Sci-Arc
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SCI-ARC LECTURE


03.28.09 | W. M. Keck Lecture Hall l 2-5pm
Spring 2009 Mediascapes Symposium: Immersive and Virtual Architecture: at the Edge of Physicality



Invited Speakers

Benjamin Bratton
Jean Michel Crettaz
Manuel DeLanda
Ed Keller
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin
Eric Owen Moss
Marcos Novak


WHAT: For the Spring 2009 MediaSCAPES symposium, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) addresses the shifting boundaries between the virtual and the physical worlds in the practice of architecture with experts Benjamin Bratton, Jean Michel Crettaz, Manuel DeLanda, Ed Keller, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Eric Owen Moss and Marcos Novak in conversation at SCI-Arc on Saturday, March 28 from 2 to 5pm.

Today, we are witness to an important moment of changing cultural paradigms, which are directly altering the manner in which technologies are being utilized in many, if not all, applications. In this discussion, SCI-Arc hosts seven distinguished architects and theorists that work at the intersection of physical and virtual worlds. These professionals will present their work and ideas and discuss the practice of immersive and virtual architecture, which spans animation and 3D technologies, digital environments, and questions of materiality ranging from theory to contemporary practices. The discussion will explore the convergence of the material and the virtual within contemporary architecture, while also questioning the future of these shifting definitions and asking how these classifications will define our understanding of the relationships between tangible and intangible worlds.

Participants include invited guests and SCI-Arc faculty: Benjamin Bratton, Principal, The Culture Industry and Associate Professor, UCSD; Jean Michel Crettaz, SCI-Arc Faculty, Director slap!; Manuel DeLanda, Philosopher and Professor, Columbia University; Ed Keller, SCI-Arc Faculty; JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Professor, and Founder of the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE), UCSB; Eric Owen Moss, Principal, Eric Owen Moss Architects and Director of SCI-Arc; and Marcos Novak, Professor and Director, transLAB, UCSB.

Pervasive computing will make inanimate objects see, hear and comment on our interactions with them. This experience will, in many cases, be indistinguishable from a psychotic break, or from the rituals of classical Animism.
Benjamin Bratton

Convergence, divergence, transvergence: in the face of exponential change, transvergence is proposed as a tactic of corrective derailment of simple extrapolations into elsewhere, the territory of the allo~. Allo~, root of words such as else, alternative, alien, signifies the other of another kind.
Therefore, at any given moment in history, and given any set of materially and culturally productive theories and practices, transvergence is an algorithm and discipline for producing the salient alien.

Marcos Novak

Pythagoras, the 6th Century mathematician and Greek philosopher is quoted as saying ‘a rock is frozen music in time.’ As we enter the 21st Century, witnessing the intersection of the virtual and material, one must think of Pythagoras and the continuum between solid objects as condensed vibration and the vibratory forces that can free these structures into new forms. The virtual offers a path to liberation of the material, an avenue that will eventually lead to buildings that will change their shape over time according to their function.”
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin

Agent-based simulations have become an important research tool in fields from ecology to archeology. And their usefulness in every field increases if in addition to some form of artificial intelligence (neural nets) and reproductive capacity (genetic algorithms) simulated agents are also embodied and situated in space. Embodiment implies at a minimum that they must satisfy some metabolic requirements to survive, while being situated means that they interact more often with those agents that are nearby and have greater knowledge about their immediate surroundings.
Manuel Delanda

About MediaSCAPES at SCI-Arc
SCI-Arc MediaSCAPES post-graduate program is an academic cross disciplinary platform for the creative engagement and the development of critical responses to shifting technological and cultural paradigms. The program offers an unparalleled opportunity for working at the frontiers of architecture, media, art and technology where new ideas and practices are born and new expressive and immersive media invented. A cutting edge faculty team – with critics, lecturers, workshop leaders and guests drawn from academia and professional practice worldwide – provides students with training and a vital global network in both academic and professional contexts.

Participant Biographies
Benjamin Bratton
Principal, The Culture Industry and Associate Professor, UCSD
Benjamin H. Bratton is the principal of The Culture Industry, a Los Angeles-based consultancy that focuses on connecting investments in brand, market and design research, digital technologies and architectural planning. The Culture Industry has developed original scenario planning and design research initiatives for corporations and public institutions that includes Motorola, Microsoft, General Motors, Ogilvy & Mather, Razorfish, JetBlue, the US Conference of Mayors.

Jean Michel Crettaz
SCI-Arc Faculty, Coordinator Visual Studies, Director slap!
Jean-Michel Crettaz is a Media Architect. Whether he is documenting civilizing environments or parodying the sordid facts of western life form, his work projects experimental strategies and speculative visions and addresses new design cultures and critiques thereof.

Manuel DeLanda
Philosopher and Professor, Columbia University
Manuel DeLanda is the author of four philosophy books, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines, A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History, Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy and A New Philosophy of Society, as well as of many philosophical essays published in various journals and collections.

Ed Keller
SCI-Arc Faculty
Ed Keller is a designer, professor, writer, and musician/multimedia artist. He is a member of the Design and Cultural Studies faculty at SCI-Arc, and has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning (GSAPP), FIU Miami (Paul L. Cejas Eminent Scholars Endowed Chair), the University of Pennsylvania, Pratt, RPI, Bennington, and Parsons Schools of Design. In 2000-01, he was acting director of Columbia University GSAPP’s Advanced Architectural Design program.

JoAnn Kuchera-Morin
Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music in 1984. Director, Allosphere Research Laboratory California Nanosystems Institute, Professor, Media Arts and Technology and Music

Eric Owen Moss
Principal, Eric Owen Moss Architects and Director of SCI-Arc
Eric Owen Moss Architects was founded in 1973. The firm has garnered over 60 design awards from Progressive Architecture magazine and the American Institute of Architects. The Moss firm has been featured regularly at the Venice Biennale. In 2006, the Moss office won the City of the Future competition sponsored by the History Channel. Eric Moss first taught at SCI-Arc in 1974, and was appointed director in 2002. He received the 2007 Arnold Brunner Memorial Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for "a significant contribution to architecture as an art."

Marcos Novak
Professor and Director, transLAB, UCSB
Marcos Novak is a global nomad, and an artist, theorist, and transarchitect. Drawing upon architecture, music, and computation, and introducing numerous additional influences from art, science, and technology, his work intentionally defies categorization. He is universally recognized as the pioneer of architecture in cyberspace, of the critical consideration of virtual space as architectural and urban place, and of the use of generative computational composition in architecture and design. His seminal essay "Liquid Architectures in Cyberspace," already translated into the world's major languages, is now included in several anthologies of critical documents of the digital era. His current research involves nano~ and bio~ technologies, and explores the hypothesis that we are in a cultural phase characterized by "the production of the alien," paralleling the Renaissance "production of man."