The Program: Parallax Drift
ArtCenter South Florida, Fall 2016-Spring 2017

The Program for Applied Artistic Research is a public forum and school that engages important dialogues around contemporary realities in the cultural sphere and beyond it. It promotes the interaction between practitioners of different fields in an effort to develop projects that shed light on the dynamics that are organizing present-day urban and global configurations. A non-degree granting program, The Program offers a number of seminars taught by ArtCenter Fellows and a distinguished faculty of practitioners in the cultural fields, the social sciences and is driven by an effort to: a) Develop a broad knowledge base for participants interested in working outside traditional disciplinary boundaries; b) Foster a critical understanding of how this knowledge is situated in the world at large within and outside the boundaries of the cultural sphere; and c) Encourage the use of non-traditional methodologies in order to address pressing problems that structure social, economic, and cultural spaces.

From Fall 2016-Spring 2017,  faculty members will conduct seminars organized under the heading of Parallax Drift that explore the shifting conceptions of the border. The seminars look to look beyond traditionally held notions of the political subject and instead consider shifting, alternate, or oft-overlooked positions and thresholds from which to question the dominant conditions that define our contemporary moment. The Fall seminars were led by Micha Cárdenas, Julia Morandeira, Victoria Ivanova, and The Otolith Group. The spring program includes workshops with RAQS Media Collective, The Cross Border Initiative (Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman), and Felicity D. Scott.


The border as a concept has infiltrated every aspect of our media, political, economic, and body landscape. We hear about borders being walled by the irrationality of xenophobia. We see how refugee and immigration crises are formed and mediatized in the space between borders and wars. We experience the seemingly invisible demarcations that make communicating across massive distances possible at the same time that they foster the conditions for corporations to abdicate accountability to those soon-to-be bygone notions of labor protections and tax codes.

The result is a contemporary condition where borders are connected by a computational and proteinaceous web spun from the abdomen of a corporate-government body. These borders are simultaneously open for a select few, and yet exercise their suffocating grip on those who must navigate them or establish any notion of freedom within them. As a result this condition has yielded a state of corpor-mentality: a way in which the corpor-state exercises control over the body of its population.

The impact of this network of transnational actors creates new types of formal and informal jurisdictions where the idea of the border and the subjects within and outside its dominion are both affected and altered. As a result, the border ceases to be an entity or formulation of exteriority. Instead it is internalized, absorbed, and reproduced by subjects, bodies, and institutional forms in an autopoietic cycle of control.

If the social cohesion of the nation-state was once citizenship: what, then, is an appropriate form of political identification that could account for the networked corpo-state of exception that has rendered contemporary life neither local nor global? Is it possible to reconsider the notion of the border in a way that reconsiders the fantasy of preservation and the fear of contamination that has become inherent to its definition? How does a shifting conception of the border (in geographic boundaries or gender polyphony, for example) alter the interfaces between inside and outside?

Can we imagine political agency and ethics without any of these distinctions? During the course of Parallax Drift, faculty members Micha CárdenasJulia MorandeiraVictoria IvanovaThe Otolith Group, RAQS Media Collective, The Cross Border Initiative (Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman), and Felicity D. Scott will look beyond traditionally held ideas of the political subject and instead consider alternate, or oft-overlooked positions from which to question, navigate, and alter these dominant economic, political, and social conditions.


Homepage Image Courtesy micha cárdenas