PULVERIZED UTOPIAS: POETICS OF AIR, MSA

Sunday, November 20, from 8:30-10 am, in the Arcadia room at the Westin Pasadena, we will be holding this panel I’ve put together for the Modernist Studies Association with cherished friends and colleagues.

I’ve changed my presentation to confront conditions & will be talking about the air of the polis & breathing as a political strategy, in the face of pneumatic technologies of exploitation (e.g., the pneumatic rock-drill).

Air, an element long associated with life and inspiration, has hardly been taken for granted as a pure medium in a Los Angeles braided with freeways, oil rigs and refineries, laced with dust and smog. The fact that air in this city has been considered postlapsarian for decades compels scholars of modernism convening here to revisit both truisms of modernist hygiene in architecture and planning and the age-old notion of poetic inspiration—dwelling on the ways in which air itself is actively circulated and itself “designed,” and on its effects on the culture industry of the anthropocene.
Pulverized Utopias: Designing Air in the Anthropocene
ORGANIZER:
Jennifer Scappettone (University of Chicago)
CHAIR:
Joel Nickels (University of Miami)
Margaret Ronda (University of California, Davis)
“The Second Nature of Air”
Jennifer Scappettone (University of Chicago)
“Precarity Shared: Air as Commons, Breathing as Tactic”
Berenika Boberska (Woodbury University)
“Air/Light: Airborne LA From Sinister to Sublime”

Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao, plan for a geodesic dome to be placed over Midtown Manhattan, 1960

Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao, plan for a geodesic dome to be placed over Midtown Manhattan, 1960

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