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Tarek Elhaik

My work is a contribution to aesthetic anthropology, the anthropology of arts, and the anthropology of the contemporary image. Until now I have been conducting fieldwork in Mexico City where I was attentive to the image-work and writings of media artists, as well as to the concept-work of curators who care about them. The outcome of this first fieldwork experience and experiment is a book length study titled The Incurable-Image: Curating Post-Mexican Film & Media Arts (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). My new book project is an inquiry composed of a series of short études based on fieldwork in an ecology of interconnected scenes, practices, and objects: conceptual art, cinematic fragments, architectural environments, photographic montages, artistic interventions in natural history museums, marine life forms, and so on. When juxtaposed these observations generate patterns of relationships, to borrow from Gregory Bateson, that reconfigure “aesthetics” into an anthropological problem of “cogitation.” Cogitation is a concept I reanimate from the 12th century Cordoban thinker Ibn Rushd (Latin. Averroes). The book is titled Studies in the Anthropology of Cogitation.
about 4 years ago


Dialogues between Anthropology, Art History, and Philosophy, Images, Curation, Geo-Philosophy, the rapport between finitude and the infinite, Cogitation, Gilles Deleuze, Gregory Bateson, Ibn Rushd (Averroes).