Upcoming Symposium: Conserving Active Matter, Bard Graduate Center

November 27–28, 2017
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

The twenty-first century will see self-driving cars, smart textiles, self-regulating buildings, and artworks that change themselves. The human body itself could be said to pose the most acute example of “active matter”—and philosophers from diverse cultures have debated this point for millennia. Over the next five years, Bard Graduate Center, together with the Helmholtz Center for Cultural Techniques of the Humboldt University in Berlin (Cluster Bild. Wissen. Gestaltung) and the Conservation & Scientific Research Department of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, will examine the specific implications of active matter for the theory and practice of conservation. This symposium lays out the landscape of questions that will be the focus of subsequent seminars, conferences, courses, and fellowships, leading up to an exhibition in spring 2022.


November 27, 6–8 pm
What is Active Matter?

Peter N. Miller, Bard Graduate Center
Jessica Walthew, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Justin Broackes, Brown University
Admir Masic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Glenn Wharton, New York University
Alicia Boswell, Bard Graduate Center

November 28, 9 am–6 pm
Conserving Active Matter

Peter N. Miller, Bard Graduate Center
Peter Fratzl, Humboldt University
Wolfgang Schäffner, Humboldt University
Robert van Langh, Rijksmuseum

Working Group: History (Weinryb)
Ittai Weinryb, Bard Graduate Center
Ann-Sophie Lehmann, University of Groningen
Spike Bucklow, University of Cambridge

Working Group: Philosophy (Gaskell & Eaton)
Ivan Gaskell, Bard Graduate Center
A.W. Eaton, University of Illinois at Chicago
Carolyn Korsmeyer, University at Buffalo
Sherri Irvin, University of Oklahoma

Working Group: Indigenous Ontologies (Glass)
Aaron Glass, Bard Graduate Center
Jolene Rickard, Cornell University
Kelly McHugh, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution

Working Group: Materials Science (Mass)
Jennifer Mass, Bard Graduate Center
Marc Walton, Northwestern University
Paul Messier, Yale University

This event will be livestreamed. A link to the video will be posted to the event listing the day of the event.

This event is part of our “Cultures of Conservation” initiative, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.