View this email in your browser



SciFly NYC // 117 // Friendly Speculations

Weekly Events 3/9 - 3/15

Image credit is from a super cool project I found, "Dark Fluid", a compilation of Hong Kong-based science fiction organized by visual artist Angela Su. The specific piece is by one of the authors, Charles Lai.

Hey SciFly Readers!

This week, I want to take some time to shout out two awesome events this week, both hosted by my good friends and fellow colleagues at Parsons School of Design, Ed Keller & Alonso Castro.

I highly recommend you check out both of the events if you will be heading out in NYC this week!!!

In other news, it has been a long week, and like everyone else, I've been a bit stressed out by all of the cancellations, changes, messages, and missives I've been receiving from almost every group and organization in my life about the corona-virus. 

For now, going to work from home as much as possible, wash my hands (and moisturize them b/c now they are SUPER dry) constantly, and maybe break out the mask I bought 2 months ago (when I first heard about this and figured they'd be in short supply) if I don't feel too weird about it in public. 

Stay healthy, stay safe, and talk to you soon!


Alexander Wilson in Conversation with Edward Keller

In Aesthesis and Perceptronium, Alexander Wilson presents a theory of materialist and posthumanist aesthetics based on the interconnections of experience, cognition, organism, and matter. Negotiating between indiscriminately pluralist views that attribute mental activity to all things, and eliminative views that challenge mentation even in humans, Wilson recasts aesthetic questions within the framework of what he calls “epistemaesthetics” – which regards cognition and aesthetics as belonging to a single category that can neither be fully disentangled nor fully reduced to either of its terms.

Drawing from physics, mathematics, and philosophy, with a particular concern for the evolutionary origins of cognition and its extension in human technology, Wilson reassesses several assumptions central to the new materialisms and realisms. In particular, the book sheds new light on the urgent contemporary questions of human exceptionalism in the age of the Anthropocene, what materialism implies for the relation between reason, knowledge, and sensation, as well as what evolutionary cognition entails for the purviews of science, technology, and art.


About Alexander Wilson
Alexander is a Canadian researcher in philosophy of science, technology, and aesthetics conversing with cultural studies, environmental humanities, and media theory. He is the author of Aesthesis and Perceptronium: On the Entanglement of Sensation, Cognition, and Matter (University of Minnesota Press, 2019). He has held a postdoctoral research position in communication and culture at Aarhus University, Denmark, as well as an assistant professorship in Intermedia at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and is currently affiliated to the Institute of Research and Innovation, Paris, France. Also an accomplished artist, he has created installations, films, music, and works for the stage. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

About Ed Keller
Ed is a designer, professor, writer, musician, and multimedia artist.  With Carla Leitao, co-founder of Spec.AE, a speculative design practice, and AUM Studio, an architecture and new media firm with residential projects, competitions, and installations in Europe [Lisboa; Venice Biennale] and the US [Storefront, SCIArc].  Keller has convened 20+ international conferences and lecture series since 2005.  He has spoken on artificial intelligence, architecture, film, technology, and ecology internationally; current research explores the relationship between philosophy, cosmopolitics, sound design and music in lectures and solo performances.  From 2012-2020, he was Director of the Center for Transformative Media [CTM] at The New School; recent seminars at Parsons included Hive Minds, Post-Planetary Design, Designing AI, Soundscape, and The Radical Future of Guitar.  From 1998-2010, he taught at Columbia GSAPP, SCIArc, UPenn, Pratt, FIU, and RPI.  Ed has been an avid rock climber for over 40 years.  

More Cool Things from Ed!!!

The Cosmopolitical Gesture in Alienocene
Ed also recently launched a really cool new project The Cosmopolitical Gesture in an online journal/platform/project, ‘Alienocene’. I had a chance to check it out briefly and it is amazing! Need way more time to check out some of the other stuff on Alienocene as well, just wow!

The Cosmopolitical Gesture- a soundscape + film remix work in progress- which has recently appeared in the online journal/platform/project ‘Alienocene’. 

To check it out, jump over to Alienocene, put some headphones on, and have a listen/look! 

Here are some notes from ed on the aesthetic, theoretical and pragmatic ambitions of the project. 

The Cosmopolitical Gesture is an attempt to respond to some of the impossible questions of compassion, radical empathy, energy gradients, and ruthlessness which Cixin Liu maps out through his Three Body Problem trilogy. My argument for an ‘empathic cosmopolitics’ [as I’ve termed it in lectures  like this one, delivered for a conference in 2017 on Peter Watts’ work- ] 
takes place within a broader theoretical platform outlining various forms of Cosmopolitics- which I provisionally term Dark, Neutral, Orthogonal, or Empathic.

From the standpoint of an aesthetic approach and praxis, The Cosmopolitical Gesture situates sonics against sampled filmic sequences which have ‘templexities’ that link and inflect each other. I edited the film remix. 

The soundscape is a live, improvised accompaniment I performed via solo electric guitar. 

On the guitar, a series of technical maneuvers using looping as an approach to the soundscape, and influenced by some of the masters- Robert Fripp, Elliott Sharp, David Torn - is paralleled by an approach to the instrument which treats it equally as a textural and timbral device. Fred Frith and David Toop are important influences for me, and more recently the incredible work of Sandy Ewen. The timbral and structural loop qualities are intentionally templex as well, of course. 

Check out the project here!



Engineering X Design with Alonso Castro

Engineering X Design is a series of fireside chats with professionals who work at the intersection of design, engineering, and technology. Through this informal series, we hope to encourage cross-disciplinary conversations about problem-solving and innovation between our guests, NYU Students, and outside visitors.

Join us for our first chat with Alonso Castro, Senior Experience Designer at Verizon. We will kick off the evening by learning more about Alonso and his journey from Graphic Design student to Design Technologists at one of the most talked-about tech companies in the world. He will share some of his own work and projects and then the audience will have the chance to ask questions as well. At the end of the event, we will give everyone time to network and connect with one another. Light refreshments will be served.

More about Alonso Castro

Alonso is a designer, artist, teacher, technologist and futurist with a great passion for experience and interaction design as well as speculative design and art using a wide variety of technologies like A.I and Connected Systems (IoT). He finds importance in design research and processes, and problem-solving methods applied to a variety of use cases.

Alonso has been working at Verizon since 2017. First, as a Senior Product Designer at Verizon’s Innovation Lab, now called the 5G Labs. He has helped build the Design Technology role and currently works in the CX Design team as a Senior Design Technologist.

As an artist, he researches and works on projects related to immigration, gastronomy, agriculture, women's rights and other topics related to social justice. Most recently, he has worked on concepts that question how society confronts critical problems like climate change and immigration; and how they all intersect with education, agriculture and the future of food.

He holds a degree in Graphic Design and Digital Art and an MFA in Design and Technology. Alonso is currently a part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design in the Design & Technology program.


Thanks again for listening and keep reading for great speculative events!

"The future is here, now let's distribute it." 

Doc Martens

SciFly is a design studio dedicated to leveraging speculative design and science fiction to imagine and prototype alternative futures enabled by today's emerging technology.


Monday | 3/9

Tuesday | 3/10

Wednesday | 3/11

Thursday | 3/12

Friday | 3/13

Saturday | 3/14

Sunday | 3/15

OnGoing [classes, exhibits, shows etc.]


What I'm Reading

Here is a quick snapshot of my favorite books, podcasts, and articles this week.

Why we need to look beyond face-to-face meetings and conferences, NOW
by Gerd Leonhard

Machine sucks up tiny tissue spheroids and prints them precisely
by A'ndrea Elyse Messer

2030 | The Ocean Floor is Mapped (Timeline)
By Jon Christian

Thanks for Subscribing

Thank you for reading! We hope you have enjoyed this weekly dose of NYC's best speculative design, fiction, art, and technology events.

If you aren't yet a regular, please subscribe here!

You can also learn more about my work at


Want More Speculation?

Join the NYC Speculative Futures meetup, a group for those interested in Critical Design, Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Discursive Design, Futurism, Science Fiction or any other incarnation of the approach which involves using Design to speculate about alternate futures. We'll be hosting speakers, workshops, and more!
Join Us!

San Francisco bound?

Check out our sibling newsletter for a dose of design, politics, and radical self-love.

Copyright © 2019 | SciFly, All Rights Reserved

Contact Us

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Sci-Fly · 1198 Pacific Street · Apt 1B · Brooklyn, NY 11216 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp