University of Disasters

Curated by Matthew Grumbach
Bortolami
520 W 20th Street, New York
March 30 – April 22, 2017
Opening Reception: April 4, 2017, 6-8pm

Richard Aldrich, Robert Bordo, Daniel Buren, Tom Burr Simon Denny, Piero Golia, Ann Veronica Janssens, Barbara Kasten Jutta Koether, Slava Mogutin, Luigi Ontani, Anna Ostoya Claudio Parmiggiani, Daniel Pflumm, Jack Pierson, Sara Grace Powell Mimmo Rotella, Ben Schumacher, Jim Shaw, Eric Wesley

“There is no end. Some may take this assertion as a source of endless hope; others may take it as a source of endless despair. Both would be on the wrong path.” – Franco “Bifo” Berardi1 Efforts to thwart campaigns of deception and wrest reality from the spectacle will stumble if, in haste, data, statistics, figures, and other indicators of evidence-based practices are touted as our only bulwarks. As appeals for rationality fail to redirect the passions that constitute democratic politics and make us amenable to disinformation, the inauguration of the University of Disasters can no longer wait.

The philosopher and cultural theorist Paul Virilio describes the University of Disasters as a global convocation to commence “a collective reflection on limits.”2 Like other institutions of higher learning, Virilio confers the university with a motto: mea culpa. 3 This means it is haunted by unrealized futures. Therefore, the first action is to exorcise the hubris of scientific knowledge, which, under the banner of progress, culminated in the great catastrophes of modernity. Then comes the task of revitalizing modes of thought that resist militarization. At this crucial juncture, reflection becomes generative and bypasses the pessimism of neoreactionary prophesying.

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