re:place 2007 (part2)

The conference’s last day started with the interesting panel on Interdisciplinary Theory in Practice and that one with Christopher Salter‘s stimulating talk entitled ‘Unstable Events: Performative Science, materiality and Machinic practices‘. Summing up the performative as a practice to ‘transform the world in ‘real time’.’
Another highlight was the lecture by Janine Marchessault and Michael Darroch on ‘Anonymous History as Methodology: The Collaborations of Siegfried Giedion, Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, and the Explorations Group (1951-53)‘.
The paper addresses Giedion’s influences on and collaborations with the Explorations Group, based on an interdisciplinary seminar held at the University of Toronto at the beginnings of the 1950s, among whose participants was also the at that time barely know professor McLuhan.

The Cross-Cultural Perspectives panel in the afternoon finally led not only in its papers, but as well in the evolving discussion around the given contributions to the demand that still a wider view is needed.

It was kind of perfectly summed up in the statement that the current state is one where just ‘new stories’ come into view, they develop around and describe ‘new realities’, which desperately demand for ‘new contexts’ .. i.e. wider contexts.

A perfect lecture in this regard was Erkki Huhtamo‘s talk on ‘Intercultural Interfaces: Correcting the pro-Western Bias of Media History‘, which laid out a framework for from the west overlooked or repressed/subdued (as own) developments.

Among other points E.Huhtamo referred to this critical quote by Jack Goody form the book ‘The Theft of History’:


The field of cultural studies, both in its British and its American variant, is chaotic. The base of the latter is virtually exclusively western writings, usually philosophers, often French, who comment upon life without offering much data except their own internal reflections or modern, urban societies. The level of generality of such comments is such that one has no real need of information to enter into the conversation.
(Jack Goody, The Theft of History, 2006)
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