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 second session will feature a public presentation and conversation with Denise Ferreira da Silva and respondents Rizvana Bradley and Che Gossett. This Session explores the question of speculation as it runs through Silva’s research, which spans considerations of law, science, history, race, globality, and esoteric arts, among other topics.
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.
Rizvana Bradley is Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University. She holds a BA from Williams College and a PhD from Duke University and was previously a Helena Rubinstein Critical Studies Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Bradley has taught courses that have addressed blackness in literature, film, and contemporary art and performance. Her research interests include performance studies, black studies, and aesthetic and political theory. Bradley has participated in the Seminar for Experimental Critical Theory at the University of California, Irvine, and has presented her work at Yale University, UCLA, Brown University, and Dartmouth College. She was the guest editor of a special issue of the journal Women and Performance on hapticality and has published articles in TDR: The Drama Review, Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, and has essays forthcoming in Rhizomes and Black Camera: An International Film Journal. Bradley’s current book project discusses and locates the material history of blackness as central to current debates about community in contemporary continental philosophy, as well as to discourses that take up black ontology, black subjectivity, and black aesthetics.
Che Gossett is an archivist and trans activist who works to excavate queer-of-color, AIDS-activist, and trans archives. They are the recipient of the 2014 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Award from the American Studies Association Women’s Committee, a 2014 research grant from Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the 2014 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies at the City University of New York, and the Martin Duberman Visiting Scholar award from the New York Public Library. Che was a member of the 2013 Archivists and Librarians Delegation to Palestine and recently presented on legacies of black queer solidarity with Palestinian struggle at the Bodies in Public conference at the American University of Beirut. Che was also a presenter at the black liberation workshop at the 2014 National Students for Justice in Palestine conference.
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.
Denise Ferreira da Silva
Denise Ferreira da Silva is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (2007) and Notes Towards the End of Time (2015), and the coeditor, with Paula Chakravartty, of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (2013). She is a member of the Living Commons Editorial Collective and a coeditor of Routledge’s book series “Law and the Postcolonial” and “Indigenous Studies and the Law.” Focusing on violence, her writings excavate the grounds of modern philosophy, science, law, state capital, and justice to expose the workings of raciality and coloniality in the global present. Her recent work also includes written and performed experiments on what she calls “black feminist poethics imaged as a radical ethical-political praxis towards the end of the world as we know it, that is, decolonization.”