The World of Tomorrow: The Westinghouse Time Capsule of Cupalloy (1939)

Dr. habil. Johannes Endres, Professor of Art History

The Westinghouse Time Capsule of Cupalloy was designed and deposited on occasion of the 1939 World Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. Deemed capable of resisting the effects of time for 5,000 years, the capsule aims to preserve an account of the “universal achievements” of the Western world for a distant future. My talk will discuss crucial aspects of its planning, content and mission, as they present themselves against the backdrop of the World Fair, the historical moment in time, and the material, visual and literary culture to which the capsule both appertains and testifies. Of particular interest will be the capsule’s “survival strategies,” that is to say, its material and logistic provisions made against the adversities of time and oblivion, as well as its “heterotopian” properties – properties that result from a culture’s attempt to picture itself from the viewpoint of its own extinction.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 11:10am in ARTS 333