Zones of Emergency (ZOE) is a collaboration between MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology and artists, technologists, theorists and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds and fields. The purpose of ZOE is to examine the scale and complexity of catastrophe and disaster scenarios through lectures and panel discussions. ZOE takes the form of the Fall 2011 lecture series at ACT where discussion ranges from the philosophical and cultural understandings of the emergency to practical “on the ground” operating organizations to the current use of networked technology examining its own breakdown.

ZOE investigates the basis of what constitutes emergency and its inextricable relation to various institutional bodies, from government agencies to NGOs.

ZOE incites critical dialog between scientists, activists, cultural practitioners and those engaged in hands-on and day-to-day experience in emergency settings.

ZOE discusses catastrophe scenarios from a number of perspectives, asking how emergency zones lead to traumatic experience for those directly affected while generating political and/or economic opportunity for others.

ZOE explores how the use of critical design practice and technology can generate new paradigms and alternative approaches to disaster relief.

In addition to the fields of art and culture, the invited speakers for ZOE have been chosen from the fields of social geography, architecture and engineering, building technology and environmental studies, sociology, economics, and political science.

>see Zones of Emergency 2008