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Design Fictions: Future Epidemiologies, Ethical Responses, Public Healththumbnail image link for Design Fictions

Design Fictions are a critical design tool for thinking otherwise about the past, present and future. Sci-fi author Bruce Sterling says that design fictions “suspend disbelief about change." Constructing fictional narratives in various media helps designers think through complex phenomena and explore how various systems might interact. Design fictions shape design paths by investigating and inspiring possible worlds. 

Wednesdays 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. PDT 
Sept. 2 w/ Benjamin Bratton | The Revenge of The Real: Functions for Speculation
Sept. 9 w/ Pinar Yoldas | Omnipolis, Social trust, Planetary Health
Sept. 16 w/ Lisa Cartwright | Health Surveillance Infodemic: Design Fiction by Numbers
Sept. 23 w/ Camille Nebeker | Imaging the ethical, legal and social implications of digital contact tracing

Space is limited. Please complete the online form to register for some or all sessions Zoom links will be shared with registrants prior to the event.

Celebrating Lesley Stern's New Book: Diary of a DetourThumbnail image of book cover

October 9, 2020
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. PDT
YouTube Stream:

Lesley Stern (Professor Emerita, Visual Arts UCSD) will read from her book followed by a discussion with poet Eileen Myles, film critic Girish Shambu, Ben Doller (Writing Program, Literature Department UCSD) and Lisa Cartwright (Visual Arts and Science Studies UCSD). With a special introduction by Donna Haraway (Distinguished Professor Emerita, UC Santa Cruz).

Diary of a Detour is a memoir of living with a chronic form of cancer, but it detours frequently into other genres and cross-disciplinary landscapes. With illustrations by Amy Adler (Visual Arts UCSD).


Wu TsangPhoto of Wu Tsang by Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Remote Guest Lecture

October 23, 2020
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. PDT
YouTube Stream:

Wu Tsang is a filmmaker and performance artist who combines documentary and narrative techniques with fantastical detours into the imaginary in works that explore hidden histories, marginalized narratives, and the act of performing itself. Tsang re-imagines racialized, gendered representations beyond the visible frame to encompass the multiple and shifting perspectives through which we experience the social realm.

Salome AsegaPhoto of Salome Asega in a field

Remote Guest Lecture

October 30, 2020
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. PDT
YouTube Stream:

Salome Asega is an artist and researcher whose practice celebrates dissensus and multivocality. She is currently a Technology Fellow in the Ford Foundation's Creativity and Free Expression program area. Salome is also the co-host of speculative talk show Hyperorpia: 20/30 Vision on bel-air radio, and a director of POWRPLNT, a digital art collaboratory in Bushwick.

Njideka Akunyili CrosbyPhoto of the artist in her studio.

Russell Lecture with MCASD

November 4, 2020
5:00 - 7:00 p.m. PST
YouTube Stream:

MCASD and the University of California, San Diego are proud to bring internationally acclaimed artists to San Diego through the annual Russell Lecture program. This year's lecture features renowned Nigerian-born, LA-based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby, who is known for her mixed media paintings that include photo transfers and textiles of her home country. Crosby’s tender, domestic scenes are painted at almost human-scale. Drawing from her experience as a Nigerian woman living in the United States, Crosby places black and brown people at the center of her work to show the syncretism of both cultures.

Saidiya HartmanPhoto of Saidiya Harman

Remote Guest Lecture

December 4, 2020
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. PST
YouTube Stream:

Saidiya Hartman is the author of Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route, and Scenes of Subjection. A MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, she has been a Guggenheim Fellow, Cullman Fellow, and Fulbright Scholar. She has published articles in journals such as South Atlantic Quarterly, Brick, Small Axe, Callaloo, The New Yorker and The Paris Review. She is a professor at Columbia University and lives in New York.


Field Journal #16Field Journal logo

Founded & Edited by Professor Grant Kester

This issue includes contributions from Professor Ricardo Dominguez, and PhD alumni Noni Brynjolson and Paloma Checa-Gismero, among others.


This site uses materials gathered for the MFA exhibition originally scheduled for Spring 2020 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. The exhibition, titled "History of the Present," has been postponed. On the site, you can view a PDF of the catalog, read the essay by PhD candidates Tiffany Beres and Alexanndra Nicholls, and view works by each artist in the 2020 MFA class.

MFA Exhibition


The Adam D. Kamil Gallery has moved online. This gallery is a site for undergraduate art shows and hosts the annual reception and exhibition for students that participate in the Adam D. Kamil Media Awards. Visual Arts majors and minors at the junior or senior level are eligible to submit a proposal to show in the Kamil Gallery for one week during the academic school year. Past online exhibitions remain viewable with the artists' permission.

Kamil Gallery