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CANCELLED Empire's Innards: Conjuring ‘Warm Data' in Archives of US Global Military Detention
Monday, October 15, 2018, 12:00pm - 01:30pm
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This talk examines how visual and multimedia artists from the South Asian diaspora have responded to the unfolding archive of detentions, deportations, and deaths in global military prison sites as part of the US “forever” war on terror in the Middle East and South Asia. It considers collaborative works by the Visible Collective (Naeem Mohaiemen and Ibrahim Qureshi) and the Index of the Disappeared (Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani), two New York City-based multiethnic art collectives, as well as solo visual installations by Berlin-based Indian American artist Rajkamal Kahlon. Kapadia analyzes the aesthetic incorporation of declassified documents detailing widespread abuses in military practices of imprisonment, torture, and interrogation. Unlike the state’s quest for abstraction, the artists affix warmth, touch, and sound to otherwise “cold” data, thereby transforming the administrative violence of the security state into an imaginative alternative archive of the disappeared. In so doing, their archives of “warm data” conjure alternate modes of knowing and feeling how empire’s gendered-racialized others resist and reiterate the terms of US forever warfare.

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 Review, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Feminist Formations, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, and edited volumes including: Shifting Borders: America and the Middle East/North Africa, Critical 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.

Sponsor(s): , Department of Art, World Arts & Cultures/Dance, UCLA Center for Performance Studies
Location 10383 Bunche Hall
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