WHAP! lecture series poster

WHAP!—the West Hollywood Aesthetics and Politics lecture series—was launched in the Fall of 2011, and is co-hosted by the city of West Hollywood and the MA Program in Aesthetics & Politics. 

The series' lineup ranges from political debates to film screenings and performances, as well as conversations about art, architecture and philosophy. Most events will take place either in the Council Chambers (street level) or in the Community Room (upstairs) at the West Hollywood library, located on 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069. All events are free and open to the public. Visit the CalArts Calendar for full event listings.

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Upcoming WHAP! Events


WHAP! Lecture Series Fall 2018

Gabrielle Civil

WHAP! Lecture Series
Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist and writer, originally from Detroit, MI. She has premiered fifty original performance art works around the world. Since May 2014, she has been performing Say My Name (an action for 270 abducted Nigerian girls) as an act of embodied remembering. Her art writing has appeared in The Third Rail, Art21, Small Axe, and Obsidian. Her essays and translations have appeared in Something on PaperAster(ix), and Two Lines. Her memoir in performance art Swallow the Fish was named by Entropy a “Best Non-Fiction Book of 2017.” Her forthcoming book Experiments in Joy engages race, performance, and collaboration. She teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing and the BFA program in Critical Studies courses at CalArts. The aim of her work is to open up space.

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Ronak Kapadia, “Scaling Empire: Security, Sensation, and the Queer Life of the Forever War”

WHAP! Lecture Series
Ronak K. Kapadia is assistant professor of gender and women’s studies and affiliated faculty in Global Asian Studies and Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is author of the forthcoming Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War (Duke UP, 2019), which examines the visionary, world-making potential of contemporary art and aesthetics in the context of ongoing US war and empire in the Greater Middle East. With Katherine McKittrick and Simone Browne, he is co-editor of the 2017 special issue of Surveillance & Society on race and surveillance. His writings appear in Asian American Literary ReviewJournal of Popular Music StudiesFeminist Formations, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, and edited volumes including: Shifting Borders: America and the Middle East/North AfricaCritical Ethnic Studies: A Reader, and With Stones in Our Hands: Reflections on Racism, Muslims and US Empire. Kapadia has begun research toward his second book project, The Downward Redistribution of Breath, which develops a critical feminist theory of healing/justice in the wilds of imperial decline.

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Kara Keeling, “I Feel Love”: Race, Gender, Technē, and the (Im)Proper Sonic Habitus

WHAP! Lecture Series
Kara Keeling is Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Keeling is author of The Witch's Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense (Duke University Press, 2007) and co-editor (with Josh Kun) of a selection of writings about sound and American Studies entitled Sound Clash: Listening to American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), and (with Colin MacCabe and Cornel West) a selection of writings by the late James A. Snead entitled European Pedigrees/African Contagions: Racist Traces and Other Writing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). A second monograph, Queer Times, Black Futures, will be published in the spring of 2019 by New York University Press.

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Aimee Bahng, “Toward a Transpacific Undercommons”

WHAP! Lecture Series
Aimee Bahng is an assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Pomona College. She is the author of Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times (Duke UP, 2018), which examines narrations of futurity across various platforms—from speculative fiction by writers of color to the financial speculations of the 1%. With teaching and research interests at the conjuncture of transnational Asian/American cultural studies and feminist-queer science and technology studies, she has published a range of articles on techno-Orientalism and Asian/American speculative fiction. She is currently working on another book manuscript, tentatively titled “Transpacific Ecologies,” which reroutes discussions about the new materialisms through feminist, decolonial science studies, focusing on transpacific contexts of nuclear fallout and ecological disaster.

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Lisa Nakamura, “Automating Racial Empathy: Virtual Reality and the Undercommons”

WHAP! Lecture Series
Lisa Nakamura is the Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and coordinator of its Digital Studies Institute.  She is the author of four books on racism, sexism, and the Internet.  Her areas of interest include histories of indigenous electronic manufacture in post-war America, content moderation by women of color on social media, and virtual reality’s claims to produce racial and gender empathy.

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WHAP! Lecture Series Fall 2017-Spring 2018

Human Trafficking in Global Perspective

WHAP! Lecture Series
In this presentation Pardis Mahdavi will examine the suturing of the two wars. The “war on terror” and the “war on trafficking”, two seemingly separate initiatives, have become interwoven in recent years and conspire to castigate Muslim majority countries as sites of depravity, difference and danger, fueling Islamophobic rhetoric about the “clash of civilizations” (Huntington 1993).

 

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How to Travel in a Digital Age : Geek Globalisms and the Digital Divide by Kavita Philip

WHAP! Lecture Series
This talk sketches a political /psychic economy of informational capitalism, seeking to understand the shifting ontologies implicit in the gendered, sexualized, and racialized landscapes of the “age of information” and the rise of “emerging” economies.

 

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Contemporary Art/Contemporary Globalization

WHAP! Lecture Series
Jan Nederveen Pieterse will explore how Art and globalization as well as art and architecture spread, whom does art serve and art patronage over time. Modern times brought accelerations of globalization, of art forms and their international radius. 

 

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Art and the Long Downturn

WHAP! Lecture Series

Cultural Policy and Ungovernability, 1967-1982

Sarah Brouillette is Professor of English at Carleton University, where she teaches contemporary literature, the history of the book, and social and cultural theory. She is the author of Postcolonial Writers in the Global Literary Marketplace (2007), Literature and the Creative Economy (2014), and a forthcoming study of the history of cultural policy.

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'The Cold World and the Collective Subject'

WHAP! Lecture Series
How can artists, activists, and citizens in general engage the increasing complexity of the global system, and the veritable explosion of a new type of capitalism with its production of data, control, and rampant inequities. Patricia Reed analyzes this emergent configuration from a perspective of ‘optimist realism,’ proposing the dynamics of a perspectival shift utilizing the forces of alienation to construct innovative models of collective agency generated by the interface of the concretely situated and the abstractly conceptual. Her talk will investigate some of these issues with regard to the advent of a/the Cold World.

 

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'Pattern Recognition c. 1947'

WHAP! Lecture Series
Having in recent work addressed the processes of globalization through the lens of contemporary art—both as object and as agent—Pamela M. Lee’s new work analyzes key elements of the very dense history of the Cold War, and the increasing intensity of visual culture.

 

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'in/ibid./form'

WHAP! Lecture Series
This past year’s MA students in the Program of Aesthetics and Politics at California Institute of the Arts will present some of their current work dealing with aspects of their theses, as well as ongoing research, including artistic and critical endeavors. As a showcase for the program, and as an opportunity for presenting innovative work, this event will offer a number of unique and compelling approaches to the questions of politics and art in the contemporary moment.

 

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'Flicker time: liquid bodies and cosmic states'

WHAP! Lecture Series
Drawing upon extensive experience as a curator, a critical thinker and practitioner, Bridget Crone focuses on the intersection of the moving image and performance practices in conjunction with an interrogation of the body, visuality, and temporality. In this talk she will address questions of contemporary art and critical philosophy as they are manifest in art processes today, but also in terms of challenging spaces of reception and the institutional and political contexts for current exhibitions.

 

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