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Event Dates

  • Sat May 18 1:00 PM


The Forum at Town Hall (west entrance)

THIS IS HOW IT ENDS: Conversations and Musings on the Future of Emerging Technologies and Performance is a forum focused on the relationship between performance and emerging technologies. The dominant concern when discussing the two is how performance might harness these technologies and what art might look like in the future. What if we look at it from another vantage point — might performance be able to disrupt and influence emerging technology? How could the concerns of performance (language, space, corporeality, materiality, time, emotions, inclusivity) impact technology in this time of lighting speed transformation? Join us for an idiosyncratic combination of panel discussions, lectures, demonstrations and performances that ruminate on the future/s of performance and technology. 


The Forum at Town Hall (west entrance)
1119 Eighth Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98101
Doors open at 12 noon

THIS IS HOW IT ENDS: Conversations and Musings on the Future of Emerging Technologies and Performance

1:00–1:10 pm: Welcome and Introduction
Meiyin Wang (Curator)

1:10–2:00 pm: Making Art with Scientists 
Janani Balasubramanian (Writer and Artist)

Artist Janani Balasubramanian will speak on building an artistic practice in rigorous, deep collaboration with astrophysicists, or with scientists more generally. The talk will explore a) best practices for developing art/science works, particularly with respect to sharing research and compositional practices across fields and b) making work that is accessible to diverse audiences, including those who have been historically marginalized from STEM fields and from many artistic spaces. The talk will conclude with a demo of recent prototypes of Balasubramanian's collaborative works.

 2:00–2:45 pm: The Encephalophone: from Experimental Musical Instrument to Clinical Trials
Thomas Deuel (Neuroscientist, Musician and Neurologist)

Since early in the history of the use of electroencephalogram (EEG) for measurement of electrical patterns of the human brain, efforts have been made to transform EEG electrical activity into sound. These efforts not only created diagnostic alternatives to purely visual feedback, but also opened up new possibilities for artistic expression, and created possibilities for therapeutic biofeedback. Thomas Deuel discusses his work with music generated through conscious control of the electroencephalogram.

3:00–3:15 pm: BREAK

3:15–3:50 pm: Hidden Mechanics: Art Contending with Technology
Annie Dorsen (Writer and Director)
James Coupe (Artist)
Moderated by Andrew Kircher (Director, Devised Theater Initiative, The Public Theater)

Advanced digital technologies have created a profound transformation of the ways we know ourselves as public and private beings in the world--understanding about connection, human affect, emotion and labor have all been upended.  In this conversation moderated by scholar and producer Andrew Kircher, the artists Annie Dorsen and James Coupe talk about their different practices which live at the intersection of art and technology, and deals with material as wide ranging as surveillance, voyeurism, privacy, machine learning, and internet chat rooms.

4:00–4:50 pm: The Future of Story: Who Determines the Next Narratives?
Susie Lee (Artist, Entrepreneur, Creative Director)
Dafina Toussainté McMillan (Co-founder, Crux)
Moderated by Meiyin Wang (Producer, Curator)

Social media, XR, immersive technology, live streaming: Developments in mass media have changed the nature of narratives and storytelling.  As storytelling evolves and transforms (as does the economy around them), questions emerge. Who gets to tell the stories? How do we embrace diverse perspectives? How do we determine how it is valued? How do we do it ethically? How can we put the new and old tools of storytelling to "good" use?

4:50–5:00 pm: Science Jokes and Joke Science
Ahamefule J. Oluo (Comedian, Musician)

A scientist and a comedian disagree about the science of a joke.

Curated by Meiyin Wang (Creative Research Fellow at the University of Washington) and Co-Presented by Meany Center for the Performing Arts, the School of Drama at University of Washington, and Town Hall Seattle

This project is presented with support from the UW Creative Fellowship Initiative, an interdisciplinary pilot project at the University of Washington exploring the nature of creative research.  

Related Events at The UW: 

May 18: Jack Quartet — Human Subjects

May 17:  Heisenberg