INSTITUTE FOR COLLECTIVE STUDIES
55 Unanswered Questions

Headlines of your own choosing: Negativity, Knowledge Production, Institution, Collectivity, Subjectivation, Artistic Research, Accelerationism, Temporality, Continuity

1. How can we theorise a point of ethical resistance, a resistance born in the confines of discursivity but, simultaneously, one that might affect a genuine break with prevailing hegemony?
2. Is this at all possible?
3. Has political existence always been defined negatively?
4. Can there be an autonomous political existence, i.e. politically defined subjectivity without institutional implementation?
5. What instruments and strategies transform us into political subjects?
6. Is it possible to define and organize an interface to negotiate and implement the experience and knowledge produced in the short-term temporality of project-based, autonomous platforms with the continuous, long-term work of an institution?
7. What frames do we create when escaping existing structures?
8. Do we copy-paste or reshuffle?
9. What would be the difference?
10. Does the condition for producing an impact lie in the production of an outside that is “genuinely” alterior?
11. Why must freedom imply the existence of a system?
12. Is there an irreconcilable split between a praxis of negation and a critique of affirmationism?
13. Can there be a non-affirmative critique?
14. Can we reflect before critique?
15. Is the rise of neoliberalism history’s revenge against accelerationism?
16. Must we think capitalism on capitalism’s own terms?
17. What is the relation between the public sphere and mainstream?
18. Is the consequence of the academization of artistic research a movement that is directed into or out of the institution?
19. Can there be ways of forming collective platforms without defining them out of the agenda of a specific identity, gender position or political and/or aesthetic preference?
20. Does the subversive potential of dialectics lie within its operation?
21. Is Benjamin Noys2 right when arguing that after May ’68 there was a revolution but no revolutionary subject?
22. By retaining the revolutionary idea of desire, of overcoming moral and social constraints, is capitalism reinventing itself continuously?
23. Does the affirmative concept build on the production of identities?
24. How do we become consumers?
25. Is negativity a way out?
26. Is there a distinction between the notions Negative and Negativity?
27. Benjamin Noys departs in the opening chapter of The persistance of the Negative by questioning a hegemonic Deleuzian paradigm in contemporary critical theory. Does this paradigm exist?
28. What is the difference between a Negative position and a position of Resistance?
29. How can we articulate a genealogy of ‘negativity’ as a concept in philosophy?
30. What is the ethical content of the ‘negative’ in philosophy, if we exclude the definition of the negative as simply opposed to the positive?
31. Is there a straight line between Derrida´s notion of radical messianism and the Negative as we talk about it today?
32. Can we trace a foundational space of synergy, between the ontological and ethical forms that a notion of philosophical negativity may take?
33. To what end dialectical reasoning can renew discourses on progressive politics?
34. Can we rethink the logic of political philosophy of Hegel and Nietzche through the interpretation of Noys?
35. What is the possible political act of the Negative?
36. From where does an antithesis or negative arise?
37. What is the relation between the Negative and Communization?
38. Is communization a possible outcome of the Negative?
39. Would the communal use of existing resources become also a recycling of the hegemonic power system?
40. Is artistic research a discipline in itself?
41. Is artistic research a method, an instrument, a work procedure?
42. What do we actually call work and production?
43. How can knowledge production phenomenon create positions of activated subjects
44. Can the European institutions for art and education, developed and defined to build the outdated narrative of national identity, be re-negotiated to function as a contemporary interface btw society and citizens?
45. Or are they inevitably and by essence an apparatus for production of a national and therefore a colonial paradigm?
46. What is the actual difference between artistic research and a rehearsal?
47. Is there a middle way between the Scylla of provincialism and Charybdis of generic globalization?
48. How can we define a practice for artistic research that is internationally connected and updated and still grounded in regional specific context?
49. How to avoid that the knowledge and toolboxes produced in the emerging field of artistic research become so specialized that the academies transform into compartmentalized and politically isolated and passive satellites?
50. Does Benjamin Noys refer to the work of Gilles Deleuze as per definition accelerationist through affirmation?
51. Or is the accelerated logic a problem that develops through accumulation over time?
52. How can knowledge production phenomenon create positions of activated subjects?
53. Do projects like ICS become, in their own production, neo-liberal: flexible, temporary, mobile?
54. Does the failure lie in the impossibility to anchor ICS within an institution, to implement it in a larger and public structure?
55. Does ICS become a part of the endless globalized notion of a vulnerable (un)successful selling product?

Footnote:
Institute for Collective Studies is a passive structure for shared knowledge, notions of participation and publicness, initiated by Anders Paulin and Corina Oprea in 2012. This text is a follow-up of the workshop How Theory Becomes Concrete – 5 working days at WELD in Stockholm, 13-17 May 2013. The work was based on the book ”The persistance of the negative” by Benjamin Noys.
2013 working group: Johanna Gustafsson – artist, Radical Pedagogy; Cecilia Germain – artist; Anders Paulin – theatre director; Corina Oprea – curator and PhD Researcher in Arts at University of Loughborough, UK; Rasmus Nielsen – artist, co-founder of Danish group Superflex, professor – Umeå Art Academy + Benjamin Noys – critical thinker and researcher, University of Chichester, UK.

List of questions put together by Anders Paulin and Corina Oprea