11/30 | EXTINCT: A Compendium of Obsolete Objects

EXTINCT: A Compendium of Obsolete Objects
with Barbara Penner, Adrian Forty, Olivia Horsfall Turner, Charles Rice, Harriet Harriss, Zeynep Çelik Alexander

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 @5pm ET
Online Event [register here]
 History is filled with objects that once populated the world, but do so no longer. Some artifacts and technologies that have disappeared were once ubiquitous; others barely made it into existence, not more than an idea or prototype. We are interested not simply in why some things have disappeared, but in what their disappearance tells us about the world we have created for ourselves. In using the analogy of ‘extinction’ to describe this process, what assumptions do we perpetuate about why certain things disappear, at the expense of other, possibly no less pertinent, possibilities? 

This talk features the editors of and selected contributors to the newly published book,Extinct: A Compendium of Obsolete Objects (Reaktion, November 2021). They will introduce the theme of extinction in design and present a series of objects from the book. >>>> Introduction to EXTINCT via Places Journal <<<<

Barbara Penner is Professor in Architectural Humanities at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Her books include Bathroom (Reaktion, 2013) and she is a contributing editor of Places Journal.  

Adrian Forty is Professor Emeritus of Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. He is the author of many books including Concrete and Culture, a Material History (Reaktion, 2012).  

Olivia Horsfall Turner is the Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Charles Rice is Professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney and author of Interior Urbanism: Architecture, John Portman and Downtown America (2016).

Harriet Harriss is a UK-licensed architect, writer, and historian, and Dean of the Pratt School of Architecture in Brooklyn, New York.

Zeynep Çelik Alexander is Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and author of Kinaesthetic Knowing: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Modern Design (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

11/16 | Pamela M. Lee: On Think Tank Aesthetics [response: Steven Chung]

Pamela M. Lee
“On Think Tank Aesthetics: Mid-Century Modernism, the Cold War and the Neoliberal Present”
[response: Steven Chung]

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 @5pm ET
Online Event [register here]


We continue to live in the Cold War, in spite of our collective obsession with all things new and contemporary. This is as true for discussions of art as it is for geopolitics. In Think Tank Aesthetics, Pamela M. Lee looks to these shadowy institutions during the Cold War as sites of radical creativity and interdisciplinary practice in the service of defense strategy. In four chapters detailing the “operational” aesthetics that emerged from the RAND Corporation as well as other associated institutions, she traces the multiple and overlapping networks between nuclear strategists, mathematicians, economists, anthropologists, artists, designers and art historians.


Pamela M. Lee is Carnegie Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Yale University. She is the author of The Glen Park Library: A Fairy Tale of Disruption (No Place Press) and New Games: Postmodernism after Contemporary Art (Routledge)among other books.

Steven Chung is associate professor in East Asian Studies at Princeton University, where his current research tracks the circulation and reconfiguration of audiovisual technologies throughout Cold War in East and Southeast Asias. He is the author of Split Screen Korea: Shin Sang-ok and Postwar Cinema (2014).

11/9 | Teresa Fankhänel: Of Models and Men [response: Matthew C. Hunter]

Teresa Fankhänel
“Of Models and Men. Theodore Conrad, Louis Checkman and the Miniature Boom in New York”
[response: Matthew C. Hunter]

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 @5pm ET
Online Event [register here]


Theodore Conrad was the most prominent and prolific architectural model-maker of the 20th century. His models were instrumental in the design and realization of many icons of American Modernism—from the Rockefeller Center to Lever House and the Seagram Building. Yet, despite his success and the well-known buildings he helped to create, until now little has been known about Conrad’s work and his impact on 20th century architectural history. Set against the backdrop of the surge in model-making in the 1950s and 1960s the talk explores how Conrad’s models and photographer Louis’ Checkman’s model images prompt broader scholarly questions about the nature of authorship in architecture, the importance of craftsmanship, and about the translation of architectural ideas between different media.


Teresa Fankhänel is a curator and writer based in Chicago. For the past four years she was a curator at the Architecture Museum in Munich, Germany. Her most recent show was “The Architecture Machine. The Role of Computers in Architecture” (2020/21). Her dissertation on model making in the United States was published as The Architectural Models of Theodore Conrad: The “miniature boom” of mid-century modernism by Bloomsbury in 2021.

Matthew C. Hunter teaches in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal. Hunter is author of Painting with Fire: Sir Joshua Reynolds, Photography and the Temporally Evolving Chemical Object (2020) and Wicked Intelligence: Visual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London (2013), both published by University of Chicago Press. He is an editor of Grey Room.

CANCELLED // 11/2 | Kerstin Stakemeier + Anselm Franke: Illiberal Arts. Introducing a Series of Methodological Fractures

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS EVENT HAD TO BE CANCELLED DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Kerstin Stakemeier + Anselm Franke
“Illiberal Arts. Introducing a Series of Methodological Fractures”

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 @5pm ET
Online Event [register here]


The exhibition “Illiberal Arts“—currently on view at HKW / Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin—builds on understanding today’s raging illiberalisms not as the appearance of threats opposed to liberalism, but as liberalism’s very own core becoming explicit. Starting from the assumption that while what we are living through today might be the end of liberalisms’ ideation, it surely is not the end of its reign, Anselm Franke and Kerstin Stakemeier invited a group of twenty-four artists, six poets and eight discussants to work through the implications such a perspective has for artistic labor and for working in art. If art has been an icon of liberal freedoms, how do the violent manifestations of those freedom’s possessive nature reposition what Lu Märten called “Lebensarbeit” (life-work) in art?


Kerstin Stakemeier, Professor for Art Theory (Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg), works most often in collaborations. With Bill Dietz she co-authored Universal Receptivity (2021), with Marina Vishmidt Reproducing Autonomy (2016). M.Ammer, E.Birkenstock, J.Nachtigall, S.Weber and her realized the exhibitions/magazine series Class Languages (2017/18). She co-edited with Susanne Witzgall the lectures/anthologies Power of Material / Politics of Materiality, Fragile Identities, The Present of the Future (2014-2018, diaphanes). 2017 Entgrenzter Formalismus. Verfahren einer antimodernen Ästhetik came out (b_books PoLYpeN). 
 Anselm Franke is Head of the Department of Visual Arts and Film at HKW Berlin, where he co-curated the multi-year program “The Anthropocene Project” (2013-2014) and “Kanon-Fragen (2016-2019), and conceived numerous exhibitions such as recently “Neolithic Childhood. Art in a False Present ca. 1930” (together with Tom Holert) and “Parapolitics. Cultural Freedom and the Cold War” (with Paz Guevara, Nida Ghouse and Antonia Majaca). Publications include “2 or 3 Tigers” (2017, with Hyunjin Kim), “Forensis” (2015, with Eyal Weizman et. al.) and “Animism” (2010). Franke received his doctorate from Goldsmiths College, London.
FALL 2021 | EVENTS

 ALL EVENTS    VIRTUAL   @5PM EST
SEPTEMBER 21   ED ATKINS
The Worm

OCTOBER 5  NICOLE STAROSIELSKI
The Cold Internet

OCTOBER 12   FUTURITY REPORT
Eric C. H. de Bruyn, Sven Lütticken

NOVEMBER 2   ILLIBERAL ARTS
Kerstin Stakemeier, Anselm Franke
:::: registration ::::

NOVEMBER 9   TERESA FANKHÄNEL
Of Models and Men.
Theodore Conrad, Louis Checkman and the Miniature Boom in New York
:::: registration ::::

NOVEMBER 16   PAMELA LEE
On Think Tank Aesthetics:
Mid-Century Modernism, The Cold War and the Neoliberal Present
:::: registration ::::

NOVEMBER 30   EXTINCT
Adrian Forty, Barbara Penner
:::: registration ::::



All virtual events are open to the public and hosted via Zoom. Advance registration is encouraged. If you have further questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to mandm@princeton.edu

10/5 | Nicole Starosielski: The Cold Internet [response: Devin Fore]

Nicole Starosielski
“The Cold Internet”
[response: Devin Fore]

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 @5pm ET
Online Event [register here]

 This presentation draws from Nicole Starosielski’s forthcoming book, Media Hot and Cold, a feminist and queer rewriting of media theory in the context of digital systems and climate change. It tracks the shifting thermal regimes that structure modern media, from print to digital infrastructures. While media have always been shaped by temperature, computational media systematically re-embeds network production, distribution, and access into both a colonial geography and into the hands of hyperscale media companies. Starosielski calls for a critical temperature studies that can address the connections between thermal contexts and media technologies.

Nicole Starosielski, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, is author or co-editor of The Undersea Network (2015), Media Hot and Cold (2021), Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructure (2015), Sustainable Media: Critical Approaches to Media and Environment (2016), and Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media (2021). 

Devin Fore is Professor of German and Co-Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University.

 
FALL 2021 | EVENTS

 ALL EVENTS    VIRTUAL   @5PM EST
SEPTEMBER 21   ED ATKINS
The Worm


OCTOBER 5  NICOLE STAROSIELSKI
The Cold Internet
:::: registration ::::

OCTOBER 12   FUTURITY REPORT
Eric C. H. de Bruyn, Sven Lütticken
:::: registration ::::

NOVEMBER 2   ILLIBERAL ARTS
Kerstin Stakemeier, Anselm Franke
:::: registration ::::

NOVEMBER 9   TERESA FANKHÄNEL
Of Models and Men.
Theodore Conrad, Louis Checkman and the Miniature Boom in New York
:::: registration ::::

NOVEMBER 16   PAMELA LEE
__tbc__
:::: registration ::::

NOVEMBER 30   EXTINCT
Adrian Forty, Barbara Penner
:::: registration ::::



All virtual events are open to the public and hosted via Zoom. Advance registration is encouraged. If you have further questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to mandm@princeton.edu

09/21 | Ed Atkins: The Worm [response: Hal Foster] {online}

{image credit: Ed Atkins, film-still, “The Worm” (2021) [courtesy of the artist] //  background: Martin Kozlowski, “IMG_3418” (2021) [courtesy of the artist]}

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY GRADUATE PROGRAM IN MEDIA+MODERNITY

presents

Ed Atkins
“The Worm”
[response: Hal Foster]

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 @5pm ET
Film Screening / Online Event [register here]
 Ed will present his most recent video—The Worm (2021)—followed by a discussion with Hal Foster about the work and the artist’s practice at large.


Ed Atkins is an artist and writer who lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. An exhibition of new works—Get Life / Love’s Work—was recently mounted at the New Museum in New York, and a book—Drawings for Children—was published by König Books in July.


Hal Foster is Townsend Martin, Class of 1917, Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University.

CFP : M+M Doctoral Colloquium 2021-2022 (due OCT-25-2021)

GRADUATE PROGRAM IN MEDIA+MODERNITY
CFP: DOCTORAL COLLOQUIUM 21/22 
APPLICATION DEADLINE: MONDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2021

The Program in Media+Modernity will once again be hosting it’s Doctoral Colloquium in SPRING 2022 [update], a lively interdisciplinary forum for graduate students at Princeton University to present work-in-progress from their dissertations.

The colloquium is an exciting opportunity for Ph.D. candidates to share their research and receive feedback from faculty and colleagues across a wide range of departments.

We write today to solicit graduate student presentations for the Doctoral Colloquium which will take place in the SPRING SEMESTER 2022 [final date tbd].

Graduate students at Princeton University (unfortunately, external applications cannot be accepted) who wish to present in the colloquium should have already passed their generals and defended their dissertation proposals. The individual work-in-progress presentations should last about 20 minutes. Colloquium sessions will feature work by two or three Ph.D. candidates (ideally on topics that speak to one another in terms of shared research territories and/or methods) followed by responses and open discussion.

Student proposals should be submitted by email to mandm@princeton.edu by October 25, 2021 (EoD) and should include the following:

a) name, department, and primary contact email

b) presentation title

c) 2-3 paragraph description of the topic

d) 1-3 images for reference

e) a short bio of the presenter (including G-year, department, advisor)

f)  a brief endorsement letter/email by the dissertation adviser.


Direct any related questions to the M+M program manager Clemens Finkelstein at mandm@princeton.edu.


We look forward to receiving your proposals.

Beatriz Colomina & Devin Fore
Co-Directors

APR 20 | Sylvia Lavin and Michael Osman “Out-Takes as Method”: Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernization Effects

M+M Program in Media and Modernity presents

Sylvia Lavin and Michael Osman
“Out-Takes as Method”: Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernization Effects
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 @5pm ET
Online Event [register here or stream here]


Although histories of architectural postmodernism are on the rise, they remain predominantly concerned with problems of visual style and organized by narratives of individual and artistic genius.  The result has been the fabrication of a historiography that reinforces the very tropes it pretends to unfold, the most persistent of which is the ineffable yet universal category of architecture itself. In order to counteract this tendency, Lavin organized a series of exhibitions that focused on ‘out-takes,’ objects related to architectural practice in the United States between 1965 and 1990 and extracted from buildings, archives and, sometimes, collections but not intended to be viewed as art. Lavin and Osman will consider the ways in which this alternate evidence field demonstrates that postmodernism did not save ‘architecture itself’ from the technocratic logic of post-war life in the United States but rather was its most widely disseminated product.  The discussion will begin by considering the book, Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernization Effects, but will move on to discuss the role of the ‘out-take’ in contemporary historiographical method.


Sylvia Lavin is Professor of History and Theory of Architecture at Princeton University’s School of Architecture.

Michael Osman is Associate Professor of Architectural History at the University of California in Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Department for Architecture and Urban Design, where he currently directs the MA and PhD programs. Osman is the author of Modernism’s Visible Hand: Architecture and Regulation in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), a book on the role buildings have played in developing systems for environmental and economic regulation. He is one of the founding members of Aggregate: The Architectural History Collaborative, a platform for exploring new methods in architectural history. He co-curated a portion of the exhibition “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive” at the Museum of Modern Art. His research has been supported by fellowships from the University of California Humanities Research Institute, the National Science Foundation and the Fulbright Program.

APR 6 | Mari Lending and Erik Langdalen “The Nordic Pavilion in Venice: An Intra-Canonical Outlook” [interlocutor: Adrian Forty]

M+M Program in Media and Modernity presents

Mari Lending and Erik Langdalen
“The Nordic Pavilion in Venice: An Intra-Canonical Outlook”
[interlocutor: Adrian Forty]

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 @5pm
Online Event [register here or stream here]


Sverre Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion in Venice is a masterpiece of postwar architecture. The young Norwegian architect won the competition for its design in 1958 and the building was inaugurated in 1962. Through six decades, the beloved structure has been mired in phenomenology, poetry, and the personal memory of the select. Looking at the archives, a very different story emerges. In minute detail, this book presents the history of the origins and making of the Nordic Pavilion; spanning from the geopolitical context in an increasingly tense Cold War atmosphere, to the aggregates in the concrete of the audacious roof construction, to the iconic trees, many of which had already died before the second exhibition in 1964. 
 
Sverre Fehn, Nordic Pavilion, Venice. Voices from the Archives documents the extensive cast involved in the making of the Nordic Pavilion, spanning from kings, prime ministers, bureaucrats, ambassadors, museum directors, architects, and a myriad of artists’ associations, to Venetian dignitaries, engineers, gardeners, lawyers, and plumbers. The pavilion was conceived and built against the backdrop of friendships and animosities, power play and diplomacy. The detours and disappointments, the successes and failures of the Venice affair make a prism in miniature to understand the mindset and conflicting ambitions of the Nordic countries in the 1950s and 1960s. Richly illustrated with previously unpublished images, among them many photographs taken by Fehn himself, the archival evidence also sheds new light on one of the great Nordic architects of the recent past.

 


Mari Lending is Professor of Architectural History and Theory at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

Erik Fenstad Langdalen is Professor of Preservation at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

Adrian Forty is Professor Emeritus of Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, and the author of Concrete and Culture, a Material History (2012). He is writing a book on disappointment. 

MAR 30 | M+M Doctoral Colloquium 2021 : Session II

M+M Program in Media and Modernity presents

M+M Doctoral Colloquium 2021 : Session II
with Andy Alfonso, Ruo Jia, Benjamin Murphy, and Bart-Jan Polman
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 @5pm EST
Online Event [register here or stream here]

The colloquium is an exciting opportunity for Ph.D. candidates to share their research and receive feedback from faculty and colleagues across a wide range of departments.


Andy Alfonso (Spanish / Portuguese)
Punctum Dolens, or a Matter of Reparation: Infrastructures of Death in 1960s Cuba
This presentation focuses on the system of labor camps established in Cuba from 1965 to 1968. Often referred to as UMAP, for its acronym in Spanish, these Military Units to Aid the Production served as “re-education” centers for some personae non gratae, who were forced into unfree labor in service of economic progress. Through an exploration of testimonies penned by survivors and witnesses, I contend that the UMAP constitute ground zero for the performance of processes of dispossession, conversion, and extraction, identification, litigation, and memorialization, all rooted in a matrix of violence imbued with affect. To that extent, this talk will examine the ways in which infrastructure and the distribution of space, in conjunction with the aesthetic reinventions of the spatial order, have informed practices of oppression and insurgency in contemporary Cuba.
[Dissertation — Un/exceptional Shadowlands: Space, Memory, and Archives in the Wake of the Cuban Revolution]


Ruo Jia (Architecture)
From “Objective Architecture” to “Earth and Wood”: Reimagining a Chinese Experimental Space
This paper reexamines Chinese Experimental Architecture from the 1990s and early 2000s, by closely reading at the proposal of an “Objective Architecture” by Yungho Chang in his article “Literature and Architecture” (1997). It traces and unpacks the intellectual debt and mutations of Chang’s “Objective Architecture” from Roland Barthes’ literary critique of Robbe-Grillet in the late 1950s, for example, “Objective literature (1954).” Moreover, it points to such interdisciplinary translation’s further critical repercussion in the group of architects’ envisioning of a new identity of “architecture” in the midst of the country’s identity reformation. The “Objective Architecture” would see its extensions and reformulations in terms such as “Ying Zao [bricolage]” (2000) “Jian Zao [construction]” (2000) and “Tu Mu [Earth and Wood]” (2002), all intended as replacement of “Jian Zhu [architecture]”— the normalized term in mandarin for “architecture.” 
[Dissertation — Different Shades of the Concrete: French Poststructuralist Theory or Chinese Experimental Architecture]


Benjamin Murphy (Art & Archaeology)
Video on Paper: Picturing Politics in Latin America, 1974-77
Beginning in the early 1970s, video emerged in Latin America as a novel tool of artistic experimentation uniquely suited to exploring modes of regional connectivity. With its capacity for instant, mass transmission, the medium promised to configure an alternative network of artistic production and reception centered in the Global South, a network toward which many of Latin America’s first generation of video artists oriented their work. It is thus quite ironic, given this historical enthusiasm for video’s technological specificity, that much of the work produced by these artists today appears only on paper through various documentary traces. Engaging contemporaneous debates in Latin American sociology and political science regarding the representation of political processes through various media apparatuses, this presentation considers the paradox of video’s representation on paper as a heuristic through which to approach discussions of dictatorship and dependency that animated Latin American social analysis during the 1970s.
[Dissertation — Fieldwork: Problems of Observation and Archive in Latin American Video]


Bart-Jan Polman (Architecture)
Fragmenting Frameworks and Integral Integration: the Liga Nieuw Beelden and its Quest(s) for Embeddedness
In 1954, the Liga Nieuw Beelden [League of New Plastic Creation] was formed in the Netherlands. As much a lobbying group as a platform for theoretical interaction, the Liga sought to organize interdisciplinary conversations between architecture, the arts, industry and other fields. Its central tenet was a quest for ‘integration;’ a trope of the time and a term the meaning of which it failed to define properly. Mirroring contamporaneous debates ranging from techno-scientific, systems-oriented architecture to racial and politico-economic integration (the latter most notably through the creation of the European common market), discourse by actors in and around the Liga would evolve from discussions on the synthesis of the arts towards that of an integrated global marketplace triggered by the dis-integration of Empire. This presentation will focus on how such architectural discourse participated in the long-durée of what would eventually be called the neoliberal turn, including the belief, as Liga-affiliate Jaap Bakema stated, that “[t]he Euro-market for example, will also influence the form of a house in Randstad Holland.”
[Dissertation — Fragmenting Frameworks and Integral Integration: the Total Turn and Quest(s) for Embeddedness of Dutch Architecture in the Context of European and Global Markets, 1955-1979]

M+M