AMC2012 Opening Ceremony: Experiments in the Species Self

The Opening Ceremony of the 14th annual Allied Media Conference will feature a three-part panel about storytelling and the fate of the world with presentations by transmedia science fiction storyteller Thenmozhi Soundararajan; writer, filmmaker and social and gender justice activist from Detroit, dream hampton; and Micha Cárdenas, an artist/theorist who works in performance, wearable electronics, hacktivism and critical gender studies.

The Opening Ceremony will begin with a Welcome To Detroit message from Rhonda Anderson on behalf of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition. We will present a tribute to Detroit poet, D. Blair, featuring new works by Detroit poets Nandi Comer, William Copeland, and George Henry. The Opening Ceremony will close with a performance by the Ruth Ellis Center Voguers and J-Setters.

The AMC2012 is 6:00pm - 7:30pm in the Community Arts Auditorium at Wayne State University and is open to registered AMC participants.


This moment in history is vital for storytellers around the world because the stories we tell now will change the course of the planet. This is not just about the kinds of stories we tell but the way we tell our stories. More than ever before, we have technological tools that can support a collective intelligence that goes beyond a singular protagonist. Thenmozhi Soundararajan has defined this emerging collective intelligence as the "Species Self." Thenmozhi will present the Species Self as a call to action for us to redefine our narratives and recast the heroes we need NOW for the problems of today.

dream hampton's work stradles the old and new worlds of storytelling, as writer who has helped shape the world's perceptions of Tupac, Jay-Z and the legacy of hip hop as a whole. She has also worked to subvert the mythmaking of the singular protagonist, writing into existence spaces for marginalized voices within hip hop to claim and shape their own narratives. dream will perform Free the Girls, a collective narrative piece, which she wrote for Hip Hop Divas, an anthology about women in hip hop.

Micha Cárdenas's project Autonets is an experiment with participating in the species self, as she makes visible the literal interconnectedness between bodies, using mesh wireless technology that allows people to find each other. In the performance she created as part of Autonets, she asks: "How can we build networks, relationships, / span the gaps between individuals, / create assemblages, / subnetworks, / glowing lines / of connection and affection, / made visible with electroluminescence and soft circuits." Micha will perform and screen pieces of her work.

These three artist/visionaries were selected to present on the AMC2012 Opening Ceremony because their work synthesizes much of the complexity and beauty of work happening within the AMC community and reflects it back to us. We hope that the stories we craft and the relationships we build this year at the AMC are "assemblages" and glowing lines that will span-out from Detroit, illuminating pathways through our work over the rest of the year.

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