A registration of a symposium with some of today's most advanced thinkers, with subjects ranging from metaphysics to a digital green screen cosmos.
A symposium – a three-day 'forum of ideas' with such thinkers, artists and curators as Jean-Luc Nancy, Philippe Pareno, Boris Gruys, Manthia Diawara, Gayatri Spivak and Timothy Morton – takes place in a creaking Parisian recording studio. The group discussed the numerous possibilities of ‘resistance’ (after the title of an exhibition that never took place, a sequel to Jean-François Lyotard’s Les Immatriaux, from 1983). The breadth of the discussion is as unlimited as the environment where the individual participants meet to talk and listen.
With The Rare Event, the team of Ben Rivers and Ben Russels create a factual registration of the event – a symposium on the cutting edge of art, philosophy and politics – while adding an additional layer at the same time. Inexplicable foreign elements appear. A man dressed in a green suit (designed by artist Peter Burr) is a human 'green screen' and a surrogate for philosopher Jean-François Lyotard. He steers us towards an abstract, digital cosmos. It is a cosmic counterpoint to the serious group discussions.
In its original Greek meaning, a symposium is an encounter where a topic is discussed and approached from all scientific and philosophical perspectives. In The Rare Event, it is a formalized discussion that shifts into the supernatural.
US, 2017, 48’, English & French spoken, English subtitles, starts every 60’.