Art Omi Presents: Borders, Identity, and Constructs in Architecture

Thursday, Jan 20
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Listen to the recording of this event here. (Passcode: #K5RUQzF)

Join us for a virtual conversation with Art Omi: Architecture residency alumni about recent projects, tackling notions of geopolitical identity and systems. Featuring Miguel Braceli (2021), presenting his recent project, Here Lies A Flag; Dream the Combine (Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers, 2018)—presenting their recent project Columbus, Columbia, Colombo, Colón; and BASE Studio (Felipe Sepúlveda, 2019 and Bárbara Barreda, 2018)—presenting their recent project Flocking Tejas. Moderated by Julia van den Hout, Art Omi: Architecture Curator and Program Director.

This virtual event is free to attend, but pre-registration is required.

Miguel Braceli is an architect, artist, and educator. His work incorporates social practices and educational models through media such as performance, installation, video, and photography. The bulk of his work has consisted of large-format, ephemeral works in public space, performed as interventions and exhibited in countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, the United States and Venezuela.

His project, Here Lies A Flag, is a collective performance in collaboration with New Rochelle High School students to bury a flag as a poetic gesture and formative experience. The project begins by lowering the American flag from the flagpole in Davenport Park in New York, to make room for a new overflowing and borderless flag. Once the flag was installed, students participated in an assembly: a discussion about the “uses and abuses of a flag," substituting nationalisms for a humanistic approach to borders that overshadows the idea of nation. The project ends with a burial: The act of burying a flag opens a poetic approach to the imagination of new possible geopolitics.

Felipe Sepúlveda and Bárbara Barreda lead the architectural systems design research studio BASE, based in Chile. They develop an architecture oriented towards non-conventional geometrical, material, and spatial formulations that are able to accommodate the challenges and opportunities of contemporary life. Their methods are based on a parametric/systemic-thinking approach towards architectural design systems that are informed by both digital tools and physical prototypes; allowing for more versatile and innovative solutions, adaptable to a diversity of scales, materials, as well as programmatic, economic, and social contexts.

Their project Flocking Tejas, an installation at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, is an emergent and adaptable architectural system arising from questioning the architectural and constructive qualities of clay tiles. Flocking Tejas seeks to explore new spatial and formal repertoires, boosting the usage and possibilities of handcrafted identitarian materials and local techniques by means of global contemporary design methods.

Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers lead DREAM THE COMBINE, a creative practice, based in Minneapolis, MN and Ithaca, NY. They create site-specific installations exploring metaphor, imaginary environments, and perceptual uncertainties that cast doubt on our known understanding of the world. The work is deeply collaborative. They investigate the conceptual overlaps in art, architecture, and cultural theory through structures that disrupt assumed dichotomies and manipulate the boundary between real and illusory space.

Their project Columbus Columbia Colombo Colón, part of Exhibit Columbus, is an investigation of relationships. Christopher Columbus and the places named after him form a series of associations—of identity, property, and power. Designed to make the invisible visible, an array of vertical elements represents distinct places in the world. By navigating between each of the poles, visitors are invited to draw connections between different narratives and reflect on what is a collective story.

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