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Art History Graduate Lecture Series: Kristin Romberg, "Constructivism's Tectonics and the Wegenerian Revolution"

When: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM  

Where: Kresge Hall, Trienens Forum, 1515, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Graduate Students

Contact: Mary Clare Meyer  

Group: Department of Art History

Category: Academic


Drawn from a larger project on Russian constructivism, this paper focuses on the discipline of tectonics, a long-misunderstood aspect of the constructivist aesthetic program. The paper situates the term within a larger tectonic rebellion of the 1910s and 1920s that included Alfred Wegener's work in geology and Aleksandr Bogdanov’s proto-systems theory of tectology. Unlike the contemporaneous quantum revolution in physics, whose emphasis on probabilities and superposition states reinforced thinking in terms of chance processes and risk management, these tectonic thinkers emphasized global interconnectedness, embeddedness, and contingency.


Kristin Romberg is assistant professor of art history at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her monograph Gan’s Constructivism: Aesthetic Theory for an Embedded Modernism is under contract with University of California Press for publication in 2018. She co-curated the exhibition Architecture in Print: Design and Debate in the Soviet Union, 1919-1934 in 2005 at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, also co-editing the accompanying catalogue. Recent curatorial projects include consulting and writing for the catalogue of the exhibition Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test at the Art Institute of Chicago and curating Propositions on Revolution (Slogans for a Future), an exhibition of contemporary art at Krannert Art Museum (both currently on view).

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