The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory is meant to galvanize, coordinate, and expand research and teaching in critical theory across departments and disciplines at UCLA.The Program offers the Graduate Certificate in Experimental Critical Theory, which is open to graduate students enrolled in a Ph.D. or MFA program in any participating department at UCLA.The Program also sponsors the annual ECT Colloquium, which meets twice a quarter, and various lectures and conferences.



Part 1: Saturday June 4, 1:00-6:00 (in the Billy Wilder Theater)

 Joshua Clover, “Between Centuries: Distance and the Epic” (intro by Jason Smith)

 Steve Goodman, The Martial Arts of Sonic Hauntology” (intro Robert Fink)

 Lauren Berlant, “On the Desire for the Political” (intro by Sianne Ngai)

 Matthew Barney Interview with Drew Daniel

Part 2: Saturday June 4, 8:00-11:00

Ultra-Red (in Hammer gallery)

Jay Lesser (in Hammer atrium)

Kode9 (in Hammer Billy Wilder Theater)

Matmos (in Hammer Billy Wilder Theater)

Part 3: Sunday June 5, 1:00-6:00 (in the Billy Wilder Theater)

Drew Daniel, “All Sound is Queer” (intro by Julia Lupton)

Joan Copjec, “The Fate of the Image in Church History and the Modern State” (intro by Eleanor Kaufman)

Allan Sekula, “The Forgotten Space” (intro by Mary Kelly)

Alain Badiou, “Negation and Formalization” (intro by Ken Reinhard)

Part 4: Sunday, June 5, 8:00-10:00 (in the Billy Wilder Theater)

Reading of scenes from Alain Badiou’s plays Incident at Antioch and Ahmed the Philosopher

directed by Stephen Barker

introduction by Ken Reinhard

Followed by a discussion with Alain Badiou



ECT seminar  Spring 2011   Philosophy, Art, and Politics   Thurs, 3-6


1.  March 31    Kenneth Reinhard on Adorno and Horkheimer

Adorno and Horkheimer, The Dialectic of Enlightenment, “The Concept of Enlightenment,” “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment and Mass Deception”; Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, “Art, Society, Aesthetics” (pp.1-15), “Toward a Theory of the Artwork” (pp. 175-198)

2.  April 7        Todd McGowan, “Bare Life and Divine Violence”

Walter Benjamin, “Fate and Character,” “Critique of Violence,” “On the Concept of History”

 6:30  ECT symposium: Hilary Neroni “Post 9/11 Horror Films and the Biopolitical”

 (April 12 @ 7:30pm  Bernard Stiegler at CalArts; April 13, Bernard Stiegler at UCI)

 3.  April 14      Bernard Stiegler, “Aesthetics and Political Economy in the Time of Psychopower”

Bernard Stiegler, “The expectation of the unexpected in the total aesthetic fact”; Technics and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise, “CinematicTime,” “Cinematic Consciousness”


4.  April 21      Jason Smith and Kenneth Reinhard on Rancière

Jacques Rancière, “The Community of Equals” (On the Shores of the Political, pp.  63-92); “Ten Theses on Politics” (Dissensus, pp. 27-44); The Politics of Aesthetics (pp. 7-45); The Future of the Image, “The Future of the Image”


April 27       4:00  Slavoj Žižek lecture, “The Uses and Misuses of Violence” (Hum. 193)


5.  April 28      Slavoj Žižek, “Sexual Difference: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Politics”

Jacques Lacan, Seminar 20: Encore (selections); Slavoj Žižek, Tarrying with the Negative, “Cogito and the Sexual Difference”


6.  May 5         Jason Smith on Guy Debord

Guy Debord, “Critique of Separation” (script, in Debord, Complete Cinematic Works, pp. 29-42); “Unconditional Defense”; “The Bad Days Will End” (1962, Situationist International Anthology, pp. 107-113); “Preliminary Problems in Constructing a Situation” (1958, Anthology, pp. 49-50); “Perspective for Conscious Changes of Everyday Life” (May 1961, trans: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/6.everyday.htm); Society of the Spectacle, Chapter 1: “Separation Perfected” (Zone edition); Tom McDonough, “Calling from the Inside: Filmic Topologies of the Everyday” (Grey Room, Winter 2007, No. 26: 6–29).         

Guy Debord, Critique of Separation:






May 9         ECT Symposium: Steve Mailloux, “Rhetorical Hermeneutics and the Aesthetics of Experience”


7.  May 12       Emily Apter, “Politics small p: A Theory of Political Fiction”

Selections from Zola, His Excellency Eugene Rougon; Maupassant, Bel-Ami, and Disraeli, Conigsby. Selections from Badiou, Mouffe, and Roberto Mangabiera Unger


8.  May 19       Ali Behdad and George Baker: Barthes and Benjamin on Photography

Walter Benjamin, “Little History of Photography”; Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography


9.  May 26       Kenneth Reinhard: Badiou and the Politics of Theater

Alain Badiou, “Rhapsody for the Theatre”; Alain Badiou, Incident at Antioch


10.  June 2       Matthew Barney and Allan Sekula


11.  June 6      Alain Badiou: Philosophy, Art, Politics (Humanites 193)

Badiou, The Century; Handbook on Inaesthetics; Calme bloc ici-bas (recommended)




From: Aesthetic Education
To: Intellectual Emancipation

March 11&12, 2011
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena

Conception and Organization: Annette Weisser & Jason E. Smith (Graduate Art Program, ACCD)RanciereConference

The Graduate Studies in Art Department at Art Center College of Design is pleased to host an international conference on the work of Jacques Rancière, on March 11 and 12, 2011. The theme will be that of “Aesthetic Education,” a philosophical and political program first proposed by Friedrich Schiller in the last decade of the 18th century and the subject of Rancière’s recent innovative work on the relation between aesthetics and politics. For Rancière, politics is not primarily the exercise or struggle for power but the emergence of a certain type of space and time, a mode of visibility and intelligibility that creates a tear in the consensual fabric of a given form of collective life. Under certain circumstances, art can institute just such a space and time, in which the fundamental polarities of experience—activity and passivity, form and matter, appearance and reality—are suspended and transformed. Friedrich Schiller’s Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man offers, according to Rancière, an unsurpassed model for the construction of a space of nondomination, of “free play”; the aesthetic education of man, in turn, is nothing less than a program for an “aesthetic revolution,” “a revolution of sensible existence.”

This conference will bring together senior and junior scholars as well as internationally acclaimed artists working in the field of contemporary political and aesthetic theory. The papers and presentations will consider the knot formed in Rancière’s work between aesthetics, politics and education. From his earliest work The Lesson of Althusser to his magisterial book on the pedagogical theory of Joseph Jacotot The Ignorant Schoolmaster, the theme of education have been at the center of Rancière’s concerns; his apparently recent turn to aesthetics, after the 1995 publication of The Disagreement, should in turn be understood as a continuation of his studies of the aesthetic experiments conducted during the post-work nights of 19th century proletarians The Nights of Labor. The question forming the horizon of this conference is therefore: what would it mean to propose a new "aesthetic education" of humanity today? How would the resurrection of this concept transform the current concepts of art, politics, and pedagogy? And to what extent is it necessary to return to the founding moments of aesthetic theory to rearticulate the relation between art and politics today?

* (Researcher and Translator, Brussels) *Arne de Boever* (CalArts, Los Angeles) *Claire Fontaine* (Artist Collective, Paris) *Peter Friedl* (Artist, Berlin) *Sharon Hayes* (Artist, Columbia University, New York) *Maria Muhle* (Bauhaus University, Weimar) *Martin Plot* (CalArts, Los Angeles) *Kristin Ross* (New York University) *Jan Völker* (Freie Universität Berlin) *Evan Calder Williams* (UC Santa Cruz)