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Interdisciplinary Seminar: Saul Anton

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 7 - 8pm

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Spirals, Ruins: Notes on Robert Smithson and the "Contemporary" in Art.

In the past two decades, the notion of “contemporary” art has emerged as the generic catch-all replacement for the various ism’s of the twentieth century. Today, it represents a presumably open-ended and globalized pluralism anchored in the concepts of the the specific, the local, the historical and the contingent. Yet what are the limits—conceptual, critical and theoretical—of the contemporary? This lecture will address some of these questions by looking at the work and writings of Robert Smithson and recent art.

Saul Anton is the author of the critical fiction, Warhol’s Dream (2007) and has written for Afterall, Artforum, Frieze, Parkett, Fillip and many other periodicals. He is also the translator of Jean-Luc Nancy’s Discourse of the Syncope: Logodaedalus. Anton has taught at the Tyler School of Art, at Princeton and the New School. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton and teaches at New York University and the Pratt Institute. He is currently completing a book about Lee Friedlander’s celebrated 1960s photographs of televisions known as “Little Screens” for Afterall’s “One-Work” series.

Saul Anton is a Robert Lehman Visiting Artist at The Cooper Union for Spring 2013.

The Interdisciplinary Seminar was designed twenty years ago to contribute to a regular and sustainable discussion on artistic practice for the students of the Cooper Union School of Art and the creative community that surrounds them. Lectures are free and open to the public. 

The Spring 2013 Interdisciplinary Seminar is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union.  We are grateful for major funding support from the Robert Lehman Foundation.


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.