The Unforgettables Reading/Working group

The Unforgettables Reading/Working group
is a series of open to the public monthly meetings at the A.I.R. space running since late 2016, initiated by artist Ofri Cnaani and A.I.R. Executive Director Roxana Fabius. This group, formed by readers/workers from several disciplines and walks of life, brings to the front a combination of texts, artworks, and films. Every month the group looks at historic feminist and queer manifestos, science fiction, new feminist fiction writings, and theory pieces that help to imagine a future where no-one is forgotten.

Each session is led by a different member of the group, empowering the attendants to learn, and publicly share their thoughts with others. The Unforgettables Reading/Working Group embraces its origins, accepts the mistakes of the past, and aims to become more inclusive. We invite everyone to study, converse, and work together.  Studying side by side, the group works on A.I.R.’s non official horizontal and updated feminist library. An unusual unforgettable one.

This season we are focusing on Hannah Arendt’s essay “What Is Authority?,” which addresses how authority is present or hidden, as well as how it works in conjunction with religion and tradition to buttress political structures. Written around 1958, the essay germanely describes how the left and right have different understandings of what authority is, while explaining how our present definition of authority grew out of Roman foundations and Greek political philosophy. We hope to read and re-read the text throughout the sessions to shed new light on the concept of authority.

Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future

Chapter 3, section 1: “What Is Authority?” pages 91-104

The sessions are co-organized by Christian Camacho-Light, Roxana Fabius and Kyna Patel

The Unforgettables Reading/Working Group 2021 is sponsored by a Humanities New York Grant.

Season VI (2021-2022)

Season VI: Session 1

Tuesday October 26, 2021 at 7pm Eastern Time, Zoom

Led by Christian Camacho-Light and Roxana Fabius

We would like to kick off the programs leading up to the 2022 A.I.R. CURRENTS exhibition with an Unforgettables session dedicated to the text that inspired the idea of the call and the subsequent exhibition: The Combahee River Collective Statement.

"On the eve of the 45th anniversary of the Combahee River Collective Statement, the 2022 A.I.R. CURRENTS exhibition Identity Politics looks to the concept’s origins in order to consider its continued relevance and contemporary manifestations. One of the most significant texts of the twentieth century and a pillar of Black feminist theory and praxis, the 1977 statement positions identity politics not as a force of atomization, but as a political analysis that emphasizes personal experience and multi-focal coalition building as wellsprings of revolutionary action. For the Combahee River Collective, identity politics allowed for the recognition that all forms of oppression are interconnected and thus cannot be fought in isolation. While importantly informed by who you are, identity politics poses the more essential question of what you might do with others".

Readings and Materials:

The Combahee River Collective Statement

Season V (2020-2021)

Season V: Session 2

Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7 PM Eastern Time, ZOOM
Led by Lizania Cruz

The session was conceptualized by A.I.R. Fellow Lizania Cruz as part of the research for her project Obit. of the American Dream which will be a printed newspaper next year. As such the conversations in the larger group will be recorded for later use.

We will focus on the following question: As a women, femme, or gender nonconforming person living in America, what have you sacrificed in order to thrive professionally?

Readings and materials:

Season V: Session I

Monday, October 26, 2020 at 6 PM Eastern Time, ZOOM
Led by Bat-Ami Rivlin and Joan Snitzer

- Lambros Malafouris: At The Potters Wheel: An Argument for Material Agency (Material Agency: Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Approach, Knappett, Malafouris, 2008, pp. 19-36)

- Isabelle Graw: The Value of Liveliness: Painting as an Index of Agency in the New Economy (Harvard lecture, Painting Beyond Itself, 2013)

- Mignon Nixon: On The Couch (October, Vol. 113, 2005, pp. 39-76)

- Gabriel Orozco, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Carrie Lambert-Beatty and Megan Sullivan: To Make an Inner Time: A Conversation with Gabriel Orozco (October, Vol. 130, 2009, pp. 177-196)

Season IV (2019-2020)

Season IV: Session 4
Monday May 18, 2020 at 7 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada), ZOOM
Led by Kyna Patel

- Trio A (1978) by Yvonne Rainer

- “A D.I.Y. Dance for your Home, from Yvonne Rainer” by Brain Seibert

- The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt
  • Part 2, chapter 7 (The Public Realm: The Common), pages 50-58
  • Part 5, chapter 24 (The Disclosure of the Agent in Speech and Action), pages 175-181

- "Twist, Bend, Reach, Step: A Merce Cunningham Solo Anyone Can Try" by Marina Harss
  • The dance is 50 Looks (1979) by Merce Cunningham

Season IV: Session 3
Monday April 27, 2020 at 7 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada), ZOOM
Led by Susan Stainman

This session led by A.I.R. artist Susan Stainman focuses on the ways we are connected, our responsibility to one another, and the creative strategies we have at our disposal to meet difficult times.

- Rebecca Solnit, Chapters 1 and 4 of Hope in the Dark.

- Ross Gay, Joy Is Such A Human Madness from "The Book of Delights."

- A letter exchange between Helio Oiticica and Lygia Clark

- Lara Glenum, Funereal Mineral Landscape

- Donna Haraway, Chapter 3 of "Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene

- Meriem Bennani, 2 episodes of 2 Lizards

Season IV: Session 2
Tuesday February 4, 2020 7PM.
Led by Maxine Henryson

The session focused on feminist narratives about place created through photography, film, and literature.

- Jane Rendell, Feminist Architecture from A to Z
- Jhumpa Lahiri In Other Words
- Sarah M. Broom The Yellow House
- Eudora Welty One time, One Place

Season IV: Session 1
Monday October 28th, 2019 at A.I.R. Gallery
Led by H.A. Halpert

- Catherine Malabou, Ontology of the Accident, 2012
- César Aria (translated by H.A.), Hepatitis Diary

Season III (2018-2019)

Season III: Session 5
Tuesday, July 9th 2019, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Christian Camacho-Light
- Sampada Aranke, Material Matters: Black Radical Aesthetics and the Limits of Visibility, 2017
- Shaka McGlotten, Black Data, from “No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies,” 2016
- SAVVY Contemporary exhibition essay Ecologies of Darkness: Building Grounds on Shifting Sands, 2019
- Simone Browne, Torches, Torture, and Totau: Lantern Laws in New York City, from "Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness," 2015

Season III: Session 4
Monday, January 21st 2019, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Sarah Demeuse
- Ursula Le Guin, Life on the Frontier, 1996
- Camilla Grudova, Unstitching, 2017
- Clarice Lispector, The Smallest Woman in the World, 1964

Season III: Session 3
Tuesday, December 4th 2018, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Diann Bauer
-Karen Barad, Troubling Time/s and Ecologies of Nothingness: Re-Turning, Re-Membering, and Facing the Incalculable, 2017
-Laboria Cuboniks, Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation, 2015
-Arrival, dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2016

Season III: Session 2
Monday, November 19th 2018, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Roxana Fabius and Patricia M. Hernandez
-Catherine D’Ignazio, Designing for Other (Than Straight, White, Rich Men), 2016
-Catherine D’Ignazio, Feminist Data Visualization
Silvina Ocampo, The House Made of Sugar.

Season III: Session 1
Tuesday, October 2nd 2018, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Renana Neuman
-Avery Gordon, Some Thoughts on Haunting and Futurity, 2011
Audre Lorde, Between Ourselves, 1976

Season II (2017-2018)

Season II: Session 9
Monday, June 25th 2018, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Ofri Cnaani and Roxana Fabius
-Layli Longsoldier, 38, 2018
Christina Sharpe, The Weather, 2016
Lucy Lippard, Undermining: A Wild Ride Trough Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West, 2014

Season II: Session 8
Monday, May 21st 2018, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Ofri Cnaani and Roxana Fabius
-Denise Ferreira da Silva, On Difference Without Separability, 2016
Clarice Lispector, Report on the Thing

Season II: Session 7
Tuesday, April 24th 2018, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Elizabeth Povinelli
-Elizabeth Povinelli, "Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism", 2016

Season II: Session 6
Monday, March 19th 2017, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by: Carlos Motta and John Arthur Peetz
-Carlos Motta, John Arthur Peetz, Carlos Maria Romero, The Spit! Manifesto, 2017

Season II: Session 5
Tuesday, February 13th 2018, A.I.R Gallery
Led by: Aya Rodriguez-Izumi.
-Octavia Butler, Bloodchild, 1995

Season II: Session 4
Tuesday, January 23rd 2018, A.I.R Gallery
Led by: Jack Halberstam
-Jack Halberstam, Trans* A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability (Chapters 1, 2 and 6), 2017

Season II: Session 3
Monday, November 20th 2017, A.I.R Gallery
Led by Janna Dyke and Ofri Cnaani: On 'Good Life' and Ugly Feelings
-Lauren Berlant, Excerpts from Cruel Optimism, 2011  
-Sianne Ngai, Introduction on Ugly Feelings, 2015

Season II: Session 2
Monday, October 16th 2017, A.I.R Gallery
Led by Elizabeth Larison: On Identity politics and normativity/antinormativity in queer theory and queer theory's impact on the field of theory more generally
-Hilton Als, pages 11-51 of "Triste Tropiques" from White Girls, 2013
-Robyn Weigman, lecture "Eve's Triangles: Or Queer Theory without Anti-Normativity" 2014
-Rebekah Sheldon, Queer Universal, 2016

Season II: Session 1
Monday, September 18th 2017, A.I.R Gallery
Led by Park Myers: On Agency and Perspectives on Cognition and Feminism and the implications of the body and mind dualism, trends in neuroscience, and alternatives in philosophies of science from a feminist perspective
-Helena Knyazeva, Nonlinear Cobweb of Cognition, 2008
-Antonia Majaca and Luciana Parisi, The Incomputable and Instrumental Possibility, 2016
-Kate Shepherd, FWD: The Telephone Game, 2014

Season I (2016-2017)

Season I - Session 7
Monday, June 26th 2017, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Katherine Behar
-Katherine Behar, Introduction to Object Oriented Feminism, 2016
-Anne Pollock, Queering Endocrine Disruption, 2016
-Katherine Behar, Facing Necrophilia or 'Botox Ethics', 2016

Season I - Session 6
Monday, May 22nd 2017, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Christian Camacho-Light and Roxana Fabius
-Donna Kate Rushin, "The Bridge Poem" from This Bridge Called My Back (ed. by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa), 1981
-Gloria Anzaldúa, "La conciencia de la mestiza" from Borderlands: La Frontera, 1987
-Rita Segato, "Patriarchy from Margin to Center: Discipline, Territoriality, and Cruelty in the Apocalyptic Phase of Capital", 2016
-Sofia Cordova, the performance "La Vedette de América", 2012

Season I - Session 5
Monday, April 24th 2017, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Gabriela Vainsencher and Megan Pahmier
-Emily Dickinson: Article by her publisher (including poems and letter fragments), 1891
-Virginia Woolf, An Excerpt from A Room of One’s Own,Chapter 3, 1929
-Elena Ferrante (2 texts), Excerpts from letters to her editors, 2016
-Alexandra Schwartz, "The Unmasking of Elena Ferrante", 2016
-Adrian Piper, Art Criticism Essay Suggested Guidelines, 2016

Season I - Session 4
Monday, March 20th 2017, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Ofri Cnaani and Roxana Fabius
-Hannah Arendt, "A Classless Society" from The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951
-Rebecca Solnit, "Short History of Silence" from The Mother of All Questions, 2017
-Emma Goldman, "Victims of Morality", 1913

Season I - Session 3
Monday, February 20th 2017, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Roxana Fabius and Patricia Margarita Hernandez
-Donna Haraway, "Cyborg Manifesto", 1984
-Rosi Braidotti, "Four Theses on Posthuman Feminism" from Anthropocene Feminism, 2016, edited by Richard Grusin
-Joan D. Vinge, "Tin Soldier", 1974

Season I - Session 2
Monday, January 30th 2017, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Amber Esseiva
-Judith Butler, preface from Precarious Life, 2006
-Zadie Smith, Speaking in Tongues, 2009
-Michelle Cliff, If I Could Write This In Fire, 2008

Season I - Session 1
Monday, December 12th 2016, A.I.R. Gallery
Led by Ofri Cnaani and Roxana Fabius  
-Shulamith Firestone, The first chapter of The Dialectic of Sex, 1970
-Karen Barad, excerpt from Posthumanist Performativity: Toward and Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter , 2003
-Anne Boyer, excerpt from Garments Against Women, 2015
-Ursula K. Leguin, She Unnames Them, 1985