We are constantly surrounded with so much visual and sonic input that, at this point in time, absence appears to be a luxury, a mystery or a contemplative, even meditative idea in itself. As absence leaves the space for you to fill in, it opens a space for interpretation, imagination, creation and experience. Depending on a different context, absence of an element where it would usually be found is where the course begins. Here we would consider the absence of a theoretical text itself, in order to come back to it. In this fashion, the course will draw parallels between practice and theory, engaging students in both by means of one or the other.
From John Cage, Heiner Goebbels to Graham Harman, Anne Whitehead or Paul Virilio, we will engage in reading, writing, discussing and exercising absence. By exploring the gaps, glitches, memory and inversion, an idea can be defined by absence rather than presence, so rather by what it isn’t or what it lacks then by what it is.
As Gaston Bachelard said we can “read the house” (Gaston Bachelard, The poetics of space, Beacon Press 1994 [first published in french 1958]) furthermore, we could code a feeling or write a chair. Here, absence is seen as a diversion and is used as means of reduction and inversion of the objects properties to, perhaps, come up with new theories or pose new questions.