Les Immatériaux: towards the virtual with Jean-François Lyotard – Somerset House, London, 27-28 March 2015

The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, March 27 – 28, 2015
Registration deadline: Mar 27, 2015

Les Immatériaux: towards the virtual with Jean-François Lyotard

17.30 – 19.00, Friday 27 March 2015 (with registration from 17.00)
09.30 – 17.45, Saturday 28 March 2015 (with registration from 09.00)

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

‘Les Immatériaux’ curated principally by philosopher Jean-François Lyotard at the Centre Georges Pompidou, held its private views on 27-28 March 1985. We celebrate its thirtieth anniversary, following conferences in Dusseldorf (2014 Dusseldorf Quadriennale), Lüneburg and in conjunction with a conference in Paris. A pioneering combination of technological experiment, ‘Les Immatériaux’ involved the first ‘personal’ computers, art works, a pick-up literary sound-track following the installation and electronic music. Great philosophers and artists were involved with the ‘writing experiment’. The two-volume catalogue, a record of curatorial meetings and other reflections, was also experimental.

Les Immatériaux follows Lyotard’s publication of 1979, La condition postmoderne, and its translation into English as The Postmodern Condition in 1984. A celebration of what Lyotard called ‘technoscience’, ‘Les Immatériaux’ was the very antithesis of the ‘primitivist’, earth-bound aesthetic of ‘Magiciens de la Terre’ the much vaunted show which followed in 1989, the year when the long Cold War ended, and an anticipation of the global art world today. Our conference will unite veteran artists, philosophers and curators of ‘Les Immatériaux’ from the Centre Pompidou with scholars and artists of today.

Organised by Professor Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

This event was made possible by the generous support of the Institut Français
Ticket/entry details: £26 (£16 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions)
BOOK ONLINE: http://ci.tesseras.com/internet/shop or send a cheque made payable to ‘The Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, stating ‘Immatériaux’. For further information, email .


FRIDAY, 27 MARCH 2015 (DAY 1)
17.00 – 17.30 REGISTRATION
17.30 – 17.45 Welcome and Chair: Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
17.45 – 18.15 Thierry Dufrêne (INHA, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris): Paris: Les Immatériaux an ‘immodern’ project?
18.15 – 18.45 Rolf Gehlhaar (composer): ‘Soundspace’, at Les Immatériaux
18.45 – 19.00 Discussion

09.00 – 09.30 REGISTRATION
09.30 – 10.00 Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art): The Light of Dead Stars and ‘Immatériaux’: Lyotard’s Sublime in Mutation
10.00 – 10.30 Christine Buci-Glucksmann:
‘Les Immatériaux’: Mutation or Crisis in Lyotard’s Aesthetic Theory?
10.30 – 11.00 Antony Hudek (Director, Raven Row): Structures for thinking: architecture of/at Les Immatériaux
11.00 – 11.30 TEA/COFFEE BREAK (provided – Seminar room 1)
11.30 – 12.15 Yuk Hui (Leuphana University, Lüneburg): Report from the research project “30 Years after Les Immatéraux”
12.15 – 12.45 Hans-Jürgen Hafner: ‘Les Immatériaux’ for Instance’ 2014
12.45 – 13.00 Discussion
13.00 – 14.15 LUNCH (provided for the speakers only – Seminar room 1)
14.15 – 14.45 Constant Dullaart (artist): ‘My Immatériaux’
14.45 – 15.15 Michael Newman (Goldsmiths, University of London) with Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art): Remembering Les Immatériaux and its impact
15.15 – 15.45 TEA/COFFEE BREAK (provided – Seminar room 1)
15.45 – 16.15 Gabriella Ascha, Tamar Clarke-Brown, Ashlee Conery, (independent curators, London) ‘Immatériaux: proposition for new exhibition practices’: multimedia finale
16.15 – 17.15 Round table for all participants
17.15 END