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Institute of Contemporary Art Miami


Evan Calder Williams Lecture

Art + Research
Thu, Oct 6, 2016
Evan Calder Williams. Courtesy of the Artist. Evan Calder Williams. Courtesy of the Artist.

Due to Hurricane Matthew, the Art + Research Center’s Thursday evening public lecture by Evan Calder William is postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.

As part of the Art + Research Center’s pilot semester, “New Social Abstractions,” arts theorist Evan Calder Williams will deliver a public lecture on analogy at ICA Miami. To learn more, or enroll in workshops conducted by Evan Calder Williams, please visit

From the artist:

“Often when we try to make sense of the seeming incoherence of the present, we rely on analogy. For instance, one hears that the proto-fascist nativism of Trump is to our time as that of the Nazis was to 1920s Germany. Or that automation is to the ‘digital revolution’ as mechanization was to the ‘industrial revolution.’ Whether or not these comparisons are right, analogy nevertheless provides a necessary frame, at once analytical and affective, refusing ahistorical ideas of total novelty while opening the prospect of finding hidden connections between what feels impossibly distant.

“It’s more rare, however, that we consider the basic structure of analogy, what it derives from, and what limits it carries with it. This talk suggests a different history of analogy, seeing it not only as an abstraction used to think about historical breaks and continuities but also as a real structure materially constructed around us over recent centuries: that diffuse system of exchange, management, and spatial transformation on which capitalism’s use of human time and effort depends. In telling this other history, we can discern the contours of a massive design project from which specific persons profit but which has no central planner, an inhuman network of interchange entrenched in the sewers, protocols, currencies, police, and satellites that make possible the valuation and interaction of radically different things – and that are continually threatened by the social frictions that gather within these passages and against their continuity.”

This lecture is presented in conjunction with the Art + Research Center’s pilot semester, “New Social Abstractions.” To learn more, or enroll in workshops conducted by Evan Calder Williams, please visit

About Evan Calder Williams

Evan Calder Williams is a writer, theorist, and artist. He received a PhD in Literature from the University of California Santa Cruz and was a Fulbright Fellow in Italy for his research on cinema, industry, and revolt. He is the author of Combined and Uneven Apocalypse and Roman Letters. His writing has appeared in Film Quarterly, Mute, The Journal of American Studies, Radical Philosophy, Historical Materialism, Third Rail, and The New Inquiry. He has presented films, performance, and audio works at the Serpentine Gallery, the Whitney Museum, Tramway, Artists Space, Images Festival, ISSUE Project Room, the Ljubjana Biennial of Graphic Arts, and the Montreal International Festival du Nouveau Cinéma. He is part of the editorial collective of Viewpoint Magazine and works, with Lucy Raven and Victoria Brooks, as Thirteen Black Cats, a research and production collective for moving images. He was a 2015 artist-in-residence at ISSUE Project Room, and is currently a faculty member at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.