The ŠUM Study Seminar: Birth as Criterion

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DISCURSIVE PROGRAMME of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts: Birth as Criterion


The ŠUM Study Seminar: Birth as Criterion

Saturday, 9 September 2017, Švicarija Creative Centre, free of charge

The Šum Study Seminar at MGLC is this year taking place in the context of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts. The set of lectures will therefore be devoted to reflecting upon certain notions, concepts and contexts tied to the specific structure introduced by this edition of the Biennial exhibition “without curator”.

The contributions will explore and expand – from philosophical, literary, (culturally) political, economic, curatorial and other perspectives – on the issues of making selections in rhizomatic, self-organized, collective, self-generated, automated, decentralized and other similar ways.

Prepared by: the research collective of ŠUM magazine (Tjaša Pogačar on its behalf) in cooperation with MGLC.
Participating: Izidor Barši, Marko Bauer, Jernej Kaluža, Kaja Kraner, Primož Krašovec, Domen Ograjenšek and Andrej Tomažin.



11.00 gathering and introductory address (Tjaša Pogačar)

11.30–12.00 Jernej Kaluža: To an Indifferent God

12.00–12.30 Primož Krašovec: A Critique of Collectivity

12.30–13.00 Andrej Tomažin: Poem as Genetic Code, Poem as Design and Poem as Terror

13.00–13.00 conversation with the speakers (Marko Bauer)

Lunch break

15.00–15.30 Kaja Kraner: “Liberated Automatism”: Some Production Specifics within the Art Field

15.30–16.00 Domen Ograjenšek: Expressions

16.00–17.00 conversation with the speakers (Izidor Barši) and conclusion of the seminar



Paper abstracts


Jernej Kaluža

To an Indifferent God

The Indifferent God from the beginning of Detela’s poem does not care about anything. In this paper, I would like to show how such a non-selective position can be productive precisely in the discursive fields, where it is not tolerated, therefore precisely in the fields that are founded on strict selection, which encompasses both scientific and critical, as well as curatorial discourse. All fields that are based on the sharp divide between the exterior and the interior call out to break their own discursive rules. They are constantly being re-established through the redefinition of the external boundary. I will attempt to defend the hypothesis that the dissolution of discursive rules (and not their re-establishment) is the precondition for production and progression within a particular discursive field. I will attempt to show why (and under what conditions) the position of everything goes is not uncritical or unscientific. A good example can be a part of contemporary art that draws inspiration from the banality and non-selectivity offered by the Internet.

Primož Krašovec

A Critique of Collectivity

The workings of every gang (in friendship, business, politics) is based on a consensus – as Brecht writes, what is most important is that we learn how to reach a consensus. Achieving a consensus is a process that is basically vampiric in terms of emotional energy – it has to calm down and discipline the marginal, disturbing voices and thus increase the power of leadership. Achieving conclusions and agreeing with programmes represent a successful transfer of energy from the margins of the gang to the centre. The strength of the centrifugal forces (conservation forces) is reduced proportionally by increasing the power of the centripetal forces (fragmentation forces). The gang is a social group, whose key purpose and activity is self-preservation and dissemination (Canetti crowds). The strength of the structure and the continued existence of the gang are subject to what the gang does (or reproduction is subjected to production), which is why gangs are, for obvious reasons, hostile to flight/exit, and necessarily paranoid. My paper will be an attempt to criticize gang social dynamics (unity, collectivity, loyalty) as defence to fragmenting (or becoming a sect).

Andrej Tomažin

Poem as Genetic Code, Poem as Design and Poem as Terror

In this paper I will deal with the issue of poetry through the prism of three different practices of creating poetry. All three expand the poetry field and establish the position of the poetic text as a xenotext, that is, something that renounces the basic assumptions of poetry in order to really become poetry. It seems that, just like contemporary art, poetry also remains committed to late Heidegger’s meeting of art and technology, where art represents the lifeline in the face of complete technological domination, which is to some extent opposed by Simondon, when he talks about the poetic dimension of the now redundant technology of the TV antenna. Bök’s transplantation of a poem from writing to a DNA record, later inserted into the Deinococcus radiodurans bacterium, which is able to survive in the most extreme environments, including a vacuum; the encrypted transformation of Amy Ireland’s poem into three-dimensional objects set into corporate and home environments; and the spelling out of the Bible’s verses into the sky by the main protagonist of Bolañ’s novel Distant Star, Carlos Wieder, are just three principles of the withdrawal, but at the same time, persistent occurrence of poetry: poem as genetic code, poem as design and poem as terror.

Kaja Kraner

“Liberated Automatism”: Some Production Specifics within the Art Field

In the paper I will try to proceed from this year’s Biennial edition, but in a somewhat specific way, namely by not referring to the final exhibition product, but to the supposedly different method of its production, or at least its attempted different method of production. Since this is not directly presented in the exhibition product, I will primarily proceed from the discussion about the Biennial process of production (Škuc Gallery, 6 June 2017). In the discussion, two (contradictory) emphases were exposed, which intended to describe the attempt of the supposedly different approach. On the one hand, “to allow yourself to work differently”, by withdrawing from the classically curated approach, with a clear goal and plan, the division of roles and work tasks, and similar. And on the other hand, “to abandon yourself to automatism”, which is, precisely through abdication, supposed to lead to the projection of the goal, the elaboration of the plan of how to achieve this goal, and following the plan. Or more precisely: founded on the minimal starting-off procedure implemented by the committee of the Biennial’s collaborators (as the alternative to the curator), let us abandon ourselves to matters “running their natural course”.

Domen Ograjenšek


Following the conceptual concerns of this year’s Biennial, the paper deals with the analysis of expression, understood in its interruption of the relationship with its romantic co-travellers (e.g. personalism and authenticism, highlighting the role of the subject as author), well-known in the field of art and culture, and placed in proximity to meaningful accents, more frequently present in the field of microbiology, especially genetics and embryology, which emphasize its productive or even production aspect.



Biographies of the participants


Izidor Barši is a PhD student of Theoretical Psychoanalysis at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. In the past, he has published articles and longer texts on philosophy, art and architecture in Tribuna, Mladina, Delo, Praznine and elsewhere. He was editor of the Tribuna newspaper during 2014–15, and has been a member of the editorial board of ŠUM magazine since 2013.

Marko Bauer is a writer.

Jernej Kaluža is a graduate of Philosophy and History. He is currently finishing his doctorate in Philosophy and working as the editor-in-chief at Radio Študent. Occasionally he also writes for other media and participates in round tables. He is also active as part of the Rog Factory.

Kaja Kraner (1986) completed her degree studies in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design before continuing with Cultural Studies at postgraduate level at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. She writes articles in the field of contemporary art and is the editor of ŠUM magazine as well as the Art-area broadcast at Radio Študent. So far her main focus has been the relationship between art, theory and politics, as well as the production conditions for contemporary art. She is currently examining the narratives of contemporary art in Slovenia as part of her PhD studies.

Primož Krašovec is a former researcher of the Pedagogical Institute, translator and writer (Borec, Ekran), and currently a lecturer at the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, as well as a member of the editorial boards of Borec magazine and the Sophia publishing house.

Domen Ograjenšek is a writer, researcher, curator as well as critic of contemporary visual art. He is a former member of the editorial board of ŠUM, its research team, and editor of the Art-area broadcast at Radio Študent. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Philosophy at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.

Andrej Tomažin is a writer, journalist and critic. The focus of his research is the cross-section of technology and art. He writes about literature, theory, film and the visual arts for magazines such as Kino!, ŠUM, Idiot, as well as others. He writes short stories and novels. He heads the monthly broadcast Otitis Media at Radio Študent, which explores new media, art, technology and software in connection with various philosophical deviations, most often in the form of interviews. He lives in Ljubljana.


Coproducers: Mednarodni grafični likovni center (MGLC)