Yamilet Ramírez

PublisherFall Semester2016
We have been forced to live together. We have been kindly invited to be with one another, side by side, mutually observing each other. I think we know the motives too, and recognize the consequences which have derived from forcing this collective, planetary understanding of what we are expected to be. Even so, we haven`t lost the desire to live together. To bring about this obligation, modernity led the individual to be engaged with his own identity and his own consciousness, and simultaneously, with a control of foreign powers. What we are looking at here, isn’t just the decisive disengagement with these forms ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
1. BODY The fact that what we call life does not include dead material can’t conceal the fact that it proliferates within the living, as if death mushroomed within life, which led Friedrich Kittler to speak of the “fathomless depths of the body.” Agamben is right—he riffs here on a statement from Derrida’s Spectres de Marx—that the question of life—What is life?— plunges the thinking of “our culture” (that is, western culture) at least into the greatest of dif culties. Maybe this question is exemplary of the aporetic condition of all thought that abandons empirical description as well as formal logical deduction in order to turn ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
Prelude What does it mean to be a “little off”? To not be lining up with the world in ways you are accustomed to? What kind of thoughts might follow that misalignment? What kind of writing? It’s probably true that we, those of us who are fortunate enough to get to think in public, want to present ourselves as competent…convincing even…Maybe contribute something that makes us stand out from the thicket of thoughts and aesthetic nuance. But surely thoughts that are “a little off” must have merit of some sort, seeing as many of us whether we want to or not embody ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
The drawings in this publication refer to the written essays by visiting and online contributors of Fall Semester 2016, the second iteration of public lectures and open forums. The pamphlets are available during the event and posted online for further free access at http://www.fallsemester.org Lisa Marie Blackman: “Loving The Alien”, (p. 2, 3, 5) Allison Schifani and David Lyttle: “Magick, Capital, Identity: Embodied Ritual and Technologies of the Resistant Self (Or: how we stopped worrying and learned to love the occult).” (p.4,6) Dora García: “The Right to be Unhappy”, (p. 7, 33) Victoria Ivanova: “On the Ineffable Allure of Achieving Systemic Agency”, (p. 8) Ramón Salas ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
Prologue to the Exhibition Upon entering the exhibition—any imagined example will suf ce for the time being—we enter on the loaded grounds of the exhibition space: a cultural eld of inter-human energy exchange. A space charged with relations between different actors—artists, curators, staff members, and visitors, among others—each with their different aims, ambitions and intentionalities, and what we might call objects of interrogation, reflection and interaction that have been brought forward and put on display. As an exhibition visitor, we move around in white spaces, roam through repurposed warehouses and grey hangars, and wander in and out of black boxes to have a lived experience ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
I. Free Will As Sci-Fi predictions are realized, and we begin to countenance serving under, living with – and even loving – robots, discussion turns to what constitutes “artificial intelligence” and to what extent we are sentient beings or just programmed automatons ourselves. Though we are now completely reliant on machines and have wrought a world where we are helpless without them, we still feel superior to them in that we have “free will”; Meanwhile, the computers, appliances, and gadgets upon which we depend are programmed by those of our creed (i.e. humans). “Free will” would be defined as the ability to choose; what ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
1. Artworks and situations Pierre Huyghe, Untilled, 2012 Pierre Huyghe’s contribution to dOCUMENTA (13) required some effort in order to be discovered at all. It was not just that Huyghe had chosen a decidedly decentered exhibition site: a composting facility located in the Aue-Park. Even after one had located the site, it was anything but obvious that it was art. One found oneself in a kind of overgrown lot: a pile of compost, sprouting growth, through which a walkway led—at times really just a beaten path, with algae- covered puddles. The hills were overgrown with plants and weeds. Off to one side, paving slabs ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
I have a seventeen-month-old son. Since becoming a mother, my day in Shanghai, where we are based, will start with turning on a computer, checking Shanghai’s air quality index and then decide how to continue a day with my kid. On a regular day, the air quality pollution index in Shanghai is usually around 150 PM 2.5 which is not recommended for taking such a small kid outdoors. Since the end of July this year air quality has been noticeably better so that we can actually see the clouds in the sky when we look out of a window. Maybe this ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
“no more sensations; nothing but memories” E.M. Cioran I make copies on the English Department xerox machine and pass them out to my students. “Civil Disobedience” by Thoreau, “Self-Reliance” by Emerson. Of course, the students can nd the same texts on the internet, but I prefer not to allow cellphones in class. I prefer not to. I can see you texting in the back of the room, under your desk, while pretending to pay attention, and sometimes, even though it says “cellphones are forbidden during class” on the syllabus, you take out your phone, right in front of me, in broad daylight, so ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
Esposito points out, “for life to remain as such, it must submit itself to an alien force that, if not entirely hostile, at least inhibits its development” (Esposito 2011: 8) In this essay I will explore the ambivalent position of the alien within the context of one of the themes for this workshop: “Intimacy with the Cosmos”, in order to re ect upon the question of whether there is a place for a non-body politic? The theme invites reflection on scales beyond the grasp of the human – the micro and the macro and the proliferation thereof considered not as a ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
“Magick is a culture.” So writes Alan Chapman in his Advanced Magick for Beginners. What follows is an effort to take such a claim seriously, and to imagine what the political affordances of magick might be, and what kinds of things those magicians already among us might be doing. The contemporary practice of magick (of the Western esoteric tradition) may be, we will argue, a creative technology of the self. It can work to counter the mandates of the reigning biopolitical regime, of capital’s investment in identity and identity politics, even as some of magick’s instantiations mirror certain instrumental tendencies of capital. ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
I begin writing in response to a question I am asked: whether the “self” of the artist can be emancipatory. My first instinct is to assert that we need to dispel any idea of “the self of the artist” entirely. As it is well known, every new generation of artists is faced with the task of creating work that is uncommodifiable, knowing that it will not remain so for long. It is the song, the dance, the lie of the avant-garde. To believe that the ‘self of the artist’ exists through opposition or exception is a fallacy. To believe that the ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
1. Identity. Any inquiry into identity must start at the beginning and continue until the end. Because identity is a contemporary issue, yet as ancient as thought itself, given that we can only (attempt to) know that which is the same as oneself. This logical evidence is based on an ontological fundamental: since everything changes and is perishable we think (and think ourselves obliged to believe) that something permanent must exist. Metaphysics has been dedicated from its beginnings to think this fundamental, that which gives (identical) being to things that appear. Its rst approach was so radical as to be innocuous: for Parmenides, what we see ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
“Psychotropification” is a portmanteau word made of “Psyche” – the human soul, mind or spirit – and tropism: the turning of all or part of an organism in a particular direction in response to an external stimulus. Therefore, the portmanteau word Psychotropification refers to the ways we are modeling our soul, by means of external stimuli. These external stimuli are many, but mostly we are speaking here of psychiatric medications, although not only. A psychiatric medication is a licensed (legal) psychoactive drug taken to exert an effect on the chemical makeup of the brain and nervous system. Since the mid-20th century, such medications have been ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
Psychoanalysis has always traded on the gures of identity and interior depth. Even when these two were placed at odds with one another they were still bound in a tight dialectic. I have become more and more wary, or weary, of both these cures and their embrace. Is there a way of thinking the subject without identity, is there a way of thinking about space and the mind without re-evoking, yet again, the trope of what is ‘on the inside’? These questions seem to run head rst into the wall of epistemological  questions concerning what can be known, not simply, about identity ...
PublisherFall Semester2016
The end is not an apocalypse, but a simple split. Subject and object have set off on different trajectories hoping that they won’t see each other ever again. While the object declares its independence, the subject looks for a new body, for new meanings, but then she chokes on her old self-image, her usual words: self, other, other than oneself, self-care. Although she has been dreaming of autonomy and self-detachment, she finds it hard to digest the fact that she has been left to herself. She longs for a new relationship with the object. She feels a deep connection with ...

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