Epistemologies of the Project

Date: Tuesday 24 February 2009
Time: 00:00
Running time: 72 mins
Georges Perec spends three days observing the Place Saint-Sulpice. Sophie Calle takes a job as a chambermaid and photographs possessions left lying around in hotel rooms. Jacques Rda retraces the Paris meridian on foot. Susan Hiller makes a photographic inventory of all German street-names relating to the Jewish past. Iain Sinclair walks round the M25. What is a project? Why does so much contemporary work in the visual and other arts involve setting up projects? What kinds of knowledge can projects provide? In many cases projects involve self-programming, making up a seemingly arbitrary set of rules, and carrying out a pre-ordained set of actions. How does this suspension of agency facilitate ways of encountering and registering ambient spaces? Michael Sheringham is Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls. He has been Pajus Distinguished Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley, and Professeur invit at several French institutions including the Collge de France. He has written widely on Andr Breton, Surrealism, modern and contemporary French poetry and fiction. His books include French Autobiography: Devices and Desires, Parisian Fields (with J Gratton) and The Art of the Project. He is currently writing a book on the poetics of the archive.

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