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ASU's Emerge to showcase vibrant fusion of arts, technology

Emerge 2012 Immerge
February 08, 2013

Public festival will cap off 3 days of enlightening entertainment, explorations into constructing the future

Engineers and dancers, scientists and actors, futurists and poets – from the region and around the world – will combine creative forces to present Arizona State University’s “Emerge 2013: The Future of Truth.”

Emerge is three ambitious days of events aimed at nothing less than redesigning the future – and celebrating human ingenuity – highlighted by a free day-and-night public festival of performances, exhibits and interactive demonstrations at ASU’s Tempe campus on March 2.

Saturday evening’s attractions include Twitterverse, a theatrical social-media narrative played out in flesh and chalk, along with rock and roll bands from the Tohono O’odham Nation, a light show, a truth serum cocktail lounge, theatrical atmospheric performance works, and award-winning songwriter, bluesman, and flamenco guitarist James O’Halloran – all in or near the Neeb Plaza on campus.

Also featured will be the Arts, Media and Engineering Digital Culture Showcase and experimental sonic art performances by the Laptop Orchestra of Arizona State and the Genesis dance project. Genesis will blend art with technology, presenting a dancer covered with sensors that detect her movements and muscle activity, resulting in music synthesized in real-time, with the sensors controlling aspects of the sound.

Among Emerge day-time speakers will be:

• Myth expert and poet Betty Sue Flowers
• Award-winning science fiction writer Bruce Sterling
• Composer, cyborg activist and performer of cybernetic arts Neil Harbisson
• Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best-selling author Paul Davies
• Visual artist, engineer and experimental designer Natalie Jeremijenko
• ASU President Michael Crow, author of “None Dare Call It Hubris: The Limits of Knowledge”
• Pulitzer Prize winning nonfiction narrative writer Buzz Bissinger
• Author of “World Wide Mind – The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet,” Michael Chorost
• Julian Bleecker and Nick Foster of the Near Future Laboratory
• Syd Mead, futurist designer, whose credits include the film “Blade Runner"

For Saturday evening sustenance, Liberty’s Biscuits, Satay Hut, Jamburritos, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Sandra Dee’s Catering, AZ BBQ and Dave’s Doghouse will bring mobile food-service vehicles to the festival.

Emerge will also present public events during the late afternoon and evening of Feb. 28 and March 1, including a play at ASU Lyceum Theatre that examines what separates – or doesn’t separate – humankind from the animal world, along with the Digital Culture Showcase and a Twitterverse presentation in Phoenix’s “The Lot: What Should Go Here?” on the northeast corner of Second and Roosevelt, two blocks east of the Arts District light rail station. For more information on the Twitterverse location, visit

As a prelude to the public events, a series of Emerge Workshops revolving around the theme “The Future of Truth” will be conducted Feb. 28 and March 1 on ASU’s Tempe campus.

Participants will strive to define new concepts of truth by engaging in everything from creating the new communal plays, songs and games of the future, to figuring out how you create a post-atrocity “truth commission” in the age of Google, Facebook and YouTube.

They’ll work at uniting traditional craft workers with state-of-the-art three-dimensional printers and explore the limits to life in the cosmos using interactive simulators. They’ll examine the stories we will tell ourselves when science fiction confronts the science facts of tomorrow.

“All of this will be done in the cause of making sense of our increasingly complex world and constructing a more robust future,” says Joel Garreau,  a co-director of Emerge and the ASU Lincoln Professor of Law, Culture and Values with the university’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Reports from the workshops will be featured as part of the Saturday public events.

Emerge workshops are the only part of Emerge that is by invitation only. To be considered for an invitation, visit

For the Emerge schedule of public events, visit For details on performances and exhibits, visit For more information on Emerge 2013, visit or e-mail questions to

Along with the Emerge festival, the ASU Tempe campus will be the site of two additional free public events on March 2, showcasing the sciences, engineering, technology, the arts and humanities.  Night of the Open Door will be presented by ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  with partners including ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, the Center for Science and the Imagination, the Biodesign Institute.  The Engineering Open House will be presented by ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Emerge 2013 is sponsored by ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, the Office of the President, the Center for Science and the Imagination, Project Humanities, the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts, the School of Sustainability, the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, InnovationSpace, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and ASU Libraries.  Emerge is also sponsored by Intel.

Emerge, Night of the Open Door and the Engineering Open House are all part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, a series of more the 200 events that make up a state-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).