Sandra Ruiz & Hypatia Vourloumis, "Formless Formation: Vignettes for the End of this World"

Thursday, March 3, 2022, 5 - 6pm

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Formless Formation

Formless Formation is an experimental project conceived and co-authored by two performance theorists working in critical aesthetics and political thought. The book is an insurgent revolt, walking side by side with plural and planetary anticolonial forces organizing against debt, expropriative extractive capital, environmental catastrophe, and the militarized policing of people and borders. It is in direct conversation with all Indigenous, Black, Brown, ecological, feminist, queer, trans, diasporic movements countering capitalist predatory formations across time and space. Through shared resonances across differing aesthetic-life-worlds and solidarities that bypass the nation-state, Ruiz and Vourloumis bring to the forefront performative and aesthetic practices that address current and future social organizing. 

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Sandra Ruiz Sandra Ruiz is an associate professor of Latina/Latino Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance (NYU Press, 2019) and co-author with Hypatia Vourloumis of Formless Formation: Vignettes for the End of the World (Autonomedia Press, 2021). She is also a co-editor for the book series Minoritarian Aesthetics (NYU Press), co-founder of The Brown Theatre Collective, and creator of La Estación Gallery.  Currently, she is working on a book of poetry, Edge of Depth, and a theoretical book entitled Grief-time: The Aesthetic Life.  

Hypatia VourloumisHypatia Vourloumis teaches at the Dutch Art Institute. She is co-author with Sandra Ruiz of Formless Formation: Vignettes for the End of this World (Minor Compositions, 2021) and of a forthcoming book on the performance and politics of Indonesian noise and paralanguage.  

This series is co-organized by the Office of Student Affairs and Nada Ayad, Associate Dean of HSS, as a continuation of a reading and discussion series for first-year students that was held as part of the Fall 2020 new student orientation. In the spirit of The Cooper Union mission, the Black Student Union and the Cooper Climate Coalition, along with several other Cooper students and faculty, were deeply involved in the articulation of the program as well as in contributing to the reading list and suggesting speakers.

  • 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.”

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  • 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.