MoMA R&D Salon 26: Friction | MoMA LIVE

Friction is everywhere. Our pens would not work on a friction-less surface. Friction between the head of a stick and the surface of the box is what ignites a match. Yet, despite its importance, friction is often dismissed as the undesirable byproduct of graceless and clumsy interactions. In this salon, we will delve into the grey areas between ethics and etiquette that are expected of the majority of people in post-industrial economies. Our goal is to question the assumption that “seamless” is by default preferable to “rugged,” and that bruises and abrasions are always to be avoided.

Some of the questions we will strive to answer:

How does growing up in a zero-risk environment affect children’s capacity to develop creativity, resilience, and grit?

Are conflicts always inherently negative?

What are the neurological and psychological mechanisms at play when we are faced with obstacles?

What do we make of the schism between the imperatives of political correctness and the fact that, at its core, society is increasingly polarized?


Brian Collins: World–renowned brand experience designer, creative director, and educator;

Martha Rosler: Artist working in photography and photo text, video, installation, sculpture, and performance, as well as writing about art and culture;

Tsige Tafesse: Co-founder of BUFU, a collective centered around (Pan)Black and (Pan)Asian cultural and political relationships.

Kasia Urbaniak: Ex-dominatrix, founder and CEO of The Academy, a school that teaches women the foundations of power and influence

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The comments and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker alone, and do not represent the views of The Museum of Modern Art, its personnel, or any artist. 

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