What are the Politics of Material Agentiality?

Workshop organized by Kristina Pia Hofer, Eva Kernbauer and Marietta Kesting

The recent ‘material turn’ has sparked lively debates on how to integrate matter-oriented perspectives with feminist/queer film and media criticism that focuses on the politics of representation. While these latter frameworks readily provide instruments of political critique, it is not yet clear how exactly material agentiality figures in the world of emancipatory engagement, which is – in large parts – a world of social structures, human agency, language-driven discourses and symbolic exchange.
In this workshop we will explicitly ask for the emancipatory potential of material agentiality: What exactly can an artwork’s material dimensions do, which dynamics can they set off? How are the radically open futurities – that much of material criticism suggests as its prime potential – to be thought together with tenacious normativities and inequalities? We will discuss these questions for moments in film and video that make historicity perceptible with obsolete technologies and media formats.

Friday, April 22nd 2016


Introduction: A Matter of Historicity
Eva Kernbauer, Marietta Kesting

Q & A:
New Materialism, Old Media
Kristina Pia Hofer and Axel Stockburger

The Museum of Trance

Henrike Naumann

Archival Romances: Found, Compressed, and Loved Again

Laura Marks

Saturday, April 23rd 2016

Dead Technologies and the Politics of Temporality

Andy Birtwistle

Concluding panel with all participants

Moderation: Marietta Kesting

With Andy Birtwistle (Canterbury Christ Church University), Henrike Naumann (Artist, Berlin), Laura Marks (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver), Axel Stockburger (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna) as well as Kristina Pia Hofer, Eva Kernbauer and Marietta Kesting (all University of Applied Arts Vienna).

Ws1 Dsc 0842 Ws1 Dsc 0784 Ws1 Dsc 0786 Ws1 Dsc 0756
Freitag, 22. April 2016

14–19 Uhr

Samstag, 23. April 2016

10–12:30 Uhr


Franz-Josefs-Kai 3
1010 Wien

Workshop 1

FWF-Einzelprojekt P 27877-G26: A Matter of Historicity – Material Practices in Audiovisual Art