IMAG-E-NATION the political & philosophical arts initiative blog

(re)imagining the political and philosophical in the 21st century

The Political & Philosophical Arts Initiative is interested in the ways in which people interact with and compose political and philosophical ideas and actions through the various, diverse media of technology and the arts. Participants in PAI seek to explore the ways in which poetry, literature, music, photography, performance and other creative arts interleave with the political and philosophical life, either as vehicles for criticism, elaboration, theorization, intervention or activism.
The Imag-e-nation blog is a forum for interested parties to share stories, images or other contributions. Contributors range from students and faculty to artists and musicians to professional and casual commentators. Pieces can be short opinions, re-postings of appropriate materials, or original compositions. In addition, the PAI at LUC will make a selection of relevant or provocative news items each week for (re)publication here.


(Re)visualizing Femininity/Masculinity: Lecture, Screening, and Exhibition on 30 June

Don't miss Dr. Lien Fan Shen's final residency event this coming Monday 30 June!  Leiden's Honours Academy opens its doors to the public from 17:00 - 19:00 for a lecture programme, which includes Lien's documentary-in-progress on Taiwanese female masculinity, and a festive reception to celebrate the opening of her masterclass exhibition.

Find out more and register here.  For a taste of masterclass highlights, click below:

End June 2014 in style and join us on the 30th!


Strange New Worlds: the Alien, the Digital, and the Underground

As Summer 2014 comes into full swing, let's experiment with space in unprecedented ways!  Here is a selection of out-of-the-box adventures to experience, especially if we find ourselves in the UK in the coming months.

Giant trampolines suspended in a mining cavern in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales
open for underground aerial somersaults and a jumpin' good time from 4 July.

Smiljan Radic's pavilion for Serpentine Gallery may look like a space cocoon
but is already a spot of out-of-time refuge for Londoners this summer.

From 3 July, Digital Revolution celebrates the transformation of the arts through digital technology 
in London's Barbican Centre: bring on creative coding, augmented reality, and wearable technologies 
towards maker-culture, digital communities, and an open-source future! 


A Century's Echo: Sights, Sounds, and Stories of WWI

Commemorating the centenary of the start of World War I, various digitally accessible re-visualisations, recollections, and resonance through photography, literature, and music.

Vedran Smailović playing amidst the ruins of Sarajevo's National Library in 1992.

BBC's extensive programming on the Great War picks up pace from 23 June 2014 with its five-part Month of Madness series on Radio 4, covering catalysts in Sarajevo, Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, and London, leading up to 28 June 2014, the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, when Radio 3 broadcasts Live in Concert from the reconstructed Sarajevo Vijećnica.  Meanwhile, listen to a special playlist of classical compositions inspired by and associated with this global conflict.

Prior to drones, aerial spying via cameras strapped on to pigeons.

The Atlantic's Alan Taylor curates a ten-part series of photo-essays from the Western Front to today, narrating the experience of soldiers, civilians, and animals by land, air, and sea.

Armored Train in Action (1915) by Futurist Gino Severini.

Finally, a selection of art and literature, including propaganda, by A. O. Scott of the New York Times explores the enduring impact of "A War to End All Innocence".


Movement after force

Three variations on the theme of movement: a museum to document Tiananmen Square 1989, self-censorship to resist gallery politics, and the narrative turn in video games.

Ai Weiwei in protest against the Ullens Centre of Contemporary Art in Beijing

The narrative force of video games, according to Daniel Galera


Martyrs by art

Religious violence, docile bodies, and expressive zeal mark these recent instances of formidable video art, opera production, and performance art from London this past week.

Bill Viola's Martyrs, a recent alterpiece installed in St. Paul's Cathedral with trials by earth, air, fire, and water, challenges perceptions of paradigmatic religious violence and brings new life to contemporary video art.

Simon Rattle returns to the Royal Opera House to conduct Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites as minimally staged by Robert Carsen for maximum musical effect, with an especially moving chorus composed of rehabilitated criminals, the homeless, and the unemployed from the streets of London.

Tattooed, pierced, naked, trapped, and racked, Ron Athey puts the vulnerability and strength of the human body - his own, per his performance art practice - to the test in Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains.



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