School of Art, Media, and Technology

Parsons Transdisciplinary Seminar Fall 2010

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The focus of Parsons Transdisciplinary Seminar this semester is Art and Science. It occurs every Tuesday, 6-7pm in Kellen Auditorium.

Fall 2010 Schedule:
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Artist
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 – 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design
2 West 13th Street at 5th Avenue

A new initiative, this seminar and 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. Clustered around specific subjects such as geophysics, system theory, economics, and the physics of time, the lectures are presented in thematic pairs, one week apart from one another. Members of The New School’s acclaimed faculty alternate with external scholars, experts and artists. All lectures are open to the public.

In this conversation, artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle presents some of his recent works on natural and constructed phenomena, including climate change. In so doing, he raises the question of truth – political truth, scientific truth, and artistic truthfulness. How is an artist, a scientist, a politician to represent a situation truthfully, and what tools are available to him or her? Rather than focus on the visualization of empirical data – the most direct translation of fact into an aesthetic product – Manglano-Ovalle considers language as the shared medium between the three and asks who determines how the world gets represented. Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s lecture follows a presentation on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by Kim Knowlton, senior scientist with the Health and Environment Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), presented on October 5, 2010.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 – 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Pascal Gielen, Sociologist, and Michael Hardt, Philosopher

Preceded by book signing and reception from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design
2 West 13th Street at 5th Avenue

In a double lecture Pascal Gielen and Michael Hardt discuss the role and the functioning of the art world from a philosophical and a sociological perspective. Gielen describes the art scene as a perfect production unit for economic exploitation in the contemporary network society as he searches for possibilities for artistic freedom in our Post-Fordist work contexts. Hardt responds and argues that the Post-Fordist context offers the possibility of art as biopolitical production. He is asking the question whether artistic skills and talents can be deployed in a democratic project of the defense, production and distribution of the common.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 – 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
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 Art 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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 – 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
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).

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