2022 Spring Semester Theme – Failure

Failure has been so widely embraced in the start-up business culture that it seems now a commonplace: you need to fail to succeed! Is there not a paradox at play here? If failure is but a phase on a path to success, is it really “failure”? Along similar lines, in the context of contemporary art, Susana Martins observes that “There is tension between (non)fulfilment and expectation, and so failure becomes a far more complex notion, carrying connotations, symbolic charges and cultural roles, which are often diverse and contradictory. Moreover, failure can be very differently assessed, not only with regard to patterns of intention and anticipation, but also in terms of scale, social spheres or disciplinary practices.” In short, failure can be a complex notion. A recent example of how failure is approached from many different perspectives is the 2016 volume of Social Research: An International Quarterly, dedicated entirely to the study of this concept. In this seminar we hope to explore the role of failure in contemporary culture while examining the concept through multiple disciplinary lenses.

Events Related to the Theme 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Virtual Presentation in Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.
On Failure: A Contemporary Reflection on the Heart of Creativity
Ana Merino, University of Iowa

Saturday, April 30, 2022
Ejecta Projects, 136 W. High Street, 5:30 p.m.
Art Exhibit