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Plastic Frictions

When Apr 13, 2015
from 03:45 PM to 08:45 PM
Where 022 Deike Bldg
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Plastic is a seemingly ubiquitous material, and as such is often taken for granted. However plastic is central to the systems that define contemporary globality. From the circulation of food and goods, to electronics and telecommunications, to building materials and medical technologies, it could be argued that we have entered the Age of Plastic. Emerging from the ingenuity of chemical engineering, plastic has a longer history in the arts as it describes the ability to form and mould matter. It is a material that is mundane and awesome, deadly and life enhancing, what Anna Tsing calls a ‘friction’. This friction emerges from plastic’s contradictory nature, at once endlessly pliable and incredibly persistent. This symposium will be dedicated to thinking through the aesthetic, political, economic, and philosophic entwinements of plastic.

3:45-5:45 pm:
Brian Black
Professor of History and Environmental Studies, Penn State
A "Burping Bowl” in Every Cupboard: Tupperware and the Construction of the American Ecology of Oil

Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor
Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Penn State
 Where is “Away”? Mapping Plastic Pollution
Tom Lauerman
Assistant Professor of Art, Penn State
Hacking Plastic: Open-Source 3D Printing, Experimental Plastics, Art, and Access to Tools

Melik Demirel
Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Penn State
Bioplastics and Squid Proteins

5:45-6:30 pm: Reception

6:30-8:45 pm: Keynotes
Odile Madden
Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute Lessons from our lives with Plastic

Pinar Yoldas
Artist and Ph.D. student, Duke University
An Ecosystem of Excess
Dianna Cohen
Founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition
Plastic Pollution Revolution