[artinfo] "Discussions about Politics and Design", Ze Dos Bois (Lisbon) September, 20-21, 2007.

Ferenc Grof ferenc.grof at gmail.com
Mon Sep 17 21:25:21 CEST 2007

Discussions about Politics and Design

Ze Dos Bois, Lisbon, September, 20-21, 2007.

Conferences on the occasion of the finissage of Société Réaliste's
Transitioners exhibition.

Participants: Eric Alliez (Paris), Vicken Cheterian (Geneva), Cosmin
Costinas (Vienna), Jose Neves (Lisbon) and Olivier Schefer (Paris).

Ze Dos Bois is currently presenting the exhibition Transitioners, a
project by the Paris-based artistic cooperative, Societe Realiste.
Transitioners is a trend design agency specialized in political
transitions. Transposing the principles of prospective design,
generally used by "fashion trend agencies", to the field of politics,
Societe Realiste questions the revolution (transition?) as a central
category for the contemporary western society. Transitioners surveys
the mutations of the revolution as a form. How a "democratic
transition" can be produced? What is the role of design in the
permanent conversion of politics into mythology? How the effect of an
event on people can be transformed into a controlled affect?

On the occasion of the exhibition's finissage, Ze Dos Bois and Societe
Realiste presents a conferences and debates program, entitled
"Discussões a propósito de política e design".

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2007, 7pm.

By Societe Realiste

Société Réaliste will introduce the participants of these discussions
and reformulate some key points of the Transitioners project, from its
genesis to its main aesthetical and political perspectives. Some
topics to be discuss during the two-days conference will be
synthetized, from the problematics of an artistic science to an
experimental approach of design, from the necessity of understanding
the main integration strategies of Late Capitalism politics to some
linkage between different chapters of the recent history of political

By Eric Alliez

(In French) « The most important scientific mind of the 19th century,
more than Cezanne, was Seurat, that died at the age of 32." This
specific affinity felt by Duchamp for Seurat will be the center of
this presentation. Another important question will be the Seurat's
contradictory heritage, especially in the confrontation between
Matisse and Duchamp. In Modern art, there is this point that is not
related to pictural Modernism but on the contrary, through forces and
forms, to an archeology of the contemporary, of which Matisse and
Duchamp are precisely the two fundamental paradigms.

Eric Alliez is a philosopher, professor at Middlesex University,
London, since 2004. Scientific director and editor of the complete
works of Gabriel Tarde (Empêcheurs de penser en rond/Le Seuil, Paris)
and Gilles Deleuze, Immanence et vie (with Danielle Cohen-Levinas,
Françoise Proust, Lucien Vinciguerra, PUF, Paris, 2006), creator and
co-editor of the review Multitudes. His most recent books are La
Pensée-Matisse (with Jean-Claude Bonne, Le Passage, Paris, 2005) and
L'Œil-Cerveau (with Jean-Clet Martin, Vrin, Paris, 2007).

By Jose Neves

The representation of the communist militant is the result of a one
century-long creative work. In Portugal, this process has been
accentuated in the end of the 30s and has been strengthen by the
recognition of PCP, at the beginning of the 40s. This communication
strategy has been the occasion of melting various sensibilities that
formed the communist idea of the revolution. While analyzing the
discurses of communist intellectuals - and more particularly
historians' ones - we will see how two main understanding, the
vanguard one and the common one, have created a productive tension,
now possible to encounter in the writings of authors like Toni Negri
and John Holloway.

José Neves is an historian. Currently finishing a thesis about
Communism and Nationalism in 20th Century Portugal at ISCTE, he has
recently coordinated the collective book Da Gaveta para Fora - Ensaios
sobre Marxistas (Afrontamento, 2006).

By Cosmin Costinas

The autumn of 1989 was the spectacular moment needed by the already
unleashed liberal machine to proclaim a grand finale before entering
the age of unshattered expansion and disbelief in any possibility of
social change. The almost ritualistic and choreographed nature of that
autumn was nowhere more striking than in the case of the Romanian
revolution. The radical proclamation of the end of a political
construction employed both a highly symbolic scenario of "the
revolution" haunting the modern European imagery (with the occupation
of the public space, where the public space is understood as streets
and central squares, the storming of a palace climaxing in a
regicide), as well as a scenario of a media-generated reality. The act
of the king leaving his palace was doubled by an equally significant
moment, that of a contested and confused Ceausescu at the balcony of
his palace, failing to grasp the codes of the "live history", exposing
himself as the product of a pre-media regime of reality and allowing a
media story to take over. But the dozens of hours of tape that
constitute the Romanian revolution have also acquired an uncanny
status of a founding mythology, random gestures and spontaneous
phrases becoming projected as the ultimate references for the Romanian
second republic.

Cosmin Costinas is a writer and freelance curator, external editor of
the reviews Idea Arts + Society e Version, and consultant for visual
arts at the Romanian state television. His most recent projects
include Textground (Prague, 2004) and Laicitate dupa Complicitate
(Bucharest, 2005). He is currently working on a book about Romanian
contemporary art of the 21st century (with Mihnea Mircan) and he is
part of the editorial team of the Documenta 12 Magazines project in

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007, 7pm.

By Vicken Cheterian

"Color Revolutions" raised a strong hope. They turned out to be a
deception. All of them had their specific history, their own
biographies. The youth went to protest for different reasons, to reach
distinct objectives. What did the youth in Serbia want in 2000? In
2003 Georgia? In 2004 Ukraine and in 2005 Kyrgyzstan? What did "they"
promit them? After some years, are these countries more democratic?
Were they the beginning or the end of non-violent pro-democratic
westernized revolutions? Are the jihadists the revolutionaries of the
21st century? Is the revolution a solution for the problems of our
societies, in the East, in the West?

Vicken Cheterian is a journalist, specialized in international
politics. Born in Lebanon, he has covered conflicts in the Middle
East, then in Caucasus and Central Asia. Currently living in Geneva,
he is working for Cimera, a non-for-profit organization, and he is a
frequent collaborator of Le Monde Diplomatique, Paris.

By Olivier Schefer

We'll try to see how and why color seems to be the very expression of
the artistic revolution of the modernism. This lecture will endeavour
also to reflect on the self-construction of the modernism, which
creates its own mythology through colors. Following aspects will be
studied : the quest of autonomy, the spiritual dimension of colors,
the exhibition as artwork.

Olivier Schefer is professor of aesthetic, philosophy and fine art at
the University of Paris I Sorbonne. He works on the romantic period
and its modern influences. Latest publications : Anish Kapoor
catalog's (Svayambh, éditions Fage, Paris, 2007), Les corps du retour
(Zombies), in Fresh Theorie (éd. Léo Scheer, Paris, 2006), Résonances
du romantisme (éd. La Lettre volée, Bruxelles, 2005).

By Societe Realiste

To conclude the two-days public discussion, Societe Realiste will try
to summarize some of the main points debated between the participants,
by linking modernist stakes of the colour (Alliez, Schefer), examples
of political transitions (Cheterian, Costinas, Neves) and the core
problematics of the Transitioners project. Then, Societe Realiste will
open the conversation on a critical hagiography of some stakes of the
Revolution Mythology by using several examples such as the ones of
Saint Thomas More or Olinde Rodrigues.

Societe Realiste is a Paris-based artistic cooperative created by
Ferenc Grof and Jean-Baptiste Naudy, that manages the development of
several research and economical structures such as a laboratory for
the study of urban signs (IGM), an immigration agency (EU Green Card
Lottery), a trend design bureau specialized in political transitions
(Transitioners), an administration dedicated to the politics of the
space (Ministere de l'Architecture), a legislative consulting firm,
expert in competitive and sustainable lawmaking (Cabinet Societe
Realiste Conseil), a counter-biennial (Manifesta 6.1), a company
designing marketing models for the contemporary art field (PONZI'S),
or a collective finance fund for individual projects (OTC).

More info: www.zedosbois.org / zdb at zedosbois.org
With the support of Instituto Franco-Português; Chama Vermelha;
Instituto das Artes.

SOCIETE REALISTE ----------------
Ferenc Gróf / Jean-Baptiste Naudy
intelligence at societerealiste.net

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