The Next Conversation: “Change”

Event Date: Wednesday, September 27, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Admission is free. Tell your friends.

Location: Vermillion, an art gallery, bar, and neighborhood gathering place at 1508 11th Ave, Seattle

To link to this announcement, do so at https://boylanconversation.wordpress.com/

 

The Summary

This time, we’re looking at change, at the enormous changes happening around us. Read on below for details. (Note that this one happens on Wednesday rather than the traditional Tuesday, and that’s Wednesday the 27th.)

The Guests

Hisam Goueli, gerontologist and geriatric psychiatrist; activist, performing artist, recent candidate for Seattle City Council; Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington

Edwin G. Lindo, activist, attorney, instructor at University of Washington School of Law; member of the People’s Party

Julie Cruse, designer and technologist; Manager, Instructional Design and Outreach at the University of Washington

Sandy Cioffi, film and video artist; activist; media educator and innovator

 

The Story

Change. It’s one of the essential themes that marks these early years in the 21st century, in Seattle, across the United States, and especially across the globe. It’s becoming especially apparent that we, the people, are experiencing tremendous change, a massive cultural shift.

It’s easy to suggest that any change we are seeing is just more of the same: Heraclitus of Ephesus is one of the most oft-paraphrased philosophers of ancient Greece, with “The only thing that is constant is change.” But something different is going on, something that goes beyond the everyday. Increasingly, we’re hearing the idea that today’s changes are unprecedented, like nothing that has been seen in decades, even centuries, or maybe forever.

A couple of disparate examples: theater critic Chris Jones’s Like it or not, we are in the midst of a second arts revolution, from the Chicago Tribune in June 2017. Jones sees what’s happening now as “the second radical revolution of expressive life,” after Gutenberg. Or from a different angle, read Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? from the last month’s Atlantic Monthly. The author, professor of psychology Jean Twenge, looks at the effects that smart phones are having on the current generation of youth. She describes the extent of the changes: “In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.”

These essays are both from the popular press and are thus might be suspect, but both are rigorous and thoughtful. And whether we agree with the arguments in either piece, what’s remarkable is this growing sense of unprecedented change. It’s like the scene in the science fiction/horror film where the scientist keeps checking her unbelievable results, and they keep coming up dramatic and possibly horrifying.

Of course, those who’ve been following the data on the anthropocene, the idea that we are going through a Great Acceleration, may have a good sense of what I’m talking about.

But one of the strange aspects of this cultural change is the extent to which it can seem invisible. It’s so huge, so complex, and we are so immersed in it, that it can be hard to see, much less make sense of it. It’s a little like climate change: We get up every morning and it seems a lot like yesterday, and tomorrow will feel a lot like today. Unless we follow the data, or are directly affected by a superstorm, it can seem theoretical, or at best happening to someone else.

Cultural and social changes can feel the same way, out there somewhere, in Washington, DC, say. But Seattle is a focal point for technological change, and we’ve also become a laboratory for social change, whether it’s gay marriage, marijuana legalization, or the remarkable role of the People’s Party in the recent mayoral primary.

In 2016, a group of us produced 9e2, a festival of art, science, and technology. In February 2018 we’re coming back with another 9e2, and this time we’re taking the intersections of art, science, and technology as a way of getting a handle on some of that change and possibly shape it.

This fall, I’m devoting this conversation series to exploring some of the key concepts that 9e2 will raise. We begin by looking at “Change.” I’ve invited four fascinating change agents to look at changes that are happening now, and what may be coming.

Come and have a conversation.

The Guests in Detail

Edwin G. Lindo—We don’t have a brief bio for Edwin, but this page gives an excellent sense of his background.

Julie Cruse has created engaging experiences, programs, and strategies across diverse media and industries for over a decade. She designed programs at two colleges, curricula for five colleges, engagement strategies for over twenty entities, and numerous interactive platforms “in out (and) thru” learning, sciences, health, games, and arts. Distinctions exceed thirty grants and honors for scholarly, artistic, and entrepreneurial excellence, including recognition as Outstanding Alumni in Innovation (Ohio State University, Summer 2009).

Cruse holds Master’s degrees in Media Arts and Sciences from Arizona State University and in Dance and Technology from The Ohio State University. In both programs she designed and researched mixed reality systems for holistic learning through play, collaboration, interaction, and movement to engage and sustain communities. Recent presentations include Games + Learning + Society, and Emerge: Artists + Scientists Redesign the Future.

As inaugural Instructional Technologist of Oberlin College Media Center (OCMC) Cruse designed and realized OCMC to support media in learning and research. She is currently Manager, Instructional Design and Outreach at the University of Washington.

Sandy Cioffi is the founder and executive director of fearless360º, a new media and virtual reality production company in Seattle. Sandy recently founded and directed SIFFX 2016, a showcase of the most current and creative thinking in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 360° immersion. As a 2016 Stranger Genius Award nominee, Sandy has been recognized as a cultural innovator.

Sandy has produced and/or directed several films as a film and video artist, including the critically acclaimed Sweet Crude, Crocodile Tears, Terminal 187, and Just Us. She has worked with human rights organizations in using video as a documentation and verification tool – specifically providing video evidence during the 1998 Marching Season in Northern Ireland. She documented the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride in 2003. Sandy was also a frequent guest on the NPR show Rewind which ended production when host Bill Radke left Seattle for Los Angeles. Sandy has also created media design for live performance at the Annex Theater, Hugo House, The Seattle Repertory Theater and On the Boards.

Sandy has worked with young people extensively as an artist in residence and through the mentor/apprentice film program at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. As a long-time educator, she has also taught film at Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, and Cornish College of the Arts.

Born to Egyptian Muslim Immigrants in 1978 in Minneapolis, Hisam Goueli was raised with the notion that people are far more important than material objects and that giving back to one’s community is an essential part of living. With such strong moral values in place, Hisam completed a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Zoology and a Medical Doctorate at the University of Wisconsin. Committed to serving vulnerable, under served and uninsured patient populations, Hisam trained in both Family Medicine and Psychiatry with additional certification in international health. After traveling the world and working with multiple non-governmental organizations to improve maternal and child health, Hisam moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He served as the Medical Director for Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry at Emory University. In 2012, Hisam and his Peruvian partner, Roberto, moved to Seattle, married and adopted Evita, a Golden Retriever.  Presently, Hisam is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington and works at Northwest Hospital in Gerontology and Geriatric Psychiatry.

Hisam has received numerous local and regional awards for his clinical care, teaching and community advocacy. He won national attention from Alpha Omega Alpha (the national honor medical society) for his work to address the enrollment disparities of women in health-related professions. He went on to help decrease the “under 5 mortality” crisis in Guatemala by creating a project to develop women as leaders in healthcare. Hisam has also worked with dentists to establish a low-cost dental clinic in Madison and a mobile health care bus in Egypt. He has worked with Planned Parenthood, providing care to patients in need. Hisam has counseled and provided psychiatric management for transgender patients who suffered from body dysmorphia, depressive and anxiety disorders. He has helped LGBTQ patients newly diagnosed with HIV.  Hisam’s passion for improving the lives of the less fortunate and community enhancement echoes throughout his work and life.

Outside of his field of study, Goueli is a local performing artist and storyteller. He performs improvisational theater, scripted theater, circus and burlesque throughout Seattle. His work in the arts has helped him to develop community and build his chosen family. He currently serves as a Board Member for Theatre Off Jackson in the International District. Hisam proudly supports the arts, and believes that arts & culture help to retain the creative soul of a city.

Coming Up

Inquiry: Educating for Change,” Tuesday October 24, 7 to 9pm

Guests:

James Miles, actor; Executive Director, Arts Corps

Donte Felder, Head Teacher, Orca Middle School; screenwriter

Michelle Zimmerman, Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning Sciences, Renton Prep Christian School (tentative)

Lara Davis, Arts Education Manager, City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture; performer

New Skins: Apparel, Shelter, and Identity,” Tuesday November 28, 7 to 9pm

Guests:

Anna Rose Telcs, artist and designer

Heidi Parker, media and marketing consultant

Vikram Prakash, Professor of Architecture, University of Washington

Gabriel-Bello Diaz, fashion designer and engineer; Engineering and Design Instructor, Technology Access Foundation Academy

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