"Drop Dead Gorgeous!!! The Chemical Regime of Discotecture"
Ivan L. Munuera
(Ph.D. Candidate, School of Architecture, Princeton University)
In the mid-1970s and early 1980s, New York was in crisis. The large factories, which at one time had formed part of the landscape of Manhattan, lay abandoned. The view was desolate and alarming, yet suggestive of somewhere potentially habitable. Amidst this landscape, nightclubs and discos became the epicentre of an architectural revolution. They included the Palladium in New York, a nightclub designed by Arata Isozaki and described as “an urban apocalypse” in keeping with the city’s decayed status. It contained, shaped, and propagated a very specific architecture: discotecture, the architecture of the disco.
Ivan L. Munuera, is a Ph.D. Candidate of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. He is a contemporary art/architecture critic and curator based in New York, working on the specific forms of politics embedded at the intersection of art and architecture with musical practices. Since 2015 he is developing his dissertation on the urbanisms of HIV/AIDS.
"Becoming Insect: Lucrecia Martel's Theory of the Pixel"
(Ph.D. Candidate, Spanish and Portuguese, Princeton University)
In the wake of the digital turn, contemporary theorists have highlighted the fundamental inhumanity of media. This presentation looks to the figure of the insect in Lucrecia Martel’s 2011 short film Muta to theorize the wider mutations of the cinematic image. Like the insect, the pixel flickers, swarms, mutates. Indeed, insects — as media historian Jussi Parikka argues — have long served as a model of organization in computer science and digital media. I explore how, in her first digital production, Martel herself offers an insectoid theory of media that reframes concerns with the materiality, production, and distribution of post-cinema in terms of non-human life.
Thomas Matusiak is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton University specializing in modern and contemporary Latin American visual culture. His dissertation, "The Visual Guillotine: Latin America and the Cinema of Cruelty”, theorizes the relation between body, moving image, and apparatus from the silent era to the digital present. His research also engages Latin American photography, video, installation, digital media, and performance. At present, he is co-editing the journal dossier “Citas cinematográficas: The Cinematic Citation in Latin America.” His forthcoming publications include “La guillotina cinematográfica: Decapitación y montaje” (Cuadernos de Literatura) and “Losing Our Heads: Cinema and Madness in Carl Theodor Dreyer and Javier Téllez” (Revista de Estudios Hispánicos).