Shifter: Waiting | Sandrine Canac and Felipe Steinberg

October 22, 2020
Event Types
Talk / Lecture

Sandrine Canac

Felipe Steinberg


This online series will use Zoom with live closed-captioning.

For more information, contact:

Emily Garner eagarner [at] (eagarner[at]mit[dot]edu)

A businessperson waits for a delayed subway. A wrongly convicted prisoner awaits justice. A refugee waits for their asylum case. A nation waits for the promised boon of economic development. The world waits for a vaccine. Nature waits for its exploitation to end. 

Waiting is usually what we do between things. It is the space between two destinations, an empty and anxious time to fill with distractions. But when we look more closely, we see that waiting is also an activity in itself, bristling with energy, uncertainty, and inequality. What does the condition of waiting reveal about us, our world, and the natural environment that sustains it? 

This series of eight sessions offer glimpses into the thought and practices of artists, architects, historians, and theorists who grapple with this question.

In this hour-long session, Sandrine Canac will offer a fictionalized conversation that takes place in postcolonial theorist Dipesh Chakrabarty’s “waiting room” of history. Felipe Steinberg will share his research into US labor laws and how the state of always being “on-call” is a form of unpaid waiting.   A brief moderated discussion and audience Q&A will follow. 

These events, and the resulting publication, Shifter 25: Waiting, are co-hosted by MIT List Visual Arts Center and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati in conjunction with solo exhibitions by Sreshta Rit Premnath to be held in March 2021 (MIT List Center) and October 2021 (CAC).

About the Speakers

Sandrine Canac is an art historian based in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated with a PhD in Art History & Criticism from Stony Brook University in 2019 and was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2014. Sandrine’s article “Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant: Recovering the Presence of Angela Davis in Robert Barry’s Marcuse Piece” was recently published in the Oxford Art Journal. Her work attempts to rethink institutional modes of knowing and the ways in which art is written into history.

Felipe Steinberg is an interdisciplinary artist whose work enlists various types of media and systems of circulation to explore the thickness between social spaces and interpersonal encounters. Steinberg attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York (2019) and The Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2018). His work has been presented in venues such as Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba; Museu de Arte Moderna Aloísio Magalhães, Recife; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah; Visual Arts Center-University of Texas, Austin; 1After320, New Delhi; and SESC, Ribeirão Preto.

About Shifter

Shifter explores the intersection of contemporary art, theory, and experimental writing. They convene public dialogues and produce publications. Shifter is programmed by Sreshta Rit Premnath and Avi Alpert.