University of Seville
International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville
24-25 November 2006
Presentations by Friedrich Kittler, Gema Martín Muñoz, Osfa/José Pérez de Lama, Julian Reid, Pablo de Soto, Ana Valdés, Caleb Waldorf, and Eyal Weizman. Moderated by Jordan Crandall.
This Under Fire event generates multiple perspectives onto war and political violence -- deriving from the fields of political science, sociology, visual art, architecture, and media theory. What emerges is an assemblage of disciplinary approaches to the study of armed conflicts, functioning at the level of both practice and theory, anchored in several key sites of contention -- including Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, and the Strait of Gibraltar.
The conference is divided into two sessions. The first session begins by making the case for a biopolitical understanding of war -- or violence understood in terms of the struggle over the political constitution of life -- and suggests political grounds that must be established for posing anew the problem of "life." Next, it inquires into the (mis)representation of Islamic culture in the West, positioning the role that such representations play in the construction of otherness and the perpetuation of conflicts in the Middle East. And finally, it deconstructs the codes of suspicion, showing how a heightened sense of vigilance, generated by security culture, infiltrates contemporary ways of seeing. The second session inquires into the intersections of combat operations, urban space, and discourse -- delving into the Israeli military's appropriation of poststructuralist theory in urban warfare. Following from this event's geographical specificity in southern Spain, it then presents tactical mappings of the Strait of Gibraltar, positioning the Strait as representative of larger global transformations and exploring the possibilities of counter-reconnaissance. And finally, it looks at the reality of hardware and communications networks, deriving from western military apparatus, provoking understandings of military operations in terms of their media-technological infrastructures.
Under Fire is an ongoing art and research project that delves into the structural, symbolic, and affective dimensions of armed conflicts. This instantiation of Under Fire is sponsored by the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville and the University of Seville. For further information please see http://underfire.eyebeam.org.