Conversations on Art and Science Event Series

Under the leadership of SAIC's former President and current Chancellor, Walter Massey, the Conversations on Art and Science event series was launched in 2011 as a forum for exploring interdisciplinary and critical perspectives on art, science, design, and technology. Lectures or panel discussions hosted each fall and spring semester bring noted artists, designers, and scholars to the SAIC campus to discuss their work. These dialogues provide a time and place for considering myriad perspectives on art, science, design, and technology. They also sustain the diverse conversations on art and science that are ongoing in the work of faculty and students at SAIC.

All events are free, non-ticketed, and open to the public.


Wednesday, March 1, 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd Floor

This symposium will address recent discourses and practices that define our complex relationship with nature and culture in this political moment. The notions of fact and evidence have acquired an unprecedented level of fluidity - have we now entered the age of ‘post-truth politics’? How is the complicated relationship between art and science impacted by these cultural turns? How might contested notions of truth shape essential research questions and methodologies? The representations, policies, and lived experiences of climate change are a point of culmination for all of these concerns, and the focus of this event.

This symposium is co-sponsored by SAIC's Departments of Liberal Arts and Photography.

Schedule of Events

9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
WORKSHOP: Banner Making for People’s Climate March
Aram Han Sifuentes will guide participants in creating protest banners for the People's Climate March that will take place on April 29, 2017.

Workshop facilitator
Aram Han Sifuentes of the Protest Banner Lending Library


1:00-1:15 p.m.
Symposium Introduction: Tiffany Holmes

1:15-2:15 p.m.
Panel 1
Truths: Searching and Researching
Each panelist will deliver a short presentation (titles below), followed by a moderated panel discussion.

Jim Sweitzer: Six Scientific Facts about Global Warming and a Question
Mick Tosca: The Effects of Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa
Claire Pentecost: Truth or Consequences
Bryant Williams, Chicago’s Southeast Environmental Task Force

2:15-2:45 p.m.
Mini-Keynote: Dr. Jason McLachan, Associate Professor of Biology, Notre Dame University
Paleo-Ecology and Climate Change (the news from a bottom of a lake)


3:00-4:00 p.m.
Panel 2
Interdisciplinary Frameworks: Representation, Data, and Knowledge(s)
Each panelist will deliver a short presentation (titles below), followed by a moderated panel discussion.

Andy Yang: The Potency of Partial Knowledge: An Anthropocene Exercise
Giovanni Aloi: The New Sublime: Interconnectedness, Meta-sublime, and Representation
Kathryn Schafer: Seeing and Knowing
Jeremy Bolen: Unresolved Energies

4:00-4:30 p.m.
Mini-Keynote: Dr. Julia Adeney Thomas, Associate Professor of History, Notre Dame University
Finding Ecologies of Hope: The Historians' Task in the Age of the Anthropocene


4:45-5:45 p.m.
Panel 3
Art and Activism Now: Resistance/Challenges/Productivities
Each panelist will deliver a short presentation, followed by a moderated panel discussion.

Marlena Novak: Envision. Empower. Enact.
Sara Black: 7000 Marks
Tiffany Holmes: Maternal Art Activism: Creative Clean Up
Lindsay French: Practicing Risk: Precarity, Community, and Resistance

5:45-6:30 p.m.
Closing: Parade of banners bound for People’s Climate March
Olga Bautisa from Chicago's Southeastern Environmental Task Force, will lead students in a discussion about creative activism. Faculty Moderator: Oliver Sann Student Panelists: Maleny Lopez, Miguel Sanchez-Bastida, Shoa Alattas, Falak Vasa, Meredith Eugenie Leich, Joshi Radin


Past events