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BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and freethought present Spectral Infrastructure

November 12–13, 2022

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst presents Spectral Infrastructure, a weekend of presentations, conversations, and listening sessions convened by freethought (Adrian Heathfield, Massimiliano Mollona, Louis Moreno, Irit Rogoff, and Nora Sternfeld) with guests James Clifford, DJ Lynnée Denise, Edward GeorgePaul Rekret, and Dhanveer Singh Brar.

How did we come to think that infrastructures, the treasured elements of material growth, could provide for our needs and sustain us? Freethought Collective casts doubt on the idea that what is required can be known and accomplished by putting forth the concept of “spectral infrastructure”—a haunting presence inside a structural organism. Instead, “spectral infrastructure” alludes to the obscured, unrecognized textures and registers that reside in ordinary structures, enabling us to infuse the essential with the enticing.By using concepts such as “the unarchivable” and “(im)possible realism,” navigating “airs” that sustain both resonance and remnants, and collectively exploring music that “unhouses” the claims to property and individual accumulation, freethought seeks to reveal the spectral within the perceptible in a series of presentations, conversations, and listening sessions—they attempt to agitate the belief that everything eventually delivers.

The Unhoused Music section of this gathering is convened in collaboration with the 2022 Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht. Departing from Cedric J. Robinson’s proposition that “. . . there is indeed a place where we have to impose and deposit all of ourselves. We know that race is inadequate, we know that gender is inadequate but just because they are inadequate does not mean there is not indeed a location for all of us.” Unhoused Music explores the connection between the sound of music and a sense of place, which is occasionally so obvious that it almost seems natural. According to the associations between jazz and New Orleans, dub with Kingston, house with Chicago, and techno with Detroit, for instance, music may be another form of urbanism—a distinct way in which the city inhabits us. But how can we reconcile that with the concept that, if Black music is, as writer Fumi Okiji claims, a specific type of housing, it is also a haven for the poor and a history of criticism whose radicalism stems from the realization that home ownership was always a trap? Unhoused Music examines the ongoing work of Black music and how it temporally rearranges the collective desire for space, place, home, and land—producing a very different sense of social ecology, urban planning, and historical time—across a series of three conversations and various musical selections.

The whole schedule, including the Unhoused Music sessions and BAK’s current exhibition The Hauntologists, is accessible with a day pass.

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Pauwstraat 13a
3512 TG Utrecht
The Netherlands

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