Sekula, Space, and Protest: Reflections on the Ship of Empty Boxes

Intriguing post from Phil Steinberg on a conference and several Sekula exhibitions

Empty cargo shipI’m just back from a weekend in London that was a surprisingly coherent exploration into the intersections of art, politics, protest, mobility, and the ocean.

The initial component – and the thing that brought me to London in the first place – was a symposium co-sponsored by Birkbeck College’s Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck’s Institute for the Moving Image, and Delta Arts. The conference – The Ship of Empty Boxes: Responses to Containerised Global Trade – was, in large part, an extended reflection on Allan Sekula’s and Noël Burch’s The Forgotten Space. A central question asked throughout the conference was whether some of the elusive but fundamental concepts and spaces that bind the maritime world economy are amenable to representation. And if so, how can they be depicted in a way that illustrates both global connections and embodied experiences?

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