No Thing Unto Itself: Object-Oriented Politics

Panel Discussion Thu 20 Oct 2011 7.00PM-9.00PM The City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, Room 9207
Free admission
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On occasion of the exhibition And Another Thing at The James Gallery at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, the Vera List Center and the James Gallery presents a panel discussion featuring artists, scholars and writers on the subject of "Thingness."

What are the political and ethical implications of considering all objects—whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, animate or inanimate—equivalent and thereby interchangeable? Moderated by the exhibition's co-curator Katherine Behar, sociologist Noortje Marres, media scholar Shannon Mattern, and urban designer David Turnbull discuss how this kind of perspective changes the conversation around sustainability as well as human interaction. What happens when technology reaches the scale of cities? Can an object bear responsibility that has previously been reserved for humans? Beginning with the artist's sometimes contentious relationship to material presence as a platform for the examination of these questions, this panel considers a constellation of disciplines including architecture, ecology, global geography, urban studies, and anthropology that are tackling these questions.

Noortje Marres, Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London
Shannon Mattern, Associate Professor, Media Studies, The New School for Public Engagement
David Turnbull, Professor, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, The Cooper Union

Katherine Behar, Assistant Professor, Fine and Performing Arts, Baruch College, The City University of New York

Presented on occasion of the Vera List Center's 2011-2013 focus theme "Thingness."