Hannah Higgins, "Flag Fictions and the Performance of Patriotism"

Thursday, December 1, 2022, 7 - 8:30pm

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flag show

Peter Moore, Yvonne Rainer “Trio A with Flags,” The People’s Flag Show, Judson Memorial Church, 1970.

As part of the Fall 2022 IDS Lecture Series, Hannah Higgins speaks about the ways writers, artists, activists and a minister have performed wide-ranging readings of the American flag as an icon of governance. The national ensign’s complex history of use, abuse, activism, and weaponization speaks to competing aesthetics of administration, of governance, of activism, and of nativist violence. When the Judson Memorial Church hosted the People’s Flag Show in 1970, these competing performances of patriotism were placed in direct dialogue.

Proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and booster is required. The use of a face mask is encouraged while indoors. 

photo of higgins

Hannah Higgins is a professor in the School of Art and Art History at The University of Illinois Chicago and founding associate director of the interdisciplinary B.A. in IDEAS. Her books include Fluxus Experience (University of California Press, 2002), The Grid Book (MIT, 2009), and The People’s Flag (forthcoming). With Douglas Kahn, she co-edited Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of Digital Art (University of California Press, 2012). With her twin sister, Jessica, Higgins is co-executor of the estate of Fluxus artist, Dick Higgins and the daughter of Fluxus artist, Alison Knowles.

The IDS public lecture series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding from the Robert Lehman Foundation. The IDS public lecture series is also made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundations.

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • 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.