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October 5, 2015November 16, 2015

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), that 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 + 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 problematic 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.

With a focus on the physical act and the immediacy of experience, this series is structured in roundtable format, whereby the invited lecturer will first present their work, followed by a moderated discussion with faculty, students and experts, responding to the themes and challenges around the practice presented.

Lecture series participants include Haseeb Ahmed, Ursula August, Vivek Bald, Rosa Barba, Gedney Barclay, Angel Chen, Henriette Huldisch, Maryam Jafri, Ron Martin, Xiaorui Zhu-Nowell, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Marjetica Potrč, Sandra Rodriguez, Neil Sanzgiri, Björn Sparrman, Anne Whiston Spirn, Pelin Tan, Rebecca Uchill.

ACT’s Monday night lecture series is conceived by Gediminas Urbonas, ACT director, and coordinated by Amanda Moore, ACT alumna ‘11, in conversation with ACT graduate students.

This series is made possible with the generous support of our partners and collaborators: The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT), MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and MIT Department of Architecture.

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.

Videos of many of the past lectures can be seen here.


Funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT.