WochenKlausur Features, New York (USA), a project by Vienna-based group WochenKlausur, who are part of the Austrian Cultural Forum's tenth anniversary exhibition, OUR HAUS, focuses on contemporary positions and practices on the topic of housing and public space.
For the duration of the exhibition (which runs through August 26), nine New York-based organizations, associations, interest groups, and activists who deal with issues of housing and the urban built environment were chosen to use the ACFNY Gallery space for one week each. From August 20 to August 26, Not An Alternative will be the WochenKlausur "NPO-in-residence"at the ACFNY.
For this event, the art/activism collective Not an Alternative will be hosting a research discussion centering on Occupy Wall Street, the movement that occupied mainstream media headlines via a question: what do they want, what are their demands? Philosopher Slavoj Zizek, pushed the question further when he enjoined occupiers not to be afraid to want what they desire - suggesting a gap between conscious want and unconscious desire. In effect, his injunction was for occupiers to occupy their desire; for us to occupy our desire.
Inspired by this, Occupy Their Desire is a research discussion with art/activism collective Not An Alternative, political theorist Jodi Dean, and OWS organizer Matthew Smucker that investigates and inquires into the desires expressed by and repressed in Occupy Wall Street.
The discussion will explore questions such as:
How is the expression of desire a necessary element in building a movement?
Where has Occupy succeeded and failed in this task?
How might we contrast the movement’s expression of desire with that of the 2004 Obama campaign (Hope!), or traditional Left / progressive politics?
What role does representation play in the expression of desire -- and relatedly, how do the disciplines of art, advertising and psychoanalysis inform this inquiry?