Topological Studies

The IDSVA Topological Studies Program may be the only one of its kind in the world. Borrowed from mathematics as well as Freud & Lacan, topology as we use the term applies to the structural relations of geographical spaces, especially as these relations inform our historical understanding of cultural consciousness and the cultural unconscious.

During first and second year residencies, students travel from one historically designated site to another. Each site’s historical designation situates the site within a given period and determines the order in which the site is visited. Residency site visits can last from one or two days to several weeks. Current sites, historical designations, and the order in which they are visited are as follows:

Site

Designation

Rome . . . . . . . Ancient
Spannocchia Castle . . . . . . . Feudal/agrarian
Siena . . . . . . . Medieval/urban
Florence & Milan . . . . . . . Renaissance
Venice . . . . . . . Baroque
Berlin . . . . . . . Late Neoclassical–Early Industrial
Paris . . . . . . . Bourgeois Modern
New York . . . . . . . Post-industrial
Istanbul . . . . . . . East/West Transhistorical

The residency site visits are to be experienced as successive historical strata that set up a three-level (topological) critique: in the first place, each site is considered in terms of its historically designated period vis a vis art and ideas; secondly, the sites are considered in topological relation to each other in terms of art and ideas; and thirdly, each site’s contemporary situation vis a vis art and ideas is looked at as an extended moment in its historical development and in topological relation to each of the other sites. Read more about the sites and their designations here.

Residencies/Topologies

Future plans

Program Overview

The global-residency/digital-ed PhD in the Visual Arts

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