Paradoxes of the Apparatus

Seminar with Mika ELO (professor of artistic research) and Luis GUERRA (Fellow)

© Tuula Närhinen, Between the eyes (2022), detail. From the exhibition "Paradoxes of Photography" (2022), curated by Mika Elo.

The two-day seminar Paradoxes of the Apparatus is part of Luis Guerra’s Gestural Philosophy research and specifically engages with the complex relational status between artistic research and scientific public debate. It will also address the condition of the arts as sensible knowledge holder and the openness of their materialities in contemporary societies:

“In general terms, we can say that ‘art’ is a name for processes and articulations that take their material-discursive embeddedness seriously and commit themselves to developing a heightened sensitivity towards their own constraints and degrees of freedom within them. Artistic work, in other words, has tensional relation to presentation, since presentation itself is the medium through which the work proceeds and unfolds, and this requires appropriate ‘touch’. This ‘touch’ or sensitivity (which has physical, ideational and social aspects to it) cannot be reduced to a technical skill. It involves both epistemic impetus and aesthetic intensity, it is marked by a ‘pathic moment’, which means that it touches upon the limits of knowability.” (Elo, 2021: 23)

Paradoxes of the Apparatus consists of a two days seminar (28 March and 29 March) of 2-3 hours per day. On the first day, Luis GUERRA and his guest Mika ELO will unfold the conceptual tools and frameworks of the seminar. The second day proceeds with an in-depth discussion of the topic and participants are invited to share their related ideas, questions and writings. The seminar is open to academics, students, theoreticians, artists, activists and the general public interested in artistic research, curatorial studies, performativity, technology and philosophy.

28 March 2023, 18.00 – 21.00
29 March 2023, 9.30 – 12.00

Please register via e-mail (office[at]
Prior to the seminar, registered participants will receive a document for reading: Towards Academic Publishing in Medias Res (Elo, 2021).

Luis Guerra (*1974, Santiago de Chile) is a Visual Artist and Philosopher. Currently he is a University Researcher at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland, and Fellow Researcher at the research group Post-foundational Contemporary Thought: Critical and theoretical analysis of the contemporary ontologies of negativity and the question of the violence of the foundation (2022–2025, University of Barcelona). Former Associate Professor of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts at BAU University Center of Arts and Design Barcelona (2020-2022), GREDITS Design and Social Transformation Research Group Coordinator, and co-editor of the scientific review Immaterial, Design, Art and Society.
Luis Guerra did postdoctoral studies at the Center for Artistic Research (CfAR), University of the Arts Helsinki, 2019-2020. He was also Fellow Resident Artist at the Saastamoinen Foundation, Helsinki (2021) and Fellow grantee at the Kone Foundation, Helsinki (2020) with the artistic research project Wandering Echoes, rounds and litanies as performative maps under confinement. In 2022, he published his second book: Wandering Echoes, a handbook of operative losses, Errant Bodies Press, Berlin. In 2017 he published La Inexistencia del Arte, Brumaria Editores Madrid, after a research residency at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, thanks to the support of Santander Foundation (2015-2016).
His praxis inhabits a zone of visual encounters between drawings and acts, writings and objects. His work revolves around the imaginary line that Western culture has created between art and philosophy. Among the concepts framing his artistic research are three main notions: the un-domiciled, the echoicity and the inexistent.

Mika Elo is professor of artistic research at the University of the Arts Helsinki. His research interests include photographic media theory, philosophical media theory, and epistemology of artistic research. He participates in these discussions as curator, visual artist and researcher. In 2018–2019 he led the Research Pavilion #3 project realized in Helsinki and Venice in the context of the 58th Venice Biennale. From 2009–2011 he worked on the research project Figures of Touch. From 2012-2013 he co-curated the Finnish exhibition Falling Trees at the 55th Venice Biennale. Currently, he is Principal Investigator of one of the research projects in the consortium Post-digital Epistemologies of the Photographic Image. He has also been a member of the editorial boards of RUUKKU (2012– ), tiede&edistys (2010–2020), and JAR (2010–2019). His most recent curatorial work was the exhibition Paradoxes of Photography (2022) at The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki.

Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen

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