For his presentation at LA><ART, curator and writer Joshua Simon will discuss ideas from his book Neomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2013), including notions of the commodity and dialectical materialism, the general intellect, debt, labor, subjectivity, and thingness. Since the so-called dematerialization of currencies and art practices in the late 1960s and early 1970s, we have witnessed a turn to what Simon identifies as an economy of neomaterialism. As a result of this turn, symbols now behave like materials, the focus of labor has shifted from production to consumption, the commodity has become the historical subject, and our role is increasingly bound to absorbing surpluses through debt. For Simon, by reflecting on general intellect as labor and the subjugation of an overqualified generation to the neo-feudal order of debt finance, we see how post-appropriation display strategies such as the unreadymade are introduced, and how by a series of conversions we now face ourselves and things as dividuals.
Joshua Simon is Director and Chief Curator at MoBY – Museums of Bat Yam. He is co-founding editor of Maayan Magazine for literature, poetry and ideas, Maarvon (Western) – New Film Magazine, and The New & Bad Art Magazine, all based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Recent exhibitions include ReCoCo - Life Under Representational Regimes (co-curated with Siri Peyer), and Goods (co-curated with Liz Hagag). Simon was a 2011-2013 fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, New York, and is a PhD candidate at the Curatorial/Knowledge program at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the editor of Solution 196-213: United States of Palestine-Israel (Sternberg Press, 2011), and author of Neomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2013).
Discursive Programs at LA><ART is a multi-faceted education initiative that generates opportunities for publics to engage with artists, curators, and other cultural producers through intimate conversations, group discussions, speaking presentations and readings. This initiative produces one-time projects and ongoing programs that create unique conditions for intellectual exchange and public engagement. In addition to providing an independent curriculum, Discursive Programs serves as an open forum with partnering institutions, to pursue knowledge through artistic interests, curatorial activities, and interdisciplinary reflection on cultural production today.
Artis is an independent nonprofit organization that broadens international awareness and understanding of contemporary art from Israel and provides important resources, programs and platforms for artists and art professionals to develop lasting partnerships with the global art community.