Brandon LaBelle

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The Invisible Seminar

The seminar seeks to investigate the operations of visibility by highlighting the unseen, the camouflaged, the immaterial and the erased as particular aesthetic strategies. If the visual arts historically have relied upon the seeing subject as its partner, functioning to give representation to the imagination or world events, what forms of critique, protest and poetics have been developed by occupying the space of the invisible? How has media culture, and what Camiel van Winkel terms the "regime of visibility", contributed to the contemporary imperative to visualize and expose? Can notions of the invisible be used to deepen perspectives on the power dynamics of the gaze and image production? And importantly, how might invisibility contribute to rethinking modes of collectivity and political agency?

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Sixth edition

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Fifth edition: Bergen Academy
April 9 & 10, 2014

Workshop on the topic of Night led by Ane Hjort Guttu and Brandon LaBelle

Invisibility poses a certain disruption onto the field of knowledge by introducing a phantasmic element – a body or presence whose features elude our grasp. In this regard, the invisible produces a type of friction, one that performs against the imperative of exposure and appearance central to our social order. While we entertain new modalities of imaging, the "regime of visibility" may also keep hidden what we should not see.

Exploring the dynamics of the invisible, this edition of the Invisible Seminar will consider the Night as both a theme as well as a particular site. What occurs once daylight withdraws to give way to darkness? How do our perceptions change, and what forms of behavior are brought forward during nighttime? Does the night present an opportunity for a new type of visibility?

The Seminar will examine the operations and experiences found at night, querying what types of creative energies might be found there. Through readings, presentations and fieldwork, the Seminar will attempt to grasp the poetics and politics of the nocturnal.