Archival Aesthetics (2015)

I was delighted and honored to serve as an invited faculty member in the Princeton-Weimar Summer School on “Archive Futures” at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, in June 2015. The week featured lots of stimulating guest presentations by visiting faculty and some tremendously exciting doctoral student work. I’d be curious to see how all of these students’ dissertations take shape: there’s so much promise! I gave a talk, on our penultimate day, on “Archival Aesthetics.” The first half focused on the aesthetics of the archive: its boxes, shelves, architectural spaces, and digital interfaces; and the second half focused on archival art: art that draws inspiration from the archive (…and that, in the process, represents some degree of diversity in gender, race, and class). You can find my talk and slides here.


Critical Futures 3 @ Storefront (2011)

Critical Futures

Tuesday 8 March 2011, 7pm
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare St., New York (NY)

Over the past decade, several transformations regarding media and communication systems, among others, have reshaped the context within which architecture is conceived and debated. The Internet has made images and information free and instantly ubiquitous; magazines, once the undisputed platforms for the criticism of architecture and design, have been challenged to redefine their purpose and economic model in the light of dwindling readerships; blogs have given a global audience, potentially of millions, to anyone with an Internet connection. In all of this, the continued relevance of architecture criticism as practiced today has been put in doubt: as Alexandra Lange writes, “Online, both everyone and no one is a critic, and architecture talk proliferates, often in the absence of buildings.”

Is criticism in the traditional sense still relevant or useful, and can it be more than the legitimation of the new? If the role of the print publication in contemporary production irreversibly declines, what is its future? Will online publishing (from press-release feed blogs to the few bastions of criticism online sites) ever be able to fill this void? What forces might shape architectural production in a post-critical environment?

The event will take place at Storefront for Art and Architecture, a non-profit gallery and events space in SoHo, New York.

Justin Davidson – architecture critic, New York magazine
Eva Franch – Director, Storefront for Art and Architecture
Alexandra Lange – journalist and critic, Design Observer
Shannon Mattern – Department of Media Studies & Film, The New School 
Kazys Varnelis – Netlab, Columbia University GSAPP
Lebbeus Woods – architect and blogger
Mimi Zeiger – writer and blogger
Moderated by Joseph Grima – Editor, Domus