MATHEMES OF RE-ASSOCIATION
Mathemes of Re-association is a platform by Grupa Spomenik/Monument Group where artists, theorists, and activists jointly facilitate public discussions of the ways in which the ideology of reconciliation through forensic science works to depoliticize genocide (with the genocide in Srebrenica as an initial departure point).
Mathemes of Re-association strives to generate a public space where new forms of political subjectivity will be allowed to emerge through efforts to associate forensic data analysis with the language of politics proper; where the naturalized categories of ethnoreligious identity may begin to be destabilized; and where the unidentifiable, unethnifiable, and therefore indivisible remainder of genocide as bones in the ossuary—resisting and refusing ideological cooptation by the bureaucratic/scientific/religious alliance—may be attributed agency.
Grupa Spomenik/Monument Group:
- Damir Arsenijević
- Ana Bezić
- Pavle Levi
- Branimir Stojanović
- Milica Tomić
- with guest Vanessa Vasić-Janeković
"Towards the Mathemes of Genocide", 2009
Pythagorean Lecture: the Irreducible Surplus Matter
The Srebrenica genocide has become a complex object constructed by science, religion, and trauma administration; by the advanced forensic apparatus of re-association of the mortal remains of the executed. Can we make a matheme of the Srebrenica genocide that is going to be legible a hundred years from now? Can we convey knowledge without historicization, images, lab visits, or DNA data processed by the International Commission on Missing Persons? The Yugoslav wars were an act of negation. How do we articulate an affirmative, emancipatory politics out of an entropy-inducing negativity?
Grupa Spomenik’s performance Pythagorean Lecture: the Irreducible Surplus Matter is an intervention into these “matter-of-fact” forensics, which, by reducing victims’ bodily remains to re-associated evidence and assigning them an ethnic identity, ultimately reproduce the ideology of genocide. But not all the remains yield to DNA identification. The performance takes the form of an acousmatheme, a specific form of knowledge transmission devised by the Pythagoreans. Positioning the lecturer behind a curtain determines the dynamics of a Pythagorean lecture with the acousmatic voice as the only source of information and representation. The acousmatic voice brings to the fore exactly that remaining, irreducible surplus matter that refuses to be forensified.
Grupa Spomenik (Damir Arsenijević, Ana Bezić, Pavle Levi, Jelena Petrović, Branimir Stojanović, Milica Tomić) with DeLVe (Ivana Bago and Antonia Majača) and Branislav Jakovljević
Tuzla / Ljubljana / Rijeka / Belgrade / San Francisco / Berlin / Durham, 2008–14