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Body Work and Media Design: The F+F School for Experimental Design 1971-1981

Michael Hiltbrunner, Zurich University of the Arts

Tue, 9/27 · 5:00 pm6:30 pm EDT · Room N107, School of Architecture

Program in Media and Modernity

Graduate Program in Media + Modernity | Princeton University presents:

Michael Hiltbrunner
“Body Work and Media Design:
the F+F School for Experimental Design 1971-1981”
[Response: Anna-Maria Meister, Beatriz Colomina]
Tuesday, September 27, 2022 @5pm ET
N107 (School of Architecture)

Do we lose our bodies within technology today? At the F+F School co-founded by activist artists in Zurich in 1971 there was critique of the individual with the aim of shifting its understanding from the single body to its place in a group, its social function, and the political subject within society. This was reflected in the F+F&’s radical educational methods in fostering collaborative work and decision-making,
and it’s public presence. There were “Happenings,” “Action Art,” political actions, long durational sessions of up to 72 hours, but also a Witches’ Course for women run by Doris Stauffer and a counter Men’s Course taught by Serge Stauffer. Technology and body work were closely associated in experimental ways. Lecturers had to teach in fields in which they were not professionally educated but this polemically “unprofessional” approach was difficult to maintain and gave way to a traditional division of technology and body work in the 1980s. This event returns to the early experiments to explore their emancipatory potential today.

Michael Hiltbrunner is a cultural anthropologist and art scholar at the Institute for Contemporary Art Research at Zurich University of the Arts. His recent research focuses on personal archives of research-based art and the F+F School in Zurich as a lab for experimental design.

Anna-Maria Meister is Professor of Architecture Theory and Science at Technical University of Darmstadt. Her work focuses on the interdependencies of bureaucratization of design and the design of bureaucracies. She has co-curated the collaborative international research project “Radical Pedagogies” and co-edited the recently published eponymous book (MIT Press, 2022).

Beatriz Colomina is the Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture. Her most recent books are X-Ray Architecture (Lars Muller, 2019)and Radical Pedagogies, ed. with Ignacio Gonzalez Galan, Evangelos Kotsioris, and Anna-Maria Meister (MIT Press, 2022).

Image Caption: CH FF1971-D B-10-S02-013, Stadtarchiv Zürich, Archive F+F school, 1978.

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