Lisa Messeri // Feb. 5, 2020

Embodied Omniscience: The Production and Consumption of Virtual Reality

Lisa Messeri, Wed. Feb. 5, 2-3pm. 220 York Street, room 004 (this is a new location!)


This talk examines the production and experience of VR, particularly 360 film. Drawing on ethnographic research with the VR community in Los Angeles, I consider how one is expected to view and react to VR as well as how that expectation gets embedded in the production process. I attend to how the 360 camera is something that an actor performs for in a certain way and how this in turn shapes the experience of doing and seeing VR. In seeking to characterize the VR gaze, I propose embodied omniscience as a fantasy of presence that obscures the reality of a viewer’s absence.

Lisa Messeri is an Assistant Professor of sociocultural anthropology at Yale. Her training is in anthropology and science and technology studies and her research interests are in how science and technology stretches how we think about ideas of place and humanness. Her past work examined place-making practices amongst planetary scientists and astronomers and she is currently writing a book about women in VR in LA.

Melanie Joseph and David Bruin // Jan. 28, 2020

“I Never Cared Much for Models”: The Foundry Theatre and A MOMENT ON THE CLOCK OF THE WORLD
With Melanie Joseph and David Bruin
Jan. 28, 2020 2-3pm // 220 York Street, room 001 (basement level)

A MOMENT ON THE CLOCK OF THE WORLD is an anthology of new writing inspired by the Foundry Theatre and its twenty-five-year inquiry into how we make the world together. Published by Haymarket Books in the fall of 2019, the book collects the voices of artists, activists, cultural critics, and public intellectuals whose life and work intersected with that of the New York City-based company throughout its history. Contributors include Cornel West, Alisa Solomon, Taylor Mac, David Greenspan, Robin D.G. Kelley, and Laura Flanders, among others.

This presentation will feature the book’s co-editors Melanie Joseph, the Foundry’s founder and one of the contributors, and David Bruin. The two editors will read selections from the book and reflect on the project and its central themes, such as collaboration, leadership, time, and the many intersections of art and politics. A robust Q&A will follow.
You can read the preface to the book, written by Cornel West, here.
Recent articles about the Foundry and the book include:
Melanie Joseph is the founding artistic producer of the Foundry Theatre, which she has led for twenty-five years. For her work with the Foundry, she has twice been honored with a special Obie for “creating cutting edge work” and “engaging artists in some of the thorniest issues of the world we inhabit.” She is a recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Prize, the Skirball-Kenis T.I.M.E. Artist prize, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Artistic Producing.
David Bruin is a dramaturg, producer, critic, and the co-curator of the annual Prelude Festival at CUNY’s Martin E. Segal Center. As a dramaturg and producer he has collaborated with Jeremy O. Harris, Erin Markey, Robert Woodruff, Liz Diamond, Jeff Augustin, and Asa Horvitz, among others. He is a DFA candidate in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at Yale School of Drama, where his dissertation project analyzes the role of abjection in contemporary American theater and performance.