Revolutionizing Revolution

September 22, 2017 all-day America/New York Timezone
Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture
Ivan L. Munuera, Jess Ngan, Diana C. Olave, Bart-Jan Polman
Revolutionizing Revolution @ Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture

Revolutionizing Revolution is a transdisciplinary colloquium that addresses the discussions, concepts, subjects, temporalities, media, and legacies of revolution through architecture, design and its impact on intellectual life, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Red October. It proposes to debate the concept of revolution through four roundtables and eight guests: Nettrice Gaskins, Jack Halberstam, Lesley Lokko, Ginger Nolan, Rachel Price, Andrew Ross, Lee Stickells, and Albena Yaneva.

Revolution has to be revolutionized—it has to be rethought. Is it always a breaking point? Is it always public? Or urban? Recent global political events invite further questioning and the reframing of notions of dissent, activism and rupture, both in and outside the academy. Revolutions can be progressive as well as regressive. With the emergence of new media protocols, body regulations, religious maps, secularity, climate change and rising economic inequality, it seems no coincidence the word revolution is becoming more common in daily speech. With these processes taking place in very specific environments, the role of humanities should be redefined. From city squares to building regulations, from monuments to imaginaries, from social media to techniques, from manifestos to renderings, architecture and revolution go hand in hand.

Looking beyond canonical examples and the myths that describe revolutionary moments, we are interested in revolutionary events that fall outside of the traditional framework. Thus, we will account for intersectional transformations that occur over extended periods of time, by diverse subjects, and across different milieus, contexts and environments, creating new architectures and urbanisms on a global scale. No revolution matches its first definition and it cannot be defined monolithically. Furthermore, an aprioristic cis-architecture—one that maintains its agenda separated from its performativity—cannot happen anymore. Revolutionizing Revolution then asks: In what ways are revolutions revolutionary and what are their expectations? How is revolution embodied, enacted and performed? When and where do revolutions happen? What are its architectures? What are the figures of authority and how are facts being defined, de-marginalized and confronted?