Dictionary of the Possible

Dictionary of the Possible

“A” is for Avant-Garde

Saturday, October 4, 4-6 pm
The Bark Room at the New School
2 West 13th Street, Room M101
Discussion Leaders: Gabriel Rockhill and Avi Alpert

Over the course of a year Shifter in collaboration with Avi Alpert will host a series of public discussions, each concentrated on unraveling a keyword – a term that carries with it both a sense of urgency and agency in our present climate. By inviting artists, writers, activists, philosophers and others to propose terms and lead discussions, we will open up our editorial process to the motivations of others.

Our first meeting, on Saturday, October 4th, will be centered on the keyword “Avant-garde,” led by Gabriel Rockhill and Alpert, followed by a book launch for Rockhill’s recently published Radical History & the Politics of Art.

The format of these discussions is central to the project. We will not use standard lecture or presentation formats. Rather, we invite speakers to prepare brief remarks around the chosen term, of around 10-15 minutes. Then a respondent will pose critical questions both for the speaker and the audience present. The conversation will be immediately opened up for all. We also encourage invitees to pre-circulate short readings that might help stimulate ideas and discussion.

The yearlong series will culminate in Shifter’s 22nd issue Dictionary of the Possible. This dictionary will catalog the keywords taken up for discussion over the course of a year, accompanied by a list of questions provoked during each discussion. Rather than providing static definitions we envision a dictionary that continually incites discussion.

Optional Reading: Avant-Garde and Neo-Avant Garde: An Attepmt to Answer the Certain Critics of the Avant-garde by Peter Bürger
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