Forty people came to the review for Networks, Tactics, Breakdown. Beth Coleman, Amanda Parkes, Cati Vaucelle, Fender Schrade, and Ute Meta Bauer brought perspectives from various fields - cultural and media theory, industrial design, sound art and engineering - to a debate about how participatory networks online and off can address zones of emergency.
Archive for the ‘announcement’ Category
The MIT Visual Arts Program is hosting a review and party to exhibit the research and art works of the Spring 2008 Zones of Emergency teams from 5 to 9pm at 620 Putnam Ave, Cambridge, the site of the MIT FEMA Trailer. As a symbol of emergency, the site will provide a space for dialogue to examine the scale and complexity of catastrophe scenarios. Projects from two courses (MIT 4.381/4.366 and RISD GRAD-103G-01 Participatory Media: Networks, Tactics, Breakdown taught by Amber Frid-Jimenez and 4.370/4.371: Research as Artistic Practice: The FEMA Trailer Project taught by Ute Meta Bauer and Jae Rhim Lee) examine how critical design practice and technology can generate new paradigms and alternative approaches to zones of emergency and disaster relief.
Today, May 5, 2008, we are hosting a Zones of Emergency film screening, lecture and panel discussion at a the Stata Center (32-155) at MIT starting at 6pm. Amar Kanwar, filmmaker, and Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Professor of Law and Development and Director of the Program on Human Rights and Justice at MIT will speak on the topic of The Human Condition. Amar Kanwar will present “The Little Museum” with reflections on the image that lies between sorrow and resistance. This exploration will include extracts from different film projects such as Shrines 1991-2007, which emerges from labor and indigenous people’s resistance movements, The Torn First Pages, which emerges from the Burmese democracy movement and The Lightening Testimonies, which emerges from the search for language to understand the narratives of sexual violence in areas of conflict. Balakrishnan Rajagopal will talk about ‘normalizing emergency’ in development and human rights terms, drawing on Agamben, but with a specific focus on the condition of Dalits in India.
Tomorrow, April 30th, a FEMA Trailer will arrive at MIT. Working with undergraduate and graduate students at MIT, Visual Arts Program Visiting Lecturer Jae Rhim Lee will research and develop tools to understand the history and issues surrounding the FEMA Trailer and use this understanding to transform the trailer into a vehicle that can address disasters critically.
Students from the Networks, Tactics, Breakdown courses at MIT and RISD will be writing posts about their term projects on the Zones of Emergency blog this week. Their projects explore the cultural, social, political, and economic impact of mediated communication in zones of emergency. More information about a public exhibition of student work is coming soon.
DJ, musician, and editor Ntone Edjabe will speak about his work with Chimurenga, a pan African journal of writing, art and politics in a presention entitled “Chimurenga, Felasophy and the Quest for Lightness in the New South Africa.” In his presentation “What the MySpace generation should know about working for free,” Trebor Scholz reveals the complex dynamics of labor on the Social Web where masses of Internet gift-givers are exploited and empowered at the same time. Scholz explores the tension between the pleasures of online sociality (entertainment, friendships, jobs, mentorship) and its pains (breach of the social contract, free labor, spam, data mining, entrapment of community) in order to encourage online socialites to detourn the complex power dynamics of the Web from within.
Playwright, activist and founder of Le Group Amos, Thierry Nlandu, will talk about Picture Book on Participatory Democracy - An Art’s Act of Resistance against Facade Democracy, a project that informs citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and help them build a democracy that extends beyond national elections to everyday life, praxis and culture.
Marjetica Potrc will give a talk entitled Frontier Power comparing three of her recent research projects: the Western Balkans (LHE), the Amazonian state of Acre in western Brazil, and the city of New Orleans. She will address how the breakdown of twentieth-century modernism is followed by territorialization, which stops at the final frontiers of the human body and the structures that shelter it.
Preeminent conceptual sculptor and installation artist Mel Chin visits the Center April 7-9th. On Monday he will screen his new animated film, 9/11-9/11, 2007, which juxtaposes the events of Sept 11th 1973 and 2001. He’ll also introduce Fundred, 2008, a major new public project that brings attention to lead levels in neighborhoods of New Orleans through a massive national mobilization of artistic labor. During his visit, he’ll meet with faculty and students in urban studies, mechanical engineering, systems design, and data visualization to discuss projects in development.
Border Matters, Critical Design will explore infrastructure in border areas and design applications for underserved communities. How can critical design practice and technology generate new paradigms and alternative approaches to policy and planning? Tonight Tad Hirsch will give a talk about several projects in local areas and abroad, in Zimbabwe, that use mobile phones to create alternative socio-technical infrastructures for activism and empowerment. We will also screen A Season Outside, a short film by Amar Kanwar, who will join Zones of Emergency on May 5, 2008.
Natalie Jeremijenko is giving a talk in the Bartos Theater at the Media Lab today at 5:30pm. The Urban Space Station explores the question of coping with the uncertainty of climate change. Natalie Jeremijenko is an artist whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering. Here’s a description about the questions she address in her project:
What would a bomb/fallout shelter for the climate crisis be like? Shelters were an exceptional practice, erected quickly by the civic sector, and a very local response to an uncertain collective threat. They remain as icons of a sort of the mobilization that achieved with the urgency and exceptional conditions of the war, and provide a comparison to the contemporary civic responses climate crisis (such as change your lightbulb, drive at the speed limit, buy local lettuce). Who designed, built, funded, and deployed those shelters, for whom, and what would one look like now, one that addressed the contemporary threats?