Curated by Susanne Neubauer
Produced by Katerina Llanes
Emily Harvey Foundation: 537 Broadway 2nd floor (corner of Spring st.)
The Emily Harvey Foundation is proud to present Warren Neidich's performative work, "The Noologist's Handbook" opening Friday, September 9th and Saturday September 10th, from 8-10 pm.
A Noologist is someone who reorganizes and sculpts the image of thought. It is a new profession in which the mind's eye, the place where we inspect the contents of our imagination, becomes the site of cultural labor. In the late 19th century, psychoanalysis used such devices as word association and hypnosis to reformulate the memory structure that served as the foundation of the image of thought. Now in the 21st century we need new apparatti to deal with the psychopathologies created by the social, political, economic and spiritual relations of the information age. According to the Italian political philosopher and media-theorist Franco Berardi psychopathologies are the new dispositifs of sovereignty in moments of Semiocapitalism, in which products of psychic affect are produced to administer people. Berardi considers psychopathologies like attention deficit disorder and depression the results of the over glut of the image world leading to states of permanent attention stress that overwhelm our senses. The "Noologist Handbook" is an invented poetic toolbox with which to resist the conditions of late capitalism. It is part manual and practice to provide the participants with a degree of defense against its provocations and in the end provides a new form of healing.
"The Noologist's Handbook" is a progression of an earlier work by Neidich entitled "In the Mind's I" originally presented at Maison Gregoire, Brussels in 2009. There, Neidich invited other artists to produce imaginary collaborative exhibitions in their mind's eye. No product was produced and the cultural work and its leftovers remained simply as changes occurring in the memory architectures of brain and mind. Neidich argued that the memory architectures of the tertiary economies in which performance and work were becoming indiscernible were the new materialism of the information age and that cognitive capitalism was specifically interested in these events in the brain. As part of his Fulbright Fellowship at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius - Skopje, Macedonia, Neidich took this project one step further. He taught the art students how to be the curator and take on the role of a Noologist, consequently handing over his primary role to a new group of participants in this entire arrangement. However, rather than simply aiding the artist collaborator to produce exhibitions in his/her mind's eye, he asked them to choose one of three political perspectives or personae with which to frame the task: a democrat, an agonist or a despot. What resulted was that each exhibition reflected the political position of the artist/curator and thus the resultant exhibit in the mind's eye of the collaborator was, for instance, restrained and more a reflection of the desires of the curator in the case of the despot and more open and interpretive in the case of the democrat. What became obvious was that the performance was a stand-in for a much more serious encounter, namely the interrelationship between a subject and sovereignty. The performance was metonymic for a similar process in which political institutions affect and sculpt the minds of their subjects in its desire to create homogenous people. In this new iteration at the Emily Harvey Foundation this process will be further delineated and investigated. Neidich will explore a shifting state of roles and positions by selecting participants who rotate from artist to curator, interviewed to interviewer, taking on the cloak of despot, democrat or agonist at different times to highlight the blurred lines within our filtered imagination. The audience will be invited to take part both as participants in the curatorial exchange and as visual recorders, drawing and then exhibiting what they envision in their collective mind's eye.
Warren Neidich is an artist working between Los Angeles and Berlin. He is recipient of the Vilem Flusser Theory Award, Berlin, Germany, 2010 and is a Fulbright Scholar Program Recipient, 2011. His new work Horizon Swell is currently being exhibited at Fons Welter Gallery, Amsterdam.
Susanne Neubauer is an independent curator and art historian based in Zurich and Berlin. From 2002 - 2009 she was a curator for the Museum of Art Lucerne/Switzerland. She published many essays on contemporary art and art of the 70s and is an expert of the work of Paul Thek.
Katerina Llanes is an artist, writer, curator based in New York City. She graduated from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in 2009 with a project called Sessions which brought together over 40 artists to collaboratively build a feminist art school. She is a contributor to DIS Magazine and is currently working alongside artists to produce small and large scale projects.