About the Symposium
The Platforms to the World symposium convenes an interdisciplinary cohort of scholars and creative practitioners at UT Dallas to address the socio-political function of boundaries, the porousness of physical barriers, and the precariousness of “border logics.” Through a series of scholarly-informed, community-facing activities, the symposium will address questions pertaining to border crossings, migrations, and other transnational transactions. Participants will pursue critical conversations and creative collaborations that address the roles of media technologies in these and related topics. Leading the symposium’s activities are three invited facilitators whose research and creative practice address these topics from a variety of perspectives.
Opening Plenary Session
Throughout the 21st century, emerging media platforms like social media or virtual reality have promised ever faster and more intimate connections with people around the world. At the same time, media technologies themselves, like drones and surveillance cameras, contribute to the reinforcement of social divisions and political borders. How do we reconcile these contradictory uses of media? The Platforms to the World plenary will address this question through an interactive discussion and multimedia presentation.
Panelists for this session include Feng-Mei Heberer (NYU), Carlos Jimenez (U of Denver) and Shannon Mattern (The New School) and ATEC professor Juan Llamas-Rodriguez as moderator. This session ultimately invites attendees to think about the relationship between our uses of media and the making and unmaking of borders in everyday life.
In collaboration with the ATEC Public Interactives Research Lab (PIRL), symposium participants will explore how media technologies serve to both enact and intervene in scholarly boundary-making. How does connecting and collaborating with scholars elsewhere help cultivate a critical awareness of place-ness and of the boundaries of our own work?
The symposium also considers the borders that emerge in a swiftly evolving urban landscape. Participants will visit the Trinity River, which defines the western border of Dallas, to consider how urban infrastructures perpetuate social divisions and to create media interventions based out of the Dallas Continental Bridge. What motivates and sustains “border logics,” especially as they operate in the U.S. context and in the Dallas area? How can socially engaged media intervene in these logics?