Kategorien Archives: Labor and Transcendence


For Salon Populaire’s second year, we have chosen Labor and Transcendence as topics to constitute the frame for our investigations.

In our neoliberal-capitalist system, economy is the layout for the production, treatment and exploitation of subjectivity. Labor provides us with an identity, a role and a place in society as entrepreneurs of the self. At the same time, we are assigned a mere functional position in the political, economic and social setup of the state. Amongst creative workers in particular, though much has been done to problematize the notion of labor, alternative scenarios of contemporary subjectivization are not in sight. Our strategy, therefore, is twofold: we intend to single out meaning, and successful moments in/of labor, in order to emphasize the intensity it brings us, against all odds. Second, we look for other structures, which could provide social relations, possibly creating a community, beyond the boundaries of all-engulfing capitalism. We might have to go all the way back to the secularized remnants of our Christian cultural heritage for this.

The common denominator of religious and philosophical understandings of transcendence is the reference to a reality that exceeds what is perceivable by the senses. Thus the understanding of the sensual transcends its perception towards a third thing that needs to be determined in its relation to the perceivable. This provision has a first perspective in the structure of being, i.e. an ontological one, and a second perspective in the structure of human cognition, thus addressing an epistemological dimension.

Transcendence is an indicator for an opening, or a void in our rationalized understanding of and relation to the world, the search for meaning or truth, or even the possibilities of cognition. We aim to produce different approaches to transcendence that can link rationale with strategies of cognition which surpass the sensible.

#7 – Redefining Power 28.03.2012 at 8 pm

Perspectives on power through feminist thought. Organized by Amber Hickey and Lindsey Sharman, ZhdK, Zürich.

What is power today? 

Power is…
“Controlling access” / “Being able to define something” / “The sex difference” / “A social resource” / “Transcendence over immanence” / “A relation, not a thing” / “A potentiality, not an actuality” / “Power over others” / “Power over oneself” /”To be able to” /….

Acknowledging the backdrop of The Arab Spring, The Occupy Movement, a renewed interest in feminism, and increasing fluidity of gender definition, this event will aim to find an array of contemporary definitions of power in collaboration with all participants and attendees.

Organized by Amber Hickey and Lindsey Sharman

#6 – Frankenstein, Mensch Maschine 30.11.2011

A side story with Jung + Wenig and Doreet Harten.

Mary Shelley was not yet twenty when she created Frankenstein. Her 1816 tale of mythical dimensions manages to hold us in fascination until today. The basic story of a scientist who seeks to create a man but instead makes a monster contains so many threads and narratives that this short story becomes a concise encyclopedia of what it is that makes us human. It is a horror story with gothic plot, a science fiction and a feminine critique. It is also a text about orientalism and colonial patterns of behavior, and it is also a very funny story. Jung und Wenig took it as an inspiration, an avalanche of images, associations and occult gestures. Doreet Harten dwells in the world of Shelley, and Jung und Wenig try to put order in the myriads of discourses the text and images offer us.

Neuauflage des Grusel-Klassikers, gestaltet vom Berliner Grafikdesign-Duo Jung und Wenig

Ungekürzte englische Originalfassung, dt. Übersetzung von Heinz Widtmann mit 37 farbigen und 58 schwarz-weißen Abbildungen im Offsetdruck Broschur, 292 Seiten, dt./ engl., 28,5×21 cm, Auflage 750. Erschienen 02/2011. ISBN 978-3-941601-43-7

#5 – Heidegger on Disposition and Mood: the Case of Geometry 26.10.2011

An evening by Christos Hadjioannou.

In his magnum opus “Sein und Zeit”, Martin Heidegger wrote that all kinds of understanding, be it understanding of theoretical issues, or practical issues, of concrete as well as abstract notions, is always accompanied and formed by a disposition (mood). Disposition is so fundamental that it constitutes worldly space itself. Because of this relationship between disposition and space, the way we understand disposition reflects on the way we understand what space is. Through disposition we are affected by the world, and we orient ourselves within the world: it constitutes our fundamental “togetherness” with the other beings that surround us. Ultimately, there are two models that will be compared and contrasted: geometrical disposition and existential disposition. The first entails disposition as a relation between points in geometrical space: space becomes a continuum extending between points. The second entails relations that are not mathematical, rather practical. During my talk I will get into some depth analyzing these two views of space and relevant notions such as “direction”, “place”, and “distance”, by also giving concrete examples from our everydayness, which will make the subject matter more accessible.

Christos Hadjioannou is a Cypriot philosopher working on his DPhil on the topic of “Heidegger and Moods”, at the University of Sussex (UK), currently on a research grant at the Freie Universität Berlin.

#4 – The Story of the Wolf Tone 29.10.2011

Augustin Maurs, cello. Ana Teixeira Pinto, wolf.

The wolf tone is an acoustical parasite resulting from the interference of vibrations produced on a certain note on string instruments. This designation itself refers to the “wolf fifth”, a metaphor of the unpleasant rendition of an interval that has been artificially cut off to fit in the Pythagorean system of the “circle of fifth”, on which all western music is based. In reality, a series of Pythagorean fifths does not appear as a closed circle, but as an infinite spiral.

#3 – If You Were There – Lindsay Anderson’s 1985 Film of Wham! In China 12.10.2011

A presentation on curiosity, control and censorship by Kirsteen Macdonald (Glasgow).

In 1985, at a time that he was struggling to get his own films made, British auteur Lindsay Anderson accepted an invitation from the management of Wham! to direct a documentary for their tour as the first western pop group to play in China. In a letter to a friend written in January 1986, Anderson explained that he undertook the Wham! project “in a spirit of curiosity. Curiosity about China and curiosity about the odd confrontation of China and Wham! – and even a certain curiosity, not very great, about the phenomenon of Wham! Itself.”

Inevitably his film was not a pop promo. By focusing the edit on Chinese culture and people rather the glamourising the pop group, Anderson was removed from the project days after the first screening for Wham! and their management. To this date Anderson’s film has never been publicly screened. The rights are held by George Michael and Sony Music, and Michael’s management have halted all permissions issued by Sony for the film to be seen.

Supported by the British Council.

#2 – From the Department of Bad Moods 3: Teenage coffin Songs 21.09.2011

David Levine discusses the the beautiful mortality of the American teenager, with musical assistance from John Von Bergen, Daniel Kingery, Augustin Maurs, Elizabeth Skadden, Victor Timofeev, and Caroline Wolf.

#1 – From the Department of Bad Moods 2: Places 23.03.2011

David Levine addresses the deleterious effects of travel, with musical assistance from Daniel Kingery, Viktor Timofeev and Joe Dilworth.