IMAG-E-NATION the political & philosophical arts initiative blog


(re)imagining the political and philosophical in the 21st century


The Political & Philosophical Arts Initiative is interested in the ways in which people interact with and compose political and philosophical ideas and actions through the various, diverse media of technology and the arts. Participants in PAI seek to explore the ways in which poetry, literature, music, photography, performance and other creative arts interleave with the political and philosophical life, either as vehicles for criticism, elaboration, theorization, intervention or activism.
The Imag-e-nation blog is a forum for interested parties to share stories, images or other contributions. Contributors range from students and faculty to artists and musicians to professional and casual commentators. Pieces can be short opinions, re-postings of appropriate materials, or original compositions. In addition, the PAI at LUC will make a selection of relevant or provocative news items each week for (re)publication here.

Inquiries:
imagenation[at]politicalarts.org




The mundane, the defensive, and the punishing: the beauty and politics of architecture

Discussions of design as politics abound--from academic and intellectual engagement at schools of architecture and urban design to policy debates in city halls and professional guilds, there is increasing attention on how our built environment, by shaping space, plays a crucial role in the way we live and interact with each other, in our experience of physical and mental freedom and control, and in
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Architecture and politics: Public Values and Revolutionary Traces

The spatial disciplines have long grappled with politics and the social imaginary.  According to Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, architects do not invent anything but rather transform reality; Dutch architect Michiel Riedijk more recently likens spatial design to the orchestration of the imagination.  The two events below afford those of us in The Netherlands a chance
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A view from the balcony: sovereign expression in the 21st century?

How can we define the relationship between image and spectator if the borders between public and private space are fading - because are we not all out there in public? Are we not all on the balcony?MoMart's latest exhibition opened this past Amsterdam Art Weekend with an eye on Balconism, a new term coined by net artist Constant Dullaart to capture the insidious behavioural movements in visual culture
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Drawing home: (be)longing and (dis)place(ment)

In anticipation of Asiascape.org's one-day manga exhibition on 6 December 2014 (the proofs of the Virtual Ninja Manifesto, in the form of a graphic poem, look spectacular--grab your complimentary copy at the event!), here are some pictorially compelling moments from the not too distant past which invoke senses of home, as a physical and geographical location, a spatial and emotional concept, and
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Fashion House: the wearable architecture of Marga Weimans

The delightful polychromatic palace that is Groninger Museum, in addition to featuring the best of De Ploeg and choice canvases by Abe Kuipers, has been housing the first large-scale solo exhibition of Marga Weimans, an artist who is redefining fashion design and wearable culture in the 21st century.  As the exhibition comes to an end this sunny Sunday (23 November 2014), here is a visual celebration
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Sense and sensibility?: A philosophical and artistic seminar this Friday

In collaboration with GEMAK in The Hague, PAI brings you ARTiculations: Redistributing The Sensible to heighten your senses this Friday 26 September from 14:00 - 17:00.To ponder, formulate, and discuss the multiple connections and tensions among the various artistic explorations of sensory modalities in Off Senses | Future Senses, let’s ARTiculate!Taking Jacques Rancière’s critical theory
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Strange New Worlds: the Alien, the Digital, and the Underground

As Summer 2014 comes into full swing, let's experiment with space in unprecedented ways!  Here is a selection of out-of-the-box adventures to experience, especially if we find ourselves in the UK in the coming months.Giant trampolines suspended in a mining cavern in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Walesopen for underground aerial somersaults and a jumpin' good time from 4 July.Smiljan Radic's pavilion for
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Weighing Work: Reframing Ambition @ Droog

With Labour Day around the corner, 'tis high time to inspect the meaning, value, and performance of work in a 21st-century environment of rapid urbanisation, hyper-information accessibility, ubiquitous social media and digital technologies.  Droog and De Brakke Grond's #Arbeid van de dag exhibition in Amsterdam from now to 1 May invites us to think through and tinker with these choices, challenges,
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Interactive Landscapes: Technology, Geometry, and Open Systems

In step with Gaming The City on 16 April, the latest on imaginative design, Escher-esque platformers, and bold architecture.Daan Roosegaarde's Lotus DomeDaan Roosegaarde, award-winning artist and innovator known for projects such as 'Dune', 'Intimacy 2.0', and 'Sustainable Dance Floor', integrates digital technology with everyday environments.  He will lecture at the Berlage Institute on 24 April
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Artist-in-residence masterclass series: Explore female masculinity and create manga this June!

Dr. Lien Fan Shen, our Political Artist-in-Residence 2014, will share the political contexts, analytical frameworks, and artistic practices which shape her award-winning comic books and academic inquiry into gender identity, digital culture, and creative expression over three masterclasses on 4, 11, and 18 June.  The series is free of charge, with all texts and art supplies provided, and welcomes
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Reflective triptych on "Suppose it's true after all, what then..."

Performance as Scholarship students at LUC share their thoughts on installations after an excursion to GEMAK's exhibition on the cross-fertilisation of art, culture and fashion, with a focus on the process of research and the connections between image communication and identity. © Maddi McMurrayBy Maddi McMurray, 3rd-year LUC student:In Clare Bishop’s piece “Delegated Performance: Outsourcing
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"Making art is like speaking in tongues"

Conceptual artist Alicia Eggert creates kinetic, electronic, and interactive sculptures to move with time and play with direct, verbal communication.  From the de- and re-construction of minute- and hour-hands of mechanical clocks to capture the ineffability of eternity to guerilla sculpture tours which bring her message to an unsuspecting audience, the evangelical upbringing of this atheist artist
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Architecture: Site for Responsibility?

The latest OPINION @ Dezeen: in response to Joseph Rykwert's Royal Gold Medal lecture this week, where the critic stressed that all design has political implications, Kieran Long rejects Zaha Hadid's assertion that architects have "nothing to do with the workers" who die on construction sites.
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Design and violence: Online exhibition @ MoMA.org

Design has a history of violence. It can be an act of creative destruction and a double-edged sword, surprising us with consequences intended or unintended. Yet professional discourse has been dominated by voices that only trumpet design’s commercial and aesthetic successes.Historically, designers’ ambitions have ranged from the quotidian to the autocratic, from the spoon to the city. Under the
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Utopia in a love song: Sam Green's live documentary

Sam Green, the acclaimed director of The Weather Underground, has taken documentary film-making to the next level with his concept of live documentary, where the screening of the film is accompanied by live music, stage lighting, and spoken word by the director. This mixed, multi-media approach, combined with the spontaneity of live music and narration, by bringing the audience closer to the film-maker
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Can design save the world?

Kanye West thinks so and said as much to an ad hoc student audience at the Harvard Graduate School of Design this past weekend:I really do believe that the world can be saved through design, and everything needs to actually be "architected". . . to see the work be actualised.  If I sit down and talk to Oprah for two hours, the conversation is about realisation, self-realisation and actually seeing
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The nature and animism of architecture @ Berlage

How can architecture guide us to a sustainable utopia and how does spatial design direct human interaction?  Join architect Ma YanSong in his vision for a future city where technology meets mountains and rivers:                                              &nb
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The art and science of architecture: Memories, missions, and materials for the future

On the heels of Banksy's recent criticism of One World Trade Center, let's move from street art to the most public art form there is: architecture.  Architecture of Density #39, by Michael Wolf ©Whether we value architecture instrumentally, say as shelters for efficient urban survival, or intrinsically, as crafted space expressive of humanity and its history, industry, and creativity, Canadian
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