Transmission in Motion Seminar (2020-2021): “Performing Rapid Response Design Justice: #HerWholeTruth, Lisa’s Song & Girl Squads” – Jon McKenzie, Lara Harvey and Veronica Cinibulk (Cornell University, USA)
Design Justice offers artists, activists, and humanists rich avenues for collective thought-action performed between diverse communities, local and global. Transmedia knowledge—the generation and dissemination of truth effects in different bodies via any media necessary—lies at the heart of human-centered design, community-engaged media, and the emerging field of Design Justice. Such knowledges and concomitant powers define the stakes of emergent media genres, production platforms, and the sociotechnical networks of Zoom, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This StudioLab seminar explores ways that cultural performance forms of poetry, imagery, music, and interactive design directly engage contemporary crises of care, specifically the digital tweets, posts, and videos generated by an international coalition of women inmates, lawyers, advocates, and students whose months-long clemency campaign for death-row inmate Lisa Montgomery ended abruptly with her execution by the Trump Administration on January 12, 2021. What conceptual, aesthetic, technical, and organizational lessons might guide the larger international movement #HerWholeTruth? How might scholars better support activism around gender and extreme sentencing through a Generation Lisa, alongside Generation Greta and Generation RGB? What role might Performance Studies play in jump-starting a Generation Lisa in the coming years?
- McKenzie, Jon. 2019.”Becoming Cosmographer: Co-designing Worlds.” In Transmedia Knowledge for Liberal Arts and Community Engagement: A Studio Lab Manifesto, 109-145. Palgrave Pivot, Cham.
Jon McKenzie researches and teaches media and design at Cornell University, where he is also a faculty affiliate of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. Jon is the author of Transmedia Knowledge for Liberal Arts and Community Engagement: A StudioLab Manifesto (2019) and Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance (2001). He is also co-editor of Contesting Performance: Global Sites of Research (2011), as well as the founder and former director of DesignLab, a design consultancy at the University of Wisconsin. Alongside books and articles, Jon also produces experimental videos, lecture performances, and theory comics, and leads workshops on transmedia knowledge for researchers, public schools, and community organizations. His StudioLab work can be found at labster8.net, while his StudioLab courses are here and here.
Lara Harvey is a current sophomore at Cornell University studying English and Government with a minor in Climate Change. She is very passionate about civil rights and social justice, and wants to put this passion into her work either by pursuing law or politics. She has experience in political organizing and research, as well as creative writing and journalism. She worked with the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide to advocate for Lisa Montgomery in the @Herwholetruth campaign on Instagram.
Veronica Cinibulk is an artist, writer, and composer, as well as a second-year law student at Cornell Law School, originally from the Czech Republic. Her undergraduate studies were in Psychology and Spanish, and her master’s were in Political Ecology and Animal Ethics. She has worked professionally as an illustrator and singer, and plans to blend the arts with human and animal rights advocacy throughout her career. Check out Lisa’s Song and Art Gallery.