guest talk    Vera Bühlmann   29.06.2023 at 17.30    @studio0more @Studio Zwei @UIBK   
ZOOM ID: 526 229 0223

A Flower's Elemental Passions, 
and its Blooming in a Room not of One’s Own

"Do you want the flower to open only once? The unveiling of the opening would then belong to you. The beauty or truth of the opening would be your discovery. Proposed and exposed in one definitive blossoming. The nightly closing of the flower, its folding back into itself would not take place."
– Luce Irigaray, Elemental Passions (1980)

Desire, as we know, wants to appropriate its object; the play of mimesis unfolds in this manner. But how to think of the where-about and the whence, where such mimetic play takes place? This talk will think of it as the site of a drama or play without words, as the House of the Pantomime.
Can there be an architectoncis of this house? Pantomime literally names the imitator of all as an actor, from panto- (genitive of pan) "all" (see pan-) + mimos "imitator". Grammatically speaking, hence, it would be an architectonics in the mode of the genitive case, the grammatical case that expresses "possession, source, or origin". But who could possibly dwell in the house of who "own it all" ?
We can think of the architectonics of the Pantomime’s House as the inverse to mnemotechnics - as concerned with places for forgetting rather than remembering. As a house in the genitive case, it accommodates representations insofar as they are suspended. How to think of recognition with respect to such "suspended representations"? The miming of the pantomime is not driven by desire, it does not strive to consume its object; rather, it celebrates the consumption of relations. Such a notion of consumption places the pantomime in an ethics of difference that attends to passions that are "elemental". There is a notion of the "elements" that considers their passions rather than actions: Fire, water, earth and air, then, erect axiomatic framings inversely in such an architectonics - not to "make same" (through processes of appropriation) but to "let be" (through consuming relations). Of such "letting be", we can perhaps think of as a flower’s elemental passions that are spent in blooming.

Luce Irigaray, The Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger (1999) and Elemental Passions (1982), I Love to You: Sketch of A Possible Felicity in History (1980)
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929)
Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016)
George Steiner, Language and Silence (1967)
Werner Hamacher, On the Brink: Language, Time, History, and Politics (2020)
Michel Serres, Branches: A Philosophy of Time, Event and Advent (2004)

Vera Bühlmann is a writer and translator between various emerging “vernaculars” in contemporary thought, especially with respect to philosophy, mathematics and architecture. She is professor for architecture theory, and director of the Department for Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technics ATTP at Vienna University of Technology. Since 2021 she acts as a member of the Hochschulrat at the Universität der Künste UdK Berlin, and also since 2021 ATTP is, together with the Center for Philosophical Technologies at Arizona State University and the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Skopje, a co-founding member of the School for Materialist Research (SMR), in further cooperation with the Critical Inquiry Lab at the Design Academy Eindhoven. SMR is an informal graduate and post-doc level program that offers seminars and workshops that address the materialisms running through contemporary science, philosophy, art, mathematics, design, architecture, and politics.

Previously she co-founded and directs with Ludger Hovestadt the laboratory for applied virtuality at the Architecture Department at ETH Zurich since 2010, and co-edits the applied virtuality book series (Birkhäuser, Basel/Vienna, since 2012). From 2012-2013 she was a guest researcher at the Future Cities Laboratory at NUS Singapore. After studying philosophy and English language and literature in Zurich, Switzerland, she obtained a PhD in media theory/philosophy from Basel University (2009).

She is the author of two monographs: Information and Mathematics in the Philosophy of Michel Serres (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020, in the Michel Serres and Material Futures Series edited by David Webb and Joanna Hodge), and Die Nachricht, ein Medium: Generische Medialität, Städtische Architektonik (Birkhäuser, 2014), and co-author with Ludger Hovestadt and Sebastian Michael of A Genius Planet (Birkhäuser 2017). She co-edited a special volume of Minnesota Review together with Iris van der Tuin and Felicity Colman on Genealogies of New Materialism (Duke UP, 2017), as well as the Metalithikum Books (all Birkhäuser, together with Ludger Hovestadt): Printed Physics, (2012), Domesticating Symbols (2014), Coding as Literacy (2015), Symbolizing Existence (2016). Among her publications are also Sheaves, When Things Are Whatever Can be the Case (together with Ludger Hovestadt, Birkhäuser, 2014), A Quantum City (together with Ludge Hovestadt, Diana Alvarez-Marin, Miro Roman and Sebastian Michael, Birkhäuser 2015), as well as with Martin Wiedmer pre-specifics. some comparatistic investigations on research in art and design (jrp ringier, 2009) and with Association MetaWorx, Metaworx, Young Swiss Interactives (Birkhäuser, 2003). She is also the author of many articles on media culture, technology, philosophy, and architecture.