Science (Is Not) Fair: Interrogating Queerness and Biomedicine through Art, Event, and Critique

Stephen Molldrem, The University of Michigan; David Nasca, Artist; Kate O'Connor, University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Sydney 2018: Infrastructure and co-design

This presentation will showcase the planning and execution process for an event called Science (Is Not) Fair, which will take place in Fall 2018 in Chicago, IL. Science (Is Not) Fair is a one-day hybrid art exhibition and academic symposium based on the model of the science fair. The project will focus on how queer identities and bodies are shaped, affected, and often ignored by science, design practices, and biomedical systems. It will allow artists to propose new modes of scientific inquiry and imagine new technologies and biomedical interventions that could be more inclusive of non-binary identities. The work artists present will be discussed by panels of academics in hopes that they might provide feedback to the artists and use ideas generated at Science (Is Not) Fair in their research. The project will foster dialog between artists and scholars with shared interests in LGBTQ populations, and will be a huge success if it creates new, sustained exchanges between artists and academics that extend beyond the exhibition. Our booth will include digital and hard-copy logic models, diagrams, flowcharts, process visualizations, and an open-source Manual for Instigating Queer or Otherwise Radical Science Fairs: A Guide for Hustlers and Program Managers. This technical assistance document will be written as a Health Fair Manual, a genre of grey literature regularly produced and disseminated by public health agencies. The manual will include instructions, guidance, and tools for creating events similar to Science (Is Not) Fair, and will draw from our experience organizing the event.