The Deep Time Photo Lab

Arizona State University 1913, part of the ASU Archives:

One hundred years ago, Phoenix had fewer residents than Apache Junction today.[i]   Transportation was still primarily by horseback,[ii] although the steam locomotive had made a big difference.   There wasn’t a single high-rise on the Valley horizon back then. Yet over the next century, the region will be transformed even more radically. Visit the Deep Time Photo Lab to see into the future – and change what will happen beyond your own lifespan. Laboratory director Jonathon Keats will show you how to make a camera with a hundred-year-long exposure, for you to hide in the city, invisibly monitoring changes to the urban landscape between now and 2115. You might think of your camera as a black box that monitors local building decisions, making everyone alive today accountable to Arizonans not yet born. Or you may think of it as a collaboration with future generations on choices and values that will provide for the greater good. Either way, this is your chance to take part in the century ahead. Attendees of Emerge 2115 are depending on your participation.

[i] 29,053 in 1920.,_Arizona
Rankings today:
[ii] The one millionth Model T globally didn’t come off the assembly line until 1915. Garreau, “The Nine Nations of North America,” and “Edge City: Life on the New Frontier.”
Posted in Visitations

The Future Fairy Tales, With Legos

Photograph by Rupert Ganzer used via CC License

Have you ever played with the twelve stages of Joseph Campbell’s myth of The Hero’s Journey – through Legos? At Emerge 2015, you will. The Future Fairy Tales, set one hundred years from now, depict how our choices and values today will transform tomorrow. You will enter the space where ASU’s Lego Serious Play Group – using oversized and regular Lego bricks – creates models and stories involving each phase of the Hero’s Journey. You will then build your vision of each part of the Future Fairy Tales with the Legos that have been spread on the floor, bringing back a memory of doing this as a wondered child where everything is possible. When you finish, Tamara XXX and Mark Hannah will facilitate conversations to draw out the implications of your models. These conversations will be recorded and played in subsequent order on a large screen, allowing unplanned fairy tales to emerge to engender a larger discussion on the future of our choices and values.

Posted in Visitations

You Have Been Inventoried

Photograph by Kevin Dooley, used under CC License

When it’s possible for everyone to know who you’re talking to, what you’re touching, where you are and who you are, how do you really feel about that? At Emerge 2015, you’ll find out. In You Have Been Inventoried, Eric Kingsbury – the Arizona futures-oriented marketing creative formerly with eBay – produces a networked physical experience in which you can be explicitly cataloged and tracked using RFID and display technology. You will see yourself and everyone around you – simultaneously, suddenly, and subtly – as known objects within a system to which information can be added that everyone can see. Through these real systems – originally created for commerce – we challenge your traditional notions of your human relationship to all your surroundings, raising important questions of freedom of choice, and the value of privacy.

Posted in Visitations


Image via Wikimeidia commons,_Nordisk_familjebok.png

What do you call an iconic, elaborately-costumed slow-mo human “statue” magically projecting utopias, in combination with dozens of flickering images of utopian concepts, raw light, and collages of utopian experiments and dreams. You call it Abraxa, created by the renowned ASU artist Rachel Bowditch in collaboration with Emerge 2015 and InFlux. Utopians can be seen as visionaries representing the noblest aspirations of humanity. The utopian impulse can be seen since the beginning of the written word – the desire to dream of a better world. Often these utopias emerge as a radically different response to current societies. Rachel’s focus is on the concept of the “ideal city” – an ideal, utopic world that features an historical silhouette with a futuristic twist—a blend of old and new choices and values. In performance and installation.

Posted in Visitations

Art Truck

Photo by Brown Family Album, used under CC License

Have you ever seen a whirring collection of gizmos the size of a truck create a painting that appears to be produced on the spot though the choices and values humans have made online? You will. Emerge 2015, in collaboration with Scottsdale Public Art and ASU techies, features this creation by the artist Toby Fraley. You walk up to this art installation and drop in a couple of quarters. A rough block of wood pops into the machine. You hear the whirring of motors and, as you peer through a window, sawdust flies and blades spin. Meanwhile – behold – this visitation from the future seems to be scouring the internet, seeking what is popular among our choices and values at that very moment. A screen rapidly displays a feed of words and images as the machine seems to think about what it should paint. Then, through the next window, you peer into a paint-splattered chamber where pencils move over freshly cut and sanded wood, before paintbrushes move in and do their work.  Finally a 4-inch by 6-inch painting drops down a chute, for you to take home and forever contemplate. Is this the future of art?

Posted in Visitations

Future Design Studio

Photo by jritts, used under CC License

Come design the future. What does a parking ticket look like in 2030? What will be your most valued reading object in 2050?  Instead of a leash, what will you use to walk your dog in 2065? At the Future Design Studio, we will help you think through what kind of invention you want n in the future. We will help you build a low fidelity prototype that will be added to our Digital Future Artifacts Archive. Your concoction may also play a role in the Future Design Studio Improv Hour, during which professional improv actors build scenes around these visitations from the future. What will become of your future artifact? Will it save or destroy the world? Come play in the Studio of Megan Halpern and company.

Posted in Visitations

Ars Robotica

Baxter the robot

Start with Baxter. That’s a human-friendly Rethink Robotics industrial robot that looks like a hulking fullback on a golf cart. Add dancers and audience members. You teach Baxter how to move – as “naturally” as we do.   What you then get at Emerge 2015 is a team of artists and roboticists creating performance art and a laboratory working session that imagines positive – though not simplistic – futures for human/robot relations. Ars Robotica is a multi-year project that brings together artists, scientists, designers, and engineers to advance research in robotics and to produce creative performances. It’s led by Lance Gharavi and students and faculty at ASU’s School of Film, Dance + Theatre. In partnership with Srikanth Saripalli and his crowd at the School of Earth + Space Exploration. For Emerge 2015 you – the audience – gets involved in conducting on-site research in performance. Our roboticists want to learn about the performance of materials, technologies, processes, and systems. Our theater collaborators are just as concerned with the performance of organic autonomous systems – you.

Posted in Visitations

The Emerge Team at Play (and Work)

On November 20, the core Emerge team took a break from our work on Emerge 2015 to begin planning for Emerge 2016. We wanted to try something a little bit different this time; something to match the playful spirit of Emerge. So we began a new tradition: an Annual Mini-Retreat for our merry pirate band to gather and participate in shaping the future of Emerge. This particular event involved improv games, arts and crafts, and discussions about jetpacks. This was serious fun and it helped us brainstorm a new model for Emerge 2016. We also uncovered two truths about Emerge that will serve as guideposts for our future work.

1. Emerge is a collaborative, participant-driven process. Because the future is not shaped by a technology or a field, but by many actors across many networks, visions of the future should be collaborative efforts that draw on multiple perspectives, disciplines, and practices. We envision Emerge as a way to share ideas from collaborative endeavors that cross big boundaries. Artists working with scientists; engineers working with digital humanists; historians working with mathematicians. Varied backgrounds make for richer visions, so we want to foster collaborations between and among new partners from across ASU, Phoenix, and our global network of unusual minds.

Core members of the Emerge team form a “human machine” as part of an improv game to express their roles in Emerge.

Core members of the Emerge team form a “human machine” as part of an improv game to express their roles in Emerge.

To ensure these are strong collaborations, we will recommit ourselves to developing Emerge as a process, and to revealing and reveling in the messiness of that process. This means that the work we show at our annual March event might be in different states of completion. Some may require audience participation to complete, and may be presented in full the following year. Others may be polished performances, or written stories. Still others may be failures. Projects that, for whatever reason, did not work. We want to share those, too, to illuminate the challenges of working across disciplines and the ineffability of the future.

2. Emerge shares visitations of the future When visitors step into an Emerge event, we hope they will feel as though they are stepping into a glimpse of a potential future. The playshops (because these are not your average workshops) developed to help shape these collaborative processes will focus on how to think through the complexities of potential futures. They will help creative teams to design not the dystopian or utopian futures we see on television or at the movies, but nuanced, thoughtful investigations and representations that ask more of an audience than they might be used to, or even comfortable with. These visitations beg questions about whether we want the future they predict, and if so, how we create that future.

The Emerge team uses their visions of Emerge 2020 to think about what Emerge 2016 will look like.

The Emerge team uses their visions of Emerge 2020 to think about what Emerge 2016 will look like.

To better align these two visions of Emerge, the March event for Emerge 2016 will be a culmination of a yearlong process involving quarterly playshops. The first of these collaboration-building events will incorporate a kind of speed dating game to develop partnerships across disciplines. Over the course of the year, these partnerships will periodically meet and be led through a process that involves design prototyping, improvisation games, and even field trips to create their visitations.

We will also be hosting a special event for participants in 2015’s Emerge to bring them together to find connections between and among their visitations. This event will be half party, half playshop, and may well transform what we think we have planned for 2015.

In the next few months, we’ll be introducing our reinvention of Emerge, beginning with never before seen mission and vision language for Emerge and a new handbook for participants. Like the retreat, and the playshops we envision for 2016, these documents are likely to be a transformation of their traditional forms. Won’t you join us?

Posted in Announcement

Request for Qualifications — IN FLUX Cycle 5


Deadline – September 15, 2014 | Midnight Arizona Time 

Projects – Up to 20 opportunities in 7 Valley cities 

Budget – Variable range of $3,500-$7,000 

Eligibility – Arizona Artists* (Individuals and Collectives/Groups/Teams) *Artists commissioned in the previous Cycle 4 are not eligible for the current Cycle 5.


IN FLUX Cycle 5 brings together eleven organizations representing seven Valley cities and towns seeking local artists to create temporary public artworks in a wide variety of locations and media.

IN FLUX demonstrates a holistic approach to temporary public art projects through a showcase of local Arizona artists creating original site-specific installations presented within the context of viewing the Valley as one community. IN FLUX provides unique project opportunities for artists to expand their skills, innovatively apply their creativity, and garner public recognition for their work. IN FLUX offers new perspective on the connections between community organizations, city governments, local businesses, artists, and audiences.

The IN FLUX initiative, currently operated through the strategic partnership of eleven organizations in Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe was launched by Scottsdale Public Art in 2010 to activate vacant storefront spaces. The initiative has continued to expand and gain momentum since its inception, increasing its positive impact on our local communities and our Arizona artists.

To see previous IN FLUX artworks and learn more: 

Project Opportunities 

Potential project locations offer opportunities for artists who create installation-based works as well as murals, projections, performance, and participatory/social practice. Artists submitting qualifications to this call are under consideration for all IN FLUX Cycle 5 opportunities being offered by the 11 partnering organizations in seven Valley cities.

Budgets are all-inclusive of labor, transportation, equipment rental, shipping and material costs as well as artist fees for overhead costs including general liability insurance, installation, and de-installation. All projects are temporary and will remain on view for a maximum of 12 months with installation and de-installation schedules to be mutually agreed upon by selected artists and their respective partnering organization.

Selection Process and Schedule 

Artists residing in Arizona who did not have projects in the previous Cycle 4 are eligible to apply. A selection panel representing all seven cities in a public process will recommend one artist and one alternate per available project opportunity.

Selected artists will be contracted by and work directly with the project manager designated by their assigned partnering organization. Proposals will be requested from selected artists prior to contract. All artists will be notified of selection results via e-mail and given the opportunity to request feedback from the selection panel.

IN FLUX partners seek to provide opportunity, experience, and education to emerging and established local artists. These opportunities are intended to be tenable for those who may not have previously applied for a public art project in addition to providing a fresh approach to artists who have public art experience.

[Schedule is subject to change]


AUG 15 IN FLUX Cycle 5 RFQ Released

AUG 26-SEPT 11 Coffee Talks: pre-submittal meetings (See Questions? below)

Midnight SEPT 15 Deadline for application

SEPT 15-SEPT 26 Artist selection

SEPT 26-30 Notification of selection results

OCT 1 Proposal development by selected artists begins

OCT 31 Projects installations begin (individual project schedules vary and will be determined during proposal development)


JAN-MAY IN FLUX Cycle 5 events throughout the Valley TBD

MAY-OCT De-installations to be scheduled on an individual basis

[IN FLUX Cycle 6 RFQ slated to be released AUG 2015]

How to Apply 

Team submittals must identify one member to act as point of contact for submittal/selection process and all related communication. Artists applying as a member of a team are not eligible to also apply as an individual.

PLEASE NOTE—this call to artists is a Request for Qualifications, NOT a Request for Proposals. Artists who submit specific proposals at this time will be deemed ineligible.

Submit the following: 

  • Digital Images: 5 digital images of previously completed artwork.
  • Resume or CV: Current professional resume or curriculum vitae (CV) including artist address, email, and phone number.
    Teams must submit one resume/CV per team member.
  • Statement of Intent (Maximum 3500 characters):
    Describe why you are interested in an IN FLUX opportunity and explain relevant past experience.



OR meet with IN FLUX Project Mangers in person at one of our four Coffee Talk pre-submittal sessions. We will be there ready to answer your questions one-on-one. 

Bring your draft submittal materials and questions and find us with the IN FLUX logo at our table here: 


Tuesday, August 26 | 8:30-10:30AM Cartel Coffee Lab Scottsdale 7124 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 

COFFEE TALK 2 Friday, September 5 | 4:00-6:00PM Bergie’s Coffee Roast House 309 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234 

COFFEE TALK 3 Tuesday, September 9 | 5:00-7:00PM GIANT Coffee 1437 1st St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 COFFEE TALK 4

Thursday September, 11 | 8:00-10:00AM Ncounter 310 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281 

IN FLUX Cycle 5 Partners 

City of Chandler Public Art

City of Glendale Public Art

City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

City of Tempe Public Art

De Rito Partners

Emerge ASU

Mesa Arts Center

Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation

Scottsdale Public Art

Town of Gilbert Arts, Culture, and Tourism Board

Whitestone REIT

Posted in Announcement

Digital Tabernacle Photo Stream

A man handing over his smartphone to the ministers of the Digital Tabernacle

During their Digital Tabernacle performance at Emerge 2014: The Carnival of the Future, ministers Marcel O’Gorman and Ron Broglio donned Autographer lifelogging cameras hacked to look like crosses. The cameras automatically snapped still photos throughout the event, demonstrating that although the tabernacle preaches digital abstinence, it is not immune to the sin of irony.

An Autographer lifelogging camera hacked to look like a cross

The cross-cam

Check out the photo stream at the Digital Tabernacle’s Flickr account (ah, there’s the chilly breath of irony again).

To learn more about the Digital Tabernacle, read an article about the performance at Slate’s Future Tense channel.


Posted in Announcement, Commentaries, Multimedia
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