Past Event

Brian Larkin | The Political Aesthetics of Generators

November 8, 2018
6:15 PM - 7:00 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.
Basler Afrika Bibliographien Klosterberg 23, 4051 Basel, Switzerland

Carl Schlettwein Lecture at the Basler Afrika Bibliographen, University of Basel, Switzerland.

Like a living being, the generator ingests and expels. At one end of a generator, petrol pours in. At the other, electricity, smoke, fumes, and sound flood out. In Nigeria, generators emerged as a response to breakdowns in the electric grid but are now so broadly disseminated they have become formalized into a system of their own. Ubiquitous in all urban and rural areas, coming in all sizes, their sound, smell and presence is integral to what Nigeria is and how it functions. In this lecture Brian Larkin examines generators as aesthetic objects, drawing on the older idea of aisthesis as a felt experience. He examines how generators shape the technologized, ambient environment of urban Nigeria – how it is one feels, hears, or smells the world one lives—and how that environment is part of the reshaping of Nigerian urban life. 

Aesthetics from the Margins

This event is part of the public lecture series Aesthetics from the Margins, which proposes historical and theoretical inquiries into questions of sensual perception and world-making. By considering different aesthetic forms, media and practices—among them photography, literature, language, and the performing arts—the series explores colonial and postcolonial ways of being in and making sense of "world(s)," especially if these are articulated from a perspective of marginality. The lectures are organised by Lorena Rizzo and James Merron.

(Source: Universität Basel)