Previously at the ICA - Events

Where Theory Belongs: Michael Taussig

22 Apr 2015

Where Theory Belongs is a series of ten lectures programmed and chaired by Dr. Stephen Wilson as part of CCW’s General Theory Forum, which places the excitement of theory back into the hands of the speaker and the audience. In an increasingly resistant culture of auto‐regulated art-speak, art theory is in a constant need for reflective governance.

This series will offer a platform that brings together art theorists, anthropologists, sociologists, humanists, queer theorists, artists and political economists… theory will be addressed by those voices that write and speak it, thereby suggesting Where Theory Belongs.

In this session, Professor Michael Taussig will be in conversation with Professor David Toop on topics that relate to Taussig’s latest book, What Color is the Sacred?

Prof. Michael Taussig is an anthropologist who began fieldwork in Colombia in 1969 and is known for his provocative ethnographic studies. His writing has spanned diverse topics, including two books in Spanish on the history of slavery and its aftermath, and books and academic articles covering the commercialization of peasant agriculture; hunger; popular manifestations of commodity fetishism; the impact of historical and contemporary colonialism on shamanism and folk healing; the relevance of modern and post-modern aesthetics for the understanding of ritual; the making, talking and writing of terror; mimesis in relation to sympathetic magic; state fetishism and secrecy; paramilitary violence and a montage-ethnography of the Pacific Coast of Colombia.

His most recent book is titled What Color is the Sacred?, published by University of Chicago Press in 2009. Taussig is Professor of Anthropology at Colombia University, NYC.

Prof. David Toop is a composer, musician, author and curator based in London, who works across the fields of sound art, music and writing. He has recorded Yanomami shamanism in the Amazon, appeared on Top of the Pops, exhibited sound installations internationally, and performed with artists including John Zorn, Evan Parker, Bob Cobbing, Ivor Cutler, Akio Suzuki, Elaine Mitchener, Lore Lixenberg and Max Easley.

His published books include Ocean of Sound, Haunted Weather and Sinister Resonance. He has released eight solo albums, including Screen Ceremonies, Black Chamber and Sound Body, and as a theorist and critic has written for many publications. Exhibitions he has curated include Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery, London, Playing John Cage at the Arnolfini, Bristol and Blow Up at Flat-Time House, London.

His opera, Star-shaped Biscuit, was performed in Aldeburgh in 2012 and he is writing Into Maelstrom: Improvised Music and the Pursuit of Freedom. He is Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at University of the Arts London.


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