The year 2018-19 is organized around the conceptual node of operations

Our actions, our projects and our historical narratives are, on different scales, often evaluated according to their capacity to show themselves to be operative or inoperative. On the one hand, the often proclaimed operations (sometimes as a wishful wish), the over-operation increasingly demanded by economic reason, or the hyper-operation feigned by the authorities of power, are to be put into perspective in the face of the apparent inoperability of any emancipation project today. But on the other hand, the algorithms and other devices of capture of our knowledge and uses seem only too effective, raising inevitably the question of the paradoxical power of the inoperability. Thus, in this binary relation, operations and inoperability seem to define our world, reducing and enclosing the field of possibilities. Operations would be a way of thinking about going beyond this dichotomy to open up a space of power. In a field determined by multi-directional forces, these operations “act” in a little perceptible way. How can these operations be identified, characterized or even practiced? What about the operations of our desires, our actions, our knowledge, our imagination? What about the operation of art?

After a year dedicated to the dam and the operations and inoperations of the energy generated by this emblematic figure of the transformation of landscapes and generator of energy ecosystems, we will look at different modes of operations in art and in the social world. Is it not sometimes to find the operations of a plant? From a wave? Or an oil slick? Is not the operations a way of naming and practicing what Michel Foucault called “counter-behaviors” that undermine the exercise of operating power by undermining the basis of punctual submission on which it rests?

These are the questions that constitute the conceptual node of the research that is conducted during the year 2018-19 in the program of DSRA, Document & contemporary art.