Natalie Jeremijenko to deliver the 2014 Wendy Michener Lecture at York U


TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2014 – Boundary-pushing artist, engineer and inventor Natalie Jeremijenko is the featured speaker for the 2014 Wendy Michener Lecture in York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, which will take place March 5 in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York’s Keele campus.

Jeremijenko has been named one of the inaugural top 100 young innovators by the MIT Technology Review, one of the 40 most influential designers by I.D. Magazine, and one of most influential women in technology by Fast Company.

Her xLECTURE on the xCLINIC will take its cue from her multidisciplinary approach, addressing such wide-ranging topics as:

  • What is an Environmental Health Clinic (xCLINIC) and why would they pay me to ride my bike?
  • Why is CHILDxLABOR in my future?
  • How do I get a tree as my landlord?
  • Will I get hurt wrestling rhinoceros beetles and why do I have to wear the helmet?
  • What is smarter than a smart city?
  • Why do I bring my junk mail to the BIOCHAR BBQ and what if I don’t know how to salsa?
  • How do I become a certified FLORISTA and why do pollinators care if I hula-hoop?
  • Which is my snail and how does it email me?
  • What do I barter for my blood test results?
  • How do I co-produce a delicious, bio-diverse and healthy urban future?
  • What would Toronto look like with an xCLINIC, FARMACY and OOZ?

Her talk will be followed by a Q & A session with the audience. Admission is free.

Jeremijenko works at the interface of culture and technology, specializing in environmental and urban issues. She is an associate professor of art and art education at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, and an affiliated professor in the Environmental Studies Program and in the Computer Science Department, Courant Institute, at New York University.

She is the director of NYU’s xDesign Environmental Health Clinic (xClinic), which approaches health from an understanding of its dependence on external local environments rather than an individual’s internal biology and genetic predispositions. The clinic develops and prescribes locally optimized, often playful strategies to remediate environmental systems and bring about material change.

Jeremijenko’s research centres on structures of participation in the production of knowledge and information, and the political and social possibilities (and limitations) of IT and emerging technologies. Bridging biochemistry, physics, digital media and neuroscience, her experimental design (xDesign) projects explore opportunities presented by new technologies for social change – most often in the form of public experiments and experiences.

Her work spans a wide range of media, from statistical indices (such as the Despondency Index, which linked the Dow Jones to the suicide rate at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge) to biological substrates (such as the installations of cloned trees in various urban micro-climates) to robotics (the development of feral robotic dog packs to investigate environmental hazards).

Jeremijenko’s work has been showcased on three continents, including at MOMA, the Guggenheim, Eyebeam and Postmasters Gallery in New York City, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MASSMoCA, Neuberger Museum of Art, the Venice Biennale (2012), Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Triennial (2006-7), Whitney Biennial of American Art (2006, 1997), Z33 in Hasselt/Belgium, Künstlerhaus Vienna, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. She is an artist not-in-residence at the Institute for the Future, a think tank based in Palo Alto, California.

Jeremijenko’s Wendy Michener Lecture is presented by Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology in the Faculty of Fine Arts in association with the Situating Science Seminar Series, Entanglements of Instruments and Media in Investigating Organic Worlds organized by the Science and Technology Studies Program, and with support from the Community Arts Practice Certificate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.

The Wendy Michener Lecture, named in commemoration of the Canadian arts critic and journalist, was established in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University in 1986 to provide a forum for discussion of vital issues and developments in culture and the arts.

What:  The 2014 Wendy Michener Lecture

Natalie Jeremijenko: "An xLECTURE on the xCLINIC"

When:  Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5 pm to 6:30 pm. Reception to follow.

Where:  Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building (Building 92 on the map)

York University, 4700 Keele St. | Map & Directions

Admission:  Free (open to the public)

NOTE: Media are invited to cover the event. For interviews or additional information, please contact Media Relations.

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 27 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.


Media Contact: Tabassum Siddiqui, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 ext. 44543,