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Margins of Error

Jun 29-30, 2015

Part I and II


Part III and IV


Mistakes are typically tolerated as long as they are contained within a margin of error. What would it mean for error to stray from these margins, to escape routine procedures of error correction? Can error be thought against the very norms that seek to correct for it—that is, according to a marginality that would be error’s own?

The first presentation of the collective work undertaken as part of the ICI’s core project ERRANS ventured beyond any straightforward negative determination of error and erring, challenging the roles they are assigned in mainstream politics and thought. ERRANS opens up a rich field of associated terms, invoking notions such as errantry and errancy, in order to explore the close connection between error and wandering.

Many of today’s radical and critical projects seek to invert culturally dominant hierarchies of value involving some figure of imperfection or failure. Drawing on such chiasmatic operations, we examined how historically valued categories such as truth, reason, nature, the human are not only dependent on, but haunted by reconfigured engagements with their errant others—falsity, madness, the monstrous, the inhuman. We want to free the images of disorder, failure, and ruin from the teleological frames within which they remain confined by neoliberal discourses of achievement and progress.

Yet sometimes what appears to be a radical challenge runs the risk of leaving underlying structures intact. Thus we are interested in the strategic potential of errancy as an alternative to direct assault or radical critique: what might be gained by eschewing a logic of opposition in favor of one of deviation, deviance, going astray, or swerving? How and where might radical interests be best served not by transgressing into a new territory, but by strategies of tinkering, irritation, small acts of sabotage—of queering in every sense? When might the pressure to follow established pathways be effectively interrupted not by a direct reversal, but by straying from the course, losing one's way, or simply pausing in hesitation? This workshop explores the zones in which binary oppositions begin to fade and the spaces where new meanings and values have not yet emerged: New margins of—and for—error.

Talks by
Rosa Barotsi
S. Pearl Brilmyer
James Burton
Antonio Castore
Federico Dal Bo
Maria José De Abreu
Preciosa Regina de Joya
Walid El-Houri
Ewa Majewska
Clara Masnatta
Claire Nioche-Sibony
Zairong Xiang


Monday, 29 June 2015

Introduction: Christoph Holzhey

14:00 – 16:00
Part I
Moderator: Rosa Barotsi
Antonio Castore: Incomplete and Self-Dismantling Structures. The Built Space, the Text, the Body
Ewa Majewska: Errant Counterpublics. Semi-Peripheral Publics in the 1980s, 1990s and Today
Zairong Xiang: The Penis as an Errant Method

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 – 18:30 Part II
Moderator: Antonio Castore
James Burton: "Funny How?" Laughter and the False False Alarm
Preciosa Regina de Joya: Tricksters and Fools: Whoriginal Philosophers?
S. Pearl Brilmyer: Queer Rigidity

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

14:00 – 16:00
Part III
Moderator: S. Pearl Brilmyer
Clara Masnatta: Imperfect Photographs
Walid El-Houri: Erring Politics. On the Productive Power of Failures
Maria José De Abreu: Untoward Activism. Fog, Youth, Photography

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 – 18:30
Part IV
Moderator: James Burton
Federico Dal Bo: Descending from the Tower of Babel
Claire Nioche-Sibony: Lost in Destination
Rosa Barotsi: Not Yet. Duration as Detour in Emanuelle Demoris’s Mafrouza Cycle

Final Remarks

Programme (PDF)
Abstracts (PDF)
Poster (PDF)

Time: 29-30 June 2015
Venue: ICI Berlin
In English

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