Metahaven, “Inhabitant”

Fungus growing on a tree, overlaid with the text

The GSD is pleased to present a series of talks and webinars broadcast to our audiences via Zoom.

*This lecture will be ONLINE ONLY. For security reasons, virtual attendees must register. Scroll down to find complete instructions for how to register.

Event Description

Last April, we went out on bicycles and followed the blossoms. From street to street we crisscrossed, trailing the path of their colors.

As foxes, wolves, and deer took to the cities, parts of a world in lockdown gave in to a silent dream.

The skies were empty. Emails skirted across the planet like tiny comets of kindness. Skype rituals and Zoom exchanges took place against the backdrop of private rooms: a world, at once more intimate and more distant, made itself available as live TV, replacing the physical meeting, supplanting social life with an audiovisual simulacrum.

We had a brief window of time to take notice of the recent past, in which our senses had seemed to have become paralyzed by cascading urgencies. How could we respond to the imperative of being in the now, of inhabiting the present? Can a work absorb the moment in time of its making without becoming like the news?

Inhabitant is about this question and how it has informed our work in filmmaking, art, and design. Referring to processes of sensing and inhabiting as practiced by non-human-species such as mushrooms and lichens, we will reference the work of Anna Tsing and Jennifer Gabrys, among others. In doing so, Inhabitant will explore affinities between sensing and cinematic capture.

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Screenshot of a presentation by Metahaven on Zoom. Metahaven is visible on the right side of the screen. The presentation shows white text on a black background.

Screenshot of a presentation by Metahaven on Zoom. Metahaven is visible on the right side of the screen. The presentation shows an image from the television show Game of Thrones, in which a disposable coffee cup is sitting on the table, circled in red.

Speaker

The work of Metahaven consists of filmmaking, writing, and design. Films by Metahaven include The Sprawl (Propaganda about Propaganda) (2015), Information Skies (2016, nominated for the 2017 European Film Awards), Hometown (2018), Eurasia (Questions on Happiness) (2018), and Chaos Theory (2020, forthcoming). Recent publications include PSYOP: An Anthology (Koenig Books, London, 2018), and Digital Tarkovsky (Strelka Press, Moscow, 2018). In the long essay Digital Tarkovsky, Metahaven identify online experience as a slow, cinematic proceeding, projecting the textures and motifs of Andrei Tarkovsky as a deeper artifice of digital aesthetics and filmmaking.

How to Join

Register to attend the lecture here. Once you have registered, you will be provided with a link to join the lecture via Zoom. This link will also be emailed to you.

The event will also be live streamed to the GSD's YouTube page. Only viewers who are attending the lecture via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A. If you would like to submit questions for the speaker in advance of the event, please click here.

Live captioning will be provided during this event. After the event has ended, a transcript will be available upon request.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or events@gsd.harvard.edu.

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