Blog der Professur Philip Ursprung

Veranstaltungen Archive

Dez 11


Mai 13

Thursday, 2. May 2013, Friday, 3. May 2013
HIL H Plaza 40.4, ETH Zurich Hönggerberg, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15, 8003 Zurich
Concept: Mechtild Widrich

This public workshop was the first meeting of the international network Art and Architecture History Assembly, which was founded by scholars at ETH Zurich, MIT, and the University of Western Australia. The AAHA approaches the porous boundaries between art and architecture and the less steady academic dialogue between these disciplines from a global perspective, concentrating on themes of interchange between countries, regions, and cultures. Members from Chile, Australia, the US, England, Switzerland and Austria joined us at ETH for two days to discuss utopia’s potential, the intersections of the disciplines and of theory and practice.

Limits occupied us both in the form of borders (real or imagined) between the disciplines of art and architecture as well as theory and practice and as literal political demarcations of great urgency within contemporary art and architecture. The three sections of the conference were organized around the themes of geographic boundaries (Tensions), utopian worldmaking (Visions), and production of social effects (Agency). The participants came from theory as well as from artistic and curatorial practice. A lively mix of input lectures and respondents made for an interesting encounter of different approaches and points of view.

We will get back together next year, possibly at MIT or at Western Australia University, Perth. (MW)

Audience attending the key note lectures at ETH Hönggerberg, May 2, 2013. Front Row: Karl Kegler, Sabine von Fischer, Elke Krasny, Andres Lepik

Left to right: Mechtild Widrich, Ute Meta Bauer, Pedro Gadanho in conversation at ETH Hönggerberg, May 2, 2013

Lecture by Pedro Gadanho, curator of contemporary architecture

Panel discussion, section “Agency”: from left to right: Elke Krasny, Emily Scott, Sabine von Fischer, Andres Lepik, Ying Zhou. Listening to questions from the audience. May 3, 2013


Nina Zschocke, Tijana Vujosevic, Philip Ursprung, Karl Kegler

Feb 28

Presence—One Internal and One Public Workshop
Friday, February 1, and Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cabaret Voltaire, Spiegelgasse 1, CH-8001 Zürich
Idea and concept: Philip Ursprung, Mechtild Widrich

Presence, signifying both immediacy and being someplace at a particular moment, is one of the most controversial terms in contemporary culture and politics. The visual arts and philosophy in particular have seen much controversy about the various claims (positive and negative) related to concepts ranging from neurobiology to deconstruction. Even though the latter has shaped cultural discourse since the late 1960s, from today’s point of view it seems doubtful that we can dispense with the concept of presence too easily. Certain questions persist: how do we describe consciousness, experience, and temporality with reference to our bodies and the surrounding world? Can we understand and communicate these relations without falling into a false sense of security?

Scholars and practitioners from philosophy, art, architecture, performance studies, and music discussed this contested term in a closed-door workshop and in several public roundtables.

We met at Cabaret Voltaire at 10am in an informal setting under the famous image of Hugo Ball performing in his cardboard costume. We started off with several questions that we had put together and sent out to the participants. We had some informal presentations that immediately brought up the problem of a binary approach (sense versus intellect, ‘authentic’ versus mediated presence), which then led to an interest in the historicity of the term. This focus on the historicity instead of / or at least in contrast to a timeless idea of “presence”, meant also discussing the use of the concept as ‘tool’ for the various disciplines. We found that the openness of the discussion and the informal nature of the interaction lead to a fruitful exchange not only between disciplines, but also helped break open the dichotomy between Derridean deconstruction on one hand, and hermeneuticists, and post-hermeneuticists.

The participants on this day were Elisabeth Bronfen, Jürg Berthold, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Mark Jarzombek, Amelia Jones, Pal Kelemen, Elke Krasny, Thomas Levin, Dieter Mersch, Rebecca Schneider, Philip Ursprung, Mechtild Widrich, Nina Zschocke, Peter Zumthor and Annalisa Zumthor-Cuorad

Internal Workshop, Cabaret Voltaire, February 1, 2013

Rebecca Schneider and Elisabeth Bronfen, Cabaret Voltaire, February 1, 2013

Peter Zumthor addressing the workshop participants at Cabaret Voltaire, February 1, 2013

Mechtild Widrich, Peter Zumthor, Elke Krasny, Thomas Levin at Cabaret Voltaire, February 1, 2013

Rebecca Schneider, Elisabeth Bronfen, Philip Ursprung and Dieter Mersch at Cabaret Voltaire, February 1, 2013

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Amelia Jones, Peter Zumthor, Annalisa Zumthor-Cuorad at Cabaret Voltaire, February 1, 2013

Elke Krasny, Mark Jarzombek, Pal Kelemen, Michael Meyer, and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht at Cabaret Voltaire, February 1, 2013

This day was open to the public and was organized in several public roundtables. Short input-lectures were followed by a discussion among the participants and the audience. Panelists were Elisabeth Bronfen, Jürg Berthold, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Mark Jarzombek, Amelia Jones, Thomas Levin, Dieter Mersch, Rebecca Schneider, Philip Ursprung, Mechtild Widrich, Nina Zschocke and Peter Zumthor.

A publication incorporating both the public lectures and the closed-door workshop is in preparation.

Mechtild Widrich, Amelia Jones, Rebecca Schneider, Peter Zumthor, Public Roundtable at Cabaret Voltaire, February 2, 2013

Nina Zschocke, Mark Jarzombek, Thomas Levin, Jürg Berthold, Public Roundtable at Cabaret Voltaire, February 2, 2013

Philip Ursprung, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Elisabeth Bronfen, Dieter Mersch, Public Roundtable at Cabaret Voltaire, February 2, 2013

Amelia Jones, Public Roundtable at Cabaret Voltaire, February 2, 2013

All photographs courtesy Philip Ursprung and Mechtild Widrich

Jan 10

Datum : Freitag, 16. Dezember 2011 bis Samstag, 17. Dezember 2011

In the wake of the revolutionary unrest of the late 1960s, the idea of participatory art and architecture has lost its utopian connotations to become a complex debate about the active role of the spectator—and dweller—in space. Models critical of technocratic social planning have seen in interactive art and architecture the latest mode of authoritarian control (Foucault, Bourdieu); others, taking their cue from reuse and reorientation of spaces and artifacts, have seen in cooperative or ‘relational’ aesthetics the only viable politics in an era of global capitalism (de Certeau, Bourriaud). The nerve of the debate lies in the equation of sociality and space. It is this causal nexus between space and social life that, above all, we wish to draw attention to and put into question. Is power exerted in only one direction or could we describe these relationships as complex networks of interaction? Is space formed once and for all, or is it the changeable product of changeable patterns of use? Is the aesthetic always equivalent to the political, or might an aesthetically authoritarian space be conducive to social emancipation? And, finally, how does the mediatization of urban space challenge concepts of participation and audience?

























Alle Fotos © Hanak Lettner