Mellon Forum: Buffer Zones with Keller Easterling and Tali Hatuka

BUFFER ZONES with Keller Easterling (Yale) and Tali Hatuka (Tel Aviv) 

December 3 / 12pm / SoA South Gallery

A recent headline reads: “In Korean DMZ, Wildlife Thrive!” Apparently, the forces that lock humans out of the demilitarized zone has allowed wildlife and species to thrive. Thus the ongoing remnant of violent conflict is also a symbol of a greener, inhuman future. This session invites conversations about various buffer zones across the global landscape as uncanny agential spaces: those interim and in-between spaces that may have been designed to segregate conflict and dissent yet also often enable unexpected productivity and alternative modes of animacy.

Keller Easterling is an architect, writer, professor, and director of the Master of Environmental Design program at Yale University. Her most recent book, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014), examines global infrastructure networks as a medium of polity. Another recent book, Subtraction (Sternberg Press, 2014), considers building removal or how to put the development machine into reverse. An ebook essay, The Action is the Form: Victor Hugo’s TED Talk (Strelka Press, 2012) previews some of the arguments in Extrastatecraft.

Other books include: Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005) which researched familiar spatial products in difficult or hyperbolic political situations around the world, and Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America (MIT, 1999) which applied network theory to a discussion of American infrastructure.

Tali Hatuka is architect and urban planner who founded and directs the Laboratory of Contemporary Urban Design at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Her work focuses primarily on two main fields of research: (1) the urban realm and society (public space, conflicts and dissent); and (2) urban development and city design (housing, landscape design, and industrial areas). Her recent book, The Design of Protest (University of Texas Press, 2018), was part of a large urban sociology project funded by the European Community focusing on varied forms of civil participation worldwide. In 2008-2009, her research was exhibited as an interactive multimedia exhibition, Urban Design and Civil Protest, at the MIT Museum (). Currently she works on a new project, funded by GIF- German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, on Dissent, Public Spaces, and Immigration.

The event is made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Princeton University Humanities Council, Center for Collaborative History, Department of Art + Archaeology and Program in American Studies.