Panel and Book Launch /
“The Sea-Image,” with Keller Easterling, Vyjayanthi Rao, Alex Villar, Guven Incirlioglu, and Hakan Topal

Date: Wednesday, 25 January 2012, 7–9 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
FREE. No RSVP necessary

Listen to an audio recording of this program, or download here.
00:00 / 00:00
Image from xurban_collective, “A Clean Slate,” 2010.

Compared to landscapes, seascapes have always appeared less tangible—at once enigmatic and threatening, but also representing hope, adventure, and communication between distant places and people. Although these familiar attitudes toward the sea still persist, headlines about the sea these days more often than not concern catastrophes that occur on and in it, from the Deepwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the nuclear disaster that engulfed northern Japan following an immense tsunami in 2011.

The Sea-Image: Visual Manifestations of Port Cities and Global Waters (Newgray) addresses the sea as defined by various manifestations of the global economy and the flow of goods and bodies across national and international territories. It proposes and develops visual and narrative strategies to tackle the particularities and potentialities that the sea presents. The book is the result of visual research by an international group of artists, scholars, and writers, including Ursula Biemann and Shuruq A. M. Harb, T. J. Demos, Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer, Vyjayanthi Rao, Alex Villar, Relli De Vries, and xurban_collective (Guven Incirlioglu and Hakan Topal). The panel, featuring Rao, Villar, Incirlioglu, and Keller Easterling, will be moderated by Topal.

About the Participants
Keller Easterling is an architect, urbanist, writer, and professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture. Her latest book, Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and Its Political Masquerades (MIT Press, 2005), researches familiar spatial products that have landed in difficult or hyperbolic political situations around the world. The book won Yale’s Gustave Ranis Award for the best book by a Yale faculty member in 2005. Her previous book, Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America, applies network theory to a discussion of American infrastructure and development formats.

Vyjayanthi Rao is assistant professor of anthropology at the New School for Social Research. She works on cities after globalization, specifically in the intersections of urban planning, design, art, violence, and speculation in the articulation of the contemporary global city. She is the author of numerous articles on these topics and is currently working on a book titled “The Speculative City.”

Alex Villar is a Brazilian artist based in New York. His work, which draws from interdisciplinary theoretical sources, employs video, installation, and photography. His individual and collaborative projects are part of a long-term investigation of potential spaces of dissent in the urban landscape, which has often taken the form of an exploration of negative spaces in architecture. He has exhibited at numerous venues, including the New Museum, Mass MoCA, Drawing Center, Exit Art, Stux Gallery, Apexart, Dorsky Gallery, Institute of International Visual Arts (London), and Museu de Arte Moderna (São Paulo).

Founded in 2000 by Guven Incirlioglu (Izmir, Turkey) and Hakan Topal (New York) as a transatlantic collaboration, xurban_collective focuses on regional conflict, military spatial confinement, urban segregation, neoliberal exclusion strategies, and immigration. The collective’s work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Biennial, PS1/MoMA (New York), Apexart (New York), Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna), Kunst-Werke (Berlin), ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe, Germany), Pratt Institute Manhattan Gallery (New York), and National Contemporary Art Museum (Athens), among others. For more information, please visit

Guven Incirlioglu studied architecture, photography, and art theory. Since the 1980s, he has worked mostly with photography, photo-mechanical materials, and new media, exhibiting in group and solo exhibitions in New York, Ankara, Istanbul, Sarajevo, Sofia, and other locations. Since 1990, he has been a lecturer in art and design in various schools in Turkey, including Bilkent University, Ankara, and Istanbul Bilgi University, and is currently a faculty member at Economy University’s Faculty of Art and Design in Izmir.

Hakan Topal is an artist based in New York. He is co-founder of xurban_collective and teaches at the School of Visual Arts’ Fine Arts Department and CUNY’s Department of Media Culture. In 2012, he will receive his PhD in sociology at the New School for Social Research. Recently, he was the guest editor of ArteEast Quarterly and finished a documentary film, commissioned by the Neue Galerie (New York), on the late-eighteenth-century Austro-Bavarian sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt.

Beer for this event has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.