Saturday, July 31, 2010

At the American Society for Cybernetics conference in Troy, New York

The 2010 ASC Conference combines an ASC business and reflection meeting with another three days devoted to 'Cyberetics:Art, Design, Mathematics 2010'.  The event has brought together an ecletic mix including  four of the Society's Trustees (of which I am one).

The event is hosted by the Architecture group at the impressive Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, established in 1824, in the city of Troy, now part of the Albany conurbation.  Most of the conference is being held in the also impressive Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center -see photo below.

Troy reminds me of the city of Ballarat - fine, substantial 19th century buildings established on the back of the city's wealth. In Troy's case industrial and manufacturing exploiting its position on the banks of the Hudson River whereas for Ballarat it was gold.  Then urban decline and decay in the 20th century accompanied, so it seems, by disatrous town planning decisions and some terrible architecture.  Clearly attempts are now being made to conserve the architectural heritage but there is a slightly down at heel feel, with many empty shops and a 'post global financial crisis' feel.

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