Afghanistan and Iraq: Failed States or Failed Wars?

Lakhdar Brahimi
March 28, 2007

Map of Western Asia

Having assisted in the postwar transitions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, a Director's Visitor at the Institute in 2006-08, spoke in 2007 about the circumstances that led to the current situations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He examined the recent history of both countries and offered his perspective on the actions and non-actions that led to the present crises.

The Difficult Task of Erasing Oneself: Non-Composition in Twentieth-Century Art

Yve-Alain Bois
Institute For Advanced Study
March 7, 2007

Sculpture

Yve-Alain Bois, Professor, School of Historical Studies. The lecture examines how, rather than always leading to the myth of the death of painting (or sculpture), as Alexandr Rodchenko had it, the idea that the artist should erase all traces of him- or herself was a dictum that helped sustain many different artistic practices during the past century, from Kasimir Malevich's Black Square of 1915, Jean Arp's collages "according to the laws of chance" of 1916-18, and Piet Mondrian's modular grids of 1918-19, to Pop Art, Minimalism, Process art, Conceptual art, and beyond.

The Mathematical Infinity

Enrico Bombieri
Institute for Advanced Study
January 31, 2007

VaseThis lecture by Enrico Bombieri, IBM von Neumann Professor in the School of Mathematics, explores how mathematics has arrived at its present pragmatic view of infinity and some of the counterintuitive paradoxes, as well as some of the positive results, deriving from its acceptance. It concludes with a view of how computer science is leading today to a new precise concept, namely the impossibly large in the realm of the finite.