Politics of Shine
Future Light: Escaping Transparency

Haegue Yang, Escaping Transparency, 2011, installation view of Teacher of Dance, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK, 2011, courtesy of the Tiroche DeLeon Collection & Art Vantage Ltd. © Stuart Whipps

A mini-symposium convened by Tom Holert and Brian Kuan Wood, with Céline Condorelli, Metahaven, and Natascha Sadr Haghighian
MAK Exhibition Hall

2:30–3 p.m. Introduction Brian Kuan Wood and Tom Holert
3–3:30 p.m. Natascha Sadr Haghighian
3:30-4 p.m. Céline Condorelli
4-4:15 p.m. Coffee break
4:15-4:45 p.m. Metahaven
4:45-6 p.m. Discussion

Shine and shininess are characteristic of surface effects, of glamour and spectacle, of bling-bling contingency, of ephemeral novelty, value added, and disposable fascination. Shine is what seizes upon affect as its primary carrier to mobilize attention, and what withstands the light of reason. Shine could be the paradoxically material base of an optical economy typically (mis)understood as being purely cognitive or immaterial. Shine and luster tend to block the view of things, while at the same time inviting fetishistic adherence. The architectures of finance and global management pretend transparency while offering glistening opacity. Likewise, the impression management of art world glitz acts through the highly refined shininess of contemporary signature white cube buildings, containing tons of gleaming video equipment for costly multi-screen installations. Yet this virtual availability of shine and gloss, of “Glanz” and “éclat,” is deceptive in its awesome ability to simultaneously neglect and conflate the material, political, and economic infrastructure of the production of today’s fetish-artifacts. Indeed, it is the particular materiality of declarative shininess that we now recognize as a clear sign of paradox, as it is so often used to mediate decay and divert attention away from oncoming collapse.

Politics of Shine stems from a two-part issue of e-flux journal edited by Tom Holert, Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, and Anton Vidokle. The first part was published in January 2015 (http://www.e-flux.com/journal/editorial-politics-ofshine/) and the second appeared within e-flux journal’s SUPERCOMMUNITY contribution to this year’s Venice Biennale.


SAT, 13.06. / 14:30 – 18:002015