October 3, 2016 - Yale School of Architecture - Aesthetic Activism
e-flux Architecture
October 3, 2016
October 3, 2016

Yale School of Architecture

Paul Rudolph Hall. Courtesy Yale School of Architecture.

Aesthetic Activism
J. Irwin Miller Symposium
October 13–15, 2016

Yale School of Architecture
180 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511


This symposium, convened by Mark Foster Gage, explores emerging positions that cast aesthetics as the primary discourse for social, ecological, and political engagement. In contrast to commonly held opinions that these issues are antithetical to the aesthetic, recent work in aesthetic theory across multiple disciplines suggests that such political and ontological problems may be best addressed as aspects of aesthetic experience. An interdisciplinary group of philosophers, scholars, media theorists, artists, curators, and architects will speculate on how a reignited discourse on aesthetics is prompting new insights into our relationships with not only objects, spaces, environments, and ecologies, but also with each other and political structures in which we are all enmeshed. Philosophical viewpoints foregrounding aesthetics, including Accelerationism, Afro-Futurism, Dark Ecology, Extro-Science Fiction, Disobedient Objects, Immaterialism, Object-Oriented Ontology, and Xenofeminism, will be explored and discussed through a series of lectures, presentations of work, and interdisciplinary roundtable discussions.

Thursday, October 13

Elaine Scarry, “Building and Breath: Beauty and the Pact of Aliveness”

Friday, October 14

Symposium introduction by Mark Foster Gage

"Aesthetics at Earth Magnitude: Capital, Property and Ecology"
Jonathan Massey, Keller Easterling, Catherine Ingraham, Timothy Morton

"The Aesthetics of Equality: Object Oriented Ontology and Social Theory"
Ferda Kolatan, Graham Harman, Ariane Lourie Harrison, David Ruy, Elaine Scarry, Tom Wiscombe 

"The Aesthetic Today"
Jacques Rancière in conversation with Mark Foster Gage

Saturday, October 15

"The Aesthetics of Activism: Afro-Futurism, Xenofeminism and Disobedient Objects"
Peggy Deamer, Diann Bauer, Nettrice Gaskins, Jonathan Massey, Catherine Flood, Michael Speaks, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Lydia Kallipoliti, Jason Payne, Rhett Russo, Albena Yaneva

"The Aesthetics of the Other: Alienation, Estrangement, and Unfamiliarity"
Michael Young, Gregory Crewdson, Caroline Picard, Pamela Rosenkrantz, Roger Rothman

Concluding remarks by David Ruy

Additional schedule information is available here.

Admission is free, but reservations are required prior to October 10, 2016. You may register online here or by phone at T +1 (203) 432 8621.

The Yale School of Architecture is a Registered Provider with The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System. Credit earned by attending this symposium will be reported to CES Records for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for non-AIA members are available upon request.

This symposium is supported by the J. Irwin Miller Endowment Fund.

Yale School of Architecture
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