The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Princeton Atelier will present a talk by multimedia artist Ed Keller on “Bioville: The City as Superorganism” as part of a course entitled “Pay Attention: The Art of Here and Now” being taught by theater director Marianne Weems. The talk will be held on Thursday, September 25 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau St. and is free and open to the public.
Keller is a designer, professor, writer, musician and multimedia artist. He serves as Director of the Center for Transformative Media at The New School and Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design, and has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Pratt Institute; Southern California Institute of Architecture; University of Pennsylvania; and Bennington College.
With Carla Leitao, Keller co-founded AUM Studio, an architecture and new media firm that has produced residential projects, competitions, and new media installations in Europe and the U.S. The AUM Studio process is informed by the core belief that every spatial or cultural artifact is a rich intersection of material, temporal and event relationships, and that adequate techniques are needed to unfold systems and evolve their role as meaning-producing materials. The Studio draws from paradigm shifts in contemporary architecture, film theory, sciences, and philosophy to invent new relationships between material and event structures in architecture, urban systems, cinema, media, and technology.
The undergraduate course taught by Weems questions whether our sense of the present—to which we are meant to be attentive—has changed, and the impact of Twitter, Instagram and the “selfie” on making art. The course draws upon various perspectives with guest speakers, of which Keller is one, focusing on spirituality, neuroscience, ontology, psychology, and gaming to investigate these questions of modern consciousness.
Weems is the artistic director of the New York City-based performance and media ensemble The Builders Association. The ensemble’s productions blend stage performance, text, video, sound, and architecture to tell stories about the human experience in the 21st century. The Builders Association’s OBIE award-winning shows have toured to major venues throughout the world.
The Princeton Atelier was founded by Princeton Professor Emerita Toni Morrison and is directed by Paul Muldoon, Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Creative Writing. This unique academic program brings together professional artists from different disciplines to create new work in the context of a semester-long course. A painter might team with a composer, a choreographer might join with an electrical engineer, a company of theater artists might engage with environmental scientists, or a poet might connect with a videographer. Princeton students have an unrivaled opportunity to be directly involved in these collaborations.