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Our Literal Speed comes to Chicago

Our Literal Speed—a “live pedagogical concept album”—is coming to Chicago from April 30 through May 2. Subtitled “events in the vicinity of art and history,” Our Literal Speed is founded on the premise that we can no longer “interpret forms of academic and artistic professionalism as neutral, abstract backgrounds to the aesthetic and performative. These activities have produced their own distinctive surfaces and procedures: the ‘aesthetic’ has become discursive and ‘discourse’ has become aesthetic.”

So if theoretical discourse is aesthetic and art is constantly participating in a theoretical discourse, what does a conference look like?

Rather than a series of academic lectures, the conference/event is imagined as a kind of “media pop opera” or “administrative gesamtkunstwerk” that includes fluid and/or jagged transitions among scholarly presentations, panel discussions, artist’s talks, performances, and an art exhibition within an academic conference. []

This conference/event will serve as a reconstitution and rearticulation of an initial conference/event held in 2008 at the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany. To see pictures and video from that event and hear the Our Literal Speed soundtrack, visit

Conference/Event Schedule

“Opening,” David Joselit, Thursday, 30 April, 6pm
157 Cochrane-Woods Art Center, University of Chicago

“Historicity/Geschichtlichkeit,” featuring Tony Cokes & Andrew Perchuk, Rainer Ganahl, Juliet Koss, and Eve Meltzer, Friday, 1 May, 9:30am – 12:30pm, 157 Cochrane-Woods Art Center, University of Chicago

“Formalism/Formalismus,” featuring Gregg Bordowitz, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Hannah B. Higgins, Alison Knowles, and Joel Snyder, Friday, 1 May, 1:30pm – 4pm,107 Kent Hall, University of Chicago

“Art Chicago,” featuring Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Tania Bruguera with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Friday, 1 May, 6pm – 7pm, Merchandise Mart Conference Center, Art Chicago

“Exhibition,” featuring Jackson Pollock Bar, Alexander Dumbadze, and Art & Language, Friday, 1 May, Exhibition opens at 8pm/Performances begin at 8:30pm, Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago

“Performance 1,” featuring Art & Language, Darby English, Christopher P. Heuer & Matthew Jesse Jackson, Carrie Lambert-Beatty, and Walid Raad
Saturday, 2 May, 10am – 1pm, Morton Auditorium, The Art Institute of Chicago

“Performance 2,” featuring Thomas Crow, Andrea Fraser, Boris Groys, Christine Mehring, and WJT Mitchell, Saturday, 2 May, 1:30pm – 4:30pm, Fullerton Hall, The Art Institute of Chicago

“Closing,” featuring Hal Foster, Theaster Gates and Anne M. Wagner, Saturday, 2 May, 7pm – 9pm, 107 Kent Hall, University of Chicago

“The inauguration of enhanced consideration of Hamza Walker’s Nothing Is Everything 2009,” Saturday, 2 May, 9pm – 11pm, The Renaissance Society

“Hidden Track,” The Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Saturday, 2 May, 9pm – 11pm, featuring Sharon Hayes

Performed by The Size Queens

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