Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts


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Primer 2020, Tuesday June 23, 1:00pm EDT 🔌 Talk, 45 minute session


Copyright (c) 2020 Ash Eliza Smith


Speculative Rural Flyover will share connections, provocations, successes, and failures from working in a rural context between Appalachia and Nebraska. It aims to connect with similar off-center speculations outside of urban centers. "Flyover land" is often used as a pejorative term, signifying a "boring place where more flights pass over than land." However, this notion of the rural can be challenged both as an imaginary and as a necessary link to urban supply chains. This talk will discuss Southern Devices, a project in Appalachia that examines data centers (Apple, Google, Facebook) and mineral mining where the physical internet has transformed the landscape from furniture and agricultural industries. Similarly, emergent ecologies and novel technologies have sprung from creative innovations within food, water, and energy systems in Nebraska. From circular industrial economies to using an invasive species as a building material—these examples could offer strategies for reconfiguring the urban-rural matrix and human and non-human collaborations.

Ash Eliza Smith, Artist-Researcher, Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Arts, Center for Emerging Media Arts. Ash is an artist-researcher who uses storytelling, simulation, and world-building to shape new realities. Utilizing multiple platforms from immersive role-play performances to location-based experiences, Ash works across art+science, between fact+fiction, and with human+non-human agents to re-imagine systems, perception, and embodiment. Ash has worked as an actor, performer, musician, producer, director, and writer for various media platforms and is currently an Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Arts in the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where she has launched an interdisciplinary lab focused on story, worlds, and speculative design.