Picture Ecology: Art and Ecocriticism in Planetary Perspective
Growing awareness and concern about the pervasive and advancing scope of global environmental crises have in recent years prompted a new area of interdisciplinary research: the environmental humanities. Efforts have coalesced around the fields of anthropology, philosophy, history, literature, and now art history, as scholars seek to enlarge upon the traditional anthropocentrism of the humanities and embrace a more expansive consideration of nature, ecology, and changing understandings of them. “Picture Ecology: Art and Ecocriticism in Planetary Perspective” engages this vital new trajectory, bringing together seventeen speakers from a variety of perspectives to explore environmental dimensions of artistic expression across a range of periods and cultures. The symposium is convened in connection with the exhibition Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment, on view at the Princeton University Art Museum, which reinterprets American art over three centuries in relation to environmental history and evolving ecological perception. “Picture Ecology” extends the exhibition’s focus and approach to the visual cultures of diverse times and places, offering compelling ecocritical analysis of a broad spectrum of artists and objects.
When you daydream while walking—and, with your eyes set on the sky, you find that evidently you are not Hyperion, celebrated by Hölderlin in his writings, who lingers above earth—it is easy to stumble. Yet the daydreamer’s clash with reality is from another perspective a creative or even an insightful encounter, and one of the ideal media that causes people to fall over obstacles is sculpture. In this lecture, I will argue for a conceptual shift from the celebrated dexterity of the hand to the despised clumsiness of the leg. I will share samples of my work that stick to and never leave the ground. These works confirm the close dependency of sculpture on an onerous and yet surprisingly generative reality.
Location: Scheide Caldwell House Title: Hyperion Has Stumbled Speaker: Kostis Velonis (Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow) Respondent: Mitra Abbaspour, (Princeton University Art Museum) Time: 1:30 p.m.
December 7 at Princeton University
Kostis Velonis Kωστης Βελωνης
Between 1943 and 1945, the Allied Air Forces produced aerial photographs of 79 Italian cities, annotated them with the location of monuments, and appended them with elaborate instructions for aerial bombers on “how to miss cultural sites.” Similar lists and maps of monuments were produced by the Allies for almost every country in Europe, expanded or shrunk to fit various phases and types of fighting. The longest German list was 150 pages; one map of 23 monuments for the whole of France was once made.
What kind of media were these? To what use were they put; how did they partake in the technologies of precision on which Allied aerial strategy hinged, and how did they help inaugurate a new global regime of cultural preservation?
Lucia Allais draws from her book, Designs of Destruction: The Making of Monuments in the 20th Century (Chicago: 2018). The book chronicles the triumph of the cultural monument as a modern and global building type between the 1930s and 1970s.
Tue, 11/27 · 5:00 pm—7:00 pm· N107 School of Architecture
Schedule of Events. The three-day conference is organized around a series of presentations prepared by teams of speakers. The first, kick-off event will commence on the evening of November 29, 2018, with a film screening and discussion, followed by two days of panel presentations.
From Damocles to Socrates, the classics in / of Hip-Hop
Growing up in 1990s Harlem, I couldn’t have escaped hip-hop if I’d wanted to. The streets bumped with it: the boombox action on the corner and in the park, the speakers screaming from apartment windows, the cars reverberating with bass. On the way home from school every weekday, a nerdy Dominican boy listened to the beats and was mesmerized. None of that loudmusic in our house, my mother would always say—but I itched to bump the beats at home on our radio. Sometimes, if Mom had stepped out to the store and I was feeling brave, I’d tune in to Hot97 and live a few minutes of glory.
It wasn’t only the sonic architecture of the bass that snared me. The allure was in the verses themselves with their mighty torrent of words: sharp and cutting, smooth and coy, boisterous and threatening. And the prolifically inventive rhyme schemes! When, at the innocent age of twelve, I first heard the Notorious B.I.G. rap “Escargot, my car go / one sixty, swiftly” I had no clue what escargot was and had to look the word up—but even before receiving enlightenment from the dictionary I knew the verse was a gem. As much as the books I devoured at the local library, the rap game expanded my cultural horizons.
Talisman-images Gather the Cosmos and Press it to Your Body
Practiced in medieval Islamic and European cultures, talismans were like apps that appealed to the planets and other powers to intercede into precise earthly problems. In this lecture, Dr. Laura Marks will argue that in our seemingly disenchanted times, it is still possible to re-fold the universe, grasping the points of disparate histories and places and drawing them together. We see this at work in movies, digital media works, and objects. Dr. Marks will focus on the affective results using such media to connect from the body to the cosmos.
One does not have to look up to the sky as a jay-walker in order to stumble. Sometimes, all it takes is to be in a gallery, enjoying the artwork, until you bump into a sculpture. This was at least the view of one of the most important thinkers and painters of American abstract art, Barnett Newman, who had said that “sculpture is what you bump into [i.e. by accident] when you back up to see a painting.” And yet our contact with sculpture’s blatant materiality--accidental as it may be--also prepare us to accept the aggravating conditions of a life in a constant struggle with its own imperfections and defects.
Location: Hamilton 616 Title: A Sculpture is What you Bump Into by Accident and You’re Okay Speaker: Kostis Velonis (Princeton University) Respondent: Rebekah Rutkoff (New Jersey Institute of Technology) Time: 6:00-7:15pm
November 14 at Columbia University
Kostis Velonis Kωστης Βελωνης
ARE WE HUMAN? THE DESIGN OF THE SPECIES 2 seconds, 2 days, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years
The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial explores the intimate relationship between the concepts of “design” and “human.” Design always presents itself as serving the human but its real ambition is to redesign the human. The history of design is therefore a history of evolving conceptions of the human. To talk about design is to talk about the state of our species. Humans have always been radically reshaped by the designs they produce and the world of design keeps expanding. We live in a time when everything is designed, from our carefully crafted individual looks and online identities, to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes. The average day involves the experience of thousands of layers of design that reach to outer space but also reach deep into our bodies and brains. We literally live inside design, like the spider lives inside the web constructed from inside its own body. But unlike the spider, we have spawned countless overlapping and interacting webs. Even the planet itself has been completely encrusted by design as a geological layer. There is no longer an outside to the world of design. Design has become the world.
Design is the most human thing about us. Design is what makes the human. It is the basis of social life, from the very first artefacts to the exponential expansion of human capability. But design also engineers inequalities and new forms of neglect. More people than ever in history are forcibly displaced by war, lawlessness, poverty, and climate at the same time that the human genome and the weather are being actively redesigned. We can no longer reassure ourselves with the idea of “good design.” Design needs to be redesigned.
ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years invites a wide arrange of designers and thinkers from around the world to respond to a compact set of eight interlinked propositions:
DESIGN IS ALWAYS DESIGN OF THE HUMAN THE HUMAN IS THE DESIGNING ANIMAL OUR SPECIES IS COMPLETELY SUSPENDED IN ENDLESS LAYERS OF DESIGN DESIGN RADICALLY EXPANDS HUMAN CAPABILITY DESIGN ROUTINELY CONSTRUCTS RADICAL INEQUALITIES DESIGN IS EVEN THE DESIGN OF NEGLECT “GOOD DESIGN” IS AN ANESTHETIC DESIGN WITHOUT ANESTHETIC ASKS URGENT QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR HUMANITY
These propositions will be explored over the coming year in events, classes, workshops, and online discussions – including open calls for responses to the propositions by short videos. This year of exploration around the world will culminate in a dense program of exhibitions, debates, broadcasts and publications during the six weeks of the Biennial in Istanbul that opens in October 2016.
This Biennial is an archaeological project. It is not about celebrating particular designers or about visualizing remarkable futures. It will be a multi-media documentary about the state of design today, when everyday reality has outpaced science fiction. It will place the extreme condition of contemporary design into the context of the extended 200,000 year history of our species – from the first standardized ornaments and the footprints of the first shoes to the latest digital and carbon footprints. A Biennial normally focuses on the last 2 years. The time frame for this exhibition will span from the last 2 seconds to the last 200,000 years. Ancient archaeological artefacts from Turkey and the region will be presented at the heart of the Biennial to reframe the latest real-time thinking about design.
Text by the curators Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigleyfor the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial
The civil rights movement and the movement against the U.S. war in Vietnam came to the fore in the 1960s, spurring protests across America both spectacular and everyday. As protests gave material form to First Amendment freedoms—religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition—photographers transformed the visibility of collective action, much of it led by students. Fifty years after the watershed events of 1968, Picturing Protest examines the visual framing of political demonstrations around the country and on Princeton’s campus. These images archive protests’ choreography, whether procession, sit-in, or violent clash. They also capture the gestures of protest, with hands signaling anguish, self-defense, and solidarity. At a time when the coverage and circulation of news media was rapidly expanding, many of these photographs became icons of social struggle, fundamentally changing the ways people visualized America; five decades later, they continue to do this work. Drawn from Princeton University collections, the images on view compel us to contemplate the capacity of protest,and of art,to imagine, interpret, and cultivate change.
ΤΟ SPACE52 παρουσιάζει σε επιμέλεια του εικαστικού Γιώργου Τσεριώνη την έκθεση “Athensinatank”. Έλληνες και ξένοι καλλιτέχνες, που εντάσσουν στην πρακτική της δουλείας τους την κεραμική τέχνη και παρουσιάζουν έργα από πηλό ,ως μια καταγραφή της σύγχρονης Ελληνικής πραγματικότητας. Η ενασχόληση των καλλιτεχνών με τον πηλό παρουσιάζει το διάλογο τους σχετικά με τις ανεξάντλητες δυνατότητες του μέσου και σηματοδοτεί την αυξανομένη δυναμική της κεραμικής τέχνης από καλλιτέχνες, για πρώτη φορά.
'Le Rayon X' and 'Six Heures avant l'été' (1980) by legendary Greek artist Christos Tzivelos (1949-1995) were the starting point for this show that centres on light but isn't about light. Felt as an effigy for June – not the proverbial month but those 30 days in 2018 – the show brings together works by Elena Narbutaitė, Rallou Panagiotou, Yorgos Prinos, Iris Touliatou, Christos Tzivelos and Kostis Velonis to make pronouncements on a raw, fertile state, which hasn't been assigned a name. In a sense, the show is about looking for wild love (Amour Fou), the alchemical Rebus (the androgynous being that fuelled Jung's individuation fantasies) or some other feeling of wholeness. It is also about processes that suspend this longing – stretch it out, preserve it, cast it, antagonise it, take its place even, until it is exhausted. Works are plugged in, hung, projected. Slowly they accumulate heat from the sun or from within the wall. Alchemically, we could say they begin as stars (those made of herbs) and planets (iron, copper, silver, gold) which young are black, orbiting in the dark. As they slowly grow and grow warmer, they turn yellow, then white, then finally become fully transmuted into a red, at which point they fluoresce.
Big thanks to Bia Papadopoulou and Christophoros Marinos for sharing their extensive research on the work of Christos Tzivelos and to Giannis Tzivelos for generously lending us the works of his uncle.
The show has a lifetime of several hundred hours.
When heated, it glows with visible light. Elena Narbutaite, Rallou Panagiotou, Yorgos Prinos, Iris Touliatou, Christos Tzivelos, Kostis Velonis
Curated by Maya Tounta
5 October until 27 October 2018
Haus N Athen
Kostis Velonis Kωστης Βελωνης
‘56-year span’ is a curated display of works from 1962 through to the present; an interconnected journey incorporating seventeen art pieces exploring experience, effect and event, invoking im- mediacy and immutability.
Among the works exhibited are two abstract compositions in bronze from the 1960’s and 1970’s, by the sacred monster of Greek modernism; Klearchos Loukopoulos, followed by two early threadworks from Savvas Christodoulides (Couple, 1997 exhibited at the XLVII Venice Biennale), where the artist practices the various gestures involved with the act of sewing. Three works by Vasso Gavaisse, the two from the 2010 Water Leaf series. Three works from Alexandros Tzannis, one of his large scale works in ink and ballpoint pen on paper from 2015 and two parasites from his current series; borrowing elements from the iconography of science ction. Three works by Ilias Papailiakis, results of the artists ongoing journey with the impact of political historical events as well as his research into the history of world painting. Four new works from Kostis Velonis, two canvases and a wall sculpture titled Escape is Round the Corner, executed from a discarded rod into a three-dimensional line.
Six artists of different generations creating works originating from dissimilar ideologies and medi- ums, like/referring to, the multicultural societies where we live today. The works enter into a dia- logue with one another without sacrificing their particular identities, resembling the mixed ethnic communities where multiple cultural traditions co-exist.
Kostis Velonis, At the End of Demonstration Day, 2009 Wood, acrylic Dimensions variable
The concept of freedom is constantly changing. This exhibition charts its psychological, cultural, religious, political and legal evolution against the backdrop of historical developments, to arrive at a contemporary understanding of what freedom means. Works by more than fifty artists shed light on this complex issue from various angles.
With its overlapping themes and cross-references, the exhibition weaves a tapestry of interdependencies and reciprocal influences between the individual and society, democracy and the economy, work and leisure, body and mind, nature and culture. Freedom is always relative to other factors and so has to be constantly renegotiated. For instance, one part of the exhibition looks at different forms of state governance that shape the community, while another area addresses the control of information as a crucial instrument of power. Some of the works highlight the fragility of freedom, while others explore identity-defining processes such as work. The public space is also the subject of some of the works. All in all, what emerges clearly is that the autonomy of the individual invariably goes hand in hand with social responsibility.
With works by Zbynĕk Baladrán, Dara Birnbaum, Jordi Colomer, Carola Dertnig, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Harun Farocki, Karin Ferrari, Forensic Oceanography, John Gerrard, Johannes Gierlinger, Lola Gonzàlez, Johan Grimonprez, Igor Grubić, Eva Grubinger, Marlene Haring, Hiwa K, Leon Kahane, Šejla Kamerić, Alexander Kluge, Nina Könnemann, Laibach, Lars Laumann, Luiza Margan, Teresa Margolles, Isabella Celeste Maund, Anna Meyer, Aernout Mik, Matthias Noggler, Josip Novosel, Julian Oliver, Trevor Paglen, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Ivan Pardo, Oliver Ressler, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Ashley Hans Scheirl, Christoph Schlingensief, Andreas Siekmann, Eva Stefani, Superflex, Pilvi Takala, Philipp Timischl, Milica Tomić, Betty Tompkins, Amalia Ulman, Kostis Velonis, Kara Walker, Stephen Willats, Anna Witt, Hannes Zebedin, Zentrum für politische Schönheit, Tobias Zielony and Artur Żmijeweski.