The Imaginary 20th Century

by: Norman M. Klein, Margo Bistis

News Archive

The New Picaresque

Norman Klein visits Media Studies at The New School to present The Imaginary 20th Century, in conjunction with talks on the picaresque rogue’s tale as a narrative form about our condition today, after the end of globalization.  The work provides the springboard for a research lab during the spring semester, entitled “Archeologies of the Present,” for USC School of Cinematic Arts.  ZKM releases the print edition of the book, followed by readings at Los Angeles area bookstores.  Bistis and Klein are joined by CalArtians Tom Leeser and Dan Bustillo for a conversation on artistic collaboration at Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel.  Klein delivers his lecture on ‘The New Picaresque” in London, at the Miracle Marathon, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, and Goldsmiths University.  Interviews and reviews appear in LARBEntropy Magazine, Das Magazin, and Image & Narrative.  Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist selects The Imaginary 20th Century for Süddeutsche Zeitung’s ‘Book of the Year 2016.’

2015 Workshops

2015 opened with workshop presentations of The Imaginary 20th Century.  What makes an archive come to life as story?  What are the possible uses of archive for fiction writing, cinema, and world-building design?  The workshops took place in Germany at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and the University of Cologne, and in Los Angeles at USC’s Interactive Media Division.



Los Angeles 2014

On May 8, 2014, in honor of the publication of The Imaginary 20th Century ebook in tandem with the narrated media archive, the Goethe-Institut hosted a presentation and interactive installation.  Angelenos joined in a free-ranging discussion of the spaces between fact and fiction, archiving, and the future of the book in the era of the “postdigital”.  Seismicity Press at Otis College of Art and Design, and The Center for Integrated Media at CalArts hosted follow-up readings and conversations.  How can we use the computer to generate fresh templates for culture?  Wherein lies the space outside the loop machine of late modernism, with its relentless convergences and collage effects?

Movable Stories

In January 2014, The Imaginary 20th Century was the subject of a 4-week workshop on narrative media at Art Center College of Design.  How do we bring urgency and contour to the act of moving through visual data on the screen, in immersive spaces, inside printed text?  How do we convert the viewer/reader’s journey into a compelling ‘movable’ form of storytelling?

Memory Acts

In November 2013, Norman joined visual artists and academic researchers in Sweden for a 2-day workshop on memory at the University of Gothenburg.  Through papers and audio-visual screenings, participants in “Memory Acts” sought to propel debates on personal remembrance and collective memory in new directions.

The Object as Actor

On April 10 2013, Norman “absolutely brought the house down” at this symposium at the Royal College of Art in London.  Noam Toran, the organizer, wrote that “the auditorium was buzzing …, and the material looked great on the big screen … the maps, which everyone agreed were beautiful, particularly the NYC one, its kaleidoscopic energy immediately brought me back to my childhood visits to Coit tower in SF, and the New Deal funded mural inside.”  On September 14th, Margo joined the symposium on the west coast, in Pasadena at Art Center College of Design.  The purpose of this event?: “To investigate the historical understanding and future potential of ‘things’ as narrative or philosophical protagonists.”

View Full Image | Close {x}

Close {x}