The presentation of two research papers will be followed by an open discussion.

The third in a series of seminars convened by Mafalda Dâmaso for the Thursday Club and the Graduate School. Emergent Practice aims to serve as a chance for doctoral students to discuss their work with their peers in an informal setting.

Claude St Arroman (Department of Design)

Title: Transparencies of Interface

Outline: This presentation will be looking at the notion of transition in the experience of movement between interior and exterior, private and public architectural and urban space. While current media technologies have provided unprecedented seamlessness between these principles, it will be argued that current architectural technologies and conventions are reflecting this condition – and its paradoxes. The glass boundary, in particular, visually conveys an impression of inter-face and interface and yet creates a conditional division between inside and outside for principles of movement and flow of the human body and of the cycles of nature. The question of transparency and reflections will be placed in the context of phenomenological cognition, where the relationship between inside and outside realities forms the basis of engagement with nature and with human nature.

Mafalda Dâmaso (Department of Visual Cultures)

Title: The figure of the Goodwill Ambassador – problematising mediation

Outline: This presentation will discuss the political relevance of one of the elements of the communication strategy of the United Nations (UN) – the recently emerged figure of the Goodwill Ambassador, as epitomised by the actress Angelina Jolie. Intended as a mediator between the UN, those with whom it works on the ground and its viewers, it will be argued that, in fact, this figure is not devoid of political consequences. In particular, an analysis of several images through which the media has portrayed Angelina Jolie as a UN Ambassador will highlight the complexities surrounding this role and the relevance to its analysis of discussions surrounding the figure of the witness. Underlying this presentation will be a phenomenological concern with the way in which acts of everyday media browsing are constitutive of subjectivity.