On Horizons was a three-fold research project, consisting of the 2nd Former West Congress, co-organized with Maria Hlalvajova in Istanbul, the group exhibition Vectors of the Possible, at BAK in Utrecht, both in 2010, and the book On Horizons, published in 2011. The project was realized within the framework of Former West, an international research, education, publishing and exhibition project.
On Horizons investigated the relationship between contemporary art and political imaginaries through the figure of the horizon. Across the formats of the book, conference, and exhibition, the aim was to see the horizon as the connection between aesthetics and politics. If every age is surrounded by a specific horizon, how does this horizon become visible and contestable?
The first part of this investigation was a research exhibition under the title Vectors of the Possible, featuring the work of artists such as Chto Delat?, Matthew Buckingham, Sharon Hayes and Hito Steyerl. Their works established certain horizons, proposals of what can be imagined and what cannot. Their work can be regarded as founding research into the notion of horizontality in terms of image production and conceptualization. The Congress and book, featuring theorists such as Jodi Dean, Ernesto Laclau and Peter Osborne, revolved around the theoretical notion of the horizon, and the understanding of it in the linkage between contemporary art and political imaginaries. As a contested term, the horizon was understood here to suggest not only political aims or utopias, but also the very framing of any aesthetic and political project. The horizon was suggested as an alternative to the ground as the site for the making of political identities.