Earth Objects: Topology, Experiments, Jurisdictions

The seminar gathered images and materials that activate the notion of topology as both an object and a method through which to investigate physical and political territories and the events that constitute them.

Italian theorist Sandro Mezzadra argues that metaphors of “Fortress Europe” prevent us from grasping the complex forces that operate in contemporary movements of migration. The challenge of understanding these spaces, he argues, is both political and aesthetic, requiring a shift from topographical to topological understanding. How might aesthetic and object-oriented approaches to spatial production construct a different understanding of these complex territories?

Artist and writer Nabil Ahmed examined the event of the cyclone in Bangladesh as a force through which to assemble the political anew; artist and cultural theorist Susan Schuppli used forensic analysis of dust from the World Trade Center to reflect upon that space, event and its political refractions. The seminar explored how such “earth objects” might provide another way of perceiving the topological forces at work in contemporary European political spaces.
(Text source: Susan Kelly)

Susan KELLY is an artist, writer and educator currently living in London. She writes, does performances, public artwork and installations and is a lecturer in Fine Art and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Susan Kelly works independently and collectively with the Micropolitics Research Group, the Carrotworkers’ Collective and the Precarious Workers Brigade. Over the last ten years she has worked in Belfast, New York, Toronto, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Tallin, Zagreb, Innsbruck and elsewhere.

Susan SCHUPPLI is a media artist and cultural theorist currently based in London.

Nabil AHMED is an artist and musician who lives and works in London. He is co-founder of Call & Response, an independent sonic arts collective that serves as a focus for sound arts practice in London.

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