Event Information:

  • Tue

    John Marshall: Who would you rather trust, Skynet or Chicken Little?

    12:00pm-1:00pmEhrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad, 105 S. State St.

    News consumers can engage in such self-imposed ideological segregation that it invites partisan differences in perceptions of reality. With the proliferation of digital platforms and mobile communication, people are given increasing opportunity to limit their information exposure to attitudes and opinions that reinforce, rather than challenge, their preexisting beliefs. Whithervanes is a public platform that will connect ambient digital information submitted from all over the planet in real time to physical manifestations of that data. This challenging endeavor is designed to create a global network that draws attention to the role that data is playing in reshaping the world around us. In phase 1 of the project five 21st Century weathervanes (in the form of headless chickens) were controlled by the climate of fear on the Internet. They were presented on five buildings during the 2014 Folkestone Triennial from 30 August – 2 November 2014. Phase 2 will see this project develop from a project to an open software and hardware platform. Whithervanes seeks to impact the sociotechnical imaginary between what the news media tells us, and our capacity to imagine and produce collective visions of desirable futures.

    John Marshall’s creative and scholarly work is design research that results in both interactive installations and publications. Marshall’s studio practice involves a recursive process where multiple stakeholders work together to realize shared goals. Since 1998, Marshall has co-directed rootoftwo, LLC - a hybrid design studio. Marshall is also a partner in r+d LAB, LLC. Recent projects have been featured in Wired, FastCompany, Dezeen, Dwell, Studio International and The Guardian. In 2015 r+d LAB, LLC was selected by Midtown Detroit, Inc. and the New Economy Initiative to transform the undersides of two viaducts located in Midtown Detroit’s TechTown district with an interactive light installation. Marshall is an Associate Professor at the Stamps School of Art & Design; an Associate Professor at the Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning; and Director of the Stamps MDes Integrative Design program at the University of Michigan.