VizCult The Art History Department Speaker Series 2020 Spring Semester
Pamela G. Smart Associate Professor and Chair
Art History, Binghamton University
“’Stillness that moves’: Crafting Atmospheric Pressure in the Restoration of the Rothko Chapel”
Wednesday 26 February 5:00 PM in FA 143
The Rothko Chapel—the ecumenical chapel, named for Mark Rothko, whose suite of paintings were commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil, its founders and benefactors—is approaching its 50th anniversary. This juncture, along with some pressing maintenance issues, has motivated a restoration plan to resolve ongoing problems with the building’s design that have been wrestled with since its conception. Notwithstanding serious shortcomings in the manner in which light enters the building and illuminates the paintings, the chapel has been venerated for its propensity to conjure experiential intensity. Drawing on Gernot Böhme’s spatialized aesthetic of atmospheres, this project is chiefly concerned with the crafting of conditions favorable to the experience of “atmospheric pressure,” as Elaine de Kooning characterized the effect of Rothko’s paintings, and the attunement to contemplation and action they are meant to elicit.
Pamela G. Smartis Associate Professor of Art History at Binghamton, whose research interests include the anthropology of art worlds, museums, critical aesthetics, and affective modalities of experience.
VizCult: The Art History Department Speaker Series 2020 Spring Semester
Wednesday 26 February Pamela G. Smart Associate Professor and Chair
Art History, Binghamton University “’Stillness that moves’: Crafting Atmospheric Pressure in the Restoration of the Rothko Chapel” 5:00 PM in FA 143
Wednesday 18 March Brian K. Wall Associate Professor and Chair
Cinema, Binghamton University “’A splinter in the eye’: Cinema and Blindness” 5:00 PM in FA 143
Wednesday 15 April The Annual Ferber Lecture Benjamin Anderson Associate Professor
History and Art and Visual Studies and Classics, Cornell University “A Byzantine Oracle in Reformation Germany: Ein wunderliche Weissagung von dem Bapstum(1527)” 5:00 PM in FA 143
Wednesday 29 April Andrew Weiner Assistant Professor
Art and Art Professions, NYU Steinhardt TBA 5:00 PM in FA 143
VizCult The Art History Department Speaker Series 2019 Fall Semester
Alissa D. De Wit-Paul, PhD candidate, Art History, Binghamton University
“Choosing the Sun: Edward Mazria and Passive Solar Architecture in the 1970s”
Wednesday 30 October, 5:00 PM in FA 143
In the 1950s and early 1960s, solar architecture emerged with a focus on energy efficiency, opposition to a nuclear power industry still closely associated with the military, and the promotion of modern lifestyles. On the fringe of the architectural profession, the American Solar Energy Society supported experimentation with a variety of solar architectures. However, by the mid-1970s, the rise of environmental concerns led to a debate within this organization over the application of solar technologies. Protagonists of “passive” solar not only developed a simplified process for architects to use this technology, but also created sun-powered buildings as a model of what would come to be known as “green” architecture.
Alissa D. De Wit-Paul (MArch, Buffalo) is currently Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology. She has extensive research experience in architectural and sustainable design. Her PhD research focuses on the history of sustainable design, concentrating on 1970s New Mexico. Her professional practice focuses on smaller residential and commercial spaces.
VizCult The Art History Department Speaker Series 2019 Fall Semester Wednesday 16 October 5:00 PM in FA 143
Research Associate and Curator
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU
“Quo vadis? Mapping and Wayfinding in Ancient Rome”
The conceptualization of the ancient Greco-Roman universe was first formulated in the 6th century BCE by pre-Socratic philosophers. In studying the shape and size of the Earth, they developed the fundamentals of topography and cartography, the sciences of recording the surface of the terrain through drawings, as we still know them today. Topographical theories were also applied to everyday problem-solving such as mapping land and sea routes, recording public and private lands, and promoting specific political agendas. In all these instances, the resulting representations of places presented a distorted and schematized version of geographic and topographic elements, transforming those regions on both a conceptual and a physical level. This talk focuses on wayfinding, analyzing the role of Roman itinerariain the understanding of personal and public space, the conceptualization of hypothetical movement as a primary factor around which all spatial relations were built, and the emergence of a communal geographic standpoint that subsumed spatial differences to promote geographic standardization.
Roberta Casagrande-Kim(PhD, Columbia University) is a specialist in Roman funerary practices and beliefs in the afterlife, late Antique urbanism, and Greco-Roman mapping. She has worked extensively in archeological excavations in Italy, Israel, and Turkey, and has served as the Assistant Field Director at the Amheida excavations in Egypt since 2010.