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"There is a lack of queer visibility in science fields. For transgender people, this visibility is even lower. It’s hard to join or participate in a system when you don’t see yourself in it. For queer and trans scientists to enter — and remain — in science fields and academia, this has to change."
Wanna respond to this article irl? Open participation event in Chicago in a couple months: Call For Participants: Science (is not) Fair When: August 23rd and 24th Where: Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan Avenue, Chicago, IL What: Science (is not) Fair is a two-day hybrid art exhibition, experimental space, and symposium based on the model of the science fair. Visual artists, writers, performers, and academics are all invited to submit completed work, workshop ideas, or works-in-progress. The submitted work should respond to the following prompt: “How are queer identities and bodies shaped, defined, affected, or ignored by science, technology, and biomedical norms and practices? How can artists, performers, and researchers intervene in, reshape, transform, or speak back to current practices?” Topics ripe for exploration at Science (is not) Fair include plastic surgery, gender affirming surgery, medical implants, sexology, drugs, sex and the internet, reproduction, eugenics, cyborgs, prosthetics, public health, life-cycles, queerness and animal life, etc. Submissions can take a wide variety of forms, including artistic installations, skills-building sessions, workshops seeking feedback on works-in-progress, demonstrations, talks, or live performances. Since science, technology, and medicine are often fields that exclude and/or ignore marginalized voices, it is important to this project that all people, regardless of age, stage of artistic or academic career, gender, sexuality, or race be included and afforded the opportunity to participate. We encourage submissions from all types of artists, makers, and researchers: young people, self-taught artists, writers, musicians, academics, medical professionals, performers, and collaborative groups are all encouraged to submit. In the spirit of queerness and the free exchange of ideas, all submissions that make an effort to address the prompt will be included in the exhibition while space allows. All media will be accepted, from traditional painting or sculpture, to performance, to video, to prose and poetry, to a poster or trifold panel illustrating your concept. Academic submissions will be reviewed for clarity, relevance, and rigor; however, papers at all stages of development and/or participatory paper workshops will be accepted. Some examples of suggested submissions are: For visual artists: Traditional media (e.g. sculpture, drawing, photography, etc) Installation art Video and new media Workshops, collaborative, or participatory pieces For performance artists: Ongoing or durational performances/installations (length and format variable) Pieces to be performed once or more during the event (length and format variable) Process-oriented or reflective installations, workshops, or talks For writers and poets: Written pieces to be displayed and or circulated A short program to be read aloud (~5-30 minutes) Zines, chapbooks, and other publications For academics and researchers: Interactive essay, idea, or proposal workshops (~1hr, format variable) Individual conference-length papers (~20 minutes) Full panel submissions (3-5 conference-length papers) Plenary addresses (~25-45 minutes) Q&A or interview sessions with artists or others (~30 minutes) Poster submissions Artists will be responsible for dropping off or shipping their own work and providing their own installation needs and instructions. Event organizers can install work for artists who cannot do so themselves or who cannot attend in person. Artists who would like work returned to them must likewise make arrangements with the event organizers. The capstone event of Science (is not) Fair will be a two-day exhibition and symposium. The works will be displayed at Co-Prosperity Sphere, a gallery in Chicago, with presentation loosely based on the model of the science fair. Participants, when able, should be present to attend their contributions and answer questions about their work and findings. Panel discussions and plenary talks will be organized to foster intentional dialog between exhibiting artists and speakers. How: Artists should email with a short biography and proposal for their project no later than August 1st. There is no need to include a portfolio or images of any previous work, but attachments supporting the proposed project are welcome and encouraged. Artists must drop off and install their work at Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219 S Morgan Avenue, Chicago, IL) or make arrangements to ship it from afar. Who: Science (is not) Fair is organized by David Nasca and Stephen Molldrem. It is made possible by the support of Chicago Department of Cultural and Special Events, Public Media Institute and Co-Prosperity Sphere, and the ATHENA Foundation.