Agonistic Intelligence/s (or Another AI/s)

Discursive Programme

Ali Akbar Mehta

Agonistic Intelligence/s (or another AI/s) is a Summer School by the Museum of Impossible Forms (MIF) in partnership with Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) for Helsinki Biennial 2023. It is curated by Ali Akbar Mehta.

Agonistic Intelligence/s (or another AI/s) is a gathering of invited provocateurs, guest speakers, and participants to form a research-led working group that engages with a shortlisted selection of the HAM art collection as a key focal node and as an archival site of inquiry. The working group convenes for an intensive 6-day period during the Helsinki Biennale 2023, from August 14-19, 2023, at HAM Helsinki Art Museum, with open-to-public evening lectures and discussion programs.

Agonistic Intelligence/s operates from a conceptualisation that archives investigate contaminated circumstances. Invited speakers, provocateurs and participants respond to the Helsinki Biennial 2023’s curatorial framing of contamination, agency, and regeneration organized around complementary research threads, including: ‘Technodiversity’, ‘Datafeminisem’, ‘Politics of Exclusion within the Archives’, ‘Affective Agencies and contamination’, ‘BIPOC community building as activist technologies’, and ‘decolonization within institutions. The gathering will remember and formulate technologies, methodologies and praxes that center the building of anticolonial, antipatriarchal, anticaste, and non-fascist practices and futures.

And so, Agonistic Intelligence/s invites its participants to perform a critical diagnosis, to generate insights into how to read the collection differently and reconfigure new relationships with the collection located within the museum, across the city, online, and elsewhere. They are also invited to form a long-term working relationship to access within each other a wealth of diverse, embodied, situated knowledges/ non-knowlegdes, that often resides outside the purview and domains of traditional museum working conditions and interests.

Museum of Impossible Forms MIF is a cultural centre located in Kontula, East Helsinki, and the coming together of communities of art and cultural workers invested in building anticolonial, antipatriarchal and non-fascist practices and futures. Over the past six years, MIF has unfolded as a heterogeneous platform to engage with experimental, marginal, and migrant forms of expression, and as a laboratory for experiences, critical thought, and radical imagination. MIF is a collaborative project that seeks to defy prejudices of otherness and structural asymmetries, working for dignity, diversity, equity, allyship and solidarity, and towards developing and strengthening a plurality of knowledges and practices in the arts.

As part of their curatorial collaboration for the Helsinki Biennial 2023, MIF will develop the Biennial’s discursive program Polyphonic Entanglements and the Summer School Agonistic Intelligence/s.

Apply as a working group memberThe Summer School, organized by the Museum of Impossible Forms in collaboration with the Helsinki Art Museum, invites applications from art and cultural workers and students, including artists, curators, museum workers, designers, technologists, activists, and other transdisciplinary researchers.

Agonistic Intelligence/s (or another AI/s) – a six day intensive Summer School will be held August 14 to 19, 2023 at HAM Helsinki Art Museum. The working group gathers from Monday to Friday 11:30 to 17:30 and also on Saturday daytime.

Open lectures and discussions will be organized on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 17:30. More detailed info and registration to these events will follow.

The deadline to apply was June 30, 2023, with notifications made to final participants on July 20. The working group consists of six professionals in the Arts residing and working in Finland, four visiting lecturers and attendees through an open call.

The working language is English.

The six attendees/provocateurs:
Monica Guthao, ARMA (Anti-Racism Media Activist Alliance) co-founder and researcher
Egle Oddo, artist and researcher, Namastic Art Collective founding member
Olga Spyropoulou, performance artist and researcher
Saara Mahbouba, artist, writer and researcher
Einat Amir, artist, researcher and educator
Anna Ruth, artist, curator and founding member of Äkkigalleria

The four visiting lecturers:
Dalida Benfield, artist, writer, theorist, and curator
Christopher Bratton, The Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research (CAD+SR)  co-founder and Executive Director
Sinthujan Varatharajah, independent researcher and essayist
Annet Decker, independent researcher and curator

The language of the working group will be English. A more detailed schedule will be sent to final participants. Be prepared to take part every day from Monday to Friday from 11:30 to 17:30.

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