Extradisciplinary Art and Neoliberalism
Postgraduate Degree in Art History at the UNAM and Academic Program at the MUAC, Expanded Campus
How is contemporary society constructed — and how to intervene in its construction?
Since 1989, and even more intensely, since the application of the NAFTA treaty, individual countries and their populations face transnational processes of economic transformation, shaking up the scales of everyday life and shifting the very ground beneath our feet. This is the era of “continental drift”: a new geopolitics that expresses itself directly in the subjectivity of its producers.
To describe it we use words like free trade, globalization, neoliberalism. But as important as these concepts are, they remain abstract, void of material and affective content. What’s missing is concrete experience with the machines, the scientific formulas and the informatic codes that are applied to everyday living. The link between theory and practice gets lost and the corporations go on working, changing the world without asking the slightest advice of its inhabitants.
This seminar is devoted to extradisciplinary art, or in other words, to the currently emerging practices of aesthetic and technopolitical research. The game begins when artists leave their own field, learning the methods of another discipline and opening up its toolbox. The extradisciplinary ambition is to carry out rigorous investigations on terrains as far away from art as finance, biotech, geography or psychiatry, to bring forth on those terrains the “free play of the faculties” and to carry out a lucid and precise critique. These are deliberate and delirious experiments, unfolding by way of material forms, conceptual protocols and situations of social exchange. Satire, hallucination and political activism go hand in hand with careful study and technological sophistication.
After an introductory meeting to cover the basic concepts, the seminar will consist in the analysis of particularly significant works and projects. We will move through some of the key fields of contemporary experience, investigating current issues in infrastructure and urbanism; communications and finance; biotechnology and cognitive sciences; identification and security. Participants will bring examples, each from their own discipline, practice or passion, to discuss them in the seminar and to explore the critical and constructive possibilities of each approach.
The theory of extradisciplinary art is constructed in parallel to a new perception of the lived environments of neoliberal society. The final meeting will take a fresh look at the geopolitical paradigm with which we began, examining it in the light of the artistic investigations so as to add a new dimension: the time of the other.