007; Art and Contemporary Critical Practice. Reinventing Institutional Critique, London: mayflybooks 2009 (Ed., with Gene Ray); A Thousand Machines, translated by Aileen Derieg, New York/Los Angeles: Semiotext(e)/MIT Press 2010; Critique of Creativity, London: mayflybooks 2011 (Ed., with Gene Ray and Ulf Wuggenig);Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity, translated by Aileen Derieg, New York/Los Angeles: Semiotext(e)/MIT Press 2013. Upcoming: DIVIDUUM. Machinic Capitalism and Molecular Revolution, Vol.1.

Dorothee Richter is since 2005 head of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating (MAS/CAS) www, at the University of the Arts Zurich (ZHdK). She also co-founded with Susanne Clausen the “Research Platform for Curatorial and Cross-disciplinary Cultural Studies, Practice-Based Doctoral Programme” a cooperation of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating and the Department of Fine Arts, University of Reading. From 1999 to the end of 2003, Richter was artistic director of the Künstlerhaus Bremen where she curated a discursive programme based on feminist issues, urban situations, power relation issues, institutional critique. She worked as a curator ever since. Since 1998, Richter has held lecturing posts at the University of Bremen, the Merzakademie Stuttgart, the École des Beaux Arts in Geneva, and the Universität Lüneburg alongside the traveling Exhibition / Archive “Curating Degree Zero Archive”. She co-curated numours Symposia like “Re-Visions of the Display” 2009, coop. Jennifer Johns, Sigrid Schade, Migros Museum in Zurich. 2010 “Institution as Medium. Curating as Institutional Critique?” coop. with Rein Wolfs, in 2013 the symposium “Who is afraid of the public?” at the ICA London, coop. with Elke Krasny, Silvia Simoncelli and the University of Reading, also the symposium with the Manifesta Journal and the Institute of Contemporary Art of the ZHdk “ Third, fourth and fifth spaces: Curatorial practices in new public and social (digital) spaces” at the Migros Museum 2013. Her most recent publication is her PHD Fluxus. Kunst gleich Leben? Mythen um Autorschaft, Produktion, Geschlecht und Gemeinschaft and the new Internet platform which presents current approaches to critical curatorial practice. In 2013 she published a film together with Ronald Kolb: „Flux Us Now! Fluxus explored with a camera.“ which was screened for the first time at Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in April 2013, Migros Museum in Zürich and different European art academies In September 2013 she was appointed as mentor for POOL, (Collection of Hoffmann and Ringier) Zürich. In 2014 the Cultural Department of the city of Zurich appointed her as the curator/ programmer of half of Gasthaus zum Baeren / Museum Baerengasse, where she runs now a programme together with young curators under the title “Curating Your Context”, see

Barry Schwabsky is art critic for The Nation and co-editor of international reviews for Artforum. He is the author of Words for Art: Criticism, History, Theory, Practice (Sternberg Press, 2013) and The Widening Circle: Consequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art (Cambridge University Press, 1997) as well as several collections of poetry; forthcoming is Trembling Hand Equilibrium (Black Square Editions). He has taught at Goldsmiths College, Yale University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Maryland Institute College of Art, among others.

Hito Steyerl (born 1966) is a documentary filmmaker and writer who, often through documentary photography and video, thinks through media circulation. Her work, which examines issues such as globalization, feminism, and postcolonial critique, comprises film, essays, and installations. She has lectured at Goldsmith’s College, London and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, among other institutions. A collection of her essays is recently published in The Wretched of the Screen (2012). Recent exhibitions include Hito Steyerl, e-flux, New York, 2011 and focus: Hito Steyerl, The Art Institute Chicago, 2012−2013. Steyerl lives and works in Berlin.

Ben Vickers is a curator, writer, network analyst, technologist and luddite. Currently Curator of Digital at the Serpentine Galleries (London), Co-Director LIMAZULU Project Space (London) and an initiator of the unMonastery, a new civically minded social space based on contemporary monastic principles and open-source development; currently being prototyped in Matera, Southern Italy. He’s an active member of EdgeRyders, a distributed think tank incubated by the Council of Europe, co-curates a nomadic talks program called The Thought Menu and participates in the Near Now fellowship program.