Irina Aristarkhova will present a vision of a welcoming space as a liminal and omnipresent threshold in spaces/senses/interests that enables to repair the rupture between the public and the private, the political and the personal despite cynicisms and oppressions that surround us. Through case studies of “The Living Room” Project created by Lee Mingwei in collaboration with Renzo Piano and situated in the new wing of Gardner Museum in Boston, and Moscow-based projects by Buromoscow, Aristarkhova will argue that spaces of welcome are not set in stone, they rather serve as ripples on water or in the sand of a Zen garden, enacting and (un)folding a being open to heterogeneity. Insisting on bringing architecture back into the interiority of subjective experience as a political gesture, Aristarkhova will show how architectures of hospitality create new effective politics in the middle of fortress-cities and the ruins of empires.
Irina Aristarkhova was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1969. She is Professor at the Stamps School of Art & Design and the Digital Studies Institute (College of Literature, Science and the Arts), where she serves as the Director of Graduate Studies, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has published widely on the intersection of gender, technology and culture. In her monographs Hospitality of the Matrix: Philosophy, Biomedicine and Culture (Columbia University Press, 2012, Russian translation, 2017) and Arrested Welcome: Hospitality in Contemporary Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2020, online edition at https://manifold.umn.edu/projects/arrested-welcome), Aristarkhova has developed novel feminist approaches to theories and practices of hospitality. Prior to her move to the United States in 2006, she founded and directed the Cyberarts Research Initiative at the National University of Singapore.