Project: Space Junk

Date and Time: Monday & Tuesday, August 18 & 19, 8:30am–5:00pm Pacific Time

Location: The Edye, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center (on-site only)

Created and presented by:

Christine Hegel, Professor of Anthropology, Western Connecticut State University
Luke Cantarella, Professor and Chair of Film and Screen Studies, Pace University

Design fictions built on top of ethnographic truths create a playful space for hard conversations and alternate reckonings. As a piece focused on the circular economy, Project: Space Junk invites attendees to consider how ethnographic research can be put to work for prototyping solutions – including false solutions. Set in the year 2044, the multimedia installation addresses questions around the nature of discard, including the challenges of governance, corporate control, autonomous livelihoods, and care for the commons in late capitalism.

Christine Hegel is Professor of Anthropology at Western Connecticut State University with research interests in labor and work, discard and circular economy politics, and experimental and multi-modal analysis. She has regularly collaborated with anthropologists, artists, and designers on projects that use design strategies and practices to extend anthropological analysis. Since 2018, her research has focused on container redemption workers and advocacy in New York City to examine valuation, autonomy, and power in the Wasteocene.

Luke Cantarella is a scenic and video projection designer for stage, screen, and interactive experiences and the Chair of Film and Screen Studies at Pace University. He has designed on projects at the World Trade Organization, regional theaters across the United States (Seattle Rep, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Yale Rep) and major opera companies (Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera). He has also designed scenery for film and tv, including Julie & Julia and the HBO limited series The Plot Against America.