Utopias Return?

Organizer: Chair of Prof. Ursprung
Date: Thursday, 2 May 2013 to Friday, 3 May 2013
Time: 18.00 to 18.00
Location: HIL H Plaza 40.4, ETH Zurich Hönggerberg, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15


Utopia’s Return? Borderlines, Agency and Transformation in Global Art and Architecture

Utopian thinking in art and architecture today demands crossing the line between freeform planning and precise observation. Therefore, limits will occupy us both in the form of borders (real or imagined) between the disciplines of art and architecture as well as theory and practice and as literal political demarcations of great urgency within contemporary art and architecture. The three sections of the conference are organized around the themes of geographic boundaries (Tensions), utopian worldmaking (Visions), and production of social effects (Agency). The participants come from theory as well as from artistic and curatorial practice.

This public workshop is the first meeting of the international network Art and Architecture History Assembly, which was founded by scholars at ETH Zurich, MIT, and the University of Western Australia. The AAHA approaches the porous boundaries between art and architecture and the less steady academic dialogue between these disciplines from a global perspective, concentrating on themes of interchange between countries, regions, and cultures.

Thursday, May 2, 2013
18:00 Introduction: Mechtild Widrich, ETH Zürich

Keynote: Ute Meta Bauer, Dean of the Royal College of Art, London
Pedro Gadanho, Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Friday, May 3, 2013
9:45 Welcome: Philip Ursprung, ETH Zürich
Introduction: Azra Aksamija, Tijana Vujosevic, Mechtild Widrich

10:00-11:15 Section 1: Tensions
Moderator: Nina Zschocke, ETH Zürich

Input lectures by

Azra Aksamija, MIT "Museum Solidarity: The Art of State"
Sergio Araya, School of Design at Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Santiago Chile Living Architecture. Microperformances of BioFabrication

Respondent: Samia Henni, Karl Kegler, ETH Zürich

Coffee Break

11:45-13:30 Section 2: Visions
Moderator: Dora Imhof, ETH Zürich

Input lectures by

Fabiola Lopez-Duran, Rice University, "Practicing Utopia: Art, Architecture and Eugenics in Modern Brazil"
Marie Theres Stauffer, Université de Genèva, "Dare to (re-)think. Superstudio's Continuous Monument"
Tijana Vujosevic, University of Western Australia, "Revolution's Angels"

Respondent: Martino Stierli, Universität Zürich, Harald Stühlinger, ETH Zürich

13:30-14:45 Lunch

14:45-16:30 Section 3: Agency
Moderator: Philip Ursprung, ETH Zürich

Input lectures by

Andres Lepik, Technische Universität München, "Small Scale Big Change"
Elke Krasny, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Wien, "Hands On Urbanism"
Ying Zhou, ETH Singapore, "Contemporary Art Ecology"

Respondent: Sabine von Fischer, Emily Scott, ETH Zürich

16:45-17:30 AAHA: Where Do We Go From Here?
Moderator: Mechtild Widrich, ETH

Utopia’s Return? is an event of the Chair of the History of Art and Architecture Dr. Philip Ursprung.

Concept: Mechtild Widrich

The event is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (snf)


Dr. Mechtild Widrich