Out Spoken: Lectures from the SCI-Arc Media Archive

  • Exhibition

835 N Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069

For Out Spoken: Lectures from the SCI-Arc Media Archive, the MAK Center invited noted architects and scholars to mine the rich history of public presentations hosted by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).

Each of the four main galleries at the Schindler House was devoted to the selections of one guest curator. With Cook Off, architect and professor Roger Sherman focused on the record 11 talks given over the years by Peter Cook, British architect, pedagogue and co-founder of the revolutionary 1960s Archigram group. Here, his professional longevity provided the example of an individual who has made a career as the perpetual outlier, an individual who embraces “the continually new.”

Acclaimed scholar Dr. Paulette Singley offered Teasers, Ticklers, and Twizzlers, which looked at performance as a form of architectural research. Highlighted by performances by Chris Burden, Rubén Ortiz Torres, Survival Research Laboratory, Doug Michels of Ant Farm, and the queer duo Matmos, Singley riffed on the paradox of permanent change that these videos embodied. She saw each as carnivalesque, born of revolutionary practices initiated at times when the normative world order is upset, and emblematic of SCI-Arc’s topsy-turvy history.

City Talk was presented by Anthony Fontenot, an architect, historian, curator, and professor. As a window into the changing views of the discipline of architecture, this project reflected on the way the city had been discussed and theorized over the past four decades at SCI-Arc. The archive material suggested that the interest in the city declined throughout the 1970s, was practically non-existent in the 1980s, made a measured comeback in the 1990s, and took on an even greater importance since the turn of the century.

Drawn Out was presented by architect and SCI-Arc professor Marcelyn Gow, where she explored the role of drawing in the practice of architecture, especially as it evolved in our era of algorithmic design and fabrication tools. Through talks by, among others, Claude Parent, Bernard Tschumi, Wolf Prix, Zaha Hadid, Eric Owen Moss, and Greg Lynn, Gow probed the many functions of drawing — projective, analytical, inscriptive, descriptive, vectoral and diagrammatic — as a means of engagement with material and informational regimes.

Major support for Out Spoken: Lectures from the SCI-Arc Media Archive was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.