Rebeca Guirado, Joely Neilan, Charlie Pritchard, Monica Bonomo and Emily Rosamond present at Tensegrity: and Other Contradictory Complicities, a two-day symposium at Tenderpixel, London (18-19 November, 2016)

The symposium, organised by Swiss artist Monica Ursina Jaeger and Swiss curator Damian Christinger, explores the concept of tensegrity: a structural principle based on the use of isolated parts in a net of continuous tension, so that their structural integrity comes from tension itself. This concept was developed by architect Buckminster Fuller and artist Kenneth Snelson, whose sculptures often give the impression of struts floating in the air, suspended by tension cables.

While the concept of tensegrity has been applied to many fields of study, the symposium at Tenderpixel aims to expand the discussion, by considering tensegrity’s implications for art, theory, politics and social life. As the organizers write:

“Since the advent of the Internet, with its explosive cross pollination of knowledge, ideas and discoveries, tensegrity has become a key principle across many disciplines. Research is being conducted in biotensegrity to examine the architecture of cells and viruses to invent revolutionary treatment. New ways of geometric, responsive structures are being developed in design and engineering and anatomical research has led to new ways of understanding the structure of the human body. Very few researchers, though, have elaborated on social, political or theoretical approaches to tensegrity.

“This symposium takes tensegrity as a starting point to examine whether ‘tensional integrity’ is something other than just a spatial structure of struts and strings. Where do we recognise forms of push and pull strategies, tension- pressure relationships and stability-flexibility structures within our fields of research and interests?”

Jaeger and Christinger have brought together an exciting roster of international artists, writers and curators to explore these questions. Emily Rosamond (Lecturer in Fine Art Theory at AUB) is among the invited speakers. BA Fine Art students Rebeca Guirado, Joely Neilan and Charlie Pritchard, and MA Fine Art student Monica Bonomo will act as respondents, sharing their views on the days’ presentations and provoking discussion.

More information can be found on the Tenderpixel website: http://tenderpixel.com/exhibitions/tensegrity

This project is funded by the Swiss Arts Council and the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom.