Taking Measures of Taking Measures

Essay by Giuseppe Di Salvatore

One has the right to speak about calmness without speaking calmly. I am not a partisan of the necessary coincidence of object and modality of a discourse, for it would lead to the childish and romantic idea, for example, of the necessary moral rightness of people speaking of morality, and so on. However, as the organisers of the symposium «Taking Measures» (Fabienne Liptay, Laura Walde, Carla Gabrì from the University of Zurich, in collaboration with the Migros Museum for Contemporary Art) were obliged to find a new format – pandemic oblige – compared to the traditional one of the physical university symposiums with a series of frontal presentations, they had to take the measures of the format of the symposium itself. This will push me to the interesting exercise of considering critically how they took the measures of (the format of the symposium) «Taking Measures». What is the format of a symposium on formats? This question will actually only be the focus of some concluding reflections, insofar as I believe that it is still quite interesting to speak about something without necessarily speaking by doing (this something).

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