This year’s Open Engagement conference will feature two NYSCI Designers-in-Residence participants, Brooke Singer and Jan Mun. The theme “Sustainability” is the perfect context to explore and discuss Brooke Singer’s Carbon Sponge project and Jan Mun’s proposal to promote mycoremediation in New York City. Both projects embody the principles of environmental and social justice, environmental stewardship and agency, while providing platforms for critically assessing the individual and collaborative’s roles in climate change. NYSCI’s Director of Public Programs, Elizabeth Slagus, creator of the Designer-in-Residence program at NYSCI, will be moderating the discussion.


Open Engagement, Queens 2018

This conference will take place from May 11 – 13, 2018 at various locations, with pre-conference programming on Thursday, May 10, 2018. The conference begins at 10 am each day. Parallel sessions (presentations, workshops, panels) happen on Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, from 12 pm – 5 pm.

Conference Registration


Featured NYSCI Workshops and Panel Discussions


Workshop: Carbon Sponge by Brooke Singer

Saturday, May 12, 2018
12:30 pm – 2 pm
New York Hall of Science, in Lab 2

NYSCI Explainers along with Designer-in-Residence, Brooke Singer, will discuss the carbon cycle, carbon sequestration in soil and the design of the Carbon Sponge project and study at NYSCI through hands-on activities like examining soil microbes using a microscope and reading the temperature and moisture of soil with electronic sensors.

This workshop is only open to those registered for OE 2018.


Panel: Beyond the Walls: Developing Agency

Sunday, May 13, 2018
3 pm – 4:30 pm
New York Hall of Science, in Viscusi Gallery

We must move beyond environmentally-focused exhibits and one-time collaborations. We need sustained action, multi-pronged involvement, broader distribution, and wider, more flexible collaborations. Enter: the long-term community-based platforms of artists, Jan Mun and Brooke Singer. Join Liz Slagus, Director of the Designers-in-Residence (DiR) Program at NYSCI, for a conversation with current DiRs, Brooke and Jan, and their NYSCI and community collaborators. Explore models that foster agency and promote working with, not against one another toward environmental and social justice.
Panelists: Liz Slagus, Jan Mun, Brooke Singer, Soil Scientist, Sara Perl Egendorf and Explainers, Saher Arain and Cara Lambrento.

This panel is only open to those registered for OE 2018.

Open Engagement (OE) is an annual, three-day, artist-led conference dedicated to expanding the dialogue around and creating a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. The conference highlights the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations working on the complex social issues and struggles of our time.

Since 2007, OE has presented eight conferences in two countries and six cities, hosting over 1,600 presenters and over 6,000 attendees. Annual programming is selected by committees comprised of artists, educators, professionals, and community members from a free, open call for proposals.