With the Portikus project, “Time/Bank” as backdrop, Elizabeth Povinelli examines the raveling and unraveling of social worlds as a dynamic relationship between social networks and enclosures. “Time/Banks, Routes/Worlds” begins with a discussion of the anthropology of the gift as a genealogical background to Latour’s network theory and Sloterdjik’s theory of spheres, demonstrating how the circulation of things creates spatial folds in which social worlds emerge and people dwell. In other words, whether gifts of skill-time, ritual objects, humans, or commodities, things do not simply move, they figure space and are figured by space; they are the condition of previous circulatory matrixes and become part of the matrix that conditions what other kinds of things can pass through and be made sense of within this figured space; and they create the deficits and excess out of which new forms of life emerge. Povinelli's ongoing projects - a graphic memoir (old media) and a smart phone based augmented reality program (new media) - examine the relationship among representation, mediation, and the raveling and unraveling of worlds in the context of historical reformations of global capital and state power.
Elizabeth Povinelli is a professor of anthropology and gender studies at Columbia University in New York. She is the author of three books, including "The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality".