MAPS Online - Master Symposium 2021

A symposium on fugitive presences of resistance with Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson

The symposium will take place on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, on the platform Zoom.

Talks and presentations with Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson
Breathing sessions with Misty Richardson
Ambassadors for the discussion groups: Pauline Ammann, Laìs Cardoso Da Rosa, Bertrand Emaresi Caterina Giansiracusa, Constanza Puente Burgos, Aurélie Strumans
The symposium is conceived by Petra Köhle, Aurélie Strumans and Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin, with the support of Federica Martini

Along with the films In Search of UIQ and Common Birds by Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson the symposium discusses, reflects on and fabulates about digitalization of everyday life, viral contagion and the possibility of an interspecies dialogue on the borders of language. The day will be composed of talks, individual screenings and study group discussions. And this will not be done breathlessly but with support of breathing sessions by Misty Richardson.


10:00h – 10:30h Welcome by Petra Köhle and Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin
10:30h – 11:30h Talk by Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson
11:30h – 12:00h Restorative session with Misty Richardson
12:00h – 13:00h Lunch break
13:00h – 13:15h Distribution of the links and passwords for the films
13:15h – 15:00h Individual film screenings (student’s choice) and break
15:00h – 16:00h Students' group discussions moderated by ambassadors
16:00h – 16:15h Break
16:15h – 17:30h Collective discussion with Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson and ambassadors, moderated by Petra Köhle
17:30h – ca 18:00h Closing, followed by a breathing session with Misty Richardson (audio only)

Films and biography

In Search of UIQ
Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni, HDV, 72' (F/IT/UK 2013)
The film unfolds the story of Félix Guattari’s lost science-fiction screenplay, "Un Amour d’UIQ". Conceived during the 1980s, this unmade film imagines the discovery of the Infra-quark Universe (UIQ), a bacterial sample which propagates through viral contamination. This alien intelligence, which is coming from a parallel dimension, falls in love with one of its human hosts, an event which has striking effects for the whole planet on both technology and human subjectivity. Slipping between documentary, fiction and essay, through the deployment of video and sound archives, letters and other documents that are enmeshed in a series of fabulations and spectral re-enactments, In Search of UIQ explores what Guattari's cinema of the Infra-quark might have been (and may still become) in relation to his thought and clinical practice and considers its implications in terms of the wider social and political transformations both of its own time and of the present moment.

Common Birds
Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson, 2K HD, Colour, B&W, 84’, Dolby SRD (2019)
Languages: Ancient Greek, Silbo Gomero (whistled language)
Refusing to pay for the debt, two Athenians decide to leave their city. Guided by mysterious crow calls, they wonder through a desolate urban landscape until they reach a zone of passage and are spirited to an ancient forest, the Realm of the Birds. Here they meet the Hoopoe, half-bird half-woman, who tells them how the birds live by sharing their resources amid the magical forces of the forest. However, one of the men has other plans for the birds. Though far from easy, the inter-species encounter will be illuminating for all. Some 2,500 years after it was written, an experimental adaptation of Aristophanes’ "The Birds". Between a contemporary Athens marked by crisis and the forest of La Gomera, Ancient Greek and Silbo (an endangered whistled language that forms part of a long tradition of resistance), comes a tale of flight, loss and re-enchantment in a space of refuge where new alliances can emerge between different species, temporalities and languages.

Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni are artists and filmmakers interested in the porous border between fiction and documentary, cinema and the visual arts. The artists often make use of cinema in expanded form to reactivate lost or forgotten archives and histories and to create new modes of collective vision and engagement with contemporary thought and politics. Their practice includes the creation of short and feature films, exhibitions, sound works, film-performances, radio shows, vernacular technologies and books. Their films include “Wolkengestalt” (2007), “Facs of Life” (2009), “Through the Letterbox” (2009-ongoing), “In Search of UIQ” (2013), “Blind Data” (2013), “Disappear One” (2015), “Underwritten by Shadows Still” (2017) and “Common Birds” (2019). Their work has been presented, screened and installed worldwide at international film festivals, museums and art spaces.