Project class of artist and writer Tyler Coburn 

Annual theme "The Present of the Future"

Summer term 2015


A Lasso, A Loop: Travels in Counternormative Time

Room A.UG.24, Akademiestr. 2

Time 19.05.–21.05. and 22.06.–03.07.2015 (all-day)
Teaching language: English


We commonly describe time as moving in one direction, and all around us, we seem to find proof of this claim.  Our backs bend with age, while our buildings climb higher; we are told that the future will be utterly different than the past. And though we know that these are different temporalities (even as capitalism colonizes biological time), it’s easy to let the one legitimate the other. If the human dies forwards, so too must everything else. This course will survey challenges to chrononormativity from aesthetic, artistic, scientific and philosophical positions. Chrononormativity here denotes the supposedly objective, absolute and unidirectional properties of time, and the way those properties can be made to privilege certain historical narratives over others. In response, we will imagine counternormative time as allowing for a radically different orientation to the past, present and future—and experiment with the different roles that artistic practice can play in the production of new imaginaries.


Over our sessions, we will unpack counternormative time in terms of recent queer theory, as well as in its applicability to historical writings on relativity, time travel, and the many other paradoxes of time. Beyond readings and films, class time will include extensive critiques and sessions in technical workshops, allowing students to explore the course topics through different material processes.


Tyler Coburn lives and works in New York. Following a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature at Yale University, he obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. The artist and author is currently teaching at The New School, Pratt Institute, City College of New York, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His writing has appeared in various print and online magazines such as frieze, e-flux journal, Mousse, Art-Agenda and Rhizome. His performances, installations and sound works have been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; South London Gallery; Kunstverein Munich; CCA Glasgow; Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp; CAC Vilnius; LAXART, Los Angeles; and SculptureCenter, New York. In summer 2015 Coburn was guest professor at the cx centre for interdisciplinary studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich.