Associate Professor Robert Adams Lectures at the Watermill Center
Associate Professor Robert Adams will speak on "Chroma[o]sapiens: The Apparatus of Euphoria" on August 2, 2012 at the Watermill Center in Water Mill, New York. His lecture will discuss Sapiens, things that resemble modern humans over the past 1.5 billion years that have developed many tools, instruments and construction practices to augment, assist and accessorize their world. Growing exponentially in number, Chroma[o]sapiens produce techniques that specify new terms for architecture, construction culture and the euphoria of making. Exploring issues from the Anthropocene, to pharmaceutically enhanced sensations of painlessness, to the high-speed urbanization of China, to Detroit and the unmaking and remaking of the city, this survey of actions co-produce new urban practices within an increasingly differentiated social-civic body. Lingering in the periphery of these large infrastructural machines are the lower frequencies of disability culture. Though pervasive, the influence of disability culture on the conception and formation of civic space remains thin. In contrast to perceptions of disability as a life of struggle, hardship, and pain, a new species of Chroma[o]sapiens suggest that to possess a disability is to maintain a creative practice that produces its own unique types of knowledge. Through this framework the work explores the deep structure of disability aesthetics, claiming that the stakes are much higher than they appear for the conception and making of 21st century civic space.
The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities completed in 2006 on the Long Island, NY site of a former Western Union communication research facility. Founded by theatre and visual artist Robert Wilson as a place for young and emerging artists to work, learn, create, and grow with each other, Watermill integrates performing arts practice with resources from the humanities, research from the sciences, and inspiration from the visual arts. Watermill is unique within the global landscape of experimental theatrical performance, and regularly convenes the brightest minds from all disciplines to do, in Wilson's words, "what no one else is doing."
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