Sami Hammana

A picture of me playing bingo (photograph by Florian Cramer)

“The ‘-’ in theory-fiction denotes not a merging but a dissolution of the two categories. Fiction doesn’t just ‘contain’ theory, but produces it”

Fisher, Mark (1999) Flatline constructs : Gothic materialism and cybernetic theory-fiction. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

The dissolution of categories is perhaps the most important, albeit abstract, guiding line in my work, as both an artist and an educator. Be it the act of dissolving disciplinary-, discourse-, methodological- or epistemic-related  categories, it is undoubtedly present in many practical outputs of my work. In regards to the elephant in the room; I guess I relate more to the prefix ‘trans-’, than to the root word ‘ -discipline’, or as it is defined: “across,” “beyond,” “through,” “changing thoroughly,” “transverse,”. And by extension, applying these movements to the limits of our surroundings. Simply because of the conviction that this ‘trans-‘ movement ought to be applied to more than just the domain of disciplines.

“The line between social reality and science fiction is an optical illusion”

Akomfrah, John (1996) The Last Angel of History.

Are these dividing-lines even real? One could ask with a slightly rhetorical tone… Or, are these lines nothing more than mere optical illusions?

In my work as a coordinator and teacher in the Willem de Kooning Academy’s Honours Programme, we set out to re-formulate and engage with these aforementioned questions.

For example, in our course ‘Theory-F[r]iction’ (which I taught together with Sonia de Jager), that ran from September – December in 2019, the students developed what they call a ‘Punctionary’ (a portmanteau neologism, consisting of the terms ‘pun’ and ‘dictionary’). This Punctionary consists of hundreds of words that the students developed themselves, as a kind of sincere gesture in finding multiple unexplored connections through the mechanism of a ‘pun’ (click here to see the project). Essentially, stretching the possibilities of meaning, insight and ramifications.

Book launch of Punctionary at FKAWDW (2019)

Similarly, in my own artistic practice, I approach the limits of epistemology, aesthetics and inference as a latent opportunity of renegotiating the integrity of these limits. Or in other words, to constantly ask: how to make sense of that which can’t be (phenomenologically) sensed? For examples of how this research-interest is mobilised in my work, see schizoaesthetics.

After that little rambling about my interests, my courses and my own work, I guess I should conclude with some sort of standard bio:

Sami holds a BA Honours in Product Design from the Willem de Kooning Academie and a MA with distinction in Research Architecture at the department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths University of London. Sami has been teaching in, and coordinating, the Honours Programme at the Willem de Kooning Academie since 2019.

Leave a Reply