Boaventura de Sousa Santos
Mathematicians in the first half of the twentieth century constructed Topology as a general theory of space. Intellectuals, artists and writers will be coming to Tate Modern to take part of this project, discussing how they make use of topology in their thinking, writing and making.
Giorgio Agamben, Étienne Balibar, Rosi Braidotti, Drucilla Cornell, Olafur Eliasson, David Harvey, Bruno Latour, Achille Mbembe, Sandro Mezzadra, Ernesto Neto, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Suely Rolnik, Peter Sloterdijk, Shiv Visvanathan and Peter Weibel are among the leading intellectuals, artists and writers who will be coming to Tate Modern as part of the Topology project.
Mathematicians in the first half of the twentieth century constructed Topology as a general theory of space. It initially emerged as an understanding of space in terms of properties of connectedness and invariance under transformation. Within a few years of its inception, psychologists, psychoanalysts, architects, artists, scientists and philosophers had started to use the conceptual language of relationships, intensities and transformations of this new theory outside its original field of mathematics. Limit, boundary, interior, exterior, neighborhood, disconnection and cut were central notions that became ways of describing the fields of forces experienced by individuals. Static ideas of space as a container were replaced by understandings of movement-space, of multiplicity, differentiation and exclusive inclusion that in turn have led to new ideas of power, subjectivity, and creativity.
Topological theory has thus come to serve as a link in a network of disciplines: in each case the multiplicity of space and the formal analysis of its relations has proved illuminating. Few commentators have made explicit the nature of this topological grounding however, and in many ways these mathematical realities have been allowed to fade into the background. The Topology series of events renders explicit what has been lost sight of in this process by inviting contemporary intellectuals, artists and writers to discuss how they make use of topology in their thinking, writing and making.
Curated by Bernard Burgoyne, Marko Daniel, Julian Henriques, Celia Lury, Jean Matthee, Brian Rotman and Fredrik Shetelig.
Topology: Spaces of Transformation: Borders with Étienne Balibar, Sandro Mezzadra and Bernard Burgoyne Saturday 5 November 2011
Topology: Secrets of Space seminars Saturday 12 November 2011
Topology: Embodying Transformation Saturday 19 November – Sunday 20 November 2011
Topology: Spaces of Transformation: Edges of the World Saturday 21 January 2012
Topology: Spaces of Transformation: Continuity/ Infinity, with Olafur Eliasson, Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel Saturday 3 March 2012
Topology: Spaces of Transformation: Contemporary Art as the Space of Liturgy Saturday 31 March 2012
Topology: Spaces of Transformation: Epistemologies of the South: Reinventing Social Emancipation Saturday 28 April 2012
Topology: Spaces of Transformation: The Vast Space-Time of Revolutions Becoming Saturday 12 May 2012
Image: Photo: © Naaman Omar / Bloomberg News
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