Hito Steyerl & Keller Easterling

Conversation Documentation
Sunday, March 8, 2015

Artists Space Books & Talks
55 Walker Street

Architect and writer Keller Easterling shares with writer and filmmaker Hito Steyerl an interest in the often opaque influence that infrastructure has on our lives. Easterling has coined the term “extrastatecraft” to define these systems and the control they exert, thinking beyond material substructures towards the undeclared constellations of authority that structure the spaces around us. Such global infrastructural networks emerge as a medium of polity, beyond the conventional framework of state power.

On the occasion of Hito Steyerl’s survey exhibition at Artists Space, the conversation between Steyerl and Easterling discuss their individual work, and their overlapping areas of research into infrastructural space – from free trade zones to national museums, mobile telephony to econometrics.

Keller Easterling is an architect, writer and professor at Yale University. Her most recent book, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014), examines global infrastructure networks as a medium of polity. Other books include: Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005), Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America (MIT, 1999), and Subtraction (Sternberg Press, 2014). She has published web installations including: Extrastatecraft, Wildcards: a Game of Orgman and Highline: Plotting NYC. Easterling’s research and writing was included in the 2014 Venice Biennale, and she has exhibited at other venues including Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York. Easterling has lectured and published widely in the United States and abroad, and contributed to journals including Domus, Artforum, Grey Room, Cabinet, and e-flux.

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker and writer in Berlin, and currently the subject of a survey exhibition at Artists Space. Previous solo exhibitions include: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (both 2014); Art Institute of Chicago and e-flux, New York (both 2012); and Chisenhale Gallery, London (2010). The Wretched of the Screen, a collection of Steyerl’s essays, was published by Sternberg Press in 2013. Steyerl participated in the Istanbul and Venice Biennials in 2013; the 2010 Gwangju and Taipei Biennials; the 2008 Shanghai Biennial and Manifesta 5, 2002. In 2007, her film Lovely Andrea was commissioned for documenta 12. In 2015, she will represent Germany in the 56th Venice Biennale.