Infill: A Game to Magnify the Microscopics of Meaning Generation Over Time

Date and Time: Multiple opportunities to play Monday & Tuesday, August 19 & 20, throughout the day (Upper Terrace)

Location: Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and online for EPIC Members

Created and facilitated by:

Alexandra Zafiroglu, Professor, School of Cybernetics, Australian National University
Pallavi Laxmikanth, Researcher, School of Cybernetics, Australian National University
Melissa Neidorf, Cybernetic Futures Project Manager, Australian National University

Through play, Infill provokes reflection on meaning generation over time.

20 years of EPIC signifies the role ethnographic praxis has played in shaping industry, technology, scholarship and simply, better ways of living and thinking. Infill captures the essence of this milestone and reflects on what has changed, what hasn’t, and how we will change moving forward.

Thinking with cybernetics, EPIC is a complex open system that, in the making and sharing of ideas, and continual remaking of them, grows and changes over time. Infill brings in a fun way for us to be attentive to this change and the ways in which it happens. It also leaves us with keepsakes from the last 20 years through trading cards, to emphasise playful and rich ways of continuing to engage in exchange and collaboration.

Attendees will have the opportunity to play the Infill game multiple times. In each round, we provide you with a fill-in-the-blank paragraph drawn from 20 years of EPIC papers, case studies, keynotes, PechaKuchas, presentations, and themes. You’ll fill the blanks with your words. There are no right or wrong answers, simply perspectives, insights and fun! You’ll see how your words compare to others’ and to the original. Infill magnifies the microscopics of filling, drawing attention to our compulsion to connect dots, draw patterns and make meaning. These techniques of filling are foundational to ethnographic praxis.


Alex Zafiroglu is a professor and ANU Futures Fellow in the School of Cybernetics, Australian National University. She explores the temporal logics silenced in the ‘here and now’ of our experiences with computational systems. She facilitates transdisciplinary conversations for multiple value-informed futures. Prior to 2019, Alex was a Principal Engineer at Intel Corporation where she spent 15 years leading research and strategic planning activities.

Pallavi Laxmikanth is a medical anthropologist and cybernetician, working as a researcher in the School of Cybernetics, ANU. Her research interests surround the types of sensory and affective relationships that emerge through our engagement with datasets, algorithms, and computational systems. She spent the last five years on her PhD studying metabolic health care and food systems in urban India, prior to which she worked in UX, product and leadership roles in Indian food-tech start-ups.

Melissa Neidorf is a futures project lead in the School of Cybernetics, Australian National University. Melissa has worked in the cultural sector in Canberra, Sydney, New York, Hong Kong, Tonga and San Francisco – including UNSW Art & Design and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Sydney), the Museum of Jewish Heritage – a Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), Canberra Contemporary Art Space and National Gallery of Australia.