Arts of Living Beyond the End of the World

Arts of Living Beyond the End of the World

Doctoral seminar with T. J. Demos (UCSC)

May 23, 2018, Barcelona, Catalonia

Organizing Team

Organized by: AGI | Art, Globalization, Interculturality, Departament d´Història de l’Art, Facultat de Geografia i Història, Universitat de Barcelona. PhD Academic Committee, Course 2018-2019

Coordinator and convenor: Christian Alonso (University of Barcelona)
Language: English. Simultaneous translation service will not be provided
Cover image: Allora & Calzadilla, 2 Hose Petrified Petrol Pump, 2012.

This seminar will address the possibilities of exhibition-making that inquire into the current prevalence and impasses of end-of-world narratives, and asking what comes next? How can experimental artistic practices offer glimpses and materializations of speculative futurity and alternative worlding during and following the collapse of current forms of life, whether owing to illiberal politics and authoritarian capitalism, world war and nuclear annihilation, and/or climate catastrophe and ecosystem breakdown? What might art exhibitions offer or restrict, catalyze or repress, in our age of apocalyptic populism, where futurity itself, according to theorists, has been slowly canceled, even colonized? What might exhibition-making be as a critical practice in the neoliberal Anthropocene, or, alternately, are art exhibitions and their conventional institutions outmoded by that new geological epoch? We will consider these and other questions in relation to select models of recent art exhibitions, including “Rights of Nature: The Art and Politics of Earth Jurisprudence.”

Suggested Reading

  1. T. J. Demos, “Rights of Nature: The Art and Politics of Earth Jurisprudence”
    Nottingham: Nottingham Contemporary, 2015
  2. Wendy Brown, “Apocalyptic populism”
    Eurozine, August 30, 2017
  3. Déborah Danowski & Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, “Is There any World to Come?”
    e-flux journal, Apocalypsis, July 7, 2015

Keynote Talk:
T.J. Demos

T.J. Demos writes widely on modern and contemporary art and his essays have appeared in magazines, journals, and catalogues worldwide. His published work centers broadly on the conjunction of art and politics, examining the ability of artistic practice to invent innovative and experimental strategies that challenge dominant social, political, and economic conventions. He has served on the Art Journal editorial board (2004-08), and currently is on the editorial board of Third Text, and on the advisory board of Grey Room. Demos is Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies at UC Santa Cruz.

Professor Demos’ current research focuses on contemporary art and visual culture, investigating in particular the diverse ways that artists and activists have negotiated crises associated with globalization, including the emerging conjunction of post-9/11 political sovereignty and statelessness, the hauntings of the colonial past, and the growing biopolitical conflicts around ecology and climate change.

UCSC Center for Creative Ecologiess


UB, Universitat de Barcelona
Sala de Juntes, Facultat de Geografia i Història, Seminari d’Història de l’Art
Montalegre 6, 5th Floor, 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia