November 29th 2013

Vector(ial) Cosmologies. Buckminster Fuller’s Theory of Extension

The talk will focus on the concept of ’vector’ in the thinking of American architect, engineer and poet Richard Buckminster Fuller. According to Fuller, thinking in terms of vector relations brings back the energetic dimension to space, which has been lost in the paradigm of Euclidean geometry and the mathematics that derrived from it. Being part of a lifelong artistic design research program, Fuller’s mathematics are usually dismissed as para- or pseudoscience. Nevertheless I would like to explore his vector cosmology as a signature of a new vectorial concept of space in the 20th. Century that transgresses the borders between science and culture. It can be traced back to the discourse of cybernetics, the metapyhsics of Alfred North-Whitehead and to early computer graphics and it points towards postmodern media theories, e.g. Gilles Deleuze’ and Felix Guattari’s Milles Plateaux or Laura Marks’ latest book on islam and new media art, Enfoldment and Infinity.

Christina Vagt studied cultural studies, media theory and modern history at Humboldt-University in Berlin. She received a PhD in philosophy/media cultures from Bauhaus-University Weimar in 2010 and has been teaching cultural studies and media theory at Humboldt-University and the Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin) as assistant professor. Her research is concerned with cultural techniques, the history of science and philosophy with a focus on media epistemologies and ontologies. Her first book, Geschickte Sprünge. Medium und Physik bei Martin Heidegger was published in 2012 by Diaphanes.

She was visiting fellow at the department for comparative literature at Stanford University in 2012, where she persued a research project on the relation between media and cosmology in the works of Richard Buckminster Fuller. She is currently acting professor and chair for the theory of medial worlds at Bauhaus-University in Weimar.