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Real Time symposium presented by Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning

April 13, 2023

A one-day symposium will be held on April 13, 2023, hosted by Assistant Professor of Architecture Farzin Lotfi-Jam and coordinated by Design Teaching Fellow Ekin Erar.

Consider the following scenario: a person sits at their computer and hits a key, causing three parallel events to occur at increasing speeds. Within two hundred milliseconds, the first sends a packet over telecommunication networks to an intercontinental server and back. With a cumulative latency of one hundred milliseconds, the second sends a pixel to the computer screen via peripheral, system, and display devices. The third stimulates neurons in the brain as a result of changes in the person’s visual field, which can be processed in as little as thirteen milliseconds. The enormous and intimate scales of realtime can be found here—an ad hoc planetary megastructure directing the movement of packets, pixels, and neurons.

Real Time,” the semester’s second Preston Thomas Memorial Symposium, will take place on April 13 in Cornell AAP’s Milstein Auditorium, and will bring together artists, designers, and scholars to investigate the spatial politics of realtime—a term that is regaining relevance with new applications such as realtime gaming engine visualizations, realtime digital twinning, realtime metaverse interactions, realtime military strikes, and realtime urban sensing. The conference looks at how computational technocracy is being translated into infrastructures, data-collection methods, modeling paradigms, and information visualizations that connect war games, video games, and urban games. “Real Time” examines the history of realtime control and capitalization through applications in the military, entertainment, and urban spheres, with a special emphasis on underprivileged communities and migrant people that are frequently the targets of realtime surveillance and containment. Importantly, the symposium expands real-time media production approaches that provide more just spatial and temporal arrangements.

The program is divided into three panels, each followed by a keynote address: Liveness investigates the value and creative possibilities of instantaneity in an era of on-demand media entertainment, digital asset libraries, and persistent virtual worlds; Fidelity investigates the role of temporal and spatial resolution in the production of informational authority; and Transmissions investigates the histories, present, and future imaginaries that regimes of record collecting allow and forbid. Finally, the symposium asks whether it is possible to disassemble realtime architectures and reassemble more ethical and equitable computational concepts of space, time, and being—to imagine the movement of packets, pixels, and neurons beyond the purview of military, security, and financial interests.

9:15am: Welcome

Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Cornell AAP

9:30am: Panel I Liveness
Pegah Pasalar, Interdisciplinary Artist, Filmmaker, and Film Editor
Kidus Hailesilassie, Designer, Creative Technologist, and World Builder
Ainslee Alem Robson, Film Director, Writer, and Media Artist
Damara Inglês, Metaverse Designer and Strategist
Paul Ramírez Jonas, Moderator, Professor and Chair of the Department of Art, Cornell AAP

11am: Panel II Fidelity
Chaewon Ahn, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (Urban Studies), Yale-NUS College
Leanna Mei Humphrey, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Hampton University
Biayna Bogosian, Assistant Professor of Architectural Technology, Florida International University
Marco Ferrari, Cofounder of Studio Folder; Head of MA in Information Design, Design Academy Eindhoven
Jenni Minner, Moderator, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell AAP

1:30pm: Lunch

2:30pm: Panel III Transmissions
Elise Misao Hunchuck, Curator and Editor, Transmediale
Jordan H. Carver, KPF Visiting Scholar in Architecture, Yale University
Samaneh Moafi, Assistant Director of Research, Forensic Architecture
Nora Akawi, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Cooper Union

5:15pm: Keynote
Shaka McGlotten, Professor of Media Studies and Anthropology, Chair of the Gender Studies and Global Black Studies Programs, Purchase College-SUNY

6:30pm: A Recursive History of Urban Simulation
Exhibition opening and reception. Curated and Designed by Farzin Lotfi-Jam at John Hartell Gallery, Cornell AAP

Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
129 Sibley Dome
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
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