In the World
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In Philadelphia

a series of roundtable discussions on the architecture of adjustment, exploring the relations between literature, architecture, and geopolitics


Tracking Tactics and Rhetorics: On the Vicissitudes of the Panoptic from Surveillance to Dataveillance

a public seminar and roundtable with Thomas Y. Levin of Princeton University

Fields of Knowledge
  • Philosophy / Theory
  • Politics / Economics
  • Public culture

Organizing Institutions

Slought, Department of Architecture, PennDesign


This program was made possible in part through the generous sponsorship of Centre for Architecture Research, Goldsmiths College, London, the Department of Art History, University of Pennsylvania, the Department of English, University of Pennsylvania, and Eastern State Penitentiary historic site and museum, Philadelphia. Major support for Evasions of Power has been provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Media sponsorship provided by Archinect.

Opens to public







4017 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104


100% Formal - 0% Informal

Slought Foundation and the Department of Architecture, PennDesign, are pleased to announce "Tracking Tactics and Rhetorics: Thomas y. Levin on the Vicissitudes of the Panoptic from Surveillance to Dataveillance." This public seminar and roundtable with Thomas Y. Levin of Princeton University, with Goldsmiths Centre for Architecture Research members acting as respondents, will take place at Slought Foundation on Saturday, March 31, 2007 from 1:00-4:00pm.

The afternoon session is predicated on close readings of Thomas Y. Levin's recent essay "Rhetoric of the Temporal Index: Surveillant Narration and the Cinema of "Real Time", in Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne & Peter Weibel, Eds., Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002). Audience participation is encouraged.

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Thomas Y. Levin is a Professor in the Department of German at Princeton University since 1990. He specializes in media and cultural theory, the Frankfurt School, art history, and acoustics and technics. A former fellow at the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (Vienna) and at the Institute for Advanced Study (Budapest), in 1999 Levin was chosen by the Dutch Ministry of Culture to be "artist-in-residence" at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, where he developed a project entitled "Celluloid Rembrandtiana" that investigated the dynamics of cultural nationalism and mass media through a program of over a dozen films on Rembrandt (1920 to 1999) subsequently shown at the Staedel Museum in Frankfurt/Main, at the Arsenal Kino in Berlin, and more recently at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In 2000-01, he was the academic director of the Berlin Consortium for German Studies at the FU-Berlin, where Levin studied the origins of synthetic sound in the late 1920s, and theoretical issues posed by the advent of digital imaging. He has curated "CTRL [SPACE]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother," a major international exhibition which was on view at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe through late February 2002. Publications and curatorial projects related to the aesthetic politics of surveillance include "Anxious Omniscience" at the Princeton University Art Musuem, and "9/11 + 1: The Perplexities of Security" at Brown University's Watson Center. In November 2005, he organized a one-day conference at the Louvre Museum in Paris entitled "Photographie, Prison, Pouvoir: Politiques de l'Image Carcérale" which re-examined the history of the "carceral image" in the wake of Abu Ghraib. Levin is currently writing a book about the film-theoretical cinema of Guy Debord and the Situationist International.

The Centre for Architecture Research, Goldsmiths College, London, brings together architects, urbanists, filmmakers, curators and other cultural practitioners from around the world to work on expanded notions of architecture that engage with questions of culture, politics, conflict and human rights. In keeping with Goldsmiths' commitment to multidisciplinary research and learning, the centre also offers an alternative to traditional postgraduate architectural education by inaugurating a combination of critical architectural research and practice based research as a form of dissertation. The aim of the centre is to give rigorous tools for urban research and practice to a variety of practitioners from various backgrounds. The work of the centre is based upon the idea of "practice led theory." Participants in the Centre pursue individual projects and undertake research and writing that incorporate contemporary Critical Theory, Philosophy and Cultural Studies. Rather than merely supporting the productive process of architectural constructs, this process involves itself in radical critique of its nature. Members include: Ursula Biemann, Celine Condorelli, Manuel Hertz, Pip Day, Philippe Zourgan, Beatrice Gibson, Angela Melitopolous, Markus Miessen, Andreas Rumpfhuber, Susan Schuppli, Eyal Sivan, Shumon Basaar, John Palmesino, Anselm Franke, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, and Eyal Weizman, Director.


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In the World

Editors Srdjan Weiss, Katherine Carl and Aaron Levy survey perspectives on power and evasion, with essays by Samuel Weber and others on human rights, geopolitical conflict, and sovereignty.

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