The Depth and the Ply — Launch of Glass Bead’s first online issue


New media, performance, sound - music, video

The Depth and the Ply
Launch of Glass Bead’s first online issue

Past: February 19 → 20, 2016

Friday 19th February

7:00 pm — Introduction by Glass Bead
7:30 pm — Screening of The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda), (2015, 70min) by Metahaven
9:00 pm — 
Ear of Cyclone
, sound performance by Yoneda Lemma with the sound installation of d-n-e (Katrina Burch and Donatas Tubutis)

Saturday 20th February 2016

3:00 pm — Introduction by Glass Bead
3:30 pm — _Why a Rationalist Art ?_ par Suhail Malik
4:00 pm — _Xenofeminist Manifesto_ by Laboria Cuboniks (represented by Katrina Burch and Patricia Reed)
4:30 pm — Panel conversation with Suhail Malik, Laboria Cuboniks and Glass Bead followed by a discussion with the audience
6:00 pm — Public conversation between Tristan Garcia and Christopher Priest followed by a discussion with Glass Bead and the audience
9:00 pm — Sound performance by Tarek Atoui

Free Entry, Booking required at

All the talks will be translated live to French and/or English. The recordings will be made available on Glass Bead’s website.


Glass Bead is a research platform and a journal concerned with transfers of knowledge across art, science and philosophy, as well as with their practical and political dimensions. It was conceived and is run by Fabien Giraud, Jeremy Lecomte, Vincent Normand, Ida Soulard and Inigo Wilkins.

To be human is to enter into a game of ends and means. This game is not a natural game. Animals do not play it. It is the game through which humans construct themselves as well as their environment. It is a normative game whose rules can be altered and transformed, crossing over the whole range of human engagements with the world.

Elaborating on the contents of the first issue of Glass Bead’s journal, this launch event is dedicated to the following questions: what is the function of art in this game? How can theoretical and practical forms of expression help to reshape the rules of the game and further transform our normative landscape?

Contemporary art generally opposes this game of normative gestures with an endless play of indeterminate signification. It puts forward an understanding of creativity and freedom as that which can only be achieved by escaping the game and its all encompassing logic. Doing so, it paradoxically projects normativity into the background, as an implicit condition with which it becomes impossible to engage.

Contrary to this position, Glass Bead contends that any escape from the game already supposes a type of engagement with its fabric. There is no seclusion, no retreat, no outside to the game. Freedom is not the indeterminacy of play: playing the game means committing to an ongoing process of construction and revision that continually changes its nature. Such a claim does not mean that normativity is freedom, but that freedom pertains to the normative game of ends and means. It is through the congruence and divergence of ends and means that norms can be made explicit, revised and transformed.

The event at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers proposes an investigation into this redefinition of the game and art’s role within it. This exploration will articulate the two dimensions of any game: its depth and its plies. The depth of play names the ability to foresee future moves and adapt the play accordingly. The ply, describes a turn of the game between two players. To take part in the game implies the strategic correlation of these two dimensions where any local engagement within it (the ply) is a transformative commitment with its global structure (the depth).

In such a conception, making a move in the normative landscape of the game is necessarily bound to an act of self-transformation. It does not leave us intact as players by preserving what we are but involves us in a constant redefinition of what we can be and ought to be. These events are dedicated to the collective formalization of this uprooting.

Site 0: Castalia, the Game of Ends and Means

With the contribution of Amanda Beech, Ray Brassier, Olivia Caramello, Gabriel Catren, Mat Dryhurst, Freeman Dyson, Keller Easterling, Andrée Ehresmann, Anselm Franke, Tristan Garcia, Linda Henderson, Holly Herndon, Martin Holbraad, Deneb Kozikoski, Laboria Cuboniks, Giuseppe Longo, Guerino Mazzola, Benedict Singleton, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Alex Williams, Pete Wolfendale, et Fernando Zalamea.
Design: Leaky Studio.

With the support to digital edition of the Centre national des arts plastiques, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers et Extra City Kunsthal.

93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom in 93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom out

41, rue Lécuyer

93300 Aubervilliers

T. 01 53 56 15 90 — F. 01 53 56 15 99

Aubervilliers – Pantin Quatre Chemins

Opening hours

Monday to Friday from 11 am to 6 pm

Admission fee

Free entrance

And on booking for events at

The artists

  • Tarek Atoui
  • Tristan Garcia
  • Glass Bead
  • Katrina Burch
  • Suhail Malik
  • Laboria Cuboniks
  • Christopher Priest