Steven Brown: In Praise of the Parasite

Photo: Dejan Habicht

Friday, 16 January 2015, at 6 p.m.
Moderna galerija, Cankarjeva 15

You are kindly invited to attend the talk by Steven Brown on the "parasitism" in frames of Tadej Pogačar's artistic work. It is part of the programme of the exhibition Tadej Pogačar & P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art Hills and Valleys and Mineral Resources and the last lecture in the series "Short School of Parasitism."

Parasites are problems. They disturb and interrupt, they irritate and they excite. They seem to take without giving back. We need to chase them away in order to carry on as usual. But what if parasites were instead the very conditions of being about to 'carry on' on the first place? What if the work of the parasite - the ability to make connections, to bring about change, to bend things in new directions - were essential to the functioning of any system? In this lecture, I will discuss how Michel Serres' work on parasitism offers a novel way of rethinking the concept of 'the relation' and with it our usual sense of 'order' and 'disorder'. I will describe how the multiple senses of the term - 'para-site' ('off to the side'), parasite-as-noise and social parasite - draw our attention to the importance of third or in-between spaces and activities. I will then use this framework to stage an engagement between Tadej Pogacar's work and Serres' thought.

Steven Brown is Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at the University of Leicester, UK. His research concerns practices of social remembering in marginal and vulnerable groups, affective social ecologies and poststructuralist approaches to psychology. He is author of The Social Psychology of Experience: Studies in Remembering and Forgetting (with David Middleton, Sage, 2005), Psychology Without Foundation: History, Philosophy and Psychosocial Theory (with Paul Stenner, Sage, 2009) and Vital Memories And Affect: Living With A Difficult Past (with Paula Reavey, Routledge, 2015).
The lecture will be in English.

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