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I recently published a short essay on the topic of recent monument wars that places my experience as part of the team that developed BZ ’18-’45 in the northern Italian city of Bolzano in dialogue with the conversations taking place in North and South America over monuments and historical memory. The essay begins: Where do monuments go to die? The question may appear incongruous given the urges that have motivated the making of monuments since
 
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- July 6, 2021

MuseoFuturo (“Future Museum”) is an experiment in museum-based education that reaches out not to museum professionals but rather to young practitioners in a range of creative and technical fields, inviting them to participate in the development of nine alternate visions of the future museum, while bringing the Madre’s own permanent collection –which, as is the case in most art museums, is mostly in storage– into public conversation. [Read more]

- January 20, 2021

I recently had the honor of delivering one of the keynote addresses at the 2020 festivalfilosofia in Modena, Italy, one of Europe’s leading idea festivals. This year’s theme was the machine and the machine at the center of my talk was the robot understood in humanoid terms. Under the title of Let Robots Be Robots! I called instead for a non-anthropocentric ontology for robotic agents. The opening section of the talk ran as follows: In the
 
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- September 24, 2020

Over the course of the past month, I have been involved in a series of conversations–webinars, online conferences, television programs–regarding the effects of the ongoing pandemic on the contours of the post-pandemic world. These were prompted by commissioned opinion piece on the spatial logic of quarantine that I published on the website of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, entitled ““When the world is again unparked, will it know how to unplug?” Subsequent to that initial
 
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- June 28, 2020

It is often the most modest media that prove successful, adaptable, and resilient over the long term. Such is the case of the podcast, a mode of communication born in the early 2000s, derived from radio, whose monthly US audience has now grown to around 90 million and whose global audience reaches well into the hundreds of millions. Even more striking are the numbers behind the numbers: a content production pipeline, for instance, that counts
 
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- March 2, 2020

What comes after mobility? Or, rather, what comes after mobility when the word is understood, much as it has been during most of the course of the 20th century, as automobility? According to a manifesto that I wrote in the late summer of 2016, the answer is MOVABILITY. Movability is a word I encountered in the course of research in the Piaggio archives in Pontedera. Apparently coined by an advertising agency in the 1960s, it
 
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- September 3, 2019

Long before curatorial practice became integral to my work, I devoured exhibition catalogs. As a scholar/curator, however, I have tended to chafe at some of the limitations of the standard notions of the catalog. Here’s a post on an experimental alternative to those conventional notions: the catalog for the Universo futurista / Futurist Universe exhibition (April 21, 2018 – May 19, 2019) at the Fondazione Sonia e Massimo Cirulli in Bologna–a catalog in the form
 
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- January 5, 2019

Alongside our rethinking of Asimov’s Laws, the PFF team has also been actively engaged in rethinking SAE International’s “Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to On-Road Motor Vehicle Automated Driving Systems”: its six-level classification system to describe the levels of driver intervention and attention required to drive a vehicle. These extend from level 0 in which an automated system communicates with the driver without, however, assuming control of the vehicle, to level 5 in which
 
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- January 12, 2018

It’s easy to poke fun at some of the tics and tropes that have come to define TED over the course of its 32 years of “spreading ideas that matter.” But the fact remains that TED has had an enormous impact and the TED stage is one of the world’s leading communications and innovation platforms, now fully global, interconnected with a multiplicity of television, radio, and web-based channels, and followed by audiences that number in the
 
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- April 24, 2017

Here’s a gem from the archives that is more than worthy of your attention: the televisual translation of the Fiore/McLuhan/Agel experimental paperback The Medium is the Massage, courtesy of McGraw-Hill “text films,” several Pennsylvania libraries, and Internet Archive. It’s a prescient piece of cybernetic pop, starring McLuhan qua new media oracle, circa 1970. Aside from the psychedelic lighting and special effects, it’s the excitement with which the words electric and electronic are pronounced that holds
 
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- April 13, 2017

Printing was never monolithic as a technology. Over the course of its history, it has been employed in the service of producing everything from nimble playing cards designed to last for months to hulking tomes destined for millennia of consultation. And within the ever shifting universe of print, books have routinely been perceived as too available or unavailable, too large or small, too cheap or luxurious. This pendulum of concerns, inflected by transformations in the media
 
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- January 7, 2017

This past spring marked the release of the Inventory Press expanded reprint edition of Maurice Stein and Larry Miller’s Blueprint for Counter Education, one of the defining works of radical pedagogy of the Vietnam War era. First published in 1970, integrated into the Critical Studies curriculum at CalArts (where the authors served as deans and faculty), the original work was accompanied by posters intended to serve as a portable learning environment for a do-it-yourself, process-based model of
 
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- September 1, 2016

On April 9, 2016, BZ ’18-’45 was awarded a “special commendation” in the Council of Europe and European Museum Forum’s European Museum of the Year competition. The award specifies that it was granted for an “exhibition that reintegrates a controversial monument, which has long served as the focal point of battles over politics, culture, and regional identity. The project is a highly courageous and professional initiative to promote humanism, tolerance, and democracy.” For fully three years I
 
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- April 18, 2016

In the wake of this summer’s Beautiful Data workshop, held at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and the Harvard Art Museums, the metaLAB core team gathered together for a weekend retreat in Woodstock, Vermont. The occasion was intended as an opportunity to reflect on our first four years of work together and to craft a revised mission statement that better reflects our sense of: a) how we fit into the larger universe of experimental practice
 
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- December 31, 2015

As many friends are aware, since June 2015 I have been leading a new venture that seeks to pioneer smart approaches to the mobility of people and things: Piaggio Fast Forward. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near MIT and Harvard, the startup is a development partner of the Piaggio Group, the largest European manufacturer of two-wheel motor vehicles and one of the world leaders in its sector. The Piaggio Group product range includes e-bikes, scooters, and
 
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- October 9, 2015

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© 2015 Jeffrey Schnapp