A series of conversations where Can Altay meets with thinkers, artists, curators and designers to discuss the future of cultural production.
28: Paul O'Neill (Part 2)
We are hosting the curator, artist, writer and educator Paul O’Neill. We closed our last episode at a crucial and rather existential moment. This second part of our conversation extends to our small group of audience members. You will hear Paul responding to questions on the educational turn, auto-theory, and variations on how to work with artists.
Ahali Conversations are often recorded with an intimate group of audience members, so if you’d like to be in the loop, and join live sessions, please feel free to get in touch.
27: Paul O'Neill (Part 1)
We are hosting the curator, artist, writer and educator Paul O’Neill. Paul is someone who is very attentive and elaborate in figuring out and shaping thought around the curatorial and artistic work. Together, we delve into his take on what publics mean and discuss the importance of opening up spaces of contact and sites for ‘working together’.
We also scrutinize the state of art institutions today and their future, along with hearing his take on the convergence of exhibition-making and programming. Along with insights on establishing and running an institution or an art space today.
26: Raqs Media Collective
Our guests are the legendary Raqs Media Collective, formed in New Delhi in 1992, by Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. I like to call them intellectuals-at-large, but their production ranges from artistic to curatorial projects, from theoretical to educational works. The collective also co-founded Sarai—the inter-disciplinary and incubatory space at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
You’ll hear their unique blend of thinking on technologies and media, from surveillance to bureaucratic interfaces as deeply embedded in societal dynamics; and we’ll get to explore together how they have been producing knowledge as artists. The tidal changes in image cultures; how digital technologies are intertwined with urban infrastructures; how the poetic is also the political; and ultimately the significance of languages are a few of the things that are lingering in my mind and provoking further thoughts after this conversation.
25: Keller Easterling
In this episode, we are in conversation with the architect, writer, and Professor of Architecture at Yale, Keller Easterling. Her books include Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014); Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005); and her latest Medium Design: Knowing How to Work on the World, to which we dedicate special attention to in this episode.
I think Easterling’s project boils down to how architecture and design can actually intervene and/or contribute to the cultural change around social justice and ecological crises; through thinking about, and ‘knowing-how’ to work the systems at play. So designing within interplay; rather than the total compliance and submission on behalf of the architectural profession is what she seeks. She redirects our attention to the spatial dimension of how things are arranged, be it politically, financially, or socially.
24: Design Studio for Social Intervention
Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI), is a Boston-based “artistic research and development outfit” that operates in response to social justice and its literal and figurative resonations in public space.
Founded by Kenneth Bailey and Lori Lobenstine in 2006, DS4SI invites activists, artists, academics, designers, dreamers, tricksters, organizations, and foundations to respond to critical and urgent social problems in a light and playful manner. Through these encounters, DS4SI questions the impacts of change in social relationships that may affect everyday life and intervenes in the ways of practicing it. In their words, they are “dedicated to changing how social justice is imagined, developed and deployed in the U.S.A”.
23: Marina Otero Verzier
Marina Otero Verzier is an architect, researcher and curator, who is also the current Head of the MA in Social Design program at Design Academy Eindhoven. Until very recently, she was the the director of research at the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. Her work touches on many socio-political and environmental dimensions of design and cultural production; as well as the emergence of new paradigms for institutions.
Together with Marina we unpack what designing the social might mean, and we explore the outer reaches of architectural research; both in the political and ecological realms. I think her particular mix of cautious optimism and her introspective openness allow us to reflect on how culture can be put to work, both in everyday life and in the sites of knowledge production, whether it’s the museum, the school, or the archive.
The best podcast on art and cultural production, that dares to go beyond the skin.
The selection of the guests include the household names as well as the people who yet will define the future of artistic and cultural production. It requires attention, not your usual cereal of a podcast. And that’s what makes it great, not just good.