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EXHIBITIONS: Wed, September 18, 2013

Graham Harman: Strange Objects Contra Parametricism

Wed, September 18, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Intro by Hernan Diaz Alonso

Graham Harman's lecture develops the central themes of object-oriented philosophy, with special attention to their implications for architecture.

Objects come in two varieties: the real and the sensual, both of them in permanent tension with their own qualities and with each other. Real objects also have the additional feature of withdrawing from all relations, meaning that objects make contact with each other only in an indirect way.

The current intellectual fashions for relationality, flux, becoming, and materiality cannot be maintained, and must be replaced by a form of realism. But whereas traditional realism was an often middle-aged standpoint designed to police speculative fancy with hidebound scientific fact, object-oriented philosophy entails a weird realism, in which objects are so real that they can never be directly known or touched.

The architectural implications of this philosophy will be developed by way of contrast with Patrik Schumacher’s two-volume treatise The Autopoiesis of Architecture, the magnum opus of parametricism so far.

Graham Harman is the founder of object-oriented philosophy and a co-founder of the Speculative Realism movement. He launched his career with a breakthrough interpretation of Heidegger as a thinker of withdrawn objects– objects with a resonant surplus deeper than any relations in which they might become involved. Along with numerous lectures and articles, he is the author of the following books: Tool-Being (2002), Guerrilla Metaphysics (2005), Heidegger Explained (2007), Prince of Networks (2009), Towards Speculative Realism (2010), Circus Philosophicus (2010), The Quadruple Object (2011), Quentin Meillassoux: Philosophy in the Making (2011), The Prince and the Wolf [w. Bruno Latour & Peter Erdélyi] (2011), Weird Realism (2012), and Bells and Whistles (forthcoming 2013). He is currently completing the following books, all forthcoming in 2014: Prince of Modes: Latour’s Later Philosophy (, Bruno Latour: Reassembling the Political (Pluto), and On Epistemism: Žižek, Badiou, and Others (Open Humanities Press).

SCI-Arc Welcomes Richard Baptie, Tim Disney and Enrique Penalosa as New Trustees

Richard Baptie of the general contractor Hathaway Dinwiddie, Writer, Director and Producer Tim Disney, and Urban Strategist Enrique Peñalosa, a Former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, Join SCI-Arc’s Board of Trustees

SCI-Arc elected three new trustees to its ranks today: Richard Baptie, a Senior Vice President of Hathaway Dinwiddie and head of their Southern California office; Director and producer Tim Disney, a principal of Blu Homes; and urban strategist Enrique Peñalosa, formerly the mayor of Colombia’s capital, Bogotá.

“SCI-Arc has extended the political reach and intellectual capacity of its board of trustees by adding Tim Disney, Richard Baptie, and Enrique Peñalosa to its board,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “Disney brings a supportive interest in art and design along with expertise in housing pre-fabrication; Baptie is an alumnus and long-time advocate for architecture education, and a builder with a unique reputation for constructing large and complex urban projects; and Peñalosa brings an international political pedigree and an expertise in Latin American urbanism to the SCI-Arc community. Welcome all.”

SCI-Arc’s Board is chaired by land-use attorney Jerry Neuman. It now includes 25 members, among them noted individuals such as Rick Carter, William Fain, Frank Gehry, Tom Gilmore, Thom Mayne, Kevin Ratner, and Ted Tanner.

“As one of the highest ranked architectural institutions in the country and among the foremost thought leaders in the world in the areas of planning, design and the built environment, we believe it is important to have a Board that reflects that same stature,” stated Neuman. “Dick, Tim and Enrique more than fit that bill, they personify it and I am proud to have them join the school as Trustees.”

The SCI-Arc trustees unanimously elected Baptie, Disney and Peñalosa to the board at their quarterly meeting held September 18th on the school’s campus in downtown Los Angeles.

Richard Baptie is a Senior Vice President and head of the Southern California office of Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company. He is currently the Principal-in-Charge of the Emerson College construction project in Hollywood and a large office complex for an entertainment company in Glendale, among other duties. He has been involved as a leader in many notable projects in Southern California including The Getty Center, The Reagan Library Air Force One Pavilion and the 2000 Avenue of the Stars project. Baptie joined Hathaway Dinwiddie in 1985, having studied Architecture at SCI-Arc. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from California State University, Los Angeles. Involved in the community, Baptie is on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Business Council, The Kidspace Museum, past President of the USC Architectural Guild and has served on the capital campaigns for the Music Center and the Downtown YMCA.

Tim Disney has written, directed or produced 15 feature films, documentaries, and television programs. From 1992 – 2000, he served as Chairman and CEO of Virtual World Entertainment, a leading developer and operator of 3D gaming and simulation technology. Disney was a founding investor and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Blu Homes Inc., the leading manufacturer of green pre-fab housing. He also serves as President of The Rowena Group, a private investment firm, and as a Director of Shamrock Capital Advisors, a leading private equity investor in the fields of media, entertainment, and communications. A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Fine Arts, Disney serves as a Trustee of California Institute of the Arts. He co-founded the international aid organization World Connect, and serves on the Board of several other charitable organizations.

Enrique Peñalosa is an urban strategist whose vision and proposals have significantly influenced policies in numerous cities throughout the world. He currently is President of the Board of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy of New York. As Mayor of Colombia’s capital city of Bogotá from 1998 to 2001, Peñalosa profoundly transformed the city, turning it into an international example for improvements in quality of life, public spaces, mobility and equity. He implemented a model giving priority to children and public spaces and restricting private car use, building schools and libraries in the poorest neighborhoods, as well as adding hundreds of miles of protected bicycle paths, sidewalks, pedestrian streets, bicycle highways, greenways, and parks. Peñalosa has lectured all over the world in governmental, academic and citizens’ forums, and his ideas have been featured in many of the world’s most important media.