Power and the Space of the Planet

"Power and the Space of the Planet"

Friday, April 15, 2016, 2PM

Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Columbia University


Spanning the planet, the dynamics of climate change bind together innumerable, often incompatible categories, things, and processes. Among these are energy infrastructures, politics, nature, biological and social life, and the built and unbuilt environment. The struggles and contradictions they entail, and the powers they sustain, impose limits on our capacity to grasp their connections and to conceive alternatives. This event, which brought together contributors from comparably disparate domains, explored some of those connections imaginatively and concretely, in the past, present, and possible future. It served to inaugurate the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture's long-term research project, “Power: Infrastructure in America,” which extended the Center’s earlier work on housing, inequality, and real estate into another dimension of the planetary commons. Where the earlier research began with an analysis of land ownership and its relation to housing and the public sphere, “Power” began with the air circulating above that land, the energy coursing through it, and the earth below it, all in relation to the lives lived within it.



Introduction 2:00pm

Reinhold Martin (Director, Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture)


Plenary 2:15pm

Phillip Wegner: "When It Changed: Bodies, Cities, and Worlds in Science Fiction, circa 1984"


Panel and Discussion 3:30-5:00pm

Ed Eigen: “Power of the Pardon: Evel Knievel, Robert Smithson, and the Landscape of Reclamation, circa 1974”

Jeanne Haffner: "Dwelling on Power: From the Garden Cities to the Nuclear Age"

Paige West: "Town, Island, Ples: Structure(s) of Feeling in the SocioEcological Now"


Reception 5:15pm


Keynote 6:00pm

Kim Stanley Robinson: "Utopia Against Finance"

with response by Phillip Wegner and discussion moderated by Reinhold Martin