Spring 2021 Sciame Lecture Series: &/Or Online Dialogues
The term “binary opposites” is an important concept in linguistics, sociology and philosophy, referring to pairs of related terms or concepts that are opposite in meaning. Common examples that we use in everyday speech and thought include “good/bad,” “inside/outside,” “male/female,” “presence/absence,” and so on. Architecture and our related disciplines of landscape and urbanism depend heavily on binary oppositions (“inside/outside,” “man-made/natural,” “private/public,” “digital/real”), but the adversarial tension set up between what we perceive as opposites often obscures a deeper and more complex understanding of the world.
In this new online series, curators Viren Brahmbhatt, Ali C. Höcek, and Martin Stigsgaard argue that the traditional format of a single lecturer speaking to an audience sets up a binary opposite all of its own — “speaker/listener” — that simply reinforces the power structure between those who “possess” knowledge and those who “consume” it. In its place, the &Or Online Dialogues will present two speakers in conversation with each other, moderated by a third.
The themes are set in advance by the series’ curators and the format is simple: a short display of work by each speaker, moderated dialogue, followed by audience-driven participation. At a time when public discussion often more closely resembles a gladiatorial conflict, &/Or is an opportunity to dialogue, listen, and learn in a different way. Each event will close with a brief look ahead to the upcoming conversation, allowing the audience to form connections between the dialogues and prepare ahead for what might be said.
Lecture series sponsored by Sciame . . . Where Building Is an Art with additional funding provided by the Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture Fund.
Download the series poster here