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Small Gestures: It’s the Little Things

event description

Thinking "small" is not necessarily the opposite of thinking "big." Indeed, it may even be the "Next Big Thing." But it does require us to reflect on the limitations as well as the possibilities of more modest gestures. This panel focuses on the social uses and meanings of simple, small-scale tools and technologies. Participants include Columbia College industrial design professor Kevin Henry, University of Chicago doctoral student Kris Cohen, Columbia College professor and bicycle enthusiast Zack Furness, and Chicago web developer Adrian Holovaty. For tickets, call 312-494-9509 or go to chicagohumanitiesfestival.org. Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Students and teachers with valid ID are eligible for free tickets.

About the Artists

Kris Cohen studies intimacy and belonging in mediated environments such as the web, publics, and works of art. He has written on web-based photography, conceptual art and copyright law, blogs, and the challenges to theory and criticism posed by writing in medias res. His dissertation sets out to conceptualize the changing politics and aesthetics of encounter by considering scenes of laughter, protest, and searching in ordinary life and others' works.

Zack Furness is a Professor of Humanities and Cultural Studies at Columbia College Chicago and the author of a forthcoming book entitled One Less Car: Bike Culture and the Politics of Cycling (Temple University Press). His recent work focuses on the use of bicycles as a political and cultural critique of automobility and "car culture" in the United States. Furness is an active member of the Bad Subjects production team and a contributor to Mobilities, Social Epistemology, and Punk Planet.

Kevin Henry is an industrial designer and design activist, educator, curator, and writer. He is the founding faculty member of the product design concentration at Columbia College in Chicago where he coordinated that program for its first 10 years. He has lectured widely on topics ranging from sustainability and technology integration to the changing world of digital snapshot photography and revamping foundation programs for the twenty-first century.

Adrian Holovaty is the founder of EveryBlock, a local news website. The developer of award-winning web applications for The Washington Post, Lawrence.com, and the Lawrence Journal-World & News, Holvaty is probably the best-known industry advocate for the burgeoning discipline of journalism via computer programming. Holovaty cocreated Django, an open-source development framework that makes it fast and easy for programmers to build database-driven websites. It is now used by tens of thousands of people around the world. He has cowritten a book about it, The Definitive Guide to Django: Web Development Done Right (2007), with Jacob Kaplan-Moss.