Fieldwork Symposium

a symposium about architecture in the gallery

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The Fieldwork symposium is connected to an exhibition of the same name on display at UTS Gallery. While the premise of the exhibition lies in an examination of contemporary architectural approaches to information collection and management, the symposium will open up the exhibition itself as a case study of contemporary works that merge installation, curatorial, and architectural practice. Commencing on Tuesday March 15th with a keynote lecture from Sylvia Lavin, followed on Wednesday March 16th with a full day of presentations and discussions around the nature of architectural research and its display. Our invited interlocutors include: Andrew Atwood, Erin Besler, Cristina Goberna, Urtzi Grau, Andrew Kovacs, Alon Scwabe and Daniel Fernández Pascual. Moderation by Sylvia Lavin, Charles Rice, Jesse Adams Stein, and Sarah Hearne.

Fieldwork, colloquially understood, is a mode of research that claims a status beyond the studio. This type of research gathered popularity in architecture following the 1960s with the travelling studio model of Learning From places and cultures in-situ. A growing post-war focus on the newly titled ‘built environment’ loosened design practices that were once semi-enclosed inside studios to enter broader participatory and cultural discussions around social practice and the relationships to urbanity. Amidst these discussions a body of documented information, recorded from the field and disciplined through the architect’s tools and techniques of visualisation, could stand alone as a work of architecture. The mobile research project was one aspect of the contemporary intellectual and institutional environment that opened and formalised the purview of architecture coincident with architecture’s expanding field; from texts to exhibitions.

Today, the mediation of information sources, their collection and dissemination, supplement what was once site-based and observational research. This exhibition, rather than perpetuate a claim for the outside-ness of the field, instead situates the studio and field as historically separated frames, that have been traversed by knowledge mobilised by institutional funding and directives, disciplinary interests, and carried via an ever expanding repertoire of publication apparatus. The six exhibited architectural projects featured in the Fieldwork exhibition circulate in the world as constellations of formats; from the exhibitionary to the personal app. Often serially produced to travel to several locations, the architectural installation has become dispersed in order to engage with the expanding channels that collect, store, and broadcast projects, as well as a surging number of exhibitionary venues to support them. Given this context, this symposium will take on timely questions around the contemporary relationship of site-based research and displaced spaces of display and dissemination.

March 15th, 2016
5pm Gallery Walk through and reception, UTS Gallery, DAB Building 6, Level 4.
6pm Sylvia Lavin Lecture, DAB Building 6, Level 4, Rooms CB06.04.06/CB06.04.07
March 16th, 2016
10am-6pm, Symposium sessions, DAB Building 6, Level 4, Rooms CB06.04.06/CB06.04.07

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Keynote Lecture: