The Future of Memory: Art & Adaptive Matter for Resilient Communities

Friday, November 2, 2018, 3:30-5:00pm

The panel addresses interdisciplinary creative research which explores the tension between heritage and adaptability in an age of new, smart materials. The panel goal is to support creative partnerships between art, design, materials science and technology to investigate the potential of molecular scale engineering to anticipate new models of artistic practice at the interface of matter and culture. To do this, the panel frames ways of understanding how the social life of objects can be a visible part of their morphology within post-representational aesthetic theories of art.


Stephanie Owens is an interdisciplinary artist, creative researcher, and curator interested in the influence of digital networks on contemporary aesthetics and the production of subjectivity. She is currently founder and director of Empathy Academy, a platform for the future of art, design and matter. For the last six years, Owens was Director of the Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) where she organized Cornell’s first art biennial and led its focus on intersections between art, design and nano science. This landmark event for the university included a site-specific, 46-foot sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Kimsooja made in collaboration with the Wiesner Nanomaterials Lab and was the subject of “Collaboration on Campus: Nanotechnology and Contemporary Art“, a documentary by Art in the 21st Century (Art21). She is a founder of Mobile Geographies, a locative-media initiative at Parsons The New School for Design (NYC) and co-founder of the storefront new media art space MediaNoche (NY), the first artist-run gallery for digital art in Upper Manhattan. Some of Owens’s curatorial projects include Technologies of Place, funded by New York Foundation for the Arts, SELF[n]: Art & Distributed Subjectivity, Intimate Cosmologies: The Aesthetics of Scale in an Age of Nanotechnology (Cornell University), and Abject/Object Empathies (Cornell University). Owens exhibits her work internationally including shows at the First Beijing International Media Arts Exhibition (Beijing, China), Dashanzi Art Festival (Beijing, China), 5th Ewha Media Art Exhibition, (Seoul, Korea) and the Machinista International Arts and Technology Festival. Frequently a speaker on art and technology, she recently presented papers at College Art Association (CAA), SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles) and Consciousness Reframed: Art, Identity and the Technology of Transformation (Lisbon). She has taught digital media, art, aesthetics, interaction design and contemporary art theory at Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Parsons The New School for Design, MFA Design & Technology Program and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Ulrich Wiesner studied Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, and Irvine, California. He gained his Ph.D. in 1991 with work at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), Mainz, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the E.S.P.C.I. in Paris, France until 1993. After his Habilitation with work at the MPI-P in Mainz in 1998, he joined the Cornell MS&E faculty in 1999 as a tenured associate professor. He became full professor in 2005 and since 2008 is the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Engineering. He works at the interface between polymer science and solid-state chemistry/physics with the goal of generating novel hierarchical and multifunctional hybrid materials. He is the co-founder of Elucida Oncology, Inc., working on translating theranostic optical nanoparticles into the clinic, and Terapore Technologies, Inc., with the goal to bring block copolymer self-assembly based ultrafiltration membranes to the market. He is the recipient of multiple awards including the Carl Duisberg Memorial Award of the German Chemical Society and the Arthur K. Doolittle Award of the American Chemical Society.
Jenna Jambeck, associate professor in the College of Engineering, is internationally recognized for her research on plastic waste in the ocean and for the Marine Debris Tracker app she co-created with fellow faculty member Kyle Johnsen. She notes that being active in research helps bring current environmental engineering issues into the classroom for students. Learn more about Dr. Jambeck’s teaching and research in Focus on Faculty.

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