February 14, 2015

MVS Proseminar: “Fieldwork”

University of Toronto

Forensic Architecture, The Architecture of Memory:  A drone survivor building a computer model of her home as a memory device in order to reconstruct the strike. 2013. © Forensic Architecture, 2013.

“I keep hidden what needs to be hidden and irradiate in secret.”
– Clarice Lispector, Água Viva

“A Field, a heterogeneous smooth space, is wedded to a very particular type of multiplicity: nonmetric, acentered, rhizomatic multiplicities that occupy space without “counting” it and can “be explored only by legwork.” They do not meet the visual condition of being observable from a point in space external to them; an example of this is the system of sounds or even of colors, as opposed to Euclidean space.”
– Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus


The 2015 Proseminar in the Master of Visual Studies is a public series of lectures revolving around the methodology of “Fieldwork,” presenting artists, architects, curators, researchers, and historians that critically think through spatial concepts of conflict where the public and private overlap as fields under tension and compression. The series includes talks and workshops with Eyal Weizman, Trevor Paglen, Laura Kurgan, Anna-Sophie Springer, and Hillel Schwartz. The series is moderated by Charles Stankievech.

January 22: Trevor Paglen
7pm, at Prefix ICA, 401 Richmond Street

Trevor Paglen will present his current fieldwork on military secrecy, transatlantic fiber cables and his contributions to the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour. Paglen is an American artist, writer, and “experimental geographer” whose work deliberately blurs the lines between science, contemporary art, journalism and other disciplines in order to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways of seeing and interpreting the world around us. In partnership with Prefix ICA.

February 13: Eyal Weizman (Keynote)
6:30pm, at University of Toronto, 230 College Street

Eyal Weizman will speak of the work of Forensic Architecture at the intersection of architecture, war, and law and will show how architectural methods and new sensing technologies could be used to expose the logic of violent conflict while raising a host of conceptual problems to do with the thresholds of vision and law. Weizman is an architect, professor of Visual Cultures and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2011 he also directs the European Research Council funded project Forensic Architecture. He is currently Global Scholar at Princeton University’s School of Architecture.

March 26: Laura J Kurgan
6:30pm, University of Toronto, 230 College Street

Laura Kurgan will speak on the ethics and politics of mapping, new structures of participation in design, and the visualization of urban and global data as generated out of her Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) at Columbia University. Kurgan teaches architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning at Columbia University, where she is Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) and the Director of Visual Studies.

April 2: Anna-Sophie Springer
6:30pm, University of Toronto, 230 College Street

Anna-Sophie Springer will present her curatorial fieldwork on the enviro-colonial violence embodied in tropical specimens collections and introduce intercalations, the new publication series on the Anthropocene she is co-editing for the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Springer is a curator and co-director of K. Verlag | Press. In 2014 she was Associate Editor of publications for the 8th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art and the Craig-Kade Visiting Scholar in Residence at Rutgers University, New Jersey.

April 9: Hillel Schwartz
6:30pm, University of Toronto, 230 College Street

Hillel Schwartz will speak on his current research into the history of the shifting nature and experience of emergency since the mid-18th century. Schwartz is a cultural historian, poet, and translator who has published at length with Zone books on noise and sound, copies and kinesthetics, fantasies of the body and of millennial transformation. In 2014 he was Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.


Charles Stankievech is assistant professor of Visual Studies at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto.

More information on the series and details regarding each event can be found here.


Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at University of Toronto announce the 2015 MVS Proseminar

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