Inaugural Lecture of Prof. Stefano Harney (Transversal Aesthetics) in collaboration with Edward George (KHM-Fellow).
This collaborative inaugural will delve into the long history of the ideas of work and labour, free and unfree, waged and unwaged, valued and valuable in black music. From the subterfuge of the work song, to the theorizing of free work, to the alchemy of work in its energy, work and song will accompany us as they do each other. Focusing particularly on the entanglement of labour and music in the African diaspora and in the history of work forced upon flesh, the evening will feature music as well as commentary. Work and ‘the work’ will be examined from the perspective of the music and in the context of the art world. The work of the music will be taken to provide its own theory of work, a theory at war with capitalist conceptions of labour and at odds with Marxist conceptions of labour power. Music from the Caribbean, the US, and Latin America will be played.
Stefano Harney is Professor of Transversal Aesthetics at KHM. He is also Honorary Professor at the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia and Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Vienna. He was Visiting Critic and Hayden Fellow at Yale University in 2020-2021. Stefano was previously Professor of Strategy, Culture, and Society at Queen Mary University of London, and Professor of Strategic Management at Singapore Management University. He is co-author with Fred Moten of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013) and All Incomplete (2021), both from Minor Compositions. He is a member of a number of collectives including Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective, School for Study, Ground Provisions, and the Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy.
Edward George is is currently a fellow at the KHM in the field of art and media studies. George a writer, broadcaster and photographer. A founder of Black Audio Film Collective, George wrote and presented the ground-breaking science fiction documentary Last Angel of History. He hosts Sound of Music (Threads Radio), and Kuduro – Electronic Music of Angola (Counterflows). George’s series The Strangeness of Dub (Morley Radio) dives into reggae, dub, versions and versioning, drawing on critical theory, social history, and a deep and a wide cross-genre musical selection. The series will form the basis of a book.
Forthcoming projects include The Strangeness of Jazz, a live presentation at London's Cafe Oto. Projects in development include Adamah, an anti-Facist photography and electro acoustic work based on the memorial plates that adorn the streets of Cologne commemorating Jews who lost their lives to the Nazis.