Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Saturday, October 10, 2020
The artist's capsule "Shadowpox: Citizen Science Fiction" will be part of the exhibition “Life, A Sensorium,” presented by Sensorium: Centre for Digital Art and Technology as part of the 26th International Symposium of Electronic Art, (e)Montreal, October 13-18.
I'll be presenting Shadowpox alongside the lovely and talented David Han (Friend Generator) and Michaela Pnacekova (Symphony of Noise VR), in Life: A Sensorium – Artists' Talk on Art & Video Games on October 13th. Please join us!
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
I'm thrilled to announce the publication of the special issue of the journal Imaginations: <Immune Nations> Research-Creation at the Intersection of Vaccine Science and Global Health Policy.
Initiated in 2014, <Immune Nations> brought together scientists, policy experts, academic scholars, and artists to work on an interdisciplinary and collaborative research-creation project tackling complex issues related to the use and distribution of vaccines in the world today.
The project… aimed to address a gap between knowledge about vaccines and how they work, and vaccine reception in the public imaginary, including fears and misinformation.
All the contributions to the <Immune Nations> special issue are worth a read, but I'm going to link here to the two I wrote or co-authored:
"Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic - Thoughts and Reflections" with Caitlin Fisher and Steven Hoffman
"Imagining Co-Immunity in Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic," a deeper dive on the development and theory behind the video game installation.
Monday, April 20, 2020
Here's a video from the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Canada, where the game was part of Public Notice, a prescient 2018 exhibition looking at the ways "fear and disease go hand in hand." (Click here to watch the video in full resolution on Facebook.)
I'm half design geek, half drama nerd, so it was even more exciting when the storyworld expanded into its second, participatory-storytelling phase.
This 2019 video from York University's Office for Research and Innovation sets the game in the context of the wider research-creation project:
"In a world plagued by a deadly new disease composed of viral shadows, young, healthy volunteers across the globe step forward to test a breakthrough vaccine.
"Shadowpox is an immersive science-fiction storyworld that imagines community immunity both as a public health phenomenon, and as a metaphor for any voluntary collective effort."
As the coronavirus pandemic turns all eyes to the development and testing of new vaccines, the third and final phase of the Shadowpox project will be an unusual new undergraduate course I'm developing to teach at York's School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design in the 2020-21 academic year.
Science & Fiction (FILM 3841, Digital Culture) takes a mixed-reality approach to experiential education, blending academic study with dramatic composition and digital production.
In addition to more traditional ways of learning about the biology and sociology of immunization, students will create videos in which they play volunteers in the Phase I trial of a vaccine against the shadowpox virus.
Designing a networked sci-fi narrative to build scientific, civic and media literacy, Shadowpox invites participants to grapple with one of the thorniest political dilemmas of public health: voluntary participation in the collective good.
|Shadowpox workshops at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (photo: LaLaine Ulit-Destajo), Debajehmujig Storytellers (photo: Lynda Trudeau), and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre (photo: Jenn Warren)|
It's hard right now to visualize what our world will look like by the end of the year, but I also can't picture anything I'd rather be doing than collaborating with young people to imagine and build a future of co-immunity.
Saturday, April 18, 2020
To play the game, visit: shadowpox.org/game
Big thanks to CTV health reporter Pauline Chan, and to Anjum Nayyar in York's media relations office, for making this piece possible.
Kudos too to Shadowpox technical director Lalaine Ulit-Destajo for pulling together the behind-the-scenes footage in record time!
Update, April 25:
My York colleague Justin Baillargeon gave Shadowpox: #StayHome Edition a shout-out en français on Radio-Canada this weekend.
He mentions us at the 6-minute mark, alongside Assassin's Creed: Origins, in a discussion of ways to learn through video games:
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Play Shadowpox: #StayHome Edition here:
Check out the announcement from York University, "Online video game brings to life the impact of staying home during COVID-19 pandemic."
Why #StayHome? "Shadowpox: #StayHome Edition", new online game by @alisonhum and informed by data from @gstrategylab helps players visualize – in a fun and engaging way – the impact of deciding to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch 📺— York University News (@YorkUnews) April 8, 2020
Read more: https://t.co/kfMcJlGADw pic.twitter.com/yQUy3Q7az0
And let the team know what you think!
Monday, February 24, 2020
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
The Sensorium Research Loft
4th Floor CFA, Room M333
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Humphrey plays with story across drama, digital media, and education. As a Vanier Scholar in Cinema and Media Arts at York University, her research-creation doctoral dissertation explores how a participatory science fiction storyworld, Shadowpox, can help young people build scientific, civic and media literacy by exploring immunization and vaccine hesitancy through a superhero metaphor.
|Lazola Nkelenjane (left) and Zanele Melapi experiment with solar-powered visual effects in a 2019 Shadowpox workshop at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre, Masiphumelele, South Africa.|
For more, please see www.alisonhumphrey.com