Fall 2013 Seminar Series: Charles Simonds

Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 12 - 2pm

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Dwelling, PS 1, New York, 1975, clay, sand, and wood. Charles Simonds. courtesy of the artist Video still, Landscape<–>Body<–>Dwelling (1973, 16min.). Charles Simonds. courtesy of the artist
Dwelling, PS 1, New York, 1975, clay, sand, and wood. Charles Simonds. courtesy of the artist


Charles Simonds   

Since the beginning of the 1970s, New York–based artist Charles Simonds (American, b. 1945) has developed a unique practice at the intersection of sculpture, performance, street art, activism, and utopian city planning. Addressing the condition of being human through its fundamental relation to Earth and the built environment, Simonds’s work is an inquiry into building as a way of thinking and architecture as an indicator of who we are. As a young man, Simonds built miniature "dwellings" in gutters and crevasses of buildings in Manhattan’s Lower East Side—habitats for the Little People, an imaginary population whose history, sociology, and beliefs Simonds documented in films and writing. In addition to footage of these dwellings, films of rituals enacted by the artist, at the core of the artist’s mythology, will be screened, followed by a presentation by Simonds of his practice at large. Text: Stephanie Weber, New York


Located in room 315F at 2pm

This lecture is part of  
Proseminar and Advanced Topics: Architecture in Play
Professor Tamar Zinguer
  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.