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Noted Designer Vito Acconci to Speak on Campus Monday
Noted designer Vito Acconci will present a lecture titled “From Word to Action to Architecture,” on Monday, Oct. 7, at 2:30 p.m. in Wilde Auditorium.
The talk, which is part of the Hartford Art School’s Auerbach Visiting Artist Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. The event is made possible by The Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund.
Acconci is the founder of Acconci Studio, a design firm that mixes poetry and geometry, computer scripting and sentence structure, narrative and biology, chemistry and social science. The studio uses computers to give form to thinking, using forms to find ideas. They design time as much as space. Their design starts with clothing and ends with vehicles — in between, they design buildings that slip into landscape and vice versa. They make spaces fluid, changeable and portable; they make architecture subservient to people, not vice versa.
Acconci’s design and architecture comes from another direction, from backgrounds of writing and art. His poems in the late 1960s treated language as matter (words to look at rather than through) and the page as a field to travel over. His performances in the early 1970s helped shift art from object to interaction. Later in the 1970s, his installations turned museums and galleries into interactions between spaces and people. In the early 1980s his architectural units were meant to be transformed by users.
The following were built in the last decade: in Graz, a person-made island where the theater (a bowl) twists to become a playground on its way to becoming a dome (a restaurant); in Tokyo, a clothing store as soft as clothing; in Coney Island, an elevated subway station façade that waves and bulges to make views and seats; in Toronto, a building complex fence that twists and rises up the building to make windscreens and splits to make public places; in Indianapolis, now being built, an interactive tunnel through a building where pedestrians and cyclists activate sensors that set off lights that swarm around them like fireflies.