Plenary Events

SLSA 2019 is pleased to announce the following plenary events:

Laura Kurgan   Keynote Address

In Plain Sight. Laura Kurgan, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Robert Gerard Pietrusko. US Pavilion, Biennale Architettura, 2018.

Thursday, November 7, 9:45-11:15 a.m., Pacific Ballroom CD

Laura Kurgan is a Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, where she directs the Center for Spatial Research and the Visual Studies curriculum. She is the author of Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics (Zone Books, 2013) and Co-Editor of Ways of Knowing Cities (Columbia Books on Architecture, 2019). Her work has been exhibited internationally, most recently Chicago Architecture Biennial (2019), at the Biennale Architettura di Venezia (2018), and in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute (2017).

Her lecture will focus a collaborative project: Homophily, the Urban History of an Algorithm, currently on view at the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019.  The research focuses on the urban origins of the term homophily, its formalization and proliferation through the algorithmic logics of online networks, and the risks we run when it becomes not just a descriptive model but a prescriptive rule for social life.

Laura will be introduced by Stephen Barker, the Dean of UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

Sara Diamond   Keynote Address

Thursday, November 7, 5:30-7:00 p.m. , Pacific Ballroom CD

Sara Diamond is the president of OCAD University, the largest and most comprehensive art, design and media university in Canada. While retaining OCAD U’s traditional strengths in art and design, Diamond has guided the university in becoming a leader in digital media, inclusive design, and sustainable technologies. Previously, from 1995 to 2005, she was the director of research at the Banff Centre, where she created the Banff New Media Institute.  Diamond holds a Ph.D. in computer science and degrees in new media theory and practice, social history, and communications. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists.

OCAD University is a unique art and design institution that is committed to addressing the profound “questions of our time” through its approach to teaching, learning, research and engagement. As we move into a time of algorithmic technologies, Sara’s talk will address OCAD U’s work to bring STEM, Indigenous knowledge, and other diverse voices together in order to position human and environmental agencies within these equations.

Sara will be introduced by UCI Professor of Electronic Art and Design Simon Penny.

In Conversation with lauren woods

lauren woods at American Monument. University Art Museum, Cal State University Long Beach, 2018.

Friday, November 8, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Pacific Ballroom CD

lauren woods will give a brief presentation about her artwork American Monument, followed by an open conversation with curator, cultural producer, and project co-leader Kimberli Meyer, Beall Center for Art + Technology Artistic Director David Familian, and UCI Professor of Art Simon Leung. American Monument is a viewer-activated inter-media monument addressing police brutality and the killing of African Americans. The centerpiece of the work consists of a grid of 22 turntables, each holding a recording related to one of these deaths, and a corresponding set of legal documents culled from open records requests. American Monument will be on view at the Beall Center for Art + Technology concurrently with the conference.

lauren woods is a conceptual artist whose hybrid media projects—film, video and sound installations, public interventions, and site-specific work—engage history as a lens by which to view the socio-politics of the present. Challenging the tradition of documentary/ethnography as objective, she creates ethno-fictive documents that investigate invisible dynamics in society, remixing memory and imagining other possibilities. She also explores how traditional monument-making can be translated into new contemporary models of commemoration with new media.

lauren woods and American Monument will be introduced by UCI professor of Art Simon Leung.

In Conversation with Donna Haraway

Saturday, November 9, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Pacific Ballroom CD

SLSA is presenting this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and in the Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  A leading theorist of human relationships with machines and with non-human species, Haraway is the author of such influential books as Staying with the Trouble (2016), When Species Meet (2008), The Companion Species Manifesto: (2003), Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (1991), and Primate Visions (1989).

Following the presentation of the award, there will be an open conversation with Donna Haraway centering on a short piece of writing by Ursula LeGuin, “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction,” which conference attendees are encouraged to read ahead of time. To create a collective experiential setting, Professor Haraway also invites us to bring along an actual carrier bag and to “think about the worlds contained in that bag.”

In Conversation with Donna Haraway will be moderated by UCI Professor of Anthropology Valerie Olson.

Andrea Polli   Keynote Address

N-point, 2007. An artwork that presents a time-lapse of webcam images from the Arctic combined with a 4 channel sonification of weather at the North Pole.

Saturday, November 9, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Pacific Ballroom CD

Andrea Polli is an environmental artist working at the intersection of art, science, and technology. Her interdisciplinary research has been presented as public artworks, media installations, community projects, performances, broadcasts, mobile and geolocative media, publications, and through the curation and organization of public exhibitions and events. She creates artworks designed to raise awareness of environmental issues. Often these works express scientific data obtained through her collaborations with scientists and engineers and have taken the form of sound art, vehicle-based works, public light works, mobile media experiences, and bio-art and design. Polli holds an M.F.A. in Time Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Ph.D. in practice-led research from the University of Plymouth in the UK.

In Polli’s 2018 book project Hack the Grid, she presents past and current projects that reveal how data visualizations create emotional impact and societal change and engages in conversations with scientists, activists, technologists, and designers. Featured projects include Particle Falls, an artwork and visualization of air quality data, and Energy Flow, a real-time visualization of wind speed and direction installed on a bridge and powered by sixteen wind turbines. In addressing the relationship between energy and environmental sustainability, Polli reveals the power of data visualizations to inspire citizens and change the world for the better.

Andrea Polli will be introduced by UCI Professor of Electronic Art and Design Antoinette LaFarge.