Dean's Lecture Series: Constant Dialogue with Mark Wigley at IIT
The video registration of the Mark Wigley-Constant Dialogue at IIT is available here: LECTURE VIDEO
On September 16, 2015 Ludo van Halem and Trudy Nieuwenhuys-van der Horst, members of the board of Fondation Constant were in Chicago to speak at the Dean's Lecture Series: Constant Dialogue with Mark Wigley at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Invited by Wiel Arets, the dean of IIT, the idea was to introduce the students of IIT to Constant and his work. Since the lecture coincided with the start of Expo Chicago the lecture drew a varied crowd of students and art lovers lured in by the academic rock star, Mark Wigley.
At the end of the morning Trudy and Ludo were toured around the IIT building by Wiel. During the tour Trudy donates her book Constant, de late periode to the IIT library (mainly for the multitude of images of Constant’s work depicted in the book since the book is in Dutch). She also promises to send the library a new copy of Mark Wigley’s Constant’s New Babylon, a Hyper-Architecture of Desire. Since the original copy was borrowed and never returned. The book is a true collector’s item nowadays, unavailable in bookstores and for sale online for the ridiculous amount of 800GBP.
After the tour Trudy and Ludo attend a Cloud meeting with Lluis Ortega and his studio, Interior Bestiary, where students present their research projects to them. Trudy finds the presentations very interesting and triggering. The students seem to be very interested in interrelations of lifeforms and Zeitgeist.
After the presentations Wiel and several students interview Mark Wigley. The interview is stimulating with a focus on Mark Wigley but with contributions by both Ludo and Trudy. And then on to Crown Hall for the Constant Dialogue, where:
- Wiel Arets introduces the speakers and Constant’s relevance for young architects,
- Trudy Nieuwenhuys-Van der Horst speaks about Constant and her work for the catalogue raisoné and Fondation Constant,
- Ludo van Halem speaks about Constant’s work and the relevance for European contemporary art and culture,
- Mark Wigley speaks about Constant’s New Babylon and it’s lessons for contemporary architecture.
- Dialogue between Wiel Arets, Mark Wigley and Ludo van Halem.
The lecture iss very well attended by approximately 200 individuals with a good mix of students and Expo Chicago attendees thanks to the listing provided on the Expo Chicago website. Amongst the visitors are Joseph Grima, artistic director of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, James Mayor of the Mayor Gallery, Paul van Rosmalen of Gallery Borzo, Ewerdt Hilgemann, German artist living in the Netherlands and Vedran Mimica architect at Wiel Arets Architects.
The lecture, which was supposed to end at 8 PM is so engaging that it’s extension to 9:30 PM has no effect on the number of audience members. It did however cause the group to lose their reservation at the restaurant after the program finishes later that night. According to IIT event was very well received by students many of whom had not been familiar with Constant and New Babylon before this lecture. For this the organization of IIT expressed their explicit gratitude to Fondation Constant.
The video registration of the Mark Wigley-Constant Dialogue is available here:
This program is a part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.