Forensic Aesthetics Day 2, Parading the Object: Three Roundtable Discussions

Presentations & Roundtables On and With Objects Sat 5 Nov 2011 11.30AM-6.00PM The New School, Wollman Hall
65 West 11th Street (enter at 66 West 12th Street), 5th floor
New York City

Free admission
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Roundtables
Day Two. Parading the Object: Three Roundtable Discussions

Roundtable I
Forensic Architecture

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Buildings are both sensors and agents. They materialize political and economic forces, and also the events that befall them. Buildings undergo constant formal transformations in response to forces. They expand and contract with temperature and with the slow degeneration of their component materials, registering transformation in humidity, air quality, CO2 levels, salinity, seismic movements, and sometimes also the abrupt or violent events that target them or simply happen next to them. Some of these processes can be reconstructed through structural calculations, blast analyses, and the determination of the failure points of structures, details, and forms.

Participants
Nikolaus Hirsch, Städelschule, Frankfurt a.M., Germany, moderator
Eve Hinman, Hinman Consulting Engineers, New York/San Francisco
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Columbia University
Norman Weiss, GSAPP, Columbia University

Lunch Break 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Roundtable II
Constructed Evidence: The Thing Makes Its Forum

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

What if the object is not a "witness" but an entity constructed for the express purpose of creating, or activating, the forum? Such an object might map the diffused networks of informal or illegal labor, or be called upon to narrate historical events in the absence of evidentiary materials. In fact, the object may be the very thing that produces a forum where none previously existed. An artwork likewise produces its constituency; it gathers, rather than simply assumes an already extant audience. If the object, conceptualized as such, is not that which registers the events that came before it in the manner of the classical witness, then it might be said the object itself becomes the event to which the forum as witness will address itself.

Participants
Susan Schuppli, Goldsmiths, University of London, moderator
Amber Horning, John Jay College, New York
Sara Jordeno, artist, New York
Joanna Merwood-Salisbury, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons The New School for Design
Arne Svenson, artist, New York

Roundtable III
Animism

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

In the habituated scheme of modernity, objects are conceived as the passive stuff on which human action leaves its imprint or trace. Whenever this passive/active nexus between objects and subject, humans and the non-human is disturbed or even reversed—as in the coming-to-life of seemingly dead matter, the becoming autonomous of inert things—we inevitably step into the territory of animism: that non-modern worldview that conceives of things as animated and possessing agency. With regards to Forensic Aesthetics, the historical discourse of animism provides a foil for a reflection on the boundaries at stake. This session examines a series of objects and liminal cases in which those borders are being destabilized or transgressed, from the crystal ball to educational objects from the 1920s, from the forensics of hair to rocks.

Participants
Anselm Franke, moderator
Brigid Doherty, Princeton University
Spyros Papapetros, Princeton University
Hugh Raffles, The New School for Social Research

Closing Remarks
5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Srdjan Jovanovich Weiss, Tyler School of Art, Architecture Department, Temple University

Follow the links to a detailed event description and DAY ONE schedule.
    • Presentations & Roundtables On and With Objects. Forensic Aesthetics, Roundtable II
    • Presentations & Roundtables On and With Objects Forensic Aesthetics, Roundtable I
    • Presentations & Roundtables On and With Objects Forensic Aesthetics, Roundtable III
    • Forensic Aesthetics Closing Remarks