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Speculative Planning Session with Fred Moten and Stefano Harney

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Public Programs

Speculative Planning Session with Fred Moten and Stefano Harney

April 25 2015

Presented as part of “Constantina Zavitsanos: THIS COULD BE US,” a project of the R&D Season: SPECULATION.

Constantina Zavitsanos’s residency “THIS COULD BE US” includes a series of research-driven programs organized around speculative concepts of planning, contingency, and care. Not only is care one of the primary sources of surplus value within capitalism, as feminists have argued, it is also critical to social organization.

The main ideas and questions of this residency are expanded through two “Speculative Planning Sessions.” Organized by Zavitsanos and Reina Gossett, each Session is a public discussion that will consider reproduction, speculation, and social life. The first Session features a public presentation and conversation with Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, plus contributions from teens participating in the New Museum Experimental Study Program.

Finding its resources in the black radical tradition and anti-capitalist thought, philosophy, and aesthetics, Moten and Harney’s collaborative writing has recomposed questions of planning, debt, study, and speculation around social life. Their recent collection of cowritten essays, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study, has operated as a key text for Zavitsanos’s residency at the New Museum.

Click here to watch the event on the New Museum’s Livestream:

Constantina Zavitsanos
Constantina Zavitsanos is an artist who works with sculpture, performance, text, and sound. Her work deals with issues of debt and dependency, and investigates how intimate economies and fugitive relations might transform processes of distribution and exchange. Zavitsanos attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and has exhibited works at Slought Foundation, Philadelphia; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City; Hessel Museum of Art, CSS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; and MoMa P.S.1, Long Island City. She will participate in Arika Episode 7 in Glasgow, Scotland, this spring. Her essay and performance scores, “Other Forms of Conviviality,” written with Park McArthur, were published in Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. Zavitsanos lives in New York and teaches at the New School.

Reina Gossett
Reina Gossett is an artist and trans activist who lives and works in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
She is the current Activist Fellow at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women and has worked as the membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and as the director of the Welfare Organizing Project at Queers for Economic Justice. She holds a BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies from Columbia University. Gossett’s work has been featured in Barnard College’s the Scholar & Feminist Online, as well as in the edited volume Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and The Prison Industrial Complex (2011) and Arika Episode 6 in Glasgow, Scotland. She is currently working with Dean Spade on the project “No One is Disposable: Everyday practices of Prison Abolition” and with Sasha Wortzel on the film Happy Birthday, Marsha!—a story of best friends Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera in the hours before the Stonewall Riots.

Fred Moten
Fred Moten is Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. Through poetics and critical theory he studies the aesthetics of black social life. In 2009 Moten was Critic-in-Residence at “In Transit 09: Resistance of the Object,” the Performing Arts Festival at the House of World Cultures, Berlin; in 2011 he was Visiting Scholar and Artist-in-Residence at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; in 2012 he was the Whitney J. Oates Fellow in the Humanities Council and the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and a writing faculty member at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; and in 2013 he was a guest faculty member in the Summer Writers Program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO. Moten is Cofounder and Co-publisher (with Joseph Donahue) of the small literary press Three Count Pour and author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (2003); Hughson’s Tavern (2008); B. Jenkins (2010); The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study, cowritten by Stefano Harney (2013); The Feel Trio (2014); and The Little Edges (2014). He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of California, Riverside.
Stefano Harney
Stefano Harney is the author, with Fred Moten, of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013). He is an artistic director of the Bergen Assembly Triennial (2016), together with members of the freethought collective. With Tonika Sealy, Harney started the education and art collective Ground Provisions. He teaches in Singapore at Singapore Management University.