Lab and Lunch: Common Sensing

A Conversation with Historian Paul N. Edwards and Artist Rosten Woo

Thursday, January 31, 2019 • Noon

Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6

Free, RSVP required for lunch. (Email, or call 415.528.4444, and choose option 5.)

Join historian Paul Edwards and artist Rosten Woo in a discussion of the politics of sensing, the construction of large datasets, climate modeling, epistemology, how shared data realities are constructed and maintained, and how we understand the impacts of climate change today. Four short films by Rosten Woo, commissioned by the Exploratorium, will be screened.

The talk and video series is produced in conjunction with Mutual Air, a public art project by Rosten Woo and the Exploratorium that has networked bells across Oakland that ring out changes in the amount of particulate matter in the air.  

Paul N. Edwards is William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at the Center at Stanford University and Professor of Information and History (Emeritus) at the University of Michigan. He writes and teaches about the history of climate science and politics. Edwards is the author of A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010) and coeditor of Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance (MIT Press, 2011). He is currently a Lead Author on the Sixth Assessment Report of the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due to appear in 2011.

Rosten Woo is an artist, designer, and writer living in Los Angeles. His projects aim to help people understand complex systems, reorient themselves to places, and participate in group decision-making. He produces public artworks about the politics of place in collaboration with grassroots organizations. Rosten’s work has been exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and various parks, piers, public housing developments, and malls. He is co-founder and former executive director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), winner of the 2016 National Design Award for institutional achievement. Street Value, his book about race and retail urban development, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2009.

Image credit: Film still from Rosten Woo Common Sensing: Bridging Time, 2018.