Gabrys, Jennifer
Jennifer Gabrys BA (Hons), MLA, PhD

BA Design, MA Design + Environment, MPhil/PhD

Areas of supervision

My research student supervision is located in the following broadly defined areas: environments and design (including political ecologies of cities, habitats, nonhumans); digital media and communication technologies; citizen sensing; waste and materialities; environmental change and climate change; transdisciplinarity and emerging modes of practice

Jennifer Gabrys BA (Hons), MLA, PhD

Position held:

Senior Lecturer in Design, Convener of MA Design + Environment

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j.gabrys (


BA Design, MA Design + Environment, MPhil/PhD

Areas of supervision

My research student supervision is located in the following broadly defined areas: environments and design (including political ecologies of cities, habitats, nonhumans); digital media and communication technologies; citizen sensing; waste and materialities; environmental change and climate change; transdisciplinarity and emerging modes of practice

Grants & awards

2011-13 ESRC (RCUK Energy Research Programme) grant, Energy and Communities, 'Sustainability Invention and Energy Demand Reduction: Co-Designing Communities and Practice,' Co-Investigator with Mike Michael (PI) and Bill Gaver (CI)
2010-11 ADM-HEA grant, Co-Investigator with Joanna Zylinska (PI) and Edgar Schmitz (CI) for 'Liquid Books' pilot study (with Goldsmiths Learning Enhancement Unit match-funding)
2009-10 Cultivation Research Funds, 'Citizen Science, Creative Practice and Climate Change: New Models for Participation,' seed-funding, Design Department, Goldsmiths, University of London
2007-08 Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee Research Funds, 'Design Ecologies,' seed-funding, Goldsmiths, University of London
2007 Arts Council of England, artist commission for Weather Permitting, 'Forecast Factory: Snow Globes and Climate Change,' as part of 'Curating Climate Change,' organised by Kathryn Yusoff and Arts Catalyst
2004-07 Fonds Quebecois de la Recherche sur la Societe et la Culture, Montreal, Canada, for 'Digital Cities' project, co-writer of grant bid with Michael Longford (PI) and named Research Fellow
2004 Daniel Langlois Foundation, Centre for Research and Documentation, Researcher in Residence grant, for 'From Outside Art to E-waste: Translating the Research Environment of Experiments in Art and Technology'
2003 Bookworks, Chap Book commission for Airdrop
2000-02 Jerome Foundation Grant, Temporary Public Art commission, with Nathan Anderson, Weisman Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
2000 Jerome Foundation Grant, Book Arts commission, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis

2005-06 McGill Majors Dissertation Fellowship, McGill University, Montreal
2005 Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, Institute for Historical Research, University of London
2004 The Centre for Research on Intermediality Dissertation Fellowship, Montreal
2002-04 Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, Recruitment and International Student Fellowships, McGill University, Montreal
1996-99 Landscape Architecture Department Fellowship, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
1995 Selmer-Birkelo Scholarship, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
1994 Waller Scholarship, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Professional activities

Architectural Humanities Research Association
Design 21 Social Design Network
Leonardo / International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology
Royal Society of Arts (RSA, Fellow)
Surface Tension, Editorial Board Member for art and design journal edited by Brandon Labelle and Ken Ehrlich
Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)

Research interests

Gabrys’ research and practice focus on the intersection of environments and communication technologies. She is currently undertaking a study, Program Earth, on sensor technologies for ecological applications. She is a member of the collaborative environmental design and research group on climate change, Weather Permitting (, with Dr Kathryn Yusoff at the University of Exeter.

Selected publications

Forthcoming Program Earth: Ecology as Experiment in Sensing Technology (manuscript in preparation)
Forthcoming Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010)
2004 Airdrop, Chapbook No. 1 (London: Bookworks; ISBN: 1 870699 72 6), 40 pp.

Chapters in Books / Edited Works:
Forthcoming 'Shipping and Receiving: The Social Death of Electronics,' forthcoming in The World Turned Inside Out: Waste in History and Culture, eds. John F.M. Clark and John Scanlan (Cambridge Scholars Publishing)
2010 'Atmospheres of Communication,' in The Wireless Spectrum: The Politics, Practices and Poetics of Mobile Media, eds. Barbara Crow, Michael Longford and Kim Sawchuk (Toronto: University of Toronto Press; ISBN: 978-0802098931), 46-59
2010 'Telepathically Urban,' in Cultures of Circulation, eds. Will Straw and Alexandra Boutros (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press; ISBN: 978-0773536654), 48-63
2008 'Forecast Factory: Snow Globes and Weather Makers,' in BiPolar, ed. Kathryn Yusoff (London: The Arts Catalyst; ISBN: 978-0-9534546-6-2), 62-66
2007 'Bear Life,' co-authored with Kathryn Yusoff, in Focas: Forum on Contemporary Art and Society, ed. Lucy Davis (National University of Singapore Press and the Documenta 12 Magazines Project, 2007)
2006 'Media in the Dump,' in Alphabet City: Trash, ed. John Knechtel, No. 11 (Cambridge: MIT Press; ISBN: 0-262-11301-5), 156-165
2003 'Motor Chorus: Spatializing an Automotive City,' in Surface Tension, eds. Brandon LaBelle and Ken Ehrlich (Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press; ISBN: 0965557049), 245-254

Journal Articles:
Forthcoming 'Observing Climate Change: The Politics of Representation between Ice and Sky,' co-authored with Kathryn Yusoff (under review)
Forthcoming 'Arts, Sciences and Climate Change: Practices and Politics at the Threshold,' co-authored with Kathryn Yusoff, forthcoming in Science as Culture (2011)
2009 'Sink: The Dirt of Systems,' Environment and Planning D, vol. 27, no. 4 (ISSN 0263-7758), 666-681
2007 'Automatic Sensation: Environmental Sensors in the Digital City,' in 'Senses and the City,' special edition of The Senses and Society, eds. Mags Adams and Simon Guy, Vol. 2, Issue 2 (Oxford: Berg Publishers, July 2007; ISSN 1745-8927), 189-200
2006 'Paper Mountains, Disposable Cities,' in 'Refuse Report,' Surface Tension Supplement, eds. Brandon Labelle and Ken Ehrlich, No. 1 (Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press; ISBN: 0977259404), 130-139
2006 'Time Lapses: Robert Smithson’s Mobile Landscapes,' co-authored with Kathryn Yusoff, in 'Cultural Geographies in Practice,' Cultural Geographies, Vol. 13, No. 3 (London: Hodder Arnold; ISSN: 1474-4740), 444-450
2006 'The Quick and the Dirty: Ephemeral Systems in Silicon Valley,' in 'Ephemera,' Thresholds, Issue No. 31 (Cambridge: MIT Department of Architecture; ISSN: 1091-711x), 26-31
2006 'Appliance Theory,' in 'Electricity,' Cabinet Magazine, Issue No. 21 (Brooklyn, NY: Immaterial Incorporated; ISSN: 1531-1430), 82-86
2005 'Machines Fall Apart: Failure in Art and Technology,' in 'Re:Searching Our Origins: Critical and Archival Histories of the Electronic Arts,' special edition of Leonardo Electronic Almanac, eds. Catherine Mason and Paul Brown, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Cambridge: MIT Press, April 2005; ISSN: 1071-4391)
2004 'Leaflet Drop: The Paper Landscapes of War,' in 'Casting Doubt,' Invisible Culture, Issue 7 (University of Rochester, Winter 2004; ISSN: 1097-3710)
2002 'The Television in the Garden,' in 'Transit,' Loud Paper, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Berkeley, CA; ISSN: 1523 8733), 10-13

Reviews, Exhibition Catalogues, Online Publications
2010 'In the Woods and Out for the Territory: The Spatial Practice of Para-Sites,' in Dwelling for Intervals, ed. Yvette Poorter (Montreal: Conundrum Press; ISBN: 978-1-894994-48-4)
2009 'Circulating Carts, Salvaging Connections,' in Manual for the Construction of a Cart as a Device to Elaborate Social Connection, eds. Octavio Camargo and Brandon Labelle (Berlin: Errant Bodies Press Surface Tension Supplement No. 3; ISBN: 978-0-9772594-7-2), 40-43
2009 'The Art of Salvage,' in USED/Goods exhibition catalog, ed. Lorraine Oades, Kim Sawchuk and Gisele Amantea (Montreal: Cut Rate Collective), 86-97
2008 'Bill Burns: The Flora and Fauna Information Service at the ICA,' online review of Bill Burns exhibition and printed matter
2006 'Dirty Water Initiative,' introduction to Simparch installation at inSITE 05, in Surface Tension Supplement, eds. Brandon Labelle and Ken Ehrlich, No. 1 (Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press; ISBN: 0977259404), 78-80 / 78-86
2006 'Acts of Disposal,' exhibition review of 'Unwanted, Broken and Useless,' installation by Adrienne Spier (Toronto: YYZ Artists’ Outlet / YYZ zine)
2004 'Residue in the E.A.T. Archives,' online essay, The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology, Centre for Research and Documentation (Montreal)
2004 'Wasting Time,' exhibition review of 'Continuous Surface' performance and installation by Yvette Poorter (Toronto: Trinity Square Video)
2003 'Crime and Ornament,' book review in 'Economies,' Parachute, No. 110 (Montreal; ISSN: 0318 7020), 132-133
2003 'Noise and Contamination in the Information City,” in Visual Knowledges Conference Proceedings, ed. John Frow (University of Edinburgh; ISBN: 0953271331)

Invited Lectures and Talks
2010 Dirt, invited speaker for 'Object Fair,' Design and Social Science Seminar series, Goldsmiths, University of London (10 March)
2009 Arts, Sciences, and Researching Environmental Change, invited speaker with Kathryn Yusoff for AHRC Living with Environmental change seminar (7 April)
2008 Museum of Failure, invited speaker at Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP), Design and Social Science Seminar series, Goldsmiths, University of London
2007 Forecast Factory, invited symposium speaker, 'Polar: Fieldwork and Archive Fever,' British Library, London
Waste and Modernity, invited panel participant, The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination, New York
2006 Media in the Dump: Global Geographies of Electronic Waste, interviewed by BBC / Open2Net on Interdependence Exhibition
2005 Electronic Waste, interviewed by Fiona Downey for 'All in a Weekend,' CBC Radio 1, May 15
Atmospheres of Communication, invited panel participant for Mobile Digital Commons Network (MDCN) symposium, Society for Art and Technology, Montréal
The History of Excess in the Information Age, invited speaker at 'Knowledge and Society' seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
2004 Projects Outside Art, invited participant for panel on 'The Virtual Object,' presentation at Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO) conference, Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Montréal
2002 D.I.Y. and the Translocal Landscape, invited panel participant for NEURO[TICK] 2.1, 'Local Bits, Global Bytes,' Society for Arts and Technology, Montréal
2000 Temporary Public Art, invited participant for public art panel, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis

Conference Presentations
2011 Citizen Sensing and the Connected Sustainable City: Linking Urban and Political Ecologies, forthcoming conference presentation for the 'Green Apparatus? Political Technologies of the Sustainable City' panel, American Association of Geographers, Seattle
2010 Surveying and Sensing an Experimental Forest, conference presentation at 'Emerging Landscapes,' School of Architecture and the Built Environment, School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster
2008 Green Machines, conference presentation at 'Networks of Design,' University College Falmouth
2007 Snow Globes: The Frozen and Transient Scenes of Nature, conference presentation with Kathryn Yusoff at 'Nature Behind Glass,' Manchester Museum, University of Manchester
2006 Spaces of Remainder, conference presentation at 'Modernity and Waste,' University of St. Andrews
2005 Media in the Dump, conference presentation at CATH Congress 2005, 'The Ethics and Politics of Virtuality and Indexicality,' University of Leeds
2005 Weather and the Eroding Globe, conference presentation with Kathryn Yusoff at 'Globalisation and Representation,' University of Brighton
2005 Electronic Waste: The Case of Disposable Media, conference presentation at 'Making Use of Culture,' Cultural Theory Institute, University of Manchester
2004 Machines Fall Apart: Failure in Art and Technology, conference presentation at 'Futures Past,' CHArt (Computers and the History of Art), Birkbeck, University of London
2004 Expanding the Interface: From Digital City to Urban Database, co-author, conference presentation by Prof. Michael Longford at 'Culturepoles: City Spaces, Urban Politics and Metropolitan Theory,' Canadian Association of Cultural Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
2004 Debris Landscapes: The Excesses of Print, conference presentation at 'Print Culture and the City,' McGill University, Montréal
2003 Urban Database as Feedback Loop, Digital Cities conference presentation with Prof. Michael Longford at VSMM 2003, Montréal. Awarded best Media Arts presentation
2003 Noise and Contamination in the Information City, conference presentation at 'Visual Knowledges,' University of Edinburgh
2003 Leaflet Drop, conference presentation at 'Casting Doubt,' Visual Studies Department, University of Rochester, New York
2002 Satellites: The Orbital Environment, conference presentation at 'Transparencies: Technology, Culture, Communication,' Department of Radio, Television and Film, University of Texas, Austin

Exhibitions and Workshops
2010 Moss-Eye View: An Urban Ecological Tour of Bryophytes in the City of London, urban walking event for This Is Not A Gateway festival, with guest bryologist
Professor Jeff Duckett
2008 Forecast Factory, exhibition of geoengineering snow globes and pamphlet for BiPolar book launch, Royal Society of Antiquaries
2006 Response and Responsibility, invited participant for ESRC/NERC Interdependence Seminar Series, Royal Society, London
2006 Media in the Dump: Global Geographies of Electronic Waste, exhibition on electronic waste, Interdependence Day 2006, Royal Geographic Society, London
2006 Mobile Digital Commons Network, fieldwork and workshop participant for development of co-locative gaming project, Montréal
2005 Community Mapping Workshop: Sensing Pollution in London Fields, fieldwork and workshop participant with Proboscis, Space Studios, London
2004 The Art of Salvage, essay and postcard project for USED/Goods group show organized by Cut Rate Collective at Salvation Army, Montréal
2002 Glovebox Gardens, Jardins Virtuel, New Media Group Show, Studio XX, Montréal
2002 Please Take the Ticket, parking lot installation in collaboration with landscape architect Nathan Anderson, Jerome Foundation, Temporary Public Art on Campus, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis
2001 Transit, Jerome Foundation fellows exhibit, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis

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