Lars Spuybroek THE GRACE MACHINE Seminar

THE GRACE MACHINE Seminar is an experiment that challenges the distinction between the humanities and technology by using a form of thinking based on what Roland Barthes called “gymnastic figures.” Five such figures—standing, jumping, hanging, floating, and falling—epitomize certain aspects of grace that enable the crisscrossing of various disciplines such as architecture, art history, media theory and philosophy.

How can jumps—from the small step to the huge leap, from the intuitive plunge to the brilliant twist—become more and more precise as they develop?

THE GRACE MACHINE Seminar is organized by Professor of Architecture Lars Spuybroek and his team at Georgia Tech (USA), enabling many more to participate in the project than their own students. The seminar will be organized online and allows for three levels of interaction: “audience,” for those who only want to listen in; “chorus,” for those who want to comment and interrupt; and “actors” who will take center stage in the discussions.

THE GRACE MACHINE Seminar will be open to any type of student, from undergrads to doctoral students, as well as faculty members. It will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays between January and April 2022. For more details, please visit (using “jump”).

If you want to prepare yourself for THE GRACE MACHINE Seminar, please read Lars Spuybroek’s recent related book to this seminar, the highly-recommended Compact Theory Journey entitled Grace and Gravity, Architectures of the Figure (Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020).

How do we live well? The first sentence of Grace and Gravity raises the fundamental question that constantly occupies our minds-and of all those who lived before us. Paradoxically, the impossibility of answering this question opens up the very room needed to find ways of living well. It is the gap where all disciplines fall short, where architecture does not fit its inhabitants, where economy is not based on shortage, where religion cannot be explained by its followers, and where technology works far beyond its own principles.

According to Lars Spuybroek, this marks the point where the “paradoxical machine” of grace reveals its powers, a point where we “cannot say if we are moving or being moved”. Following the trail of grace leads him to a new form of analysis that transcends the age-old opposition between appearances and technology. Linking up a dazzling and often delightful variety of sources-monkeys, paintings, lamp posts, octopuses, tattoos, bleeding fingers, rose windows, robots, smart phones, spirits, saints, and fossils-with profound meditations on living, death, consciousness, and existence.