How does the physical and sensory richness of the city shape who we are—for worse or for better?
To launch Van Alen Institute’s Spring 2014 Events, the Institute and ISSUE Project Room present a fast-paced medley of music, poetry, personal reflections, conversations, and performances by designers, artists, musicians, writers, social scientists, and others exploring the meaning of well-being, and the effects of the city on our minds and bodies.
Doors at 7:00 pm. The celebration continues with drinks following the program.
Contributions by: Vito Acconci, designer; Diana Balmori, Landscape and Urban Designer; Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Partner, Business Development at BIG; Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University; Ariane Lourie Harrison, principal of Harrison Atelier and a critic and lecturer at the Yale School of Architecture; Seth Harrison, principal of Harrison Atelier and founder of Apple Tree Partners; media artist Brian House; poet Rachel Levitsky; artist, designer and founder of The Center for Urban Pedagogy Damon Rich; Associate Professor of Architectural History and Theory at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture, Meredith TenHoor; modular synthesizer artist Ben Vida; and musician C. Spencer Yeh.
The influential, provocative and often radical art-making practices of Vito Acconci have earned him international recognition. Acconci has been a vital presence in contemporary art since the late 1960s; his confrontational and ultimately political works have evolved from writing through conceptual art, bodyworks, performance, film, video, multimedia installation and architectural sculpture. Since the late 1980s he has focused on architecture and design projects.
Kai-Uwe Bergmann is Partner, Business Development of BIG, Bjarke Ingels Group based in Copenhagen. Through a series of commissions won in design and architectural competitions, BIG has attained international recognition. The architectural practice’s work combines astute analysis, lighthearted experimentation, social responsibility and humor. In addition to his experience with BIG, Bergmann was previously a Project Architect at the Austrian office of Baumschlager & Eberle.
Mindy Thompson Fullilove is a board-certified psychiatrist who is interested in the links between the environment and mental health. She started her research career in with a focus on the AIDS epidemic, and became aware of the close link between AIDS and place of residence. Under the rubric of the psychology of place, Dr. Fullilove began to examine the mental health effects of such environmental processes as violence, rebuilding, segregation, urban renewal, and mismanaged toxins.
Ariane Lourie Harrison is a designer, educator, and co-founder of Harrison Atelier. Ariane has taught at the Yale School of Architecture since 2006, in the graduate and undergraduate studio and design sequences and in the graduate history/ theory sequence. She is the editor of Architectural Theories of the Environment: Posthuman Territory (Routledge, 2013). Ariane worked at Eisenman Architects (May, 2006 through August, 2008). She is the editor of Ten Canonical Buildings by Peter Eisenman (Rizzoli, 2008).
Seth Harrison is an entrepreneur in biotechnology and culture, and co-founder of Harrison Atelier. He conceived of the performance installation series on which Harrison Atelier is now embarked, and is responsible for writing and directing the works. Seth’s role in shaping Harrison Atelier's thought-into-action approach to posthumanism derives from his work with new technologies. He founded Apple Tree Partners in 1999, a firm that creates companies in the life sciences. He has published on performance and posthumanism in anthologies and architecture journals.
Brian House is a media artist whose work traverses alternative geographies, experimental music, and a critical data practice. He is interested in the contingent qualities of information and how we experience time in network culture. By constructing embodied, participatory systems, he seeks to negotiate between algorithms and the rhythms of everyday life. House teaches in the Digital + Media program at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Previously, he was a member of the New York Times Research and Development Lab, where his work was recognized by TIME in their "50 Best Inventions of 2011" issue.
Rachel Levitsky's first full-length volume, Under the Sun, was published by Futurepoem books in 2003; subsequent works include Neighbor and The Story of My Accident Is Ours. She is the founder and co-director of Belladonna*, an event and publication series of feminist avant-garde poetics.
Damon Rich is a designer, urban planner, and artist. In his public spaces, exhibitions, graphic works, and events, often produced in collaboration with young people and community-based organizations, Damon creates fantastical spaces for imagining the physical and social transformation of the world. His design work represented the United States at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has been exhibited at PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. In 1997, he founded the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and was Executive Director for 10 years.
Meredith TenHoor teaches architectural history and theory and coordinates the history-theory curriculum at Pratt Institute. Her research examines how architecture, urbanism and landscape design participate in the distribution of resources, and in recent years has been focused on how architects use food as a means to rethink the media and politics of practice.
Ben Vida is a Brooklyn-based artist and composer. He has been an active member of the international experimental music community for the past seventeen years with a long list of collaborations, bands and releases to his credit. In the mid 90’s he co-founded the group Town and Country and has since worked as a solo artist under his own name and as Bird Show with releases on such labels as PAN, Alku, Thrill Jockey and Kranky. In 2013 he was Artist-In-Residence at ISSUE Project Room.
C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist, composer, and improviser, as well as his music project Burning Star Core. Recent presenters of his work include the Poor Farm Wisconsin, Lisa Cooley NYC, the ICA Philadelphia, Bureau NYC, Performa 13, ISSUE Project Room, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami FL, Electronic Arts Intermix in NYC, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston TX, and a Jerome Foundation Commission from Roulette Intermedium. Yeh also collaborated with Triple Canopy for their contribution to the Whitney Biennial in 2014.