Thursday October 19, 2017 / 3:30-5:00

Co-creation in Place: Participation, Energy, and the (un)Settled Politics of Work

Maria Michails, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

MarImage of a person rowing in an art installation.ia Michails works across disciplines in the arts, engineering, science and social sciences to produce projects that draw on scientific ideas and emerging technologies. She is interested in developing diverse modes of participation for the co-production of knowledge-making tools that could re-imagine civic engagement with environmental issues. Taking consumer behaviour, labour, and ecological crisis as the entry points of inquiry, her gallery-based works have recently spawned a new direction toward a critically-engaged eco-social practice, where her focus has shifted to engaging communities in co-creative processes to tackle localized environmental problems. Her current (PhD) research centers on methods that integrate citizen science, critical-making, and ethnography – embedding oral histories with interactive mapping, environmental sensing and performance, as tactics for knowledge-production and sleuthing activism to affect policy decision-making. Addressing these themes, concerns and methodologies, Michails will discuss several works including S.OIL, a human-powered installation that communicates the connection between energy and food production; AirTRACS an art-science community air quality sensing project created with youth in an environmental justice community; and a new archiving and documentation project titled The Orphans with Saskatchewan farmers who are left with abandoned oil wells without much recourse for cleanup.

Image of two people using a mechanism near indoor grow stations.Maria Michails is a Canadian cross-disciplinary artist and writer. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout North America and Europe, including New York Hall of Science, NYC; Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI; Central Michigan University; Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba; Rockland Center for the Arts, NY; Charleston Heights Art Center, Las Vegas; IMAGES Festival, Toronto; and the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse Normandie, France, to name a few. Grants and fellowships in support of her projects include the Canada Council for the Arts; Heritage Canada; Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec; and the New York State Artists Workspace Consortium. Recent residencies include BRiC at Banff Centre; Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, NYC; Sculpture Space, Utica, NY; the Santa Fe Art Institute, and in 2012-13 she was the Barstow Artist-in-Residence at Central Michigan University where she also developed and taught a special topics course, Art, Ecology & Culture. Her recent publications include a survey chapter in Media Art and the Urban Environment – Engendering Public Engagement with Urban Ecology (Springer-Verlag); “Mining Data, Making Art” in Digital Creativity; and an upcoming essay in Transformations – Journal of Media, Culture and Technology. Michails’ work has been written about in local and national press and recently featured on the Scientific American blog. She earned an MFA in Intermedia from Arizona State University and a BFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Concordia University, Montreal. She is currently a Doctoral dual-fellowship recipient (SSHRC and HASS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

Photograph of a man holding a toy while a young boy writes on a notepad. This is part of the Ezra Prentice Earthweek event.
Ezra Prentice Earthweek Event, Maria Michails

Thursday January 16th, 2018 / 2:00-3:00 

Radical Transparency, Representing the Material Digitally, and the Database as a Methodological Model

Matthew Evan Davis, Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship

Traditionally, databases have been seen as a repository for scholarship—a place to store information for later retrieval. This only taps into part of the potential of the potential of databases, however. Carefully constructed and articulated databases serve not only to store information, but are an aid to critical thinking that identify points of tension, clarify what seems muddled, and allow the examination of textual cruces. Moreover, thinking about the database in terms beyond the repository belies a falsehood that has become a societal truism: that data is itself objective.

Popularly thought to be free of bias and thus a window to objective “truth,” this bias can be seen in phrases like “the wisdom of crowds.” In reality, however, the “thing”-ness of the material object is never completely captured, understood, or explained. A version of that thing, mediated by the tools, ideas, and experiences of both the researcher and viewer is instead inscribed and read from whatever medium is used. By putting such moments of mediation foremost in the mind of the scholar, databases serve to prevent the text reverting into a black box, receiving input and generating output, but in a way that cannot be understood or articulated.

Beginning with an examination of Davis’ work with medieval and early Tudor written and performed texts—specifically the Chantry chapel at Holy Trinity, Long Melford, the parish registers “Baldwyne” and “Herveye,” and the fifteenth-century poems of John Lydgate—this first part of a two-part talk will explore what the process of mediation the database brings to the relationship between these works reveals for larger questions surrounding the role of the laity in late medieval and early Tudor religious culture.

Tuesday, April 17 / 1:30-4:00

Hot Tips To Boost Your Interdisciplinary Web Archive Collaboration!

Nick Ruest, York University

Web archives are intimidating. You’re dealing with size and scale issues, wild formats from the live web, and just a massive amount of information to sift through. But, we can’t hide our heads in the sand, and ignore it. This is our cultural heritage, and we need to make sense of it. You definitely don’t want to tackle this alone, and the good news is that has been a lot of work done already, and there are a lot of great people working here. Nick Ruest will discuss the research and tools he is working on with an interdisciplinary team of collaborators from fields as varied as history, political science, sociology, and computer science to help make sense of it all.

Nick Ruest is the Digital Assets Librarian at York University, co-Principal Investigator of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded The Archives Unleashed Project, co-Principal Investigator of the SSHRC grant “A Longitudinal Analysis of the Canadian World Wide Web as a Historical Resource, 1996-2014”, and co-Principal Investigator of the Compute Canada Research Platforms and Portals Web Archives for Longitudinal Knowledge.

At York University, he oversees the development of data curation, asset management and preservation initiatives, along with creating and implementing systems that support the capture, description, delivery, and preservation of digital objects having significant content of enduring value. He was previously active in the Islandora and Fedora communities, serving as Project Director for the Islandora CLAW project, member of the Islandora Foundation’s Roadmap Committee and Board of Directors, and contributed code to the project. He has also served as the Release Manager for Islandora and Fedora, the moderator for the OCUL Digital Curation Community, the President of the Ontario Library and Technology Association, and President of McMaster University Academic Librarians’ Association.

Friday, April 20 / 2:30-3:30

3D Printing & Open Innovation: Intellectual Property, the Creative Commons & the New Economy

Dr Matthew Rimmer, Professor of Intellectual Property & Innovation Law, Queensland University of Technology

Poster for event titled 3D Printing and Open Innovation with Dr. Matthew RimmerThis presentation will consider 3D printing in terms of intellectual property, the Creative Commons, and the New Economy. It will explore the use of open licensing in the context of the maker movement, 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The traditional historical categories of intellectual property have been disrupted by the cross-cutting technologies and cultural practices of the Maker Movement. There have been conflicts and skirmishes over copyright law and 3D printing – such as in the dispute over Katy Perry and Left Shark. 3D printing has also raised issues about the operation of copyright exceptions, intermediary liability, and technological protection measures. 3D printing firms have been anxious about the impact of the Supreme Court of the United States decision in Star Athletica about the relationship between the public domain, copyright law, and designs law. The topic of 3D printing and the right of repair has been significant in a number of areas of intellectual property (including designs law). Trademark holders have explored partnerships and collaborations with 3D printing companies – as well as enforcement actions. In patent law, 3D printing raises issues about patentable subject matter, patent infringement, and patent exceptions – particularly the defence of experimental use. The dispute between Desktop Metal Inc. and Markforged Inc. over patent law, trade secrets, and contract law in metal 3D printing is an important case study. There has been a tension between the proprietary approaches of start-up companies (particularly in respect of trade secrets), and the open ethos of the maker movement. One of the key features of the State of the Commons Report 2016 was the increasing use of creative commons licenses in the context of 3D printing. There has been much discussion about 3D printing in terms of open licensing, open education, open data, and open innovation.

Dr Matthew Rimmer is a Professor in Intellectual Property and Innovation Law at the Faculty of Law, at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He is a leader of the QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law research program, and a member of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre (QUT DMRC) the QUT Australian Centre for Health Law Research (QUT ACHLR), and the QUT International Law and Global Governance Research Program (QUT IP IL). Rimmer has published widely on copyright law and information technology, patent law and biotechnology, access to medicines, plain packaging of tobacco products, intellectual property and climate change, and Indigenous Intellectual Property. He is currently working on research on intellectual property, the creative industries, and 3D printing; intellectual property and public health; and intellectual property and trade, looking at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trade in Services Agreement.

Rimmer is currently working as a Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Project on “Inventing The Future: Intellectual Property and 3D Printing” (2017-2020). This project aims to provide guidance for industry and policy-makers about intellectual property, three-dimensional (3D) printing, and innovation policy. It will consider the evolution of 3D printing, and examine its implications for the creative industries, branding and marketing, manufacturing and robotics, clean technologies, health-care and the digital economy. The project will examine how 3D printing disrupts copyright law, designs law, trade mark law, patent law and confidential information. The project expects to provide practical advice about intellectual property management and commercialisation, and boost Australia’s capacity in advanced manufacturing and materials science. Along with Dinusha Mendis and Mark Lemley, Rimmer is the editor of the forthcoming collection, 3D Printing and Beyond (Edward Elgar, 2018).

Organized by Dr. Sara Bannerman, Canada Research Chair in Communication Policy and Governance Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Stu dies and Multimedia.