Ambitious futures for (digital) education: Perspectives from Tropicalia

If you’ve been following recent updates around Domains19, you’ll know that we’ll be hosting quite a few keynotes this year to round out the event. Jim blogged about the following featured keynote presentations already:

Chris Gilliard & sava saheli singh will aim to complicate our conversations around futuristic technology as it relates to diversity, drawing on themes of accessibility and ownership.

Martin Hawksey will explore the ethical boundaries of the technology we have come to take for granted, focusing on privacy & surveillance and ownership.

Ryan Seslow has recently created a series of work called Communicating my Deaf and Hard of Hearing Self. His keynote at Domains 19 will be an extension of this in the form of art exhibits and installations.

We now have the pleasure of introducing our fifth and final presenter, Amy Collier, Associate Provost for Digital Learning at Middlebury College, who will be rounding out the conference with her talk on Day 2. Collier leads Middlebury’s strategic vision for digital learning and oversees a group (DLINQ) that works with faculty, staff, and students to explore and question the roles digital technologies play in education. Her work surrounding Digital Detox and After Surveillance is inspiring, and we’re excited to see what she’ll bring to the table in June. Here’s an abstract for her upcoming talk, “Ambitious futures for (digital) education: Perspectives from Tropicalia“:

Brasil’s tropicalia movement was a revolutionary expression of resistance to authoritarianism and nationalism through art, music, and theater. In this talk, we’ll travel back in time to 1960s Brasil, quaking under a military dictatorship, to explore how the key goals of the tropicalia movement connected to the educational/pedagogical approaches of Paulo Freire. We’ll tap into songs from tropicalia’s greatest musicians (e.g., Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, and Os Mutantes, etc.) while diving into Paulo Freire’s writings. As we explore those connections, Amy Collier (whose heart still lives in her home country of Brasil), will draw us back to the present moment and point to how the tropicalia movement can be an inspiration for our digital work in higher education. “Seja marginal, seja heroi.” (Helio Oiticica)

Images via Pitchfork


Martin Hawksey’s Minority Report

And the hits for Domains19 just keep on coming… and this one comes all the way from Scotland with none other than Martin Hawksey, who is both creating a surveillance installation for the conference as well as speaking to how he built it using services anyone can sign-up for and a Raspberry Pi while extrapolating the broader implications of this brave new world of ubiquitous surveillance. Here is the abstract:

Welcome to my world of good and bad, right and wrong, a neo-noir landscape where technology simultaneously creates possibilities to empower and reclaim part of the web, but also quickly reveals the extent of our data traces, the ease in which we can be surveilled, the dangers of walking through a world where ‘individual consent’ is replaced with ‘social consent’ where privacy has to asked for rather than assumed.

In this talk we’ll look at privacy and surveillance, data ownership and accessibility. As part of this we will cast a light on the shadowy world of face recognition, passive wifi tracking and more. As part of this we’ll look at issues such as personal rights as well as gender and racial bias. My plan is to ultimately make you all join #TeamLuddite – not against technology or inept at using it, not against “the future” but ready to interrogate the moral and ethical implications of the choices we make.  

The idea for having Martin speak at Domains was a happy accident while speaking with both Maren Deepwell and Martin about ideas for OER19. He had done something wild with a Raspberry Pi and facial recognition at DevFest London in 2017, and when we were talking about the conference themes around Domains19 he linked to his post on the talk. We were immediately sold, this kind of Minority Report-esque installation that explores the ethical boundaries of the tech we have come to take for granted is exactly what we were hoping Domains19 would manifest.

Stay tuned for more, and if you haven’t already, be sure to submit a presentation and/or installation. What’s more, registration is open as well—so run, don’t walk, over to Domains19 and join the party.

Domains19: The Art of Accessibility

We are thrilled to announce a keynote installation for Domains19. When we announced Domains a few months back, we were serious about opening up the possibility of allowing folks to submit art pieces/installations as well as presentations and panels, and we have gotten a fair amount thus far. To reinforce this novel way of presenting at an edtech conference, we reach out to the inimitable Ryan Seslow to keynote Domains19 via his artwork. Ryan’s work with animated GIFs has been the stuff of legend for a while now, but his recent work exploring and “communicating his deaf and hard of hearing self” has been revelatory. Ryan articulates the idea behind these works in his blog on the series beautifully:

The works are visual representations for the regular distortions, missing of sounds, words and overall communication struggles that I experience daily. They represent how I feel, react, overcompensate and adjust to communication in various interactions. They are intended to be both subtle, confusing and difficult to follow. Communicating My Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self – Part 1” is the first installation in the series. It is first published here on my website and shared via my social media platforms. I am seeking to extend this body of work into a series of physical exhibitions, talks and a zine.

His installation at the Domains19 conference will very much be an extension of this body of work, and a focal point for a broader discussion around accessibility. You can read the abstract for the installation below, and this post provides just a small taste of the vaporizing visual extravaganza that awaits you this June at Domains19. 

“The Internal / External Narratives of the Fragmented Meta-Domain Self”
Via an energetic series of multi-disciplinary digital art, animation and video works, “The Internal / External Narratives of the Fragmented Meta-Domain Self” is an exhibition and installation that creates a harmonious environment for the Domains 2019 conference. Drawing from and applying the vapor wave aesthetic with rich glitch and textured visuals, the works come together as a series of experiences both site on scene and on the web. The viewer is confronted with how technology, communication, language and accessibility play a vital role both on and off the web. With some many frequent changes in technology, how will you instigate and re-question your position on such things?

You can read more about Ryan here, and if you are interested in showing and/or at Domains19 the call for presentations is open until February 15th and you can register for the early bird discount through the end of February. We really hope to see you in June, and please be sure to spread the love.

Back to the Future: The Mothership or The DeLorean?

We are thrilled to finally announce the first keynote presentation at Domains19, which will be co-presented by Chris Gilliard and sava saheli singh, who will be asking the question: “Back to the Future: The Mothership or The DeLorean?” Chris jokingly wrote when describing the talk: “Think George ClintonOctavia Butler, and The Mothership meets Domains.” We can’t think of anything cooler, and the abstract will give you a sense of what’s to come:

A common (yet searingly accurate) lament is that so much of our current tech and visions of the future are based on the limited imaginations of the small segment of the population that fits within Silicon Valley’s ideal of “innovation.” Thus we are often burdened with tech (and ed-tech) that suits the vision and needs of people who are overwhelmingly white and male. As we live the consequences of this vision, it’s worthwhile to think about Black and Brown visions of “the future” to inform how we might move forward in a way that looks decidedly different from our current path. This keynote aims to complicate current ways of thinking about privacy, security,  accessibility, and ownership, drawing on Afrofuturism and 80’s funk to imagine ways of operating outside of our current paradigm of surveillance capitalism.

You can read more about both Chris and sava’s work here, and if you are considering coming to Domains19, it might be high time to submit a proposal or register for the conference.

The original proposal date was January 15th, but we will be extending that out to February 15th, but the time is now!