On Friday, March 23, 2018, Marcus Shaffer, associate professor, Penn State, will present a talk titled: "Reality Spectacularly Transformered: Qualifying the Machine in an Architectural Context" in the Stuckeman Jury Space.
Shaffer's research focuses on works, theories, and practices that engage The Machine as an extension of our impulse to explore and re-make the natural world. His work addresses building machines, automatons, and the spiritual mechanisms that represent our earliest technological expression; the mechano-pagan influence of The Machine on modern/visionary architecture; and attempts to transmit architectural knowledge and craft through construction technologies. While Shaffer studies and contributes to a critical discourse probing The Machine in an Architectural context, his historical/theoretical search is informed by - and applied to - the design and fabrication of various Tectonic Machines. The agenda for these machines is to synthesize our powerfully rationalized technologies with the potency of meaning found in our ritual practices – which includes building. The goal in designing and producing them is to enable human builders to enhance, extend, and transmit the very human act of architecture across physical, political, and temporal boundaries.