Studium Generale - Marina Otero Verzier

Lecture: 'Spirits in the Material World'

Hong Kong´s real estate market, dubbed as one of the most expensive in the world, is infiltrated by unwanted spectral residents. The presence of ghosts not only leaves apartments vacant but also affects the value of the property, as a ‘haunted’ apartment could bring down the price of all the flats on the same floor and even of the entire block. Ghosts are, therefore, an active agent for the regulation of the housing market by providing homes at between 20% and 30% below average.

This presentation will navigate across a variety of agents and presences in Hong Kong, Amsterdam and beyond, to reflect on how these shape spatial imaginaries and markets. Through the lenses of ghosts, as well as financial devices, computer viruses, artificial intelligences, it might be possible to reformulate questions of privacy, domesticity, property and belonging.

The lecture borrows the title from the upcoming exhibition by artist Herman Chong and will reflect on the project ‘Malware: Symptoms of Viral infection’ on view until the 10th of November 2019 at Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Bio - Marina Otero Verzier (A Coruña, Spain, 1981) is director of research at Het Nieuwe Instituut and member of the Artistic Team for Manifesta 13. Recently, she curated the exhibition ‘Steve Bannon: A Propaganda Retrospective by Jonas Staal’ (2018), and co-curated ‘Malware: Syptoms of Viral Infection’ at HNI, and ‘I See That I See What You Don’t See’ at La Triennale Di Milano (2019). Previously, Otero was the curator of ‘Work, Body, Leisure’, the Dutch Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, and co-curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale. She edited books such as Architecture of Appropriation (2019), Work, Body, Leisure (2018) and After Belonging (2016), and currently teaches at RCA in London.

Student's artwork in reaction to Marina Otero Verzier's lecture

Artwork by Brynja Steinporsdottir and Jeremi Biziuk

Brynja Steinporsdottir and Jeremi Biziuk:

"It was fascinating to us to think of the parasite as something hidden. Marina mentions in her lecture the parasite host as a virus lurking inside a computer system or a ghost in a Hong Kong apartment which then brings the price of accommodations down to 20% or 30% below average. In relation to this we thought of x-rays and how they bring forth malware and illnesses in our bodies. In our installation the motorized origin of the sound travels from behind the door through the vibrations of a metal tube on the floor and comes out by the x-ray images so that traces of it can be heard."



Thu 31 October 2019 16.00 - 17:30


Auditorium KABK