The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2015-16 :: Neil Spiller :: Surreal Bodies

  • Thursday 22nd October 2015, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]


Above all, the Surrealist legacy is about bodies: their mutability, desire, viscera and, due to advancements in technology, their increasing transparency – all of which are also fundamental to the ongoing discourse concerning architectural space. The Surrealist body is an open concept, forever in metamorphosis. It has assimilated machines, flora and fauna, animals, alien geometries and fetishistic hungers. Simultaneously bloody and dry, deviant and pure, void and mass, the body, with its infinite potential for the uncanny coupled with humankind’s ability to hold up a disturbing mirror to ourselves, is the oil that lubricates Surrealism’s machinery – its prima materia.

Neil Spiller is Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, London. Prior to this he was Dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Construction and Professor of Architecture and Digital Theory at Greenwich University. Before this he was Vice-Dean and Graduate Director of Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Neil’s numerous books include Cyberreader: Critical Writings of the Digital Era (2002) and Visionary Architecture – Blueprints of the Modern Imagination (2006). Since 1998, he has been producing the epic COMMUNICATING VESSELS project. Neil is also known as the founding director of the AVATAR (Advanced Virtual and Technological Architectural Research) Group, now based at the University of Greenwich.

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