Prelude

Maybe it was the memory of the mirror, appearing as a fluid image in one of the books that I once read, which led me to this forgotten place. The unity of one single person was depicted in the mirror as a symphony composed of present and past and thus as well of future personae; a symphony of life, which would never repeat itself and in which every chord would appear as a possibility for the myriad pluralities accruing from it -- an almost impossible thought in this millennium, in which humanity is about to achieve its objective of tracking everything that is uncertain.

Paradoxically, it was this unknown image of the plurality of reflections that revealed the path to this place, which is not drawn on any map.

 

The rectangular room is painted in bright white. No window or door disturbs the continuity of the walls. However, there must be openings in the ceiling, since natural light enters the room from above, along the walls, as funnel-shaped rays.

 

I am ONE,
I walk to be ALWAYS the LAST in my sequence,
my memories are operators to my dreams.

 

says the girl in the virtual garden

About

 

The Laboratory for Inhabitable Theories and Research in Architecture | LITRA  was founded by artist/architect Claudia Westermann in 2001. It has since then offered a platform for projects at the threshold of art and architecture some of which have involved interdisciplinary collaborations with other artists, designers, and writers.

 

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New Macy #2

19 September 2021, 12 pm ET. Join our discussion!

Urgent Questions in response to “Today’s AI” — #NewMacy Meeting #2 | American Society for Cybernetics

What forms of human-machine interactivity would move us away from the ills of “Today’s AI”? How do we create organic frameworks for AI that are based in human and ecological values?
There is no question that widespread AI software has negative effects. Manipulation of our attention and political sentiment, spread of bias, loss of privacy, and encouragement toward addictive behaviors are only a few widely acknowledged examples. With 2.8 billion people active on social media and 4 billion touched by digital devices, these manifestations of “Today’s AI” demand response. For further information and registration see the Eventbrite page.


 

ECHOES OF COLOUR

Shanti Sadan Foundation, Ahmedabad | Saturday, 18 September @ 6 pm IST 

As the voice speaks, its murmuring sounds turn into reflection. Against the unbearable absolute of determinacy, it wants to posit an ecology of ambiguity that may assist cybernetic agents to enact the ever fluid echoes of emotional exchanges on the anthropocosmic stage of becoming. Presenting a journey from central Europe to east China, the talk entitled ‘Echoes of Colour’ engages aesthetic experiences and their translations into works of art and design. Within the context of an ecology of ambiguity, design is a performative process that creates limits rather than limitations and, is, therefore, a discipline of radical communication that always seeks to extend itself towards an Other – the unknown – addressing it without pre-quantifying it to render it scientifically verifiable.
 

Westermann, 2021, Echoes of Colour

 

18th September 2021 - 18:00 IST (Ahmedabad time), 20:30 Beijing CST (Beijing time).

Online. Registration is free.

For further information and registration see here: https://shanti-sadan.net/echoes-of-colour/ 

 


Cybernetic Agents for an Ecology of the Far/Near

Design Informatics Webinar, School of Informatics/Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Claudia Westermann | Thursday, 4 February @ 4pm GMT | 

 

Westermann, Ecology of the far/near

 

Public Lecture. Registration via Eventbrite

The recording of the presentation is now available online on the Design Informatics website. Alternatively, you may watch it on vimeo.

 


 

 

Seats for Seeing

were installed in Beikeng village, Yanping district in Fujian province, China, at the end of November 2019.

The work was made in collaboration with colleagues at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Adam Bentley Brillhart, Yiping Dong, and Thomas Wortmann, and with assistance from our alumna Chen Fanyun (mostly on-site) and Ominda Nanayakkara in Civil Engineering (structures consultation).

Seats for Seeing - image

 

Seats for Seeing - image

 

The work is part of the Yanping Art Harvest, running from 30 November 2019 to 29 February 2020. It has its own website at www.seatsforseeing.net.

 

Recent Publications

[..] flowing with the waters, halting with the mountains. In the images of light and wind the ephemeral is inscribed. Time is part of space. The scene performs.

The essay "Chinese Landscape Aesthetics: the exchange and nurturing of emotions" published in the book New Horizons: Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today presents traditional Chinese concepts that are typically translated into English as 'landscape.' Following the etymology of the Chinese terms and recognizing that their conceptual focus is on the exchange and nurturing of emotions, which is not captured by the English term, we can gain a new understanding also of contemporary works of Chinese landscape architecture.

The American Society of Landscape Architects lists New Horizons: Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today as one of the best books of 2020.

The text "Chinese Landscape Aesthetics: the exchange and nurturing of emotions" by Claudia Westermann of LITRA is available online via google books.

 

 New Horizons Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today

 


The PDF of Claudia Westermann's 'The art of conversation: design cybernetics and its ethics' published in Kybernetes is available via researchgate. The article 'Poiesis, ecology and embodied cognition' published in Technoetic Arts a Journal of Speculative Research 18(1) in July 2021 might be available to you via your library's EBSCOhost subscription.

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Teaching

In Dialogue with Nature: Architecture for the Post-Anthropocene

XJTLU, ARC304, FYP Studio 2019-20 | Tutored by Claudia Westermann
Works by Zuo Annan, Shi Xiongzhe, and Yao Yiming

 

Work by Zuo Annan

 

In the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, in one of the most memorable scenes at the beginning of the film, director Stanley Kubrick tells us that the dawn of man occurred with the discovery of tools (Kubrick and Clarke, 1968). Thinking objects as tools, specifically to defend and to attack, marks the beginning of technological invention and the transition from ape to human. The Dawn of Man scene reflects Darwinian theories of evolution. The focus on struggle, competition, and death as part of evolution is in line with the emphasis made by Darwinists. According to Darwinian theories, human beings are necessarily always in a struggle with their environment. We have not lived with nature but against nature. Consequently, the activities of human beings have gradually grown into a significant geological, morphological force. A new era has emerged. It has been named the Anthropocene.

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