Surface: Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality, and Media
In this talk, theorist Giuliana Bruno will speak about how the physical appearance of surfaces holds deep meaning for us as they are part of cultural contexts established by architecture, visual art, cinema, and philosophy. Arguing against the prevailing association of surfaces with shallowness and superficiality, Bruno uses examples such as faces and facades, as well as screen surfaces, to suggest that surfaces are carriers of information, history, and politics. Surfaces constitute a connective tissue, serving as meeting places, interfaces, sites of transformation, and intimacy. By their very nature, surfaces contain a depth of meaning.
Giuliana Bruno, professor of visual and environmental studies at Harvard University, explores the intersections of ﬁlm, the visual arts, and architecture. Her seminal work Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film (Verso, 2002) won the 2004 Kraszna-Krausz Book Award in Culture and History—a prize awarded to “the world’s best book on the moving image”—and has provided new directions for visual studies. She is also the author of Surface: Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality, and Media (University of Chicago Press, 2014), Public Intimacy: Architecture and the Visual Arts (MIT Press, 2007), and Streetwalking on a Ruined Map (Princeton University Press, 2002).