Carson Center hosts research Flyover Summit Oct. 21-22

· 3 min read

Carson Center hosts research Flyover Summit Oct. 21-22

Avena+Test Bed: Agricultural Printing and Altered Landscapes, an experiment to explore the relationship between landscape, agriculture and digital fabrication by Benedikt Gross, one of the speakers at the Flyover Summit 2021.
Avena+Test Bed: Agricultural Printing and Altered Landscapes, an experiment to explore the relationship between landscape, agriculture and digital fabrication by Benedikt Gross, one of the speakers at the Flyover Summit 2021.

The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts will host a Flyover Summit Oct. 21-22, bringing together research about rural-urban systems design and environmental futures.

“Flyover is a creative think tank developing research about rural design and environmental futures,” said Ash Eliza Smith, assistant professor of emerging media arts. “This all started out of conversations with scientists, engineers and more about their work here at UNL. We start from our home in Nebraska, but our inquiries extend nationally, globally and into outer space. We bridge science, technology, art and design to consider the production, allocation and distribution of resources outside cities and towns. We propose alternative ecologies and reflect on the futures, past and present possibilities that shape urban-rural interdependence. We think about how automation and technology are shaping rural systems.”

Flyover is led by Smith with Stephanie Sherman, a course leader in narrative environments at Central Saint Martins in London.

The Flyover Summit will last two days at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, located at 13th and Q streets. On Oct. 21, a series of virtual short talks by filmmakers, theorists, architects, designers and scientists will discuss rural automation. The lecture shorts will cover such themes as outer space law and governance; rural and Indigenous AI; and machine automation, grow-bots and Blockchain Chicken Farms.

The keynote speaker is Xiaowei Wang, author of “Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside.” In the book, Wang explores the political and social entanglements of technology in rural China.

Other speakers include filmmaker, digital media artist and recent MacArthur Fellow Alex Rivera (“Sleep Dealer,” “The Infiltrators”); Benjamin Bratton, artist, author and program director at the Strelka Institute, located in Moscow and San Diego; and Frans von der Dunk, internationally distinguished professor of space law at UNL.

On Oct. 22, a workshop with Alex McDowell’s Worldbuilding Institute will share interdisciplinary techniques for collaborative worlding, fictioning and storytelling for audiences on campus and beyond. McDowell is a narrative designer (“Minority Report,” “Fight Club”) and the co-founder and creative director of experimental.design.

The conference is free and open to the public.

“Register and drop in anytime throughout the day,” Smith said.

Also launching at the Flyover Summit are Flyover Fictions, which pair designer-storytellers with scientists and engineers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to develop design fictions that push existing investigations into speculative and projective domains. Each designer-researcher will develop a design fiction that will be published as a short digital book.

“The project creates a bridge between speculative futures and rural-urban innovation,” Smith said.

For more details, including a full schedule of events, click here.

Support for Flyover Summit has been provided by the Office of Research and Economic Development, Global Experiences Innovation Fund, a Hixson-Lied Faculty Research/Creative and Development Grant, and a Nebraska Governance and Technology Fellowship.

Faculty interested in participating in the Flyover creative think tank or who seek more information, send email to Smith at ash.e.s.@unl.edu.

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