CTB 2018: A Brief Photographic Recap

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Keynote Spotlight: Dr. Jeffrey Kirkwood

Kirkwood4Saturday, March 17th, 4:30pm in the Multi-Purpose Room in the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4)

Dr. Jeffrey Kirkwood, Assistant Professor in Art History and Cinema Departments at Binghamton University, will present his keynote address:

The Future was Bright:
A History of Optical Counterfactuals

Optical technologies have long been credited with defining a terrain of factuality according to what they make visible. However, they have also historically structured limit cases for imagining the legitimacy of invisible, counterfactual states according to specific operations—from geometric projection and Mercator projection, to Galileo’s depictions of celestial objects. In the case of Galileo’s treatise, Sidereus Nuncius, Paul Virilio has argued that the telescopic view of the cosmos “projected an image of a world beyond our reach.” The paradoxical outcome was what Hans Blumenberg referred to as a critical “backwardness of visibility in relation to reality.” With the eruption of optical instrumentation, the end of the nineteenth century came to be defined by this “backwardness of visibility.” Where optical technologies developed by scientific figures like Ernst Mach have traditionally been celebrated for establishing a new, image-based universe of facts, this talk will explore the ways in which such images were more powerful for in opening a space of counterfactuality.

Open to the Public.  All are Welcome.

Keynote Spotlight: Dr. Edward Eigen

Ed-EigenFriday, March 16th, 5:15pm in the Binghamton University Art Museum in the Fine Arts Building

Dr. Edward Eigen, Professor of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Harvard University School of Design, will present his keynote address:

On Accident: Episodes in Architecture and Landscape

Taking inspiration from fellow astronomer Pierre-Simon de Laplace, who once imagined a preternatural “Intelligence” that could determine the past and future course of things from their present configuration, Camille Flammarion applied a “calculus of probabilities” to the hiatus between what is observable and what is explainable. And just as science is, in Laplace’s well-advised words, “so far from knowing all the agencies in nature,” so too the historian makes do with fractured knowledge: anecdotes, traces, fragile impressions, acts of partial witness. The best she can do is to arrange narratives into an understandable plot, since the probable is a characteristic of plot itself. Should we be troubled, then, by the chancy nature—the caprices—of such forms of fractured knowledge? Or is it their threatening allure that breathes desire into the present project of history, rather than a melancholic or nostalgic fixation on the past? This talk will take up the charge of incomplete knowledge; “the fault . . . is not in our stars.”

Based on themes and issues from his new book, On Accident: Episodes in Architecture and Landscape.  https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/accident

Open to the Public.  All are Welcome.