Talking About Seeing: A cross-disciplinary panel discussion with science journalist Aatish Bhatia, artist Martha Rosler, filmmaker and ethnographer Pacho Velez, filmmaker and educator Meghan O’Hara, and the writer and curator James Merle Thomas, moderated by Latif Nasser, director of research at WNYC’s Radiolab. Followed by a student symposium the next day. Parsons School of Design, 2016.


This symposium was organized by Selena Kimball & Pascal Glissmann: The Observational Practices Lab at Parsons, The New School, in collaboration with Karina Nimmerfall: The Laboratory for Art and Research, Institute for Art and Art Theory at the University of Cologne.

Aatish Bhatia is a science writer and an educator who works to engage a wide audience with science. More

Martha Rosler is an artist who has long focused on matters of the public sphere and landscapes of everyday life, especially as they affect women. More

Pacho Velez works at the intersection of ethnography, contemporary art, and political documentary. More

James Merle Thomas is an art historian and curator based in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. More Meghan O’Hara is a California-based filmmaker and educator More

Panel Discussion moderated by Latif Nasser, Director of Research at the award-winning New York Public Radio show Radiolab.More





Observational Practices and the Everyday: Talking About Seeing. Impressions during and after the panel discussion on December 15th, 2016






Lectures, presentations, exhibitions on Friday
A cross-disciplinary group of student researchers invited to participate in an experimental symposium rethinking our relationship to the everyday. Musicians and designers performed collaborative investigations responding to rhythms inherent in our routines. Intermedia artists and urbanists invite you to participate in workshops devised to shed new light on the lived experience of the everyday in our technologically-driven society today, including the pace of our routines, the unconscious postures we assume in classrooms, and participatory mapping of the hidden infrastructures of our most mundane habits.


Snapshots of the student-led symposium, December 16th, 2016





Panelists’ CV

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Aatish Bhatia

Aatish Bhatia is a science writer and an educator who works to engage a wide audience with science. He is an Associate Director of Engineering Education at Princeton University’s Council on Science and Technology, and an award-winning science blogger whose writing has been published at venues including WIRED, Nautilus, Scientific American Books, and TED-ED. Aatish holds a Ph.D. in physics from Rutgers University, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.

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James Merle Thomas

James Merle Thomas is an art historian and curator based in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, and teaches Global Contemporary Art at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. A historian of the art, technology, and politics of the Cold War and contemporary periods, Thomas holds a doctorate in Art History from Stanford University, and was most recently a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities at the University of Southern California. His 2015 exhibition, Loose in Some Real Tropics, was produced in collaboration with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Thomas was previously Assistant Curator and Editor of Publications of the Second Seville Biennial (2006), the Seventh Gwangju Biennale (2008), and the 2012 Paris Triennale.

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Latif Nasser

Latif Nasser is Director of Research at the award-winning New York Public Radio show Radiolab, where he has reported on topics ranging from snowflake photography to antibiotic-resistant bacteria to medieval robots. In the past, he has contributed to the Boston Globe Ideas section, Cabinet magazine, and the New Yorker and Atlantic websites. He has given two TED talks, the most recent of which was featured on PBS. Latif has a PhD from Harvard’s History of Science Department.

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Pacho Velez

Pacho Velez works at the intersection of ethnography, contemporary art, and political documentary. His work has been presented by the New York Film Festival, MoMA, and the Cable News Network (CNN). His last feature, Manakamana (with Stephanie Spray), won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. It played around the world, including at the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto International Film Festival. He has received funding from Sundance, Tribeca, Cinereach, and Impact Partners (among others). In addition to his creative work, Pacho has taught at Harvard University, Bard College, Parsons the New School, and MassArt. In 2015, he was awarded a Princeton University Arts Fellowship.

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Martha Rosler

Martha Rosler is an artist who has long focused on matters of the public sphere and landscapes of everyday life, especially as they affect women. Her projects and writings often center on the production and uses of space, from systems of transportation to the role of artists in cities. If You Lived Here…, a cycle of three exhibitions on housing, homelessness, and the built environment held in 1989 at the Dia Art Foundation in New York, has been exhibited around the world in many iterations since—most recently in Seattle in 2016. Also in 2016, it was mounted in New York by the fictive collective Temporary Office of Urban Disturbances, as If You Can’t Afford to Live Here Mo-o-ove!!, in cooperation with local artists and activists. Rosler lives and works in Brooklyn.
(Photo by Jean Ledoux)

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Meghan O’Hara

Meghan O’Hara is a California-based filmmaker and educator. Her previous feature documentary, IN COUNTRY (2015) examined reenactments of the Vietnam War performed by American combat veterans of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. She was a 2014 Fellow of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and is currently Assistant Professor of Documentary Filmmaking at California State University – Monterey Bay.





This symposium was organized by The Observational Practices Lab at Parsons, The New School, in collaboration with the Laboratory for Art and Research, Institute for Art and Art Theory at the University of Cologne. Our aim is to investigate and archive transdisciplinary methods of observation to expand critical awareness of the everyday and deepen research potential for art and design practice.

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