Blog Post


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 3, 2007

CONTACT: Sally Hicks
(919) 681-8055


Note to editors: For more information, contact Jonathan Tarr at (919)
684-8471 or

DURHAM, N.C. ?- Experts in computer science, art, education, law and
other fields will gather at Duke University for a three-day conference
this month to examine digital technology and how it affects the way
people learn, think, create and relate to one another.

The conference, called ?Electronic Techtonics: Thinking at the
Interface,? takes place April 19-21 and is organized by Humanities,
Arts, Science Technology and Advanced Collaboratory, or HASTAC. HASTAC
(?haystack?) is a voluntary network of more than 80 universities,
humanities centers, science institutes, arts centers, libraries, museums
and community organizations in the U.S. and abroad dedicated to the
creative use and critical understanding of technology in life, education
and society. The conference is one in a yearlong series of events at
universities across the country.

Three of the ?Electronic Techtonics? events at Duke that focus on
education are free and open to the public. (All events are open to the
media; reporters interested in covering an event should contact Jonathan
Tarr at 684-8471.)

??Electronic Techtonics? is a mashup of science and speculation, art and
policy, law and education,? said HASTAC co-founder and Duke professor
Cathy N. Davidson. ?It is a rare opportunity for scientists who helped
develop the Internet to exchange ideas with adventurous and socially
concerned educators, policymakers, artists, theorists and practitioners.

?Our mission is to inspire the future of digital technologies. We?re
aiming high.?

The keynote speaker will be John Seely Brown, former chief scientist at
Xerox Corp., who will talk about ?The Social Life of Learning in the Net
Age.? The event, open to the public, will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday,
April 19, at the Nasher Museum of Art, and will be followed by a
reception with theremin music and access to the galleries.

Other speakers include James Boyle, a Duke law professor who is
co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain and
co-author of a comic book on fair use in documentary film, and Dan
Connolly, a research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory who collaborated with Tim Berners-Lee
on the creation of the World Wide Web.

Sessions will address issues such as racial attitudes in digital media,
new media in the context of media history, funding sources, ?the
semantic web? and the future of the World Wide Web. There also will be
demonstrations of new technology, performances, poster sessions and
information sessions on open source and proprietary software and hardware.

In addition to Seely Brown?s talk, two panel discussions April 21 at the
Duke School of Nursing on Trent Drive are free and open to the public.
The first panel features Carl Harris, superintendent of the Durham
Public Schools; Julia Stasch of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation; David Theo Goldberg, director of the University of
California Humanities Research Institute; and Davidson. They will offer
different perspectives on innovative learning from kindergarten through
the university level.

Later in the day, a conversation of ?digital visionaries? that includes
Seely Brown and Connolly will address issues and ideas from universal
access to intellectual property issues to art theory.

The conference is co-sponsored by Duke University, Renaissance Computing
Institute (RENCI) and the MacArthur Foundation, with additional support
from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
_ _ _ _

For more information about HASTAC and the conference, visit
. A detailed conference program is at
. A separate schedule
of events that are free and open to the public is available at



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