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Ephemera, Etcetera ... Thinking through Gathering


Ephemera, Etcetera ... Thinking through Gathering

Emily Fitzell

Time to gather. Again. What’s left. The rest. Gather ourselves. Rest.

Through this seminar, we’ll explore the idea of gathering as a poetic act — approaching it from various directions. Engaging with texts, films, sculptures, songs and our everyday motions, we’ll come together to reflect on the possibilities of gathering — occupying (ourselves with) the
precarious and ephemeral conditions of its differing forms: scavenging, collecting, congregating, communing, meeting, collating, demonstrating ...

What, where and why do we gather? How do gatherings experience and endure their own unfolding? How does the process of gathering facilitate collective experiences of grief, anger, joy? How does a gathering exist, from the inside and the outside? How does thinking through
gathering affect our sense of scale — of time, of space — and our perception? How can acts of gathering respond to moments of distance & proximity, abundance & scarcity? How can gathering measure and contend with excess? How might gathering challenge existing forms of ownership?
How might gathering assert itself in opposition to exclusionary and extractive modes of cultural production (which, like the fossil fuel industry, enact violence in their treatment of stolen and restricted materials)? How might gathering account for the specificities and multiplicities of its provisional collective?

Responding to the work of artists, writers and thinkers who aggregate & constellate, collate & interrelate, we’ll work together to interrogate the spatial and temporal axes of gathering at varying scales. Confronting capitalist modes of accumulation and their toxic by-products, we’ll piece together the obscured transactions through which materials and concepts are gathered, by and for us. Aligning ourselves with consumerism’s refuse, we’ll attend to the question of gathering as a matter of political urgency — equally in light of the targeted persecutions taking place right now in the UK, through escalations in border hostility as well as the recent passing of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

As both action and object, process and event, gathering suspends its entangled subjects between multiple states. Forms of gathering that open themselves up to chance encounters, to convergences, to the blurring of edges, can skim and stake their hold in space and time simultaneously. Extending themselves as portals, such temperamental acts of accretion and dispersion transport us beyond the neoliberal structures that aim to regulate our daily lives. Recasting time and space as moveable meeting places, these forms of gathering are protean, shapeshifting infrastructures, seeking new, old, conditional and subjective ways to bypass invitation, bringing us together ...

The materials listed below are but ways to begin our gathering. Through discussion and experimentation, they’ll accumulate and aggregate, both during and following our in-person meeting. Drawing on the possibilities afforded by the new school, this inquiry into gathering will garner its methodology by returning the school to its roots in leisure. Together, we’ll shape our learning environment recreationally — rerouting ourselves uncertainly, miscellaneously, through the art of gathering.

1. Gleaning, Cleaning

“An object is not an object, it is a witness to a relationship.” — Cecilia Vicuña

Agnès Varda — Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse (2000)
Ruth Cruickshank — The Work of Art in the Age of Global Consumption: Agnès Varda’s Les
Glaneurs et la Glaneuse (2007)
Cecilia Vicuña — Precario / Precarious (1983) & Kon Kon (2010)
Guisela Latorre — Cecilia Vicuña’s Precarios Universe (2019)
Candice Amich — From Precarity to Planetarity: Cecilia Vicuña’s Kon Kon (2013)
Claude Cahun & Marcel Moore — Selected Photographs (1920s-30s)
Lara Maiklem — Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames (2020)
Erica Segre — ‘El convertible no convertible’: Reconsidering Refuse and Disjecta Aesthetics in
Contemporary Cuban Art’ (2013)
Georges Perec — Les Choses / Things (1965) & Notes concernant les objets qui sont sur ma table
de travail / Notes on the objects to be found on my desk (1976)
Jesse Darling — Virgins (2021)
Sara Ahmed — What’s the Use?: On the Uses of Use (2019)
Ursula Le Guin — The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction ( 1986)
Gabriel Orozco — Piedra que cede / Yielding Stone (1992)
Susan Stewart — On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the
Collection ( 1984)
Françoise Vergès — Capitalocene, Waste, Race and Gender (2019)
Timothy Morton — All Art is Ecological (2021)
Matthew Lawrence & Laurie Laybourn-Langton — Planet on Fire: A Manifesto for the Age of
Environmental Breakdown (2021)
Heather Davis & Etienne Turpin — Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics,
Politics, Environments and Epistemologies (2015)
Tomás Saraceno — On Air (2018)
Chris Kraus — Social Practices (2018)
Rebecca Jagoe & Sharon Kivland — On Care (2020)

2. Out of Time

"We must reconcile ourselves to the stones, / Not the stones to us” — Hugh MacDiarmid

Marcel Duchamp & Man Ray — Dust Breeding (1920)
Marilyn Nelson - Dusting (1994)
Michael Marder — Dust (2016)
Anouar Brahem — Persepolis’s Mirage (2017)
Hildegard of Bingen and Huw Lemmey — Unknown Language (2020)
Kader Attia — RepaiR (2014)
Carlo Rovelli — The Order of Time
James Gleick — Time Travel (2016)
Hugo Norden — The Technique of Canon (1970)
Thomas Halliday — Otherlands: A World in the Making (2022)
Jack Roberts — Sacred Circles: An Illustrated Guide to the Stone Circles of Ireland (2022)
Ithell Colquhoun — The Living Stones (1957)
Samuel R. Delany — Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones (1968)
Yara Hawari — The Stone House (2021)
Vénus Khoury-Ghata — Compassion des pierres (2001)
Hugh MacDiarmid — On A Raised Beach (1993)
Leah Umansky — STONE (2018)
Roger Caillois — L’Écriture des pierres / The Writing of Stones (1970)
Rachel Cusk — On Marble (2022)
Marcia Bjornerud — Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World (2018)
Robin Wall Kimmer — Gathering Moss (2003)
Maria Thereza Alves — Seeds of Change (1999-)
Cecilia Vicuña — Quipus
Carolina A. Diaz — Cecilia Vicuña’s Quipu-Making as a Theory of Time (2018)
Donna J. Haraway — Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016)

3. Meeting Places

“To tend the earth is always then to tend our destiny, our freedom and our hope.” — bell hooks

Doris Maria-Reina Bravo — Adventures on paper and in travesía : the School of Valparaíso
visualizes America, 1965-1984 (2015)
Patrick Joseph Dowling — The Hedge Schools of Ireland (1968)
bell hooks — belonging: a culture of place (2009)
Art Nomads
Julio Cortázar — Axolotl (1956)
Rebecca Tamás — Strangers: Essays on the Human and Non-Human (2020)
Marie NDiaye — Autoportrait en vert / Self Portrait in Green (2005)
Ana Mendieta — Siluetas (1973-80)
Yvonne Vera — Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals (2018)
Edouard Glissant — Poétique de la relation / Poetics of relation (1990)
Samuel Beckett — Mal vu mal dit / Ill Seen Ill Said (1981-2) & Quad (1980)
Anne Garréta — Sphinx (1986) & Dans le béton / In Concrete (2020)
Xul Solar — Visiones y revelaciones / Visions and Revelations (2006)
Jorge Luis Borges — Ficciones / Fictions (1944)
Lola Olufemi - Experiments in Imagining Otherwise (2021)
Agnes Denes — Wheatfield: A Confrontation (1982)
Allison Janae Hamilton — The peo-ple cried mer-cy in the storm (2018)
Samuel R. Delany — Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (1999)
Eimear Walshe — The Land for the People: The Sexual Case for Land Reform in Ireland (2021)
Gavin Van Horn, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and John Hausdoerffer (Eds.) — Kinship: Belonging in a
World of Relations (2022)
Koshka Duff (Ed.) — Abolishing the Police (2021)

4. The School as an Open City

“What is now known was once only imagined.” — William Blake, via Niki de Saint Phalle

Ann M. Pendleton-Julian — The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, Ritoque, Chile
Georges Perec — Espèces d’espaces / Species of Spaces (1974) & Tentative d’épuisement d’un
lieu parisien / An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris (1982)
Niki de Saint Phalle — The Tarot Garden (2003)
David Byrne - Arboretum (2006)
Dara McAnulty — Diary of a Young Naturalist (2020)
Bernard Cache — Terre Meuble / Earth Moves (1983)
bell hooks — teaching to transgress (1994)
Yoko Ono — Grapefruit (1964)
Tomás Saraceno — Cloud Cities (2011)
Ariana Reines — A Sand Book (2019)
Camilla George — The People Could Fly (2018)
Kerri ni Dochartaigh — Thin Places (2021)
Manchán Magan — Thirty-Two Words for Field: Lost Words of the Irish Landscape (2020)
Arts Letters & Numbers — The Earth Of (2020)
Rachel Fallon & Alice Maher — The Map (2022)
Céline Condorelli — Support Structures (2009)
Murray Bookchin — The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy (1982)

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