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“Birdcalls: A roundtable”

October 3, 2023 · 5:00 pm6:30 pm · Room N107, School of Architecture

Sylvia Lavin, Architecture; Thomas Y. Levin, German; Maria Loh, Institute for Advanced Study; Gavin Steingo, Music

For this work, sometimes referred to as “Patriarchal Rollcall”, Louise Lawler sounded out the familiar names of male artists dominating the art world in the 1970s using the chirps and peeps of birdcalls – activating the artistic tradition of mimesis but with a twist. ​The humor of the work is tinged with urgency as it attests to how the constant repetition of these names operates to block the voices of women artists, artists of color and other underrepresented persons. Installing Birdcalls also calls attention to the importance of sound and animal studies to current discourses on aesthetics and hence to the environmental conditions undergirding the making and showing of art today.

Sylvia Lavin is a Professor of History and Theory of Architecture at Princeton University. Her work explores the limits of architecture across a wide spectrum of historical periods. Her publications include Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture, Everything Loose Will Land: 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles and Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Myths. She is currently working on a new book, Building Sylvan Media.

Thomas Y. Levin is an Associate Professor of German at Princeton University. He teaches media theory and history, cultural theory, intellectual history, aesthetics, and sound studies. His publications include The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media
and Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother

Maria Hsiuya Loh is a Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. She is an expert in the field of early modern Italian art and theory. She is the author of Titian Remade: Repetition and the Transformation of Early Modern Italian Art, Still Lives: Death, Desire, and the Portrait of the Old Master, and Titian’s Touch: Art, Magic & Philosophy. She is currently working on her new book: Liquid Sky: Visual Representations of the Early Modern Sky.

Gavin Steingo is a Professor of Music at Princeton University. His research examines sound and music as fundamental features in the construction of global modernity, with research specializations in African music, sound studies, acoustic ecology, and music and philosophy. He is the author of Interspecies Communication: Sound and Music Beyond Humanity, and Kwaito’s Promise: Music and the Aesthetics of Freedom in South Africa.

Reception to follow the roundtable discussion.

Event co-organized by the School of Architecture
and the Program in Media and Modernity.

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