On the afternoon of Friday, November 14, from 1 PM to 5:30 PM, in 300 Wallace Hall, IHUM will hold a symposium on the question of trust. Two considerations provoke us. First: the range of that word “trust,” from strong, interpersonal bonds of love and friendship, to law and contract, to the background assumptions of civil society and technological mastery (or dependence). Second: the challenge trust poses for our habits of analysis. Skepticism in the present-day humanities is a reflex, criticality the first response. And yet trust is the oil in our every machine: it is there in our relation to expertise and interface, to credit-system and economical mechanism, to beauty and instruction, to authority and common sense. It is sometimes personal, sometimes institutionalized, sometimes a surprise and sometimes a silent shareholder.
All are welcome, but we ask that you PLEASE PREREGISTER FOR THE SYMPOSIUM HERE.
The afternoon will consist of a series of open-format presentations from thinkers, writers, and artists across the disciplines: Rachel Bowlby (Princeton), Joshua Clover (Davis), John Jackson (Penn), David Levine (Bard College Berlin), Victoria McGeer (Princeton), Philip Pettit (Princeton), Andrew Ross (NYU), and Winnie Wong (Berkeley).
1:00 David Levine and Andrew Ross
2:30 Joshua Clover, Tori McGeer, and Philip Pettit
4:00 John Jackson, Rachel Bowlby, and Winnie Wong.
...and a call for contributions
To accompany the symposium, we invite members of the graduate and faculty communities at Princeton to design and conduct experimental investigations into the limits and possibilities of trust, in any and all of its manifold significations. We intend the category “experimental investigations” to be entirely open, including but not limited to social researches, learned speculation, and aesthetic production (images, sound, music, text). Collaborations are welcomed. The only constraint is that the fruits either take the form of, or be representable by, a two-minute video, itself understood as medium for experiment. There will be a reception and screening on Thursday, November 13, from 5 to 7 PM at the School of Architecture. The videos will be looped, and you can come by any time. They will provide grist for discussions on the following day. All contributors are invited to join us for dinner after the symposium on Friday. Antecedent expertise is not required.
One more word on trust itself: we are looking for experiments which will be both critical and recuperative. We expect (even, trust) that some projects will point us toward limitations and perils—financial, political, ethical, aesthetic—but we want to be wary of shame, and to trust one another, wisely, as we test our concept. If you plan to contribute, please let us know at email@example.com. We will advise you of formatting requirements, and collect submissions at the beginning of November.