AIA CES Credits
AV Office
Abstract Publication
Academic Affairs
Academic Calendar, Columbia University
Academic Calendar, GSAPP
Admissions Office
Advanced Standing Waiver Form
Alumni Board
Alumni Office
Anti-Racism Curriculum Development Award
Architecture Studio Lottery
Avery Library
Avery Review
Avery Shorts


STEM Designation
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Skill Trails
Student Affairs
Student Awards
Student Conduct
Student Council (All Programs)
Student Financial Services
Student Health Services at Columbia
Student Organization Handbook
Student Organizations
Student Services Center
Student Services Online (SSOL)
Student Work Online
Studio Culture Policy
Studio Procedures
Summer Workshops
Support GSAPP
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice Group 6

Aron Vinegar

Thu, Feb 15    6:30pm

Beyond the Preservation Principle, or Habit without the Flywheel

Please join us for an evening lecture with Aron Vinegar, Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo.

This talk will explore how habit is not only central to the very notions of (self) preservation and cultural heritage, but also how a more unsettling and excessive account of habit—and the issue of repetition that is so central to its binding, unifying, and stabilizing functions—forces us to reconsider some of the fundamental issues at stake in preservation and heritage. The “beyond” in the title alludes to Freud’s essay, “Beyond the Pleasure Principle”, where he explored a more unruly and compulsive sense of repetition in the death drive that works against stability, homeostasis and even the very notion of preservation. The second part of the title refers to an account of habit that is not the proverbial “flywheel” that grounds William James’ famous definition of habit as society’s most precious meliorating, mediating and conservative agent. What might an account of preservation that is attentive to a logic of “breakdown” look like?

Aron Vinegar writes and teaches at the intersection of visual studies, art history, aesthetics, architecture, and philosophy. Within these larger rubrics he is interested in notions of habit, second nature, repetition, and the unthought; rethinking the concept of indifference in relationship to ontology, politics, aesthetics, and capitalism; and critical perspectives in preservation and heritage. He has two new books out that are reflective of some of these interests: A sole authored book, Subject Matter: The Anaesthetics of Habit and the Logic of Breakdown (MIT Press, 2023) and a co-edited book, Grey on Grey: At the Threshold of Philosophy of Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2023).

Image Caption: Belinda Giblin in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in Sydney Australia, in 2021. Directed by Craig Baldwin, set design by Charles Davis, lighting designer Veronique Bennett. Produced by Red Line Productions at the Old Fitz Theatre. Photo by Robert Catto.