On the initiative of Prof. Kurt Matyas, vice rector for academic affairs, New York-based artist and professor Benj Gerdes (Long Island University - LIU) will be in residence as a United States Fulbright Scholar from 9 November until 20 December at TU Wien.Under the auspices of the Fulbright Specialist Program, he will work in close collaboration with members of the Visual Culture Unit directed by Prof. Peter Mörtenböck at the Institute of Art and Design on pressing issues involving the urban realm and new technologies.
Prof. Gerdes will teach as visiting artist in the Master of Architecture course "Regimes of the Visual: Building Capital" in the Faculty of Architecture and Planning and conduct research in collaboration with the Centre for Global Architecture’s Data Publics project. Their awarded project, "The Platform City: Between the Virtual and the Real," addresses the "platform mentality" that has begun to inform key questions of urban planning, in both practice and discourse, and seeks to develop ways of navigating the civic, social, and cultural implications of this speculative approach to city making.
On Tuesday, 20 November 2018 , Prof. Gerdes will discuss these current dynamics in a public lecture entitled "data, displacement, demarcation, detainment, detection, domestic, drone, derive" to take place in Seminarraum Argentinierstraße (Argentinierstraße 8, ground floor) at 7 pm. The talk aims to render visible operations of capital in the present by juxtaposing research on three conjoined trajectories: human migration and refugee resettlement and rehousing industries, data networks and IT infrastructure, and global logistics and sea-based networks for shipping materials and goods. This event will provide ample opportunity for everyone interested in the subject to get to know Prof. Gerdes and to sound out future ties between LIU and TU Wien. All welcome!
Benj Gerdes (b. 1978, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania) is an artist, writer, and organiser working in film, video, and other public formats, individually as well as collaboratively. He is interested in intersections of radical politics, knowledge production, and popular imagination. His work often focuses on the affective and social consequences of economic and state regimes. Gerdes’ work has been exhibited and screened at venues including the Centre Pompidou, National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), New Museum (New York), Museum of the Moving Image (New York), REDCAT Gallery (Los Angeles), Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Tate Modern (London) and the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. Writings have been published in October, The Journal of Aesthetics + Protest, Incite Journal of Experimental Media, Public, and Rethinking Marxism. With artist & filmmaker Lasse Lau, he is co-curator of the recent exhibitions Past is Not Post (Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, 2017) and Rewriting Histories (Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, 2015). Lectures and visiting artist engagements include California College of the Arts, NYU, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Duke, Cornell & the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, as well as teaching at Bard College, Parsons the New School for Design, and Cooper Union. He is currently a professor in the Department of Communications and Film at Long Island University, where his innovative pedagogy was recently recognised with the 2018 David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching. This autumn, he was the resident grantholder in the Swedish National Arts Grant Committee’s Iaspis programme in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Fulbright Program was founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 and is considered to be one of the most widely recognised and prestigious scholarships in the world. The Fulbright Specialist Program, part of the larger Fulbright Program, was established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The programme consists of field-driven initiatives in which foreign host institutions conceptualise and design projects of interest within an eligible discipline that represent a priority for their respective organisations. These projects are then paired with highly qualified U.S. academics or professionals who share their expertise and assist with strengthening linkages between U.S. and foreign host institutions.