Welcoming Dr. Jamie Allen CRC Chair in Infrastructure, Media and Communications

NSCAD University is pleased to introduce and welcome artist and scholar Dr. Jamie Allen as the first ever Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure, Media & Communications. Allen’s appointment is grounded in Media Arts, developing public, collaborative study and research capacities.

Drawing on NSCAD’s legacy as a historic center for conceptual, political and extra-disciplinary artistic tactics and knowledge practices, Jamie Allen’s work develops the Institute of Departments and Organisations. The institute is a centre for infrastructure studies that traces the ecological, institutional, territorial, and intersectional effects of the material systems of media and communications.

The Institute of Departments and Organisations is a practice-based research centre at NSCAD. The institute’s research will explore how infrastructural media and communications systems (eg.: energy grids, cable and fiber complexes, and satellite networks) and natural ecologies affect and are affected by media, art and design practice. This research centre will explore art, design and technology as they relate to urgent environmental challenges that are transforming the earth. By recomposing relationships between industry and the infrastructures that interact with the Earth’s ecologies, the IDO will ask questions about the sovereignty and autonomy of creativity, technoscience and modern culture. The work will result in collaborative networks, projects and works for exhibition, performance, and media. The work proposed would highlight conceptual orientations, published writings and other more classical research outputs, but also take up action-research and artistic-research forms, in collaboration with others.

JAMIE ALLEN is a Canadian-born artist and scholar, who investigates what technologies teach us about who we are as individuals, cultures and societies. He has been an electronics engineer, a polymer chemist and an exhibition designer with the American Museum of Natural History. Allen works, learns and teaches all over the world, with NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, the Pratt Institute of Art and Design, Hanyang University in Seoul, and the Royal College of Art in London, amongst others. He likes to make things with his head and hands – experiments into the material systems of media, electricity, and information as artworks, designs, events, and writing. He attempts to recompose  institutions he works with in ways that assert the importance of generosity, friendship, passion and love in knowledge practices like art and research.

Allen is Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure, Media & Communications at NSCAD. At NSCAD he is developing a new institute, The Institute of Departments and Organisations, that seeks to reroute artistic research, revive imaginative conceptualism and foment extra-disciplinary, collaborative energies. His PhD was awarded in 2015 (summa cum laude) by the European Graduate School. Jamie is Senior Researcher at the Critical Media Lab in Basel, Switzerland and co-founder of the media, art and philosophy journal continentcontinent.cc.

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