Online Talk:

Symbio(s)cene talked with Mark Wigley. This talk will explore the uncanny fact that humans became insects at the end of the 19th century by sprouting radio antenna that rapidly interconnected all brains and bodies. This radical biological transformation culminated in the production of the single largest human artifact, the ever-expanding global communication system that wraps the planet — weaving itself through the air, underground, underwater, and outer space — yet remaining virtually invisible. The unimaginably vast and dense ecology of antenna took over from buildings to form the architecture of everyday human life. Yet the human has never simply been human. At the very least, the human is a bag of countless different bacteria, the fragile effect of a massive cross-species collaboration. What might be the entanglements between the largely invisible worlds of bacteria and radio? What might be “nature” in this scene?

Prof. Dr. Mark Wigley, Professor and Dean Emeritus at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, New York City, United States. Author of various books, e.g. Are We Human?. Co-Founder Volume Magazine. Curator of various exhibitions, e.g. Deconstructivist Architecture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Recording from 24 November 2021

Image Source: © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen, Eyes As Big As Plates