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AIC Events

Thank you for your interest in AIC events in the Greater Boston Region. We look forward to seeing you at our next program.

Wednesday, February 13, 7 p.m.
OneBook Book Club: Rethinking Progress in a Time of Disorientation
with author Peggy Reynolds
117 Lakeview Avenue
Cambridge, MA

Smoke Rings: New Forms for Thinking

Drawing by Jill Reynolds

Drawing on her Ph.D. dissertation, Depth Technology: Remediating Orientation, Dr. Peggy Reynolds will facilitate a discussion on how the on-going technological shift from what mediologist Mark Hansen describes as "a vision-centered to a body-centered model of perception" is leading to an expansion of the largely unexamined group of forms which help shape our basic thought processes. Instead of relying on Euclidian idealizations - the circles, triangles and squares which sight engenders - to provide us with scaffolding for interpreting our world, artists and designers are creating non-linear, tactile and other body-based alternatives. Their creations foreground network structures, fractal relationships and recursive topologies and challenge the primacy of accepted forms such as the atomized individual, the social hierarchy and the rationalizing grid. The technological revolution, in other words, has brought to light a dynamic universe that might allow us to rethink our relationship to it. We will be examining the origins of one original, idealized form - the grid - and how its hegemony, especially in the Western world, paradoxically is ushering in these new forms that destabilize the older, static order. To obtain the reading , please contact AIC co-director  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This month,in collaboration with Sprout & Co., we feature a dinner and presentation with artist Deb Todd Wheeler, engineer Bec Conrad, and scientist Michael Nagle who have collaborated to design an  platform to make visible the level of energy use in any given community.



FireCallBox Project aka Chromatic Scale for Citywide Energy Use

Bec Conrad, Michael Nagle and Deb Todd Wheeler

Spaghetti Dinner


Spout & Co.

339 Summer Street

Somerville, MA

(space is located at the end of the driveway)


FireCallBox Prototype 
At this month's Sprout Spaghetti Dinner,  the FireCallBox team will present their work in progress, exploring visual representations of energy data. 


Born at a brainstorming session at the 
Climate Culture: Art, Action, Climate Change symposium at the Massachusetts College of Art in 2012, the 
FireCallBox Project has evolved from an idea of simple data visualization (linking live energy data in the neighborhoods of Boston with visual chromatic scale representation in glass orbs on the ubiquitous, but almost obsolete, fire call boxes), to a potential platform for communities to represent their energy usage and harness local creativity. In this public presentation, the FireCallBoxteam will discuss the wild and rambling history of the project to date, from meetings at the headquarters of the Boston Fire Department, to NSTAR, to the City of Boston's Department of New Urban Mechanics to finally landing at welcoming Brandeis University, whose Facilities Department made the making of the final proof-of-concept prototypes possible. Moving away from the public sphere, where issues of privacy (among other things)impeded the access to information, to a private University setting, where buildings and their subsequent data are under constant overt surveillance, shifted the focus away from question of how to obtain the information, towards the more ponderous question of what to do with the information once it was obtained.
In its lab at Brandeis, the FireCallBox team conducted an ongoing series of visual experiments withshifting University data in an effort to connect aesthetic experience with the desire for less instead of more. These experiments resulted in sculptural objects that bore witness to a pulsing, shifting, expanding and contracting stream of electricity which the team will show in video form at the presentation.


  1. FireCallBox islarge collaboration, involving the generous Facilities Department staff of Brandeis; the engineers at Siemens ("the trusted technology partner for energy-efficient, safe and secure buildings"), Eliot Kristan, and a team of students -- Olivia Leiter, Livia Bell, Sisana Farley and Daniel Stern. This stage of project development was supported by Artists in Context with funding from the Barr Foundation.