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Fernando Domínguez Rubio

Assistant Professor

ecologies of care, meaning and imagination

This has been my main line of research over the past decade. I have been curious to understand the kinds of practices, technologies and infrastructures that are required to produce the categories through which we build, describe, and organize the worlds that we dream and inhabit, as well as the ceaseless labor of maintenance and repair required to prevent their collapse. Most of this research has taken place through a (somewhat athwart) look at art, exploring some of the actors, places and practices that have usually remained on the margins, like conservators, bugs, storage, engine rooms, data servers, or HVAC systems.

RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS

> Art and the Ecologies of the Modern Imagination (University of Chicago Press) (Under contract)

> (with Wharton, G.) "The work of art in the age of digital fragility". In Public Culture. (Forthcoming)

"On the discrepancy between objects and things. An ecological approach". In Journal of Material Culture 21(1):59-86. Download

> "Preserving the Unpreservable: Docile and Unruly Objects at MoMA" Theory and Society Download

> (with Silva, E.) "Materials in the field: object-trajectories and object-positions in the field of contemporary art". In Cultural Sociology.Vol 7(2), pp. 161-178 Download

> “The material production of the Spiral Jetty: a study of culture in the making”. In Cultural Sociology. Vol. 6 (2). Download

politics of design

I have a long-standing fascination by the (often unfulfilled) promises of objects like the Narkomfin building, which was designed by Moisei Ginzburg in 1930 as a revolutionary tool to break the bourgeois order by instilling communist ideals into the bodies and psyche of its residents. Today, it lies semi-abandoned in Moscow. I have been intrigued to understand the infatuation with design as a political tool; specifically with how design is constantly re-imagined and mobilized as tool to generate different forms of subjectivity, practices, and imaginaries of order.

RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS

(with Fogué, Uriel) "Unfolding the political capacities of design" in Yaneva, A. & Zaera Polo A. (eds. ) What is Cosmopolitcal Design?, Design, Nature and the Built Environment. Ashgate:143-160 Download

(with Fogué, U.) “Technifying the public and publicizing infrastructures: imagining a new urban political ecology through General Vara del Rey Square”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.Vol.37 (3), pp. 1035-1052. Download

(with Córdoba Azcárate, Matilde, Baptista, Idalina) "Enclosures within encolures and hurricane reconstruction in Cancun" City & Society, 26(1): 96-119. Download

political fictions

Building from the above, I have also been interested in exploring how fiction can be deployed as a method to think and imagine otherwise. As part of this interest, I have been involved in the creation of different experimental devices that seek to mobilize fiction as a method to produce thought, conversation, and imagination.

RELEVANT PROJECTS

THE CABINET OF POLITICAL FICTIONS:

This is an experimental project developed together with the architect Uriel Fogué and the philosopher Luis Arenas to use fictional scenarios to test, extend and subvert existing conceptual vocabularies.

Some of the fictions we have used so far include:

> the alien invasion of the earth and the proposal to draft a constitution of cohabitation in which  for the first time humans are not assumed to the dominant species;

>the creation of a super-machine (€-Hal) that runs the Eurozone economy autonomously and thus make it possible to fully detach markets from political decisions

>the discovery of immortality and the need to rethink modern institutions which, as it happens, are premised on death

>how to regain control over a fully automated smart city where algorithms have gone rogue starting to kill terminally ill patients to improve costs

Here's a link with a description (in Spanish) of some of the activities we have done. We are working in updating it. (Mind you: we have been working on updating it for a few years now)

UNDERGRADUATE

Introduction to Communication Last Syllabus

Urban Infrastructures & Citizenship Last Syllabus

Behind the Internet Last Syllabus

GRADUATE

Object Theories Last Syllabus

Communication and Culture Last Syllabus

BOOKS

Domínguez Rubio, F. Still Life. Ecologies of the Modern Imagination at the Art Museum. University of Chicago Press.*

Out in July, 2020. Available for pre-order here

* For a succinct visual summary of the book's argument check out this video. (NB: paper airplane=artwork //Kid=museum)

EDITED BOOKS

2012 Domínguez Rubio, F., Baert, P (Eds.) The politics of knowledge. Routledge, London. Check it here

ARTICLES & CHAPTERS

2020

Domínguez Rubio, F. & Wharton, Glenn, “The work of art in the age of digital fragility" In Public Culture. 32(1): 215-245. Download

2018

Domínguez Rubio, F. & Benzecry, Claudio “The cultural life of objects” in Laura Grindstaff, Ming-Cheng M. Lo, John R. Hall (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology 2nd Edition. Routledge: London, pp. 322-330 Download

2016

Domínguez Rubio , F. "On the discrepancy between objects and things. An ecological approach". In Journal of Material Culture 21(1):59-86. Download

  • Reprinted in 2018 Art/Science Experiments in an Emerging Field, Philippe Sormani, Guelfo Carbone, Priska Gisler (eds.). Routledge, London.

2015

Domínguez Rubio, F "Semiosis beyond culture: An ecological approach" Culture Section Newsletter. 27(2) Download

Domínguez Rubio, F., & Fogué, Uriel "Unfolding the political capacities of design" in Yaneva, A. & Zaera Polo A. (eds. ) What is Cosmopolitcal Design?, Design, Nature and the Built Environment Ashgate:143-160 Download

  • Reprinted and translated into Spanish in “Desplegando las capacidades políticas del diseño” . REVISTA DISEÑA, 11 , 96-109. Download

2014

Domínguez Rubio, F. "Preserving the Unpreservable: Docile and Unruly Objects at MoMA" Theory and Society Download

Córdoba Azcárate, Matilde, Baptista, Idalina and Domínguez Rubio, Fernando. "Enclosures within enclosures and hurricane reconstruction in Cancun" City & Society, 26(1): 96-119. Download

2013

Domínguez Rubio, F. & Silva, E. "Materials in the field: object-trajectories and object-positions in the field of contemporary art". In Cultural Sociology.Vol 7(2), pp. 161-178. Download

  • Winner of the British Sociological Association & Sage Prize for Innovation/Excellence in Cultural Sociology)

Domínguez Rubio, F & Fogué, U. “Technifying the public and publicizing infrastructures: imagining a new urban political ecology through General Vara del Rey Square”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.Vol.37 (3), pp. 1035-1052. Download

  • Highlighted in the 40th year anniversary special issue of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, which included the 25 most significant articles over that period according to the editors of the journal.

2012

Domínguez Rubio, F. “The material production of the Spiral Jetty: a study of culture in the making”. In Cultural Sociology. Vol. 6 (2). Download

  • Finalist of the British Sociological Association & Sage Prize for Innovation/Excellence in cultural Sociology )

Domínguez Rubio, F. Baert, P. “The Politics of Knowledge. An introduction” in F. Domínguez Rubio & P. Baert. (eds.) The Politics of Knowledge, Routledge: London, pp. 1-10. Download

Domínguez Rubio, F. Lezaun, J. “Technology, legal knowledge and citizenship. On the care of Locked-in Syndrome Patients". In F. Domínguez Rubio & P. Baert (eds) The Politics of Knowledge, Routledge: London, pp. 58-78. Download

2008

Domínguez Rubio, F. “Towards a post-humanist social theory?: the case of Locked-in Syndrome patients”, In Política y Sociedad Vol. 45(3) pp. 61-73. In Spanish.

Baert, P., Domínguez Rubio, F. (2008): “Philosophy of the Social Sciences”. In Turner, Brian (ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Social Theory. 3rd edition. Blackwell: Oxford, pp. 60-80. Download

Domínguez Rubio, F. (2008) “The question of the object as a sociological question”. In Sánchez Criado, Tomás (ed.) La construcción tecnocientífica de la vida humana. Antropólogos Iberoamericanos en Red: Madrid, pp. 79-112.

2006

Domínguez Rubio, F. “Rethinking the social”, Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana, 44, Enero-Febrero. In Spanish