PS Assembly with Professor Allen Weiss

PS Assembly

On March 24th, join Professor Weiss for a PS Assembly!

In Praise of Disorder: On Curating and the Impossibility of Interpretation

In anticipation of the “Curating Performance” colloquium scheduled for next month, Professor Weiss thought it would be appropriate to present some reflections on the complexities of curating. In The Order of Things, Michel Foucault reveals how epistemic shifts are characterized by the breakdown of traditional orders of classification. This is perhaps most clearly observed in the phenomenon of the cabinet of curiosities: once the model of a worldview based on resemblances, such heterogeneous collections were seen, after the rise of the scientific method, as a wondrous assembly of objects relegated to the aesthetic realm. From cosmic heterotopia to aesthetic utopia. In the lineage of Foucault, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist suggests that collecting and curating are modes of knowledge production; yet we must question the very limits of such knowledge and consider whether certain assemblies of objects are beyond interpretation.

This Spring we will be offering a series of get-togethers for all students and faculty in the department.  Each session will be loosely grounded in a topic that ties to the faculty's pedagogy. The series will be run by alternating members of the faculty who will briefly introduce each session and then facilitate discussion for the group. The assemblies will offer opportunities to come together--across the ranks and in a more informal setting--to discuss how we can approach a project, or an object, or a problem; how we research it; how we put our ideas together; how we communicate those ideas.

"André Breton, Wall from his Paris Apartment"

"André Breton, Wall from his Paris Apartment"