Contested Tongues presented by Class of ’16

The participants of Studium Witte de With’s Class of ’16 are pleased to invite you to Contested Tongues, an event with contributions by Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens and An Mertens, Manetta Berends and Gijs de Heij (Algolit, Constant).

The event responds to the exhibition Para|Fictions: Foreword, in which Berlin-based artists Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff explore the linguistic and conceptual framework of start-ups. Through the daily fictional report of entrepreneurial experiences, the artists research the language of start-ups, composed of words and notions such as community, participation, and abstract space. What is the relationship between artistic and entrepreneurial language? How does language operate in both realms? Can we deconstruct this heavily coded and quantified language?

Contested Tongues seeks to address and expose the over-coded language used in the corporate world, drawing parallels to similar language patterns found in artistic fields. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens, Head of Humanities and Economics & Business at Erasmus University College, reflects on language usage within the corporate world, unpacking linguistic tropes and revealing the frames within which they operate, based on her Ph.D. thesis Contested Communication. A critical analysis of central bank speech. An Mertens, artistic researcher of artist-run organization Constant, presents a performance-lecture together with artist designers and members of Algolit, Manetta Berends and Gijs de Heij. Algolit – a workgroup around illiterature, operating on and beyond literature, free code and text – will be the starting point. In parallel, Mertens zeros in on the textuality of language, re-appropriating sets of codes active in Para|Fictions: Foreword, attempting to expose and question mechanisms of creating and constructing collective lived fantasies.

Witte de With Class of ’16

Studium Witte de With Class of ’16 is a peer-led education initiative of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. Each year a select group of students from partner institutions collaboratively explore art and art education at the intersection of the professional field and higher education curriculums. The participants form a co-programming team by and for students,to explore and map the cultural and political ecology of our time. Alongside the public events of Class of ’16, a dedicated research blog has been founded which will track the development of Class of ’16 public programming:

Class of ’16: Lila Athanasiadou (TU Delft), Lauren Brand (Willem de Kooning Academy), Angelica Falkeling (Piet Zwart Institute), Rosa de Graaf (Leiden University), Luca Menesi (Piet Zwart Institute), Jan Siebold (Erasmus University College), Chloë Neeleman (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Dimitris Poteas (University of Amsterdam), Clarisse Russel (Erasmus University), and Natasha Taylor (KABK Den Haag).

Studium Witte de With

Class of ‘16 is part of Studium Witte de With, the higher education platform for art and theory by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. Studium Witte de With serves as a catalyst bridging various fields of knowledge across higher education. It presents lectures, debates, workshops, and other programming in collaboration with partner institutes, to root firmly the programme in the curriculums of Academies and Universities.


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