A child reads Lise Deharme’s Le Coeur de Pic (1937), a Surrealist book illustrated with photographs (like the above) by Claude Cahun.
From 12-3pm November 15th, e-flux will host Child as Material with artist Mary Walling Blackburn. The child-friendly event will begin at noon with a reading of children’s books by Rafael Kelman, Brian Kuan Wood, Beatriz Balanta, and Christopher Miles. A panel discussion on Child as Material for adults and a concurrent activity for children will follow at approximately 1:15pm. Panelists include Beatriz Balanta, Benj Gerdes, Jennifer Hayashida, and Christopher Myers, moderated by Brian Kuan Wood and Mary Walling Blackburn.
From the press release:
What forms, cultural and critical, are possible when the child is the material for the future? After all, children are stuck living our future as their present. And the messages we deliver to children through children’s books can only embody our hope that the forward movement of time will bring something better. But as adults, we have seen some difficult things. And sometimes it’s not so easy to get over ourselves. This is how, as an operative political device, children’s books become repositories for the traumatic experiences and cultural dead ends that adults cannot manage to overcome in the present time.
This thread will act as a meeting point for discussion about Child as Material for both the physical audience and our distant friends.
Some thoughts for consideration in advance of the event, courtesy Mary Walling Blackburn, Conversations username @mwb
1.) If we determine that the child is radical material, let us sketch the limits of that radicality.
If, as radicals, we profess and deploy productive perversities, how and why do they engage the child? Finally, how do we detect and absorb the perversities generated by the child herself along a spectrum of experiences (from child soldier and matricidal tween to emo ghost follower and runaway train hopper)?
2.) When is the “adult ally” in fact an obstacle to the infant provocateur?
For more information, see the program listing on e-flux.