Dr. May is assistant professor in the faculty of architecture at the University of Toronto. He holds a National Endowment for the Humanities visiting professorship at Rice this semester. Dr. May’s recent and ongoing research engages with energy, design and (urban) geography. His current project, entitled “Spectral Visions: On the Birth of the Energetic of Environment,” focuses on the historical relationship between Postwar scientific instruments and the changing composition of the concept of environment. Examining imaging as a form of environmental representation, he argues that our understanding of the environment is fundamentally inseparable from the emergence of imaging. His project aims to produce a technical and conceptual genealogy of the environmental image, a theory of representation commensurate with questions and problems being posed around the concept of environment, which are today reshaping both the humanities and design practice. In so doing, this research shows how imaging has reorganized and restructured the entire scientific-bureaucratic apparatus that today takes ‘the environment’ as its object of concern.
In the past few years, Dr. May has published essays on sustainability and landscapes of energy. His texts “Infastructuralism (…or, the Pathology of the Negative Externality),” “Against Sustainability,” and “The Becoming-Energetic of Landscape,” among others, can be accessed from his website http://www.millionsofmovingparts.org. We are excited to have Dr. May at Rice, where he is teaching a seminar on the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk in the School of Architecture.