Environmental Media Lab Grad Scholars in Residence Public Talks 2022

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The Environmental Media Lab at the University of Calgary hosts a virtual, month-long, grad-scholar-in-residence program. This year’s residents, Tony Cho and Robyn Lee, recently gave public, virtual talks, which you can now watch on YouTube.

Tony Cho, “State of Suspension: Military waste, base, and renegotiation of space in South Korea”

Focusing on abandoned US military bases in South Korea, this talk examines the tension between the presence of military waste and state-led visions of a postcolonial landscape which attempt to create territorial power. While land ownership of many US bases has been returned back to Korea since 2002, many remain in a state of suspension awaiting development. Focusing on this issue, the talk will suggest a framework for understanding the US military occupation of South Korea as configuring a specific geography of development and state power – one that leaves the state in an unworkable state of suspension. Tony Cho is an artist/designer and PhD student at UC San Diego’s Communication and Science Studies program. He is interested in environmental transitions in the transpacific area and will be focusing on the history of environmental waste and military bases in South Korea. Twitter handle: @tonyhcho

Robyn Lee, “Life Cycle of Warning Systems In the context of Vancouver’s June 2021 heat wave”

This talk focuses on how decision-makers refer to climate data to inform heat management and mitigation strategies in anticipation of future disasters. Warning systems are usually considered the last stage of adaptation planning but are part of a larger iterative ‘life cycle’ that updates how we know or understand environmental threats. I use the extreme heat warning system as an entry point to explore the challenges of scaling big, threatening environmental futures to the local or even building-specific level. The intention is to suggest a way to re-think how the tensions between ‘local’ and ‘global’ scale create possibilities for shaping multiple, little environmental futures. Robyn Lee is a Masters student at Simon Fraser University’s Urban Studies program and research assistant for Hey Neighbour Collective. Her research project looks at extreme heat in Vancouver and histories of environmental science. Twitter handle: @rbyn_lee

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Mél Hogan

Associate Prof. Communication, Media and Film at University of Calgary
I am the Director of the Environmental Media Lab (EML: www.environmentalmedialab.com) and an Associate Professor in Communication, Media and Film at the University of Calgary. My work generally focuses on data centers and cloud imaginaries. These days, I'm exploring DNA data storage, and (what I've been calling) "genomic media" -- deployments of DNA for computation and archiving. Since 2015, I've also been teaching and thinking about digital death, the digital afterlife, and new cloud technologies dedicated to death in various ways.

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