System & Error workshop by Aalto University and Estonian Academy of Arts

Workshop in Tallinn (Friday, 24th Nov) Lembitu 12, 3rd floor Photography Dept.

Ordinary life is made of eventful junctures, constant surprises and adjustments that go beyond all attempts to rigorously plan and design things. Buildings and infrastructures crack. Smart phones make errors. Printers print funny stuff. The state and the financial market fail. Also our body can react strangely. All these failures have an aura: they do not occur twice in the same way and produce the vertigo of disturbances and the adrenaline of edges. Likewise, systems are organised by defining why something is proper and some others are a failure. The exclusion of the deviant (noise, dirt, queer and so on) informs us about a general order of things. But errors also tell about accidental findings, entropy, gaps, tricksters, hackers… and make evident the possibility of becoming something else.

The students will engage with how failures, misbehaviours, and things out of place constitute a terrain of interstitiality. Everyday we see how somethings and some people are obdurate in their obsolescence, persisting in failures and awkwardness, refusing to accept their superfluous and redundant character, sticking to the analogical, not catching up or stepping out of assigned compartments and classifications. Hence the exhibition is proposed as a platform for exploring how failure entails iconoclastic action, often painful, fragile, bloody, but it also generates moments of inception, vitality and serendipity.

The workshop will thus address different notions of failure and diverse meanings of systems, randomness and dead ends, dealing therefore with questions such as:

  • Do failures need an excuse? What does an error look like?
  • Are errors merely failed expressions of a system or have rather an autonomous entity?
  • What is the benefit of being part of a system?
  • Which are the aesthetics of systems, networks and infrastructures? How much tolerance for the non-perfect do our societies have?
  • Is a list of failures more revealing than a list of successes?
  • What do we have to lose in order to create?
  • And does anything right might come from pursuing wrong practices?


Programme 24th of November

10:00 Guided tour to EKKM by Kirill Tulin, introducing his exhibition: ‘Help to the stoker of the central heating boiler’

12:00 Snack Lunch (provided for registered participants) 13:20 Francisco Martínez, Aalto, anthropologist
14:00 Liina Siib, EKA, artist
14:30 Patrick Laviolette, Tallinn University, anthropologist 15:15 Coffee break

15:30 Oliver Laas, EKA, philosopher
16:10 Camille Laurelli, EKA, Artist
16:45 Ingel Vaikla, Ghent, Filmmaker
17:30 Tutoring and practical workshop
18:30 Dinner (provided for registered participants)

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Posted by Kunstiakadeemia