Transdisciplinary Seminar

FALL 2011

Transdisciplinary Seminar:
Afrofuturism

Tuesday 6-8.40pm
Professor: Coco Fusco

This Seminar and Lecture Series is Sponsored by a Grant from The Robert Lehman Foundation

DESCRIPTION:

The Transdisciplinary Seminar in Fine Arts was implemented in 2009 to explore intersections of art and other forms of creativity and knowledge, from the natural sciences to social theory and various areas of design.

The Transdisciplinary Seminar on Afro-Futurism will consider how representations of science, technology and social engineering intersect with African diasporic cultural expressions. Science fiction will be the organizing trope that unites all the guest presentations and works under consideration. Visiting artists and cultural theorists will lecture on the role of futuristic projection in African diasporic art, architecture, film and music. The expediency of science fiction as both a fractured mirror of historical experience and a heterotopic projection of the collective desires of a displaced people will be discussed throughout the semester. Guest lecturers will present lectures that relate to the fields that are central to their research: painting, electronic music, film, video installation, and built environments.
Guest presentations will be interspersed with seminar-style discussions. Students will be expected to complete weekly reading assignments and write brief thought-papers in response to lectures. They will also be required to prepare questions in advance of guest lectures.

SPRING 2011

Transdisciplinary Seminar:
A way with Words. Narrative / Poetry / Art.

Tuesday 6-8.40pm
Professor: Andrea Geyer

This semester’s Transdisciplinary Seminar will look at narrative texts and poetry.

Many visual artists are using texts of all sorts — narratives, stories, poetry — in their studios as inspiration as resource or as a material in the work itself. No matter what media they use, painting, video, sculpture, installation, or performance, etc., the creative use of language is often an integral part of an artist’s practice. Some artists even describe themselves as storytellers; others use text as an image, poetry as inspiration, or narrative as a foundation of their work. In other cases text is used as script, as transcript of what did happen, or prescript of what will happen. Or text and words simply are used as materials on the same level than images, or physical objects. This seminar will look at a cross section of critical contemporary narrative writing as well as poetry in the form of lectures and seminars. In no way will the selected writers represent a survey of any sorts, but are selected to allow a critical awareness of several textual genres.
The texts are not only studied but are animated through lectures and presentations by students. The texts and authors brought into the class will offer the basis of a greater discussion of how the presented work resonates with the studio work of the students in the class as well as contemporary art practice at large.

LECTURES:

February 8th: Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles’ most recent book is Inferno (a poet’s novel). Her other books include The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art, for which she received a Warhol/Creative Capital art writing grant; Sorry, Tree; Skies; Cool for You; School of Fish; Maxfield Parrish; and Chelsea Girls. She co-edited the feminist anthology Ladies Museum (with Timmons, Kraut, and Notley) and was a founding member of the Lost Texans Collective (with Nauen and McKay) which produced Joan of Arc, a spiritual entertainment, and Patriarchy, a play. In 2010, Myles was the Hugo Writer at the University of Montana in Missoula. The Poetry Society of America awarded her the Shelley Prize in 2010. Moderated by Robert Polito, director of the New School Writing Program.

February 22th: Fred Moten

Moten works at the intersection of black studies, performance studies, poetry and critical theory. He teaches at Duke University and is author of Arkansas (Pressed Wafer Press, 2000), In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), I ran from it but was still in it. (Cusp Press, 2007) and Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works, 2008).
followed by a discussion with Fred Moten

March 24th: Lynne TIllman

Here's an Author's Bio. It could be written differently. I've written many for myself and read lots of other people's. None is right or sufficient, each slants one way or the other. So, a kind of fiction - selection of events and facts.. So let me just say: I wanted to be a writer since I was eight years old. That I actually do write stories and novels and essays, and that they get published, still astonishes me. Right now, I'm working on a novel, my sixth, and also some stories and will be working on an art essay or two soon.

March 8th: Rachel Zolf

Zolf is a Canadian poet and literary editor. She is the author of four full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks. Her most recent book, Neighbour Procedure [1] (Coach House, 2010), has been described by Rodrigo Toscano as “the most realized conceptual-modular book of political poetry I’ve read to date” and by Judith Butler as “an extraordinary collection of poems … a linguistic fathoming of the ethics of proximity.” Human Resources [2] (2007) won the 2008 Trillium Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Masque (2004) was shortlisted for the 2005 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and the title long poem from Her absence, this wanderer (1999) was a finalist in the CBC Literary Competition. She was the founding poetry editor for The Walrus magazine and has edited several books of poetry. Rachel Zolf’s poetic practice explores interrelated materialist questions concerning memory, history, knowledge, subjectivity and the conceptual limits of language and meaning. She is particularly interested in how ethics founders on the shoals of the political. Brian Teare's review of Human Resources in the Winter 2008 Lambda Book Report situates Zolf as "one of an extremely talented generation of Canadian lesbian[3]/queer writers whose innovative cross-genre work comes to us after that of radical foremothers Nicole Brossard, Gail Scott and Erin Mouré."[4]

March 29th: Jennifer Hayashida

Jennifer Hayashida is a writer, artist, and educator whose collaborative and individual work in art and media has been shown in the U.S. and internationally, including most recently The New Museum for Contemporary Art, Le Centre Pompidou, and the 2011 Rotterdam Film Festival. Honors include grants and residencies awarded by NYFA, LMCC, PEN, and the MacDowell Colony. Poems, translations, and essays have been published by Ugly Duckling Presse, Litmus Press, and have appeared in journals such as The Chicago Review, Circumference, and Harp & Altar. She is Director of the Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College, CUNY.

FALL 2010

Transdisciplinary Seminar:
Art&Science

Tuesday 6-9pm
Professor: Andrea Geyer and Carin Kuoni

Science has become a vast area of research and study for many artists. Drawing from the social, natural, formal and applied sciences all the way to the philosophy and politics of science, artists are not only interested in but borrow methodologies and acquired modes of visualization from these fields. The seminar will consist of six bi-weekly guest lectures by scientists as well as artists, writers and other cultural producers who engage science within their practice and will share their research with the students. Taking advantage of the vast body of highly acclaimed faculty from across The New School as well as visiting lecturers, the seminar will offer an exciting forum for AMT and other New School students from across all programs. The lectures themselves will be open to the entire AMT community and the Vera List Center audience. Each lecture will be followed by an intimate discussion only for students participating in the class, providing opportunities for extended reflection and questions with each speaker. Approximately every 3rd session, the seminar will allow an in-depth class discussion lead by the faculty for students to engage the perspectives the visiting speakers have provided in relation to their own work as artists, designers or cultural practitioners.

Lectures

August 31: Tatiana Lyubetskaya, Geophysicist

Tatiana Lyubetskaya graduated from Moscow State University in 2000. In 2000-2003, Lyubetskaya worked as a researcher at the Oceanology Institute in Moscow and participated in the BEAR EUROPEPROBE project. She received her PhD in geophysics from Yale University in 2010. Lyubetskaya was awarded the William Ebenezer Ford prize for research in mineralogy in 2008 and the Elias Loomis Prize for Excellence in Studies of Physics of the Earth in 2009; her papers are published in the American Journal of Science, the Journal of Geophysical Research and the Journal of Petrology.

September 7: Jennifer Wilson, Mathematician

Jennifer Wilson is Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Eugene Lang College. She received her B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia, and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University in Harmonic Analysis and Partial Differential Equations. Her primary research interests are in mathematics applied to the social sciences, particularly cooperative game theory and voting theory, and has she recently co-authored a series of papers analyzing the Democratic Party Presidential Primary. She is also interested in the role of visualization in mathematics, and is currently working on a collaborative project to examine how illustrations are used to convey financial information.

September 21: Laurel Braitman, Historian

Laurel Braitman, historian and anthropologist of science at MIT, studies the phenomena of mental illness in nonhuman animals. Braitman has worked as a biologist and environmental conservation professional and her interests include not only the shifting relationships between humans and other creatures, but also how understandings of evolutionary relationships and species distinctions change our ideas of ourselves. She received her B.A. in Biology and Writing from Cornell University and is completing her doctorate in MIT’s History, Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society Program. Braitman’s book on her research, Animal Madness, is forthcoming with Simon and Schuster.

Week 5:

September 28: Nina Katchadourian, Artist

Nina Katchadourian was born in Stanford, California and grew up spending every summer on a small island in the Finnish archipelago, where she still spends part of each year. Her work exists in a wide variety of media including photography, sculpture, video and sound. Her work has been exhibited domestically and internationally at places such as PS1/MoMA, the Serpentine Gallery, New Langton Arts, Artists Space, Sculpture Center, and the Palais de Tokyo. In January 2006 the Turku Art Museum in Turku, Finland featured a solo show of works made in Finland, and in June 2006 the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs exhibited a 10-year survey of her work and published an accompanying monograph entitled "All Forms of Attraction." The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presented a solo show of recent video installation works in July 2008. Katchadourian is represented by Sara Meltzer gallery in New York and Catharine Clark gallery in San Francisco.

October 12: Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist and Director, Global Warming and Health Project, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Kim Knowlton, PhD, is senior scientist with the Health and Environment Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), where she leads the Global Warming and Health Project. She is also Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and chair of the Global Climate Change and Health Committee of the Environment Section at the American Public Health Association. She was among the scientists who participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. She works at NRDC on communicating the health impacts of global warming, and on advocating for public health strategies to prepare for and prevent these impacts. Her published research has looked at heat- and ozone-related mortality and illnesses, as well as climate change’s effects on pollen, allergies and asthma, and infectious illnesses. She attended Cornell University and Hunter College/CUNY, and received a doctorate in public health from Columbia University. She was a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia, and a Mellon Foundation Teaching Fellow in Barnard College’s Department of Environmental Sciences before joining NRDC.

October 19: Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Artist

Born in 1961, in Madrid, Spain, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. His work investigates diverse subjects such as technology, climate, immigration and the global impact of social, political, environmental, and scientific systems. Manglano-Ovalle often produces objects in collaboration with technical experts across multiple disciplines including engineering, architecture, genomics, and climatology. His early work explored a multi-faceted and socially-focused approach to art making, blending layered concepts with a variety of materials both typical and unorthodox. More recently, he has employed genomic and meteorological methodologies to explore issues of race, identity, and the promise and threat of technology in works such as Cloud Prototype No. 1 (2003) and Portrait of a Young Reader (2006).

November 2: Pascal Gielen, Sociologist, and Michael Hardt, Philosopher

Pascal Gielen lives in Antwerp (Belgium), but is professionally based in the Netherlands at the University of Groningen as a sociologist of the arts. The director of the research group and editor of the book series ‘Arts in Society,’ Gielen has written several books on contemporary art, cultural heritage and cultural politics. In 2009, Gielen edited together with Paul De Bruyne the book Being an Artist in Post-Fordist Times (NAi) and he published his new monograph The Murmuring of the Artistic Multitude. Global Art, Memory and Post-Fordism (Valiz). In 2010, the book Community Art and Beyond. The Political Potency of Trespassing was published (Valiz), edited by De Bruyne and Gielen.
Michael Hardt teaches in the Literature Program at Duke University in Durham NC (USA). With Antonio Negri he co-authored Empire (2000), Multitude (2004) and CommonWealth (2009).

November 9: Okwui Enwezor, Curator

Okwui Enwezor was artistic director of the documenta 11 exhibition in Germany (1998–2002) and the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1996–1997), the 7th Gwang-ju Biennale in South Korea (2008). He has curated numerous exhibitions in some of the most distinguished museums around the world, including Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, International Center of Photography; The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Gropius Bau, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and P.S.1 and Museum of Modern A York; Century City, Tate Modern, London; Mirror’s Edge, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Tramway, Glasgow, Castello di Rivoli, Torino; In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940–Present, Guggenheim Museum; Global Conceptualism, Queens Museum, New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, List Gallery at MIT, Cambridge; David Goldblatt: Fifty One Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, AXA Gallery, New York, Palais des Beaux Art, Brussels, Lenbach Haus, Munich, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, Witte de With, Rotterdam; co-curator of Echigo-Tsumari Sculpture Biennale in Japan; co-curator of Cinco Continente: Biennale of Painting, Mexico City; Stan Douglas: Le Detroit, Art Institute of Chicago.

November 30: Josiah McElheny, Artist

Josiah McElheny creates finely crafted, handmade glass objects that he combines with photographs, text, and museological displays to evoke notions of meaning and memory. Whether recreating miraculous glass objects pictured in Renaissance paintings or modernized versions of nonextant glassware from documentary photographs, or extrapolating stories about the daily lives of ancient peoples through the remnants of their glass household possessions, Josiah McElheny’s work takes as its subject the object, idea, and social nexus of glass. Influenced by the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, McElheny’s work often takes the form of ‘historical fiction’—which he offers to the viewer to believe or not. Part of McElheny’s fascination with storytelling is that glassmaking is part of an oral tradition handed down generation to generation, artisan to artisan. In “Total Reflective Abstraction” (2003-04), the mirrored works themselves refract the artist’s self-reflexive examination. Looking at a reflective object becomes a metaphor for the act of reflecting on an idea. Sculptural models of Modernist ideals, these totally reflective environments are both elegant seductions as well as parables of the vices of utopian aspirations. Recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1995) and the 15th Rakow Commission from the Corning Museum of Glass, McElheny has had one-person exhibitions at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela. His work has been exhibited at SITE Santa Fe and the Whitney Biennial (2000).

December 7: Anna Blume, art historian The Maya Zero

Anna Blume has been teaching and writing about art as a particular mediation between what can be seen and what remains un-seeable.  From this perspective, art, in its very making and existence, has within it a metaphysical component and a potentiality to exceed its own materiality towards expression both unleashed and unbound.  Her field of research ranges from 6th-century sandstone rock cut temples in central Western India to 9th-century numerical Maya notations carved into limestone stelae.  Blume received her PhD in the History of Art from Yale University in 1997. She has taught at various art colleges in New York including Cooper Union, Parson’s School of Design, School of Visual Arts, and is currently Associate Professor of the History of Art at the State University of New York (FIT).  Her research on Maya concepts of zero is forthcoming in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society.