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 each 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 conversation and prompted critical reflections on revealing and interpreting as two distinct approaches to the political. Referring to the performativity of language and of images, we discussed forms of political agency that can overcome representational politics through radical translation and interpretation, and asked how research practices might link to the ability to act.
The conversation lasted about an hour, 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 an edited transcript of my conversation with Tom. The conversation with Avery was published in issue #3 of e-flux journal.
Read the full article here.