Arte Útil/ Useful Art: the Coefficient of Art, Architecture, and Mathematics

Date / Time

November 19, 2019

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This evening presentation and discussion with specialists from the fields of art, architecture, and mathematics aspires to develop new methodologies and terminologies for human creativity, moving beyond categorization and binary systems. For the last two hundred years, the definition of art has been circumscribed by a Eurocentric and colonial worldview developed from the philosophy of Emmanuel Kant (1724–1804). Participants tonight will devise new forms and taxonomies of art and art-like activity—radically inventive conceptual structures that reflect the interdisciplinary and contextual circumstances of creativity in the world at large.

Participants will include Eugenia Cheng (scientist in residence, School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Stephen Wright (Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Paris), Tania Bruguera (artist, Cuba), Alistair Hudson and Leanne Green (Whitworth, Manchester, UK), Paulo Tavares (curator, Chicago Architecture Biennial), Paola Cabal (artist lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Mika Tosca (climatologist, School of the Art Institute of Chicago).

This program is inspired by the current exhibition “Arte Útil.” “Arte Útil”, as defined by artist Tania Bruguera, is “an idea of art as a tool for social change”. Initiated by Bruguera, the Asociación de Arte Útil is a growing international network of people and activities that promote this idea.  The project exists primarily as a growing online archive of hundreds of case studies from around the world that exemplify the concept of “Arte Útil” across categories such as urban development, science, economy, environment, and education. The archive is activated through exhibitions, meetings and exchanges that further interrogate the idea of ‘useful art’.  This Chicago iteration of the Arte Útil Archive is presented within the former library of the historic Hull-House, reactivating the room as resource for local neighborhood groups, artists and activists to exchange knowledge that may prove useful in the local context.

“Arte Útil” (9 Sep, 2019–05 Jan, 2020) is commissioned by the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, and other such stories, curated by Yesomi Umolu, Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares.

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