InScience Film Festival

The Big Ideas of InScience 2021: Adriana Knouf, Ahnjili Zhuparris and Job van den Hurk

InScience is more than just film. In the Big Ideas series, prominent artists and scientists take you to the frontiers of their field. This year, InScience welcomes Adriana Knouf and Ahnjili Zhuparris as Big Idea speakers at the festival. In addition, InScience is also organizing a Junior Big Idea with Job van den Hurk.

Adriana Knouf: Thriving as aliens on earth

Saturday 13 november / 20:00 / 90 min / EN

As a young child, Adriana Knouf dreamed of being beamed up by aliens – away from an earth where she often felt alienated herself. Today, her connection to everything extra-terrestrial is still strong. Inspired by her own experience as a trans woman, Dr. Knouf makes connections between alienated bodies on Earth (like queer and trans bodies) and outside of it. Her work as an artist and researcher revolves around Xenology: the study of the strange, alien or other. In her Big Idea lecture, Adriana Knouf takes us along in her exploration of how we can thrive as ‘aliens on earth’. Furthermore, Knouf wonders out loud how we can alter our bodies to match our identities. Join her performative lecture, where she will take us along in a story about alienated bodies, and the ultimate advantages of being ‘xeno’.

Adriana Knouf is the Founding Facilitator of the tranxxeno lab, a nomadic artistic research laboratory that promotes entanglements amongst entities trans and xeno. She is formerly an Assistant Professor of Art + Design at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA, and has also taught at Wellesley College and Ithaca College. She is an artist-in-residence at Waag and is currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Ahnjili Zhuparris: Does your smartphone know you're depressed?

Sunday 14 november / 14:00 / 60 min / EN

What do the places you visit, the music you listen to and your sleep pattern tell about the status of your mental health? Almost 50% of the world’s population makes use of smart technologies that collect this data, such as phones, wearables, and computers. Every interaction with one of these tools means giving up a little piece of yourself. Your digital trail can provide some interesting, personal, funny, or even dark insights into your psyche. Despite the privacy concern many users have, self-tracking and data collection could be used as helpful tools. Clinical data scientist and AI artist Ahnjili Zhuparris (Leiden University) researches how building algorithms can detect and monitor mental health and physical illnesses. Zhuparris will speak about the good, the bad, and the ugly of your smartphone algorithms, how to use this as a health-tracking tool, and demonstrate how to analyze real-time data.

Ahjili Zhuparris is a clinical data scientist and AI artist. Her Ph.D. research focuses on building machine learning models that detect and predict one’s physical and mental health status using their smartphone and wearable data. Given that we live in a data-hungry society where data-greedy tech companies thrive, Zhuparris’ AI art explores how to design machine learning algorithms as a form of protest. Zhuparris is a recipient of the Mozilla Creative Media Awards.

Job van den Hurk: Hoe werkt je bewustzijn?

Sunday 7 november / 14:00 / 60 min / NL / Bibliotheek De Mariënburg

During the Junior Big Idea, the floor is given to Job van den Hurk, also known for the program Brainstorm on Zapp. During the children’s lecture, Van den Hurk discusses consciousness. What exactly is consciousness, how exactly does it work in your brain, and can you also give a robot consciousness? Van den Hurk shows that you can take a look at someone’s consciousness with the latest techniques, and what is so useful about it.

The film Ron’s Gone Wrong (Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine & Octavio E. Rodriguez, 2021), which will air at InScience a week later, on November 14, ties into the Junior Big Idea. This Junior Big Idea is being organized in collaboration with the Bibliotheek Gelderland Zuid.

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