Art and Science Transdisciplinary Lectures: Anna Blume, Art Historian

Lecture Tue 7 Dec 2010 6.30PM-8.30PM The New School, Wollman Hall
55 West 11th Street (enter at 66 West 12th Street), 5th Floor
Free admission
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A new initiative co-organized with the School of Art, Media, and Technology and the Fine Arts Program Parsons, this lecture series captures the increasingly trans-disciplinary nature of scientific, academic, artistic, and cultural practices and, in particular, focuses on the complex cross-disciplinary settings for art's production in contemporary life.

In the 4th century AD the Maya began writing exponentially larger numbers to link historical dates to periods deep in time. They used various glyphs and symbols to write these dates, symbols that include a dot for one, a bar for five, and a stylized shell for zero, within their positional base-twenty system. The first known Mayan zero dates back to AD 357, carved on a stone stela at Uaxactun, Guatemala. Why Mayan scribes wrote dates so deep in time and how they use, conceive, and visualize the zero has been the focus of Anna Blume's archeological and ethno-historical research for the past eight years.
    • Lecture. Art and Science Transdisciplinary Lecture: Anna Blume, Art Historian, Part I
    • Lecture. Art and Science Transdisciplinary Lecture: Anna Blume, Art Historian, Part II
This event is paired with a lecture by artist with Josiah McElheny, presented on November 16, 2010.

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, Parsons 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). Supported by the Ford Foundation, State University of New York, and the American Philosophical Society, her research on Maya concepts of zero is forthcoming in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society.