Idea

Zones of Emergency (ZOE) is a collaboration between MIT Visual Arts Program and artists, technologists, theorists and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds and fields. The purpose of ZOE is to examine the scale and complexity of catastrophe and disaster scenarios through lectures and panel discussions. ZOE takes the form of the Spring 2008 Mondays @ VAP lecture series where discussion ranges from the philosophical and cultural understandings of the emergency to practical “on the ground” operating organizations to the current use of networked technology examining its own breakdown.

  • ZOE investigates the basis of what constitutes emergency and its inextricable relation to various institutional bodies, from government agencies to NGOs.
  • ZOE incites critical dialog between scientists, activists, cultural practitioners and those engaged in hands-on and day-to-day experience in emergency settings.
  • ZOE discusses catastrophe scenarios from a number of perspectives, asking how emergency zones lead to traumatic experience for those directly affected while generating political and/or economic opportunity for others.
  • ZOE explores how the use of critical design practice and technology can generate new paradigms and alternative approaches to disaster relief.

In addition to the fields of art and culture, the invited speakers for ZOE have been chosen from the fields of social geography, architecture and engineering, building technology and environmental studies, sociology, economics, and political science.

About the Blog

This blog is collaboration between Visiting Lecturer Amber Frid-Jimenez and the students of Networks, Tactics, Breakdown - a course exploring the tactical and artistic potential of internet and mobile networked communication to address specific zones of emergency. The hope is to use the blog to instigate a discussion about this topic on a global scale.

About the Series 

This series of events is presented in conjunction with courses 4.391: Understanding the Problem: Research as Artistic Practice - FEMA Trailer Project, taught by Professor Ute Meta Bauer and Jae Rhim Lee and 4.381/4.366 Introduction to Online Participatory Media – Networks, Tactics, Breakdown, taught by Amber Frid-Jimenez.

Location
Visual Arts Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Department of Architecture
Bldg N51-337, 3rd floor
Joan Jonas Performance Hall
265 Massachusetts AvenueCambridge, MA 02139

Directions
Lectures are located in the Joan Jonas Performance Hall (N51-337) at the MIT Visual Arts Program. The hall is located above the MIT Museum. Enter through the grey door on Front Street and take the elevator to the third floor. Exit to your left and go down the ramp. The Joan Jonas Performance Hall is located on the right.

By Public Transportation
Take the Red Line to Central Square. Walk four blocks along Massachusetts Avenue towards Boston and the Charles River, or take the #1 bus to the Front Street stop.

For information email us or go to MIT Visual Arts Program