Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery

I'm delighted that Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic will finally be getting its North American debut as part of the exhibition Public Notice at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa.

The exhibition is thoughtfully timed for the centenary of the 1918 "Spanish flu" epidemic (which, if not for wartime media censorship in countries other than Spain, could just as easily have been dubbed the "Kansas flu").

If you're in the Toronto area this fall, please come play the game!

Public Notice 

September 15, 2018 - January 19, 2019

Alison Humphrey, Ruth Cuthand, Elaine Whittaker, Ho Tam, Stephen Andrews, Abraham Anghik Ruben, Kim Morgan

Elaine Whittaker, I Caught it at The Movies (detail), 2013, Petri dishes, digital images, mylar, gouache, agar, Halobacterium sp. NRC-1
Exhibition description:

"A hundred years ago, when World War I was winding down and peace was right around the corner, a new strain of influenza swept the world, killing more people than the war. The 1918 Spanish Influenza is considered the deadliest outbreak of infectious disease in recorded history.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

World Building, Wicked Problems, and the Civic Imagination

Just listened to "Ann Pendleton-Jullian on World Building, Architecture, and Wicked Problems," an episode of the podcast How Do You Like It So Far? with Colin Maclay and Henry Jenkins. I found this interview so resonant for my research that I needed it in text form, so after some YouTube auto-transcription and a whole lot of cleanup, I'm posting it here in the hopes it will be useful to others too.

Here's the audio:

Here's the blurb:
Ann Pendleton-Jullian is an architect by training but increasingly she is being hired as a world-builder, someone who can put into process a collaborative, multidisciplinary mode of thinking which approaches complex problems in a systemic way. Her professional and civic practice has been informed by ideas from speculative fiction and production design, including by Alex McDowell, who we featured on our program last week. As we explore some of the implications of Ready Player One, we decided to dedicate these two programs to the ways world building has evolved from as a way of developing on-screen fictional worlds to a way of confronting challenging problems in our own world. 
Alex and Ann teamed up for the RiLAo project, where students and experts around the world collaborated to imagine and document an imaginary floating city which contained aspects of Los Angeles and Rio De Janeiro. Ann has also developed a forthcoming book, Design Unbound, with John Seely Brown (formerly of Xerox PARC) which releases this fall. I had previously conducted an expansive interview with Ann for this blog about one segment from the book which introduced their concept of the Pragmatic Imagination
This discussion is high flying and rapid-fire: she was racing to the airport and we were happy to grab a few minutes with her. Afterwards, Colin and I discuss world-building more generally and explore some of our own thoughts on Ready Player One.
And here's the transcript:

Ann Pendleton-Jullian on World Building, Architecture, and Wicked Problems

[Intro excerpt] Ann Pendleton-Jullian: ...And world building isn't just saying, "Okay, now I'll entertain them, what a great idea!” It's to say, “What are the repercussions? What would it mean for this? What would it mean for that? Who would be involved? How would they be involved?" And when you can actually begin to allow yourself to play it out, only then can you go, "Oh, maybe that's okay. Maybe that would work." There's this way we stop ourselves at the barrier of constraints, and not see all the other things we could be doing.