February 21 2013

"Mass Intimacy" Presented in Downtown Sydney

Ziger/Snead architect Keith Peiffer recently presented his paper, ?Mass Intimacy,? at the 1st Global Conference for Time, Space, and the Body organized by inter-disciplinary.net and held in downtown Sydney, Australia.  The conference brought together practitioners and academics from various disciplines selected through a competitive blind peer review of submitted abstracts to discuss contemporary ideas regarding the foundational elements of time, space, and the body.

Keith presented during the session entitled ?Materialising Time, Space, and the Body? alongside two artists, a painter and a glass sculptor, whose work explores the experience of art through the physical body.  Keith?s paper presented the contemporary body as William Mitchell?s notion of the spatially extended cyborg, a body composed of both ?bits and atoms? that greatly exceeds its physical limits through extensive amounts of data it generates via credit card purchases, online browsing, cell phone usage, etc.  The paper and accompanying architectural drawings explored how practices of both tracking (surveillance) and packaging (subjectification) of the body are reconfiguring the relationships between institutions, subjects, architecture, and consumer products.  ?Mass Intimacy? visualizes the way in which the spatially extended cyborg body becomes a powerful generator for the architectural design of our everyday retail environments.

The range of papers presented explored the interrelationships between time, space, and the body through discussions of graffiti, dust, universal design, Muslim notions of privacy, laughter, homelessness, contemporary film, dance, and the beach.  At the end of the conference, participants were encouraged to present proposals for books that begin to explore concepts across various papers, disciplines, and approaches to continue the dialogue.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit research network, founded for the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge?s sake across disciplines, while valuing collegiality and critical inquiry.  ID.net is currently running multiple research projects concurrently, of which Time, Space, and the Body is one.

In addition to the conference, Keith had the opportunity to take in the historic and contemporary architecture of Sydney.  Highlights were the Sydney Opera House by Jorn Utzon, Central Park development by Jean Nouvel (currently under construction), Darling Harbour, the Botanical Gardens, the Darlinghurst and Redfern neighborhoods, and Government House.

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