Ashley Hunt is an artist, activist, and writer who engages with the ideas of social movements, public discourse, and intersections between politics and subjectivity. His primary work of the past eight years has been the development of The Corrections Documentary Project ( www.correctionsproject.com), which deals with the contemporary growth of prisons and their centrality to today’s economic restructuring and politics of race. His most recent work is 9 Scripts from a Nation at War ( www.9scripts.info), made in collaboration with Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Katya Sander, and David Thorne for documenta 12. Ashley Hunt and Taisha Paggett collaborated during their RIR stay. More information on Hunt’s work is available at www.ashleyhuntwork.net. Hunt lives and works in Los Angeles.
The basis for our collaboration comes directly from our sharing of space and time, to which we each bring the training, habits, perspectives, subjectivities, and aporias of the respective disciplines through which we have become artists living in the world. Whereas Paggett’s investments have centered upon movement-based practices and movement theories, and Hunt’s investments have centered upon visual arts practice and theory, our collaborative practice has emerged from the need to negotiate them both—considering the kinetic along with the visual, the cerebral and the corporeal, and ultimately, chipping away at what appears to separate them. In this way, our interests lie in forms of intelligence and knowing that are not exclusively cerebral or “in the head.” Yet, instead of this locating our inquiry in strictly internal phenomenological investigations, we are interested in such intelligence and knowledge as politics, as political, economic, and social life are not abstractions but work materially upon, through, and across bodies. This might lead to more critical understandings of the politics that touch, give us new analytical tools for speaking about them, and new ways to act as an agent in the world.
Our proposal for the BAK Research Residency is to study a selection of emergent and historical somatic disciplines against a selection of philosophical traditions that claim to know and describe the subject, its determinations, limitations, and possibilities. This will take place in three layers: study, experimentation, and choreography. The study will simply be reading, discussing, and testing of the various disciplines; the experimentation will include conceptual tests that introduce somatic and philosophical disciplines into one another; and the choreography will be an attempt to develop the results of these experiments further, into loose organizational forms that can be placed upon other bodies in contexts where one would typically refer to as protests, organizing, and so forth. This latter strand may not be possible to complete within the limited time frame of this residency, but it will be present as a possibility throughout all of our research.
(A two-part workshop entitled On movement, thought and politics by artists Ashley Hunt and Taisha Paggett took place on Sunday 16 December 2007 at 14.00 hrs. Panelists included Annette Krauss (artist) and Katya Sander (artist). For more information on this workshop, please click here.)