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Sleepwalking in a Dialectical Picture Puzzle, Part 1: A Conversation with Avery Gordon


#1

For my Night School seminar that took place at the New Museum in New York in October 2008, I invited Avery Gordon and Tom Keenan to have conversations in Whole Foods, a huge organic supermarket around the corner from the New Museum. The original plan had been to hold the entire seminar there instead of in the museum's auditorium, but this plan failed when the supermarket refused to grant us permission. Instead, we held our conversations there and documented them using wireless microphones and a spy camera attached to cameraperson Angela Anderson's shoulder.

The aisles and various spaces of the store served as a matrix for our conversations. Avery and I spoke about subjugated knowledges and the relationship between research and the ability to act. We considered the apparitional state of realities with no place in the politics of representation as a force of agency and change. As we wandered through sections of the store, a selection of objects and functions served as coordinates for our conversation.

The conversation lasted about forty-five minutes, after which the crew walked back to the museum, rewound the tape, and screened it in the New Museum auditorium for the seminar participants. The screening was then followed by a discussion.

This text is a transcript of my conversation with Avery. The conversation with Tom will follow in issue #5 of e-flux journal.

Read the full article here.