Art, Architecture and Urbanism in Dialogue: Disobedience Archive - from Research to Design

To engage dialogue between architecture, urbanism and contemporary art from the perspective of the artistic field, the course aims to use the format of an exhibition as a "critical device." This class, Disobedience Archive, thematically investigates how the ideas from early modernist practices are linked with the politics of the time. The course provides an occasion to research, debate and produce performative and an-architectural forms and structures that interrogate the notion of "disobedience" as it relates to local history, migration, development of technologies and politics in the Boston area.

The goal of the class is to create an exhibition in the Lobby of building E14 (Media Lab Complex) opening November 17. Students will develop their own systems of display for the exhibition, working through the vexed relations between art and politics, and the role archives play in them.

One objective is to study examples of artistic practice along with architectural and urban approaches, Important themes will be drawn from the overlapping histories of "art on a civic scale" and the search for utopian models of living and dissent that stems from a tradition in a Boston and Massachusetts, focusing on interventions by practitioners who intertwine the three disciplines.

The exhibition is a collaboration with NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano). NABA is an innovative Arts and Design Academy,the largest private Academy in Italy, and at the same time a dynamic artistic and cultural centre. NABA professor and curator Marco Scotini and lecturer Andris Brinkmanis will visit the class to interrogate concept of Disobedience that gives impetus to study forms and practice of dissent in the context of historic model of utopia and contemporary revolutions. Their visit, October 16-23 2011, will serve two key functions: providing ACT graduate students with insight on their own research; and preparing for the exhibition of Disobedience Archive at MIT due Nov.17, 2011, including meeting with MIT faculty and support staff, reviewing materials and archives at CAVS, Rotch, Harvard and Boston libraries, planning the production of the exhibition.

The course includes practical exercises that develop an-architectural structures and prototypes for the exhibition project. Students will experiment with forms of critical design and display structures. They will also develop a public program to engage with radical pedagogy and urban youth in greater Boston to interrogate topics of civic space and the city.

Readings will include Thoreau, Hannah Arendt, Paolo Virno, David Harvey, Franco Berardi Bifo, Grant H Kester. Critical Art Ensemble, and Gerald Raunig. Lectures by visiting scholars and artists, screenings of the films from Disobedience Archive, field trips, readings and discussions with guests and faculty lead to the development and realization of the exhibition and discursive event for final presentations.

Lab fee $110.