Mexico City Workshop
In the past few decades, the very conception and nature of work have transformed, as we have seen dramatic shifts from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge and information-based one, from massification to niche marketization, from laboring to the “man of enterprise,” and so from industry to creative industries, from working for other, including government, more and more to working for oneself. We live today in a critical condition, if differentially, but still relationally and interactively across the “global South” and “North.” Work remains key both to comprehending and contesting the debilitating and constraining conditions that confront larger and larger proportions of the planet’s population. Committed to understanding the changing conceptions of the human – its meanings, values, and significance – the humanities are now challenged to make sense of these dramatic transformations in how work is viewed, approached, taken up, and in some instances rejected.

It is against the backdrop of this socio-intellectual framing and the associated challenges that the Mexico City Workshop on Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work, an initiative of the UC Humanities Network in conjunction with Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC, from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, is being conceived. The frame of this workshop is the exhibition of Harun Farocki Vision. Production. Oppression and his project with Antje Ehmann, Labor in a Single Shot that currently is at MUAC. Bringing together artists and scholars from across Latin America, Europe, and the United States, the workshop will examine these issues over the course of three days through moderated discussions, artist video screenings, and site visits to key point of artistic interest in the city.

Full Workshop Program

Natalia Almada

Natalia Almada was the recipient of the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award for her film El General, and her most recent film El Velador premiered at New Directors/New Films and the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. her previous credits include All Water has a Perfect Memory, an experimental short film that received international recognition, and Al Otro Lado, her award-winning debut feature documentary about immigration, drug trafficking and corrido music. Almada’s films have screened at Documenta13, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, and the 2008 Whitney Biennial. All three-feature documentaries have broadcast on the award-winning series POV. Almada has received the MacArthur, Guggenheim, USA Artists, Alpert and MacDowell fellowships. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island school of Design and currently lives in Mexico City.

Benjamin Arditi

Benjamin Arditi is Professor of Politics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. His latest book is Politics on the Edges of Liberalism: Difference, Populism, Revolution, Agitation (Edinburgh, 2007) and he co-edits Taking on the Political, a book series on Continental political though published by Edinburgh University Press. His recent work focuses on post-liberal politics, post-hegemony, and viral connectivity.

José Luis Barrios

José Luis Barrios is a professor and researcher at the Philosophy Department of the Universidad Iberoamericana and Professor at the Philosopy and Literature Department, at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. he is also an academic adviser at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC, and for the Laboratorio Arte-Almeda and Fundación Cultural Televisa. He has curated exhibitions for the Museo Nacional de Arte and the MUAC, and was curator for Mexico’s Pavilion at the 54 Venice Biennial with the exhibition Cuadrado rojo, imposible rosa from artist Melanie Smith (2011). His publications include the book El cuerpo disuelto. Lo colosal y lo monstruoso (2009).

Kelly Anne Brown

Kelly Anne Brown is the Research Programs Manager at the UC Humanities Research Institute. With a Ph.D. in Literature from UC Santa Cruz, Kelly’s training is in modernist and avant-garde literature and art from between the two world wars.  She has taught a wide variety of interdisciplinary classes at the university on topics that range from modernism to dance to conceptions of justice. She has also taught pedagogy to Literature graduate students. In addition to a background in academia, Kelly has worked in public policy and program administration for children and family programs at the city, county, and state levels of California government. At UCHRI she manages several statewide programs including the Luce-funded Religions in Diaspora and Global Affairs Initiative, the Mellon-funded Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work Initiative, and a program on California veterans and their families.

Claudia Caro Sullivan

Claudia Caro Sullivan is a developmental psychologist and educator specializing in creating innovative multidisciplinary initiatives for children, teachers, and parents. As part of the Sesame Workshop Education & Research Team in New York City, Claudia worked to produce the pre-school TV show Dragon Tales, as well as national bilingual literacy initiatives. Claudia developed arts-integrated curriculum for the U.S. Department of Education and the Rockefeller Foundation at The Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach. As Assistant Director of the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, University of California, Irvine, Claudia is in charge of development, execution, and evaluation of project activities and events. She holds an Ed.M in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of California, Irvine.

 Helen Chávaz Mac Gregor

Helen Chávaz Mac Gregor holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, with a thesis about the relation between politics and aesthetics. She teaches at the Colegio de Filosofía y Letras and at Postgraduate Program of Art History at the UNAM. She was curator in collaboration with Espectro Roho, (Mariana Botey and Cuauhtémoc Medina) of the exhibition Fetiches críticos, residuos de la economía general at CA2M in Madrid in 2010 and Museo de la Ciudad de México in 2011 and she was part of the curatorial team of Espectografias: Memorias e Historia at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC. Her most recent essays include “Políticas de la aparición: estética y política” ; “Apropósito de Cercanías, una lectura sobre la representación” and “The Revolution Will not be Televised.” From 2009 to 2013, she was academic curaor at MUAC where she developed Campus Expandido’s program, where she is currently advisor.

Rosa-Linda Fregoso

Rosa-Linda Fregoso is an interdisciplinary scholar and writer.  She is the author of six books and edited collections, and has numerous articles published in print and online journals, and edited collections.  Fregoso is currently the Interim Chair and Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and lives in Oakland, California. Her publications cover issues of human rights, feminicide, and gender violence, media and visual arts, race, cultural politics and aesthetics, in the Américas.  As a member of the editorial collective, Fregoso writes for the online news site, The Feminist Wire.

Néstor García Canclini

Néstor García Canclini Distinguished Professor at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, UAM, in Mexico and Emeritus Researcher of the National System of Researchers. He has been a professor at Austin, Duke, Stanford, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Sao Paulo universities. His awards include the Guggenheim scholarship, Premio Casa de las Américas, and the Book Award of Latin American Studies Association for Hybrid Cultures, considered the best book in Latin America in 1992. His most notable publications are Consumers and Citizens, (Minnesota University Press, 2001), Hybrid Cultures, (Minnesota University Press, 1995), Diferentes, desiguales y desconecados: mapas de la inculturalidad (Gedisa, 2006) and The Imagined Globalization (Duke University, forthcoming). He was consultant to the Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos and part of the Scientific Committee for the World Culture Report of UNESCO.

Amanda de la Garza

Amanda de la Garza is a curator, sociologist, and art historian, and currently works as Associate Curator at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC, ed la Universidad Autónoma de México, UAM, with a specialty on the Antropología de la Cultura and a degree course in Sociology. She recently finished a master’s in Art History in the field of Curatorial Studies (UNAM). Her recent curatorial projects include: Colección: el crimen fundacional, Jonas Mekas, Isaac Torres: Memoria y rasreo. Algunos proyectos sobre la ciudad de México ye Harun Farocki: Visión. Producción. Opresión. She has published articles, reviews, and interviews in national and international journals including Flast Art, La Tempestad, Arquine, Letras Libres, Boletín Oficial de Antropología, Revista Diseña, and others about contemporary art, photography, architecture, contemporary dance, urbanism, and literature.

Adolfo Gilly

Adolfo Gilly holds a chair in History and Political Science at Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. He has collaborated in La Jornada newspaper writing about globalization and Zapatista Movement in Chiapas. He has written numerous books about history and politics in Mexico and Latin America. He got his PhD in Latin American Studies from UNAM under the direction of PhD Octavio Rodríguez Araujo in 1994. He has been guest professor in the United States at the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, Columbia University and Yale University. His books include Felipe Ángeles en la Revolución (2013) and Cada quié n morirá por su lado (2000).

David Theo Goldberg

David Theo Goldberg, PhD, is the Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, the University of California system-wide research facility for the human sciences and theoretical research in the arts. He also holds faculty appointments as Professor of Comparative Literature and Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine, and is a Fellow of the UCI Critical Theory Institute. Professor Goldberg’s work ranges over issues of political theory, race and racism, ethics, law and society, critical theory, cultural studies and, increasingly, digital humanities. Together with Cathy Davidson of Duke University, he founded the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) to promote partnerships between the human sciences, arts, social sciences and technology and supercomputing interests for advancing research, teaching and public outreach.

 Renato González Mello

Renato González Mello since 2012 he has been the Director of the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, IIE, a the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. He obtained a BA with honors in History at the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras of the UNAM in 1989 and a PhD with honors in Art History in 1998. H ewa s aresearch at the Museo Carrillo Gil from 1988 to 1989 and Curator for the Carrillo Gil collection from 1989 to 1992. He is currently a full-time researcher at the IIE where has been working since 1992. He has been professor in the undergraduate program in History since 1991, and at the graduate program in Art History since 2000. He was Curator of the exhibition José Clemente Orozco in the United States, and has exhibited at the San Diego Museum of Art, the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, and the Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2002-2003). Other curations include the exhibition Los pinceles de la historia V: la arqueología del régimen, México, Museo nacional de Arte, September 2003-February 2004. He has published José Clemete Orozco (catalogue of the collection of the Instituto Cultural Cabañas), Guadalajara, México, Instituto Cultural Cabañas, 1995.

Herman Gray

Herman Gray is Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz. His research interests include black visual cultures and the production of subjects, jazz archives, knowledge and expertise, sonic identities: the role of music in the production of cultural identity, and media representation and cultural politics. Selected publications include Towards A Sociology of the Trace, co edited with Macarena Gomez Barris (Minnesota Press, 2010), “John Coltrane and the Practice of Freedom” (Oxford UP, 2010), Cultural Moves (UC Press, 2005), and Watching Race: Television and the Sign of Blackness (Minnesota UP, 2004).

Simon Gush

Simon Gush is a South African artist currently based in Johannesburg. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Witwatersrand in 2003. Gush was a laureate at the HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts) in Ghent, Belgium, in 2007/8 and a Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts Fellow in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2011. He has particpate din numerous group exhibitions internationally and locally and has held solo shows at the SMAK (Stedelijk Museum Voor Actuele Kunst) in Ghent (2010), West, Den Haag, the Netherlands (2010), and the Stevenson Galley in Cape Town (2009 & 2010) and Johannesburg (2009 & 2010), and Johannesburg (2009 & 2011). Gush has been included in two international publications surveying young contemporary artists, including The Younger than Jesus Directory published by Laurence King Publishing (2011). Alongside his artistic practice, Gush has collaborated in founding and facilitating a number of alternative temporary exhibition platforms, most notably the parking Gallery in 2006, which was re-launched in 2012.

Cori Hayden

Cori Hayden is  Associate Professor of Anthropology and former Director, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society (CSTMS) at the University of California, Berkeley.  Hayden received her PhD in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2000 and has held postdoctoral research positions at UC San Diego (Center for US-Mexican Studies) and the University of Cambridge (Girton College). She is the author ofWhen Nature Goes Public: The Making and Unmaking of Bioprospecting in Mexico (Princeton University Press, 2003), and has written extensively on knowledge production, intellectual property, and postcolonial science studies, particularly in Latin America.  New work includes a book project currently entitled The Spectacular Generic, which analyzes the contours of a 21st century politics of the pharmaceutical copy with an emphasis on generic medicines in Mexico; and, with Timothy Choy and Anne Walsh, Cloud and Crowd, a UC Humanities Network-funded initiative on market formations, political atmospheres, aesthetic possibilities, and modes of inquiry in the shadow of big data.

Brian Holmes

Brian Holmes is a cultural critic, living in Paris and Chicago, moving restlessly around the world. He holds a doctorate in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of California Berkeley, was the English editor of publications for Documenta X in Kassel, Germany in 1997, a member of the editorial collective of the French journal Multitudes from 2003 to 2008, and has recentlypublished a collection of texts on art and social movements entitled Unleasing the Collective Phantoms: Essays in Reverse Imagineering (New York: Autonomoedia, 2007). His new book, Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the control Society, is forthcoming from WHW/VanAbbemuseum and is avalable in full at brianholmes.wordpress.com. Holmes was awarded the Vilém Flusser Prize for Theory at Transmediale in Berlin in 2009.

Jota Izquierdo

Jota Izquierdo is a Fine Arts graduate from the Facultad San Carlos de la Universidad Polítecnica de Valencia, and lives and works in México City. Since 2006, he has been researching the way Capitalism operates in the informal economy, and has exhibited related projects in the following exhibitions: C.A.C.A.O. Museo del Chopo, Mexico City, 2013; Bienneale Cuvée, OK Centruz, Linz, Austria, 2013; Verntzt, Power Tower Engergie AG, Linz, Austria, 2012; Mitos Oficiales, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2012; Manfesta 9, Contemporary Art Bienniel, Genk, Belgiu, 2012. Solo Exhibitions include: Caiwen Kelai, Galería Proyecto Paralelo, Mexico City, 2013; Región 4, Cable Factory Gallery, Helsinki, Finland, 2011; Véndemela!!!, Casa Vecina, Mexico City, 2009. Collections Include: Museo Unviersitario Arte Contemporeaneo, MUAC, and Fundación Botín del Banco Santander.

Andromache Karanika

Andromache Karanika is Associate Professor of Classics at UC Irvine. Her main research interest is women’s oral tradition and how it is reflected in ancient Greek literature. Most of her research has focused on ancient Greek poetics, folklore, work songs, lamentation, and the way in which cultural elements are refracted through literary discourse. Such a project naturally involves the perspectives of oral history and anthropology. The fascinating relation between women’s daily work and poetry has been her main focus with a perspective that traces labor experience not through the thinking and ideology of the elite but through the lore, rituals, traditions of the practitioners themselves. Ultimately, her work on ancient literature aims at exactly that: to explain and analyze how oral poetics shape ancient poetry. Her forthcoming publication is Voices at Work: Women, Performance and Labor in Ancient Greece (John Hopkins Press, 2014).

Alejandar Labastida

Alejandar Labastida is currently Associate Curator at Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC, where she has worked in the Curatorial Department since 2008. In 2013, she received the ICI/SAHA Research Award and in 2012 she was the winner of the Akbank Sanat International Curiatorial Competition (Istanbul). She was the Assistant Curator of the Mexican Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), and has authored numerous publication on contemporary art. Labastida holds a BA in History from Universidad Iberoamericana and she is currently a Master’s candidate in Art History with a specialization in curatorial studies at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM.

Marta Lamas

Marta Lamas is an anthropologist with training in psychoanalysis, and has participated in the feminist movement since 1971. She is an Ethnologist from the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, ENAH, and holds a master degree in Anthropology Sciences from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, and a PhD in Anthropology from the Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, UNAM. She has given lectures at the ENAH, the Facultad de Ciencias Políticas, UNAM, and is currently chair of Gender and Politics at the Ciencias Políticas Department at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, ITAM. She is also a researcher of the Programa Universitario de Estudios de Género, PUEG. She is part of the PUEG editorial committee and part of Fondo de Cultura Económica editorial committee in anthropology. Since its foundation in 1990, she has been the director of an independent journal of cultural critics and politics called Debate Feminista.

John Logan

John Logan is Professor and Director of Labor and Employment Studies at San Francisco State University, and a senior research associate at the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center. Between 2000-2009, he taught in the School of Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has published widely on U.S. and international and comparative employment relations, and is a regular commentator on labor relations in The Hill, the UK Guardian, Reuters, and other publications. In 2005 received the Labor and Employment Relations Association’s “Outstanding Scholar” award.

John Marx

John Marx is Professor of English and a member of the Humanities Innovation Lab at the University of California, Davis. He is also an Editor of the journal Contemporary Literature. He is at work on a solo book entitled “Mega: How Mass Media Make Contemporary Cities” and is collaborating with University of South Carolina film scholar and archivist Mark Garrett Cooper on a project called “Mass Media and the Humanities Workforce” (instances of this work in progress can be found here: http://humanitiesafterhollywood.org/). To date, his publications have been largely devoted to twentieth-century anglophone fiction, including his most recent book Geopolitics and the Anglophone Novel, 1890-2011 (Cambridge UP, 2012).

 Cuauhtémoc Medina

Cuauhtémoc Medina is currently Chief Curator at Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC. Art critic, curator, and historian, he holds a PhD in History and Theory of Art from the University of Essex in Britain. Since 1993, he has been a full time researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, IIE, a the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. Between 2002 and 2008, Medina was the first Associate Curator of Art Latin American Collections at the Tate Modern. Exhibitions include Manifesta 9 Biennial in Genk, Belgium, titled The Deef of the Modern, in association with Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades; Teresa Margolles’s project, What Else Could We Speak About? (2009), for the Mexican Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale; The Age of Discrepencies, Art and Visual Culture in Mexico 1968-1997 (in collaboration with Olivier Debroise, Pilar García, and Alvaro Vasquez, 2007-2008), Museo Universitario de Ciencia y Arte, MUCA; Francis Alÿs. Diez cuadras alrededor del estudio (2006), Antiguo Palacio de San Ildefonso; and 20 Million Mexicans can’t be Wrong (2002), South London Gallery. In 2012, he became the sixth recipient of the “Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement” of the Menil Foundation.

Daniel Montero

Daniel Montero holds a PhD in Art History from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. He has taught in different universities like UNAM and Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He also has participated as assistant in different curatorial and cultural management projects. Montero has published reviews and articles in journals, such as La Tempestad and Código, and also in catalogues of Colombian, Mexican, and North American contemporary art. His research is focused on understanding the relationship between art, politics, and economy in the context of globalization and neoliberalism. He is the author of the book El cubo de Rubik, arte mexicano en los años 90 (2013).

Yoshua Okón

Yoshua Okón’s work, like a series of near-sociological experiments executed for the camera, blends staged situations, documentation and improvisation and questions habitual perceptions of reality and truth, selfhood and morality. In 2002, he received an MFA from UCLA with a Fulbright scholarship. his solo exhibitions include: Piovra, Kaufmann Repetto, Milan; Poulpe, Mor Chapentier, Paris; Octopus, Cornerhouse, Manchester and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and Sbtitle, Städtishe Kunsthalle, Munich. His group exhibitions include: Antes de la resaca, MUAC, Mexico City; Incongruous, Musée Cantonal des Beux-Arts, Lausanne; The Mole’s Horizon, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Amateurs, CCA Wattis; San Francisco; Laughing in a Foreign Language, Hayward Gallery, London; Adaptive Behavior, New Museum, PS1, MoMA, Ny, and Kunstwerke, Berlin. His work is included in the collections of Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, LACMA, Colección Jumex and MUAC, among others.

Pedro Ortiz-Antoranz

Pedro Ortiz-Antoranz is an academic and visual artist whose research and work focuses on urban spaces and informal economies. He has carried out fieldwork and residencies in Mexico, China, Columbia, and India. In 2008, he published the book Minor Monuments: Mutations in the Urban Landscape, edited by Mexico’s City Fundación del Centro Histórico-Casa Vecina. His artwork has been shown individually and collectively at the Museum of Modern Art of Mexico (MAM); Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros (SAPS); Museo Carillo Gil; Centro de la Imagen; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO), among others. He currently teaches Art and Public Space and Video art at Casa Lamm; Documentary Cinema and Urban Design at Centro de Diseño, Cine y Televisión CENTRO. He has been professor of Political Science at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM, where he teaches Urban Politics and frequently delivers workshops and seminars about informal economies and precarious labor within Mexico City.

Evan Calder Williams

Evan Calder Williams received his doctoral degree (2014) from the Literature Department at University of California Santa Cruz where he wrote a dissertation entitled The Fog of Class War: Cinema, Circulation, and Refusal in Italy’s Creeping ’70s. He is currently a research fellow at the Center for Transformative Media at Parsons The New School and will be teaching MFA students at Al-Quds Bard in Palestine this spring. He was a 2011-2012 Fulbright Doctoral Fellow in Film Studies in Italy.  He is the author of two books, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse and Roman Letters and has written for Film Quarterly, World Picture, The Italianist, Radical Philosophy, Historical Materialism, Mute,The New Inquiry, and La Furia Umana, where he is a corresponding editor. He has presented performance and video work at the Whitney Biennial, the Serpentine Gallery, Artists Space, and Tramway. He is premiering a new film and performance, Violent X, at Images Festival in Toronto this April.

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 27TH

10:00   Welcome and Introductions by David Theo Goldberg

11:45    Coffee Break

12:00   Session 1: The Culture of Work/Cultural Work

15:00   Lunch

16:15    Video Screening: Octopus, 10 min (2011), Yoshua Okón

16:30   Session 2: Technology, Labor, Uprising

18:30   Inauguración Desafío a la estabilidad. Procesos artísticos en México

FRIDAY, MARCH 28TH

10:00   Video Screening: Iseeyou, 13.50 min (2013), Simon Gush

10:15   Session 3: The Transformation of the Political Body

11:45   Coffee Break

12:00   Video Screening: Marco Polo de Tepito, 25 min (2011), Jota Izquierdo

12:30   Session 4: Informal Economies

14:00   Lunch

16:00   Video Screening: The Night Watchman, 72 min (2011), Natalia Almada

17:15   Session 5: Zones & Corridors, Mobility & Migration

18:45   Session 6: Culminating Session/Wrap Up

20:00   Shuttles to dinner, dinner at 20:45

SATURDAY, MARCH 29TH

10:00   Site visit downtown to visit Diego Rivera murals; downtown meanderings