MDes Open Project: Forms of Assembly: All Things Considered
"When bodies congregate, move, and speak together, they lay claim to a certain space as public space." Judith Butler.
In the public space, we pass by, come together, and continuously inform and form one another. It is a space of appearance, disagreement, and encounter critical for democracy, freedom, and a just society.
In "We Have Never Been Modern", and the following works, "Down to Earth" and "Critical Zones", Bruno Latour expands the notion of the assembly beyond the human into a “Parliament of Things” that includes the invisible, unthinkable, unrepresentable nonhuman, objects and semi-objects. He calls for a new constitution that considers all things and their properties, relations, abilities, and groupings. This newly imagined formation of an open-ended and ever-expanding assembly, and care, is not only just, but critical for earthly survival in the time of the Anthropocene.
The changing climate, environmental destruction, and uncertainty have immense consequences on human and other species' lives and our shared planet. Among the results of these stresses are expend policies, culture, and spaces of isolation, exclusions, and violence, that further urge us to enact and form an expanded assembly.
Students in this Open Project will operate at the intersection of art, design, activism, theory, and practice. They will investigate and imagine new forms and spaces of assembly where all bodies matter and all things are considered as an ever-expanding entangled collective. Students will focus on the articulation of the problematic of spatial equity while regarding the expansion of rights to more than human, subjects, and things. They will use design as an agent and agency to activate the potentiality of underused and interstitial public spaces and use the format of ephemeral interventions, performances, exhibitions, and installations.
Projects will need to be situated in specific physical or virtual public space, which includes squares, libraries and parks, but also archives, protocols, policies, constitutions, and all sorts of contracts that expand the "distribution of the sensible" and the social to more than human subjects, and things.
Forms of Assembly: All Things Considered includes guest lectures, open workshops, peer-to-peer reviews, assignments, and the production of a collective exhibition and publication.
Outcomes are expected to be dissimilar.
Research Trajectories include Activism, Performance, Territory, Space of Conflict, Power and Place, Parliament of Things, More than human, Terrestrial, Collective, Rights, Curation, Installation, Publication