Speculative Design & Black Speech with Silas Munro & Lauren Williams

This Second Sundays, we are celebrating Dark Matters. Mozilla recently announced funding for Black artists who use art to spotlight how AI can reinforce—or disrupt—systems of oppression. One of the eight winning projects was Dark Matters by Alumni Resident Johann Diedrick.

Thanks to the support of Mozilla, we imagine what a future would look like if voice interfaces worked better for Black people/Black speech in this co-creation workshop led by Silas Munro. Participants will use this time to answer questions like, “What would we want to be made possible? How could we redesign these systems for us, by us? What would we hope for them to accomplish? How would we want to use these technologies for our own needs, wants, and desires?”

Date: This online workshop will meet once on Sunday, June 13 from 4:15-6:15pm ET via Zoom.

Price: Free ($10 suggested donation)

Audience: Open to BIPOC participants only.

Materials: None required.

Silas Munro is a partner of Polymode, a studio that leads the edge of contemporary graphic design through poetic research, learning experiences, and making cool shit for clients in the cultural sphere, innovative businesses, and community-based organizations. Past collaborations include the City of LA Mayor’s Office, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Mark Bradford at the Venice Biennale, and MoMA. Munro’s writing appears in the book, W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America published by Princeton Architectural Press. He has been a visiting critic at MICA, RISD, and Yale. Munro is Founding Faculty and Chair Emeritus at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Lauren Williams (she/her) is a Detroit-based designer, organizer, researcher, and educator. She works with visual and interactive media to understand, critique, and reimagine the ways social and economic systems distribute and exercise power.
Her practice and research investigate Blackness, identity, bodiliness, and social fictions and examine how racism is felt, embodied, and embedded into institutions. Lauren’s work often engages people through collaborations and facilitated experiences in service of imagining and manifesting a more liberated present and future. Lauren has taught design at the College for Creative Studies, ArtCenter College of Design, and elsewhere. In the past, she has managed programs and policy aimed at cultivating economic justice at Prosperity Now in DC. Going forward, she's finding ways to align her capacities with revolutionary movements that build toward a different economy entirely and usher in new dimensions of power and freedom altogether.

Her work can be found at williamslaurenm.com.

Please note, this online workshop will begin promptly at the listed start time. In order to ensure the quality of instruction for all participants, late entry will not be permitted. For questions, please contact education@pioneerworks.org