Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) fall 2015 lecture series: “Toward A Philosophy of the Act”
School of Architecture + Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Above: Pelin Tan, Labor in Contemporary Art, Precarious Labor Workshop in Gezi Park, June 2013. Courtesy of the artist.
Above: Pelin Tan, Labor in Contemporary Art, Precarious Labor Workshop in Gezi Park, June 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

Learn more about the series!

ACT’s fall 2015 lecture series, “Toward a Philosophy of the Act,” focuses on the method of the artist as embodied experience. At what point does experienced reality depart from representation? What are the corporeal consequences of living or performing artistic methodologies outside of traditional contexts? The title, “Toward a Philosophy of the Act,” refers to the early work of M.M. Bakhtin (1921), which meditates on the difference between physical and mental acts, lived experience versus representation of experience.

Bringing together a complex selection of artists, filmmakers and cultural producers across the disciplines of art, pedagogy, architecture and urbanism, this series engages MIT’s community and beyond through praxis in relation to themes of architectural simulacra; economies and systems; constructed realities; participatory design and designing social systems; collective production and sites for conversation; spatial practices of the commons and rhizomatic platforms of exchange; and the problematics of teaching art: teaching as an artistic problem.

While an account of an act (our discursive systems accounting for or giving meaning to the act) differs from the actual lived or performed act, this series presents speakers with the problem of describing the act: the implementation of methodology in a practice.

October 5 
Maryam Jafri
“between storyboard and grid, some recent works”

October 19  
Rosa Barba
“on objects as ideas”*

October 26  
Marjetica Potrč 
“Public Space is a Social Agreement”

November 9
Wendelien van Oldenborgh
“Beauty and the Right to the Ugly”

November 16
Pelin Tan
“Transversal Methodology: labor, love, fear”

*Rosa Barba’s talk on October 19 is co-organized by Henriette Huldisch, MIT List Visual Arts Center. Huldisch curated Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space, opening October 22, 2015.


This lecture series is conceived by Gediminas Urbonas, ACT director, and coordinated by Amanda Moore, ACT alumna ’11.

The Monday night lecture series was launched in 2005. The series draws together artists, cultural practitioners, and scientists from different disciplines to discuss artistic methodologies and forms of inquiry at the intersection of art, architecture, science and technology.

For further information, contact ACT Communications and Public Programs Coordinator Amanda Moore at [email protected] or T +617 253 4415.

September 17, 2015