anna-sophie springer at ACT’s Lecture Series – March 28, 2016

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Our third guest for this season’s Monday Lecture Series (March 28) is Anna-Sophie Springer, a writer, editor and curator whose practice merges curatorial, editorial, and artistic interests by stimulating fluid relations among images, artifacts, and texts in order to produce new geographical, physical, and cognitive proximities, often in relation to historical archives. She is the co-director (with Charles Stankievech) of K. Verlag, an independent press exploring the book as a site for exhibition making.

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Her profile is particularly interesting in relation to ACT’s own curatorial moment today. We are currently reconceiving the accessibility and presentation of the CAVS archive, experimenting with new forms of publication, and developing lines of pedagogy and research that naturally overlap with the basic associative impulse of curatorial praxis—that is, the drive to find new forms and spaces of relief, to form new associations and ecologies of works, people, venues, and sites.

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Major activities this semester within the ACT program revolve around this moment. A class on Experimental Publishing and Archival Research is lead by Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol whose multilayered practice is concerned with the knowledge-production potentials of art and research.

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The class acts as an editorial board, investigating the CAVS archive in lieu of ‘the contemporary’. Anna-Sophie is a member of the Haus der Kulturen’s SYNAPSE International Curators’ Network where she co-edits the intercalations: paginated exhibition book series co-published by K. Verlag. in the framework of the HKW’s Anthropocene Project. Additionally, HKW’s ‘Textures of the Anthropocene: Grain Vapor Ray’ was a case study presented by visiting design firms NODE and Bengler earlier within the framework of the experimental publishing class.

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The title for this upcoming lecture Curating the Anthropocene: A Palimpsest of Species and Spaces also resonates with another significant project happening this semester. Along with a diverse range of partners, ACT is producing a floating art project at the edge of the Charles River.

This riparian installation will celebrate ACT’s mission to integrate the arts with scientific and technological research and will participate in MIT’s Centennial celebration. The project draws together several lines of inspiration, each informing this semester’s ACT Islands Studio, lead by ACT Director Gediminas Urbonas: a techno-architectural impulse to improve our interfaces with aquatic environments; a science-fictional desire to speculate on the nature of public space in the coming Water Age; and a bio-empathic desire to have closer ties to the water.

Within this dense web of interconnections, Monday’s lecture will argue that current matters in natural history are messier than some of the most compelling scientific and artistic representations seem to suggest, as Springer discusses her current research and previous exhibitions and publications which have engaged a complex spectrum of species and spaces to create possible affective and conceptual affinities beyond representation.

The talk will take place on Monday, March 28 at 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the ACT Cube, E15-001. 

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In preparation for the MIT Centennial celebrations, ACT is contributing two major public projects. Check the links below for more information.