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PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

M+M Colloquium: Stefan Andriopoulos with Devin Fore and Thomas Y. Levin

  

"Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media"

November 12, 2013 | 5.00pm | N107, Princeton School of Architecture

Drawing together literature, media, and philosophy, Ghostly Apparitions provides a new model for media archaeology. Stefan Andriopoulos examines the relationships between new media technologies and distinct cultural realms, tracing connections between Kant’s philosophy and the magic lantern’s phantasmagoria, the Gothic novel and print culture, and spiritualist research and the invention of television. As Kant was writing about the possibility of spiritual apparitions, the emerging medium of the phantasmagoria used hidden magic lanterns to terrify audiences with ghostly projections. Andriopoulos juxtaposes the philosophical arguments of German idealism with contemporaneous occultism and ghost shows. In close readings of Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer, he traces the diverging ways in which these authors appropriate optical media effects and spiritualist notions.

Ghostly Apparitions on MIT Press.

Stefan Andriopoulos is chair of the Department of Germanic Languages at Columbia University. He is the author of, most recently, Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media (Zone Books, 2013). His previous book Possessed: Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema (University of Chicago Press, 2008; German version: Fink 2000) won the SLSA Michelle Kendrick award for best academic book on literature, science, and the arts. Stefan Andriopoulos' areas of teaching and research focus on German and European literature, media history, and interrelations of literature and science from 1750 to the present.

M+M Colloquium: Jonathan Crary

  

"24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep"

November 5, 2013 | 5.00pm | N107, Princeton School of Architecture

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep explores some of the ruinous consequences of the expanding non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism. The marketplace now operates through every hour of the clock, pushing us into constant activity and eroding forms of community and political expression, damaging the fabric of everyday life.

Jonathan Crary examines how this interminable non-time blurs any separation between an intensified, ubiquitous consumerism and emerging strategies of control and surveillance. He describes the ongoing management of individual attentiveness and the impairment of perception within the compulsory routines of contemporary technological culture. At the same time, he shows that human sleep, as a restorative withdrawal that is intrinsically incompatible with 24/7 capitalism, points to other more formidable and collective refusals of world-destroying patterns of growth and accumulation.

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep on Verso Books.

"Crary’s primary mode of resistance does not draw from the arsenal created by the development of 24/7 capitalism but instead focuses on one irreducible human need that is intrinsically incompatible with capital’s regime: sleep. Indeed, some of the most beautiful passages in the book (weaving together insightful readings of Tarkovsky, Kafka, Chris Marker, and Philip K. Dick) are paeans to slumber. Sleep has long been a primary expression of the refusal of work, and its powers of resistance become even greater today, especially insofar as capitalist production and consumption rely increasingly on attention. Against the destructiveness of a global system that never sleeps, Crary writes, 'sleep can stand for the durability of the social.' In the sleeping exodus from capitalist control, moreover, Crary senses the potential for community. In sleep we are vulnerable and rely on the care of others in a way that suggests to him the possibility of a form of being together: 'In the depersonalization of slumber, the sleeper inhabits a world in common, a shared enactment of withdrawal from the calamitous nullity and waste of 24/7 praxis.' In the time of sleep, when we can dream a better future, Crary locates the potential to resist the pressures of contemporary capital and rescue our humanity from its destruction."

-Michael Hardt, "Sleep no More," Artforum, (September 2013).

Jonathan Crary is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University, a founding editor of Zone Books, and author of such landmark books as Techniques of the Observer and Suspensions of Perception.

M+M Colloquium: Laura Kurgan & Neil Brenner (respondent)

  

"Close Up at a Distance"

October 15, 2013 | 5.00pm | N107, Princeton School of Architecture

The past two decades have seen revolutionary shifts in our ability to navigate, inhabit, and define the spatial realm. The data flows that condition much of our lives now regularly include Global Positioning System (GPS) readings and satellite images of a quality once reserved for a few militaries and intelligence agencies, and powerful geographic information system (GIS) software is now commonplace. These new technologies have raised fundamental questions about the intersection between physical space and its representation, virtual space and its realization. In Close Up at a Distance, Laura Kurgan offers a theoretical account of these new digital technologies of location and a series of practical experiments in making maps and images with spatial data. Neither simply useful tools nor objects of wonder or anxiety, the technologies of GPS, GIS, and satellite imagery become, in this book, the subject and the medium of a critical exploration. Close Up at a Distance records situations of intense conflict and struggle, on the one hand, and fundamental transformations in our ways of seeing and of experiencing space, on the other.

Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics on Zone Books.

Laura Kurgan is Associate Professor of Architecture at Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning at Columbia University, where she is Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) and the Director of Visual Studies. Her work explores things ranging from digital mapping technologies to the ethics and politics of mapping, new structures of participation in design, and the visualization of urban and global data. Her recent research includes a multi-year SIDL project on "million-dollar blocks" and the urban costs of the American incarceration experiment, and a collaborative exhibition on global migration and climate change. Her work has appeared at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Whitney Altria, MACBa Barcelona, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, and the Museum of Modern Art (where it is part of the permanent collection). She was the winner of the United States Artists Rockerfeller Fellowship in 2009, and named one of Esquire Magazine's 'Best and Brightest' in 2008. She has published articles and essays in Assemblage, Grey Room, ANY, Volume, and Else/Where Mapping, among other books and journals.

Neil Brenner is Professor of Urban Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the coordinator of the newly founded Urban Theory Lab GSD. He previously served as Professor of Sociology and Metropolitan Studies, and as an affiliated faculty member of the American Studies Program, at New York University. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago (1999); an MA in Geography from UCLA (1996); and a BA in Philosophy, Summa Cum Laude, from Yale College (1991).

M+M Colloquium: Carolina Sá-Carvalho, Frances Jacobus-Parker, and Pep Avilés

  

April 16, 2013

Carolina Sá-Carvalho

"Epitaphs of a messianic dream: Flavio de Barros' photographs of Canudos"

Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, advisors: Gabriela Nouzeilles, Eduardo Cadava

"This talk will explore Flavio de Barros' photographs of Canudos, a region in the Northeast of Brazil where, in 1893, a messianic community was founded and four years later decimated by the Republican army. I will address the temporal dimension of these images, which helped shaping the conflict as a historical event. More than just witnessing the triumph of a certain project of modernity, the photographs – many of them pictures of ruins and corpses, others, of reenactments and performances of scenes of war – bear witness to the absence or disappearance of their objects as well as to the death and survival of alternative projects of future."

Carolina Sá-Carvalho is a PhD candidate in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures. She is writing a dissertation tentatively entitled “Traces of the Unseen: Photography, Writing and Contact in Three Expeditions in the Tropics”, in which she explores the articulations between photography and writing in the accounts of travelers who sought to leave a visual material trace of disappearing communities in the dry and wet backlands of Brazil and Peru. She is particularly interested in how the advent of technologies of reproduction mediate these experiences of contact, helping to shape different concepts of time, perception and memory.

Frances Jacobus-Parker

"Grisaille Disaster: The Graphic Realism of Vija Celmins"

Department of Art & Archaeology, advisor: Hal Foster

"This talk addresses Vija Celmins’s 1960s series of drawings and paintings based closely on contemporary and vintage news photos of war and violence. It explores the relationship between the hand-made mark, the photograph, and the events captured by each, arguing that Celmins’s manual mediations of found images respond metonymically to the war in Vietnam and to unrest at home. Jacobus-Parker’s dissertation, “Redescription: The Art of Vija Celmins,” treats the full trajectory of paintings, drawings, prints and painted objects made by this pivotal American artist from 1962 to the present. It focuses on how Celmins’s practice both resonates with and disrupts modernist discourses of medium-specificity, notation, and realism."

Frances Jacobus-Parker is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art & Archaeology, where she is writing her dissertation on the American artist Vija Celmins. Related research interests include mimesis in postwar art, aviation and the aerial view, the representation of war, and feminism and gender. Her writing has appeared in Artforum.com, The Art Newspaper, and Third Text. Since 2010, she has served as the Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She is also an instructor for the Princeton Prison Teaching Initiative.

Pep Avilés

"From Light to Knots: Moholy-Nagy’s Das Gesetz der Serie"

School of Architecture, advisors: Beatriz Colomina, Spyros Papapetros, Brigid Doherty

"In May 1945, the Italian provisory government CLN (National Liberation Committee), formed by members of the Resistance, named the architect and communist activist Piero Bottoni Director of the VIII Milan Triennale. Bottoni mandated that the Milanese institution become an experimental space for translating the principles of the neo-democratic country into architecture. He organized the Triennale around the construction of an exemplary neighborhood QT8 (Experimental Quarter of the Eighth Milan Triennale, designed 1945-1947 and completed late 1950s) as if it were a manual — a guide for rethinking the architectural discipline on the verge of the new historical and political events. Comparisons with other architectural manuals of the period, such as Irenio Diotallevi and Franco Mariscotti’s Il problema sociale, costruttivo ed economico dell’abitazione (1947) or the more well-known Mario Ridolfi’s Manuale dell’Architetto (1946), clarify how Bottoni intended to realize an instrument of intellectual control, but remain within the parameters of the Resistance as a political project."

Pep Avilés is a historian, architect, and educator pursuing a doctoral degree at Princeton University. Based currently in NY, he is Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University where he teaches the introductory seminar to the Master in Advance Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Previously he taught at Princeton University, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Columbia University, and Barcelona Institute of Architecture where he was appointed Head of Graduate Studies to design and coordinate the Master’s curriculum. He holds a design degree from the School of Architecture in Barcelona (E.T.S.A.B.) and a Masters in history and theory of art and architecture from the same institution. He studied in residence at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan in Stockholm and as Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. In addition to numerous travel awards he recently received the Collection Research Grant at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal and the 2012-13 Harold W. Dodds Fellowship.

M+M Colloquium: Adedoyin Teriba and Federica Vannucchi

  

April 9, 2013

Adedoyin Teriba

"Architecture & Afro-Brazilian Ideals in South-west Nigeria (c. 1894-1960)"

Department of Art & Archaeology, advisor: Esther da Costa Meyer

"My dissertation studies how the architecture of Afro-Brazilian migrants (Aguda) in Southwest Nigeria particularly between 1880 and 1960 embodied their idealization of themselves and their agenda to affect the aesthetic tastes, social mores and public religious expressions of Lagosians and inhabitants of Southwest Nigeria. This project seeks to reconstruct a history of the migrants’ interpretation of the architecture they saw in Brazil, and an exploration of the social meanings it conveyed in subsequent generations."

Adedoyin Teriba is a PhD candidate of Architectural History at Princeton University. His dissertation explores how architecture, tombstones and objects of certain Afro-Brazilians in Brazil and the Bight of Benin helped to refashion their identities and narratives of their sojourn on both sides of the Atlantic. His other interests include Architecture in Sub-Saharan Africa, psychology of perception in art and architecture and art & architectural historiography. Originally trained as an architect, he has worked in firms in New York and New Jersey.

Federica Vannucchi

"A Manual of Resistance: The QT8 Experiment at the 8th Milan Triennale (1945-47)"

School of Architecture, advisor: Lucia Allais

"In May 1945, the Italian provisory government CLN (National Liberation Committee), formed by members of the Resistance, named the architect and communist activist Piero Bottoni Director of the VIII Milan Triennale. Bottoni mandated that the Milanese institution become an experimental space for translating the principles of the neo-democratic country into architecture. He organized the Triennale around the construction of an exemplary neighborhood QT8 (Experimental Quarter of the Eighth Milan Triennale, designed 1945-1947 and completed late 1950s) as if it were a manual — a guide for rethinking the architectural discipline on the verge of the new historical and political events. Comparisons with other architectural manuals of the period, such as Irenio Diotallevi and Franco Mariscotti’s Il problema sociale, costruttivo ed economico dell’abitazione (1947) or the more well-known Mario Ridolfi’s Manuale dell’Architetto (1946), clarify how Bottoni intended to realize an instrument of intellectual control, but remain within the parameters of the Resistance as a political project."

Federica Vannucchi is a PhD Candidate in Architecture at Princeton University. She graduated at the Università degli Studi di Firenze and earned a MED at Yale School of Architecture. She has taught at Pratt, Parsons, and Yale School of Architecture. In 2012 she received the Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars for developing her research entitled “From Control to Discipline: Design and Power at the Milan Triennale, 1945–1973.”

M+M Colloquium: Priyanka Anne Jacob and Daniela Fabricius

  

March 12, 2013

Priyanka Anne Jacob

"A Pocket-Book of Litter: The Paper Clue in the Victorian Sensation Novel"

Department of English, advisor: Deborah E. Nord

"In this presentation, I take a closer look at the paper clue so often scattered across the pages of the mid-Victorian sensation novel. M.E. Braddon’s 1862 novel Lady Audley’s Secret, especially, depends on collections of paper objects—half-torn telegrams, tell-tale letters—in the piecing together of the crime. The unique role of paper in these sensational collections invites further analysis of paper’s role in the storing and transmitting of secrets. Working against the critical tendency to treat paper objects in literature exclusively as figures for the text, I argue that every piece of paper in a novel need not drive us inexorably to textual metaphors. Instead I examine these objects in their material specificity and in the context of a late-nineteenth-century culture in which paper had many uses beyond the literary. In Braddon’s work, paper acts both as a medium—a container for information—as well as a material container, literally wrapping the most precious objects of a novel obsessed with the keeping of secrets. Meanwhile paper’s double-sided value complicates our sense of what that keeping might mean. Paper is the substance of litter and the archive, of the scrap and the keepsake; with its continual movement towards disposal and its paradoxical resistance to destruction, paper forms the quintessential clue—that stubborn remnant of an act, the scrap that lingers on the scene. In its disposability and persistent presence, paper troubles the distinction between the keeping and discarding of things."

Priyanka Anne Jacob is a PhD candidate in the English department, and her dissertation is titled "The Art of the Hoard: Secrets, Keepsakes, and Lingering Things in the Victorian Novel." She has a BA in English and Women & Gender Studies from Amherst College. She co- runs the Victorian Colloquium in the English Department and is a Graduate Student Delegate to the MLA.

Daniela Fabricius

"Material Calculation: Frei Otto’s Soap Film Models"

School of Architecture, advisors: Spyros Papapetros, Brigid Doherty

Frei Otto strove for near-dematerialization in his structures, an ideal of lightness that was best encapsulated by his famous soap film experiments. Soap film structures were almost mathematically incalculable at the time Otto began working with them in the 1950s. By the 1960s the creation, measurement, and calculation of minimal forms had become a major focus of his research. Scientific photography in particular was key in the quest to create a perfect index of the ephemeral forms, which because of their near-immateriality are especially difficult to document and accurately measure. In order to overcome this imprecision the model had to be placed within a framework in which space (and atmosphere) was already constructed as measurable, where a total and precise coordination between object, camera, lighting, and background was possible. These devices for making and measuring models increasingly came to take precedence over the models themselves, eventually suggesting a new type of space. In the process of creating and capturing incalculable forms for architecture, Otto effectively turned material into data. In these experiments Otto developed not only new forms but also a new language and aesthetic of architectural representation, challenging the conventions of the architectural model in particular. For Otto the incalculable suggested a formal limit that he tries to both overcome and continuously expand in experiments with not only soap films but also optimized path systems, structures too small or large to physically measure, and the interiors of the living bodies of animals and humans. A dialectic played itself out between the incalculable and the calculable as Otto turned to science and eventually computation to expanded the limited geometric and structural imagination of modern architecture.

Daniela Fabricius is a PhD Candidate in Architecture at Princeton University. She holds an M.Arch from Columbia University, and a BA from Brown University in Visual Art and Comparative Literature. She has taught at Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania, and Pratt. Her essays have appeared in Log, Harvard Design Magazine, Stadtbauwelt, The Journal of Architectural Education, and AD. In 2012 she received a DAAD grant for her current research on the themes of calculation and risk in West German architecture in the 1960s-80s.

Britt Eversole and Yetunde Olaiya

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José Aragüez and Phil Taylor

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LC/GR Le Corbusier and Greece

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Redesigning the Scholarly Book

Monday, March 31, 2014

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