The Reading Room #9 – We Have Decided Not To Die (part 2)

31st of March 2016, 17:00 – 19:00

Location: Rotterdam, walking discussion (see further down)

Readers: Toni Pape and Charlotte Farrell

Texts: An Introduction to Elementary Biotopology by Arakawa & Gins and Strange Horizon: Buildings, Biograms, and the Body Topologic by Brian Massumi

NOTE: the meeting point will be announced by email – please reserve a spot by sending an email to

Following: Reading Room #8 – We Have Decided Not To Die  (part 1)

The architect-philosophers Arakawa & Gins created art, architecture and writing around the way the body participates with architectural space. Most notably, they were absolutely convinced that the architecture they created would abolish death. Their projects were designed to confront the body’s habitual relationship to space, challenging one’s ability to balance and maintain orientation. Through techniques such as these, Arakawa and Gins propose that a continuous re-adjustment to one’s surroundings stimulates the immune system against dying so that we may live forever.

In this Reading Room cluster we explore the artistic and philosophical implications of the work of A&G, with a particular focus on their ideas about life and death in relation to architecture. To help facilitate these discussions we are delighted to welcome theorists Toni Pape (Amsterdam) and Charlotte Farrell (New York) to The Hague, who will help make the connection between the artistic concerns of Arakawa and Gins to recent movements in radical empiricism and process philosophy.

Toni Pape is Assistant Professor at the  Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the aesthetics of contemporary television and participatory media cultures. Toni earned his Ph.D. in 2014 from the  Department of Comparative Literature at Université de Montréal, with a thesis entitled “Figures of Time: Preemptive Narratives in Recent Television Series.” Toni’s current research project, entitled “The Aesthetics of Stealth,” investigates modes of disappearance in video games, television series, and contemporary art. Toni is a member of the  Senselab, an international laboratory for thought in motion with hubs in North America, Europe, and Australia. He is a co-applicant of the SSHRC Partnership Grant “ Immediations: Art, Media, Event,” housed at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Charlotte Farrell is a Theatre and Performance Studies scholar from Sydney, Australia. Her dissertation develops a theory of post-tragedy to examine the radical adaptations of classical tragedy by contemporary theatre director, Barrie Kosky. Charlotte’s scholarship has been published in the peer-reviewed Danish Performance Studies journal, Peripeti and the book, Corporeality and Culture: Bodies in Movement (2015).Charlotte has written book and performance reviews for Theatre Survey, Somatechnics, Media International Australia and RealTime Arts, and from 2013-2015 held the position of manager, director and chief curator of a contemporary art gallery in New York City. She is also a member of the Senselab. Her current research examines the role of pre-personal affect in viewing performance, with a particular interest in the encounter of being moved to tears.  

The Reading Room is a series of reading groups revolving around short texts provided by invited guests – contemporary researchers, cultural theorists, philosophers and artists – who join us to provide insight and context to the topics at hand. The Reading Room is a joint cooperation between the artist-initiatives Platform for Thought in Motion and iii.