Vitruvian Mantology: Architecture & Posthuman Politics

18 June 2019

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Venue: Ridley Road Market Bar, 49 Ridley Road, Dalston, London, E8 2NP

Organiser: Culture, Power & Politics

Culture, Power & Politics is an ongoing seminar series explores ideas from the traditions of cultural studies and radical political theory, considering their relevance to understanding contemporary political issues, struggles and campaigns, as well as key themes in political and social history.

Vitruvian Man, Leonardo’s perfectly proportioned human based on the recommendations of a Roman architect who thought that strong and stable (and beautiful) buildings would guarantee a strong and stable state, still provides the template for architectural design. What this suggests is not only that the built environment is designed to privilege able bodied white males but that architecture is, in itself, inherently political. This seminar will address the politics of space from the position of critical posthumanism in which Vitruvian Man stands for the exemplary human that no body can approximate. If we entertain the idea that we have never been human, then new possibilities emerge for thinking the politics of the social as it is constructed in urban space.