Thinking about Thinging


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Join us at the University of Waterloo English Department’s Critical Media Lab (44 Gaukel Street in Kitchener) on Thursday January 26th at 6pm.

This will be the third installment of the Salon Series this term and is entitled “Thinging.”  This talk will feature two presentations – one from Ian Pilon, and another from Nicholas Balaisis.

Find abstracts for the presentations below:

IAN PILON

“AMBIENT INTELLIGENCE: A DIY JOURNEY INTO LEARNING ABOUT NETWORKED SYSTEMS, THE INTERNET OF THINGS, AND BIOMIMICRY”

In this talk, Ian will share his experience of working in interaction design by tracing his own non-conformist ideologies of graffiti culture to his now unquenchable thirst for new knowledge in the DIY maker movement. The talk will discuss some of the things Ian has learned through his work in an attempt to address the hypothesis that we are witnessing a transitioning stage from an unconscious and unconnected human world into a globally connected and collaborative biosphere.

By linking the Internet of Things to a digital manifestation of a mycelium network, Ian will discuss how biomimicry is a part of this transition, as well as a new frontier to discover how to design the systems of a globally connected consciousness.

Ian Pilon is an Interaction Designer from Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario. He studies the relationship between humans and computers and how to design for interaction with physical objects that are evolving into the digital domain. He is the founder of IoT Waterloo Region, a community and professional networking group of over 1,700+ members who meet-up quarterly to discuss ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things. He is also the founder of KWs annual “Ambient Intelligence Conference”.

NICHOLAS BALAISIS

“OBSOLESCENT “THINGS” IN CONTEMPORARY CUBAN MEDIA”

This talk looks at the emergent focus on “things” in Cuban films in the contemporary period. Architecture, technology, and everyday objects constitute an emerging area of interest for both Cuban and foreign filmmakers. What is of specific interest for many of these filmmakers is the persistence of older obsolescent objects and residual technologies that continue to find novel expression in Cuba. The talk situates these films within the renewed scholarly interest in things, or the new materialist turn, a turn that is in part connected to the perceived threat posed to materiality by ubiquitous digital media.

Nicholas Balaisis is the author of Cuban Film Media, Late Socialism and the Public Sphere (or Imperfect Aesthetics) (Palgrave 2016). He currently teaches courses in film and communication at U Waterloo and is the author of numerous journal articles.

 

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