Spring 2021 Lecture Series | The Incidence of Fingerprints When Earth Meets the Sky

Azra Aksamija & Future Heritage Lab, Memory Matrix, 2016. Photos by Dietmar Offenhuber.
ACT at MIT

Spring 2021 Lecture Series | The Incidence of Fingerprints When Earth Meets the Sky

Virtual Events:

March 15
Lawrence Abu Hamdan | Natq (impossible speech)
Lawrence Abu Hamdan presents ‘Natq’, a live audiovisual essay on the politics and possibilities of reincarnation. Through listening closely to “xenoglossy” (the impossible speech of reincarnated subjects), this performance explores a collectivity of lives who use reincarnation to negotiate their condition at the threshold of the law—people for whom injustices and violence have escaped the historical record due to colonial subjugation, corruption, rural lawlessness, and legal amnesty. In the piece, reincarnation is not a question of belief but a medium for justice.

April 12
Brook Andrew, Mario Caro, Candice Hopkins, and Miguel Lopez

The term “Indigenous” is often used to refer to ​Native issues at an international level. This panel consists of renowned curators whose practices engage an international circuit of art exhibition while, at the same time, addressing the nationalist and colonialist implications of that same infrastructure. Their practice is particularly relevant when considering the contemporary Indigenous arts they curate. Please join Candice Hopkins, Miguel Lopéz, and Brook Andrew as they discuss curatorial challenges and strategies in curating Indigenous arts globally.

April 22
Azra Akšamija

In collaboration with MIT Architecture
In this lecture, Azra Akšamija will present the recent work of the MIT Future Heritage Lab, an experimental laboratory that invents creative responses to conflict and crisis at the intersection of art, culture, and preservation technologies. Facilitating transcultural exchange and collaborations across borders, the lab brings together a wide network of individuals and organizations from various places to jointly imagine utopian programs, perform ameliorative gestures, and realize transformative projects. The lab’s work rests on the belief that culture is an essential human need. The lecture will feature the recent work of the lab produced across MIT, at museums in Canada, Austria, and the UAE, as well as in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan.

May 3
Cao Fei

Cao Fei (b. 1978, Guangzhou) is one of the most innovative Chinese artists to have emerged on the international scene. Currently living in Beijing, she mixes social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism, and documentary conventions in her films and installations. Her works reflect on the rapid and chaotic changes that are occurring in Chinese society today. Cao Fei’s works have been exhibited at a number of international biennales and triennales, including the Shanghai Biennale, the Moscow Biennale, the Taipei Biennale, the 15th & 17th Biennale of Sydney, the Istanbul Biennial, the Yokohama Triennale, and the 50th, 52nd & 56th Venice Biennale. Exhibitions and screenings of her work have taken place at Tate Modern, the Serpentine Galleries and the Whitechapel Gallery in London; the New Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and MoMA in New York; the Centre Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo and the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris. In 2016, Cao Fei held her first solo exhibition at MoMA PS1, New York.

ACT’s Lecture Series draws together artists, scholars, and other cultural practitioners from different disciplines to discuss artistic methodologies and forms of inquiry at the intersection of art, architecture, science, and technology. Each spring and fall semester brings a different thematic focus and the format for each event shifts depending on the visitor(s) and the nature of their presentations and performances.

ACT’s Spring 2021 series is conceived by Judith Barry, ACT Director, and coordinated with Marissa Friedman, Communications and Public Programs Coordinator.

This lecture series is made possible with the generous support of The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT)