The Aspen Ideas Festival presents Ideas for the Future: Art, Media, and Race. Featuring Adam Lerner, Amanda Michel, Gustavo Arellano, and Matt Thompson -- four pioneers delivering a high-speed download from the frontier of their fields. From detonating the conventions of the museum world to examining Mexican food as a cultural vector to creating the post-blog future of political media, the ideas presented in this session are one step ahead of the national conversation."
Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, author of Orange County: A Personal History, and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. He is a lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes “¡Ask a Mexican!” a nationally syndicated column in which he answers any and all questions about America’s spiciest and largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the US, won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column, and in 2007 was published into book form. Arellano is the recipient of the Los Angeles Press Club's 2007 President’s Award and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award.
Adam Lerner is director and chief animator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver). In 2004, he founded The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar (The Lab) to explore the changing nature of art and museums and, in 2009, The Lab merged with MCA Denver when Lerner took the helm of the museum. According to a recent article in The New York Times, Lerner’s work at MCA Denver is “reshaping what has become a stale model for a contemporary art museum.” He is the author of a book about unauthenticated art forthcoming from Princeton Architectural Press.
Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He’s the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. Madrigal co-founded Longshot Magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the Association of Magazine Media and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti. He’s spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, South by Southwest, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010. Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley Office for History of Science and Technology.
Amanda Michel is open editor for the Guardian US and a co-founder of SparkCamp. Recently she worked at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom, where she was awarded a Knight-Batten Special Distinction Award for her crowdsourcing projects. New York Magazine named Michel one of the top new media innovators. Prior to ProPublica, Michel directed Huffington Post’s OffTheBus, for which she was credited by New York Magazine with “crafting the genre of citizen journalism.” Before working in media, she directed Howard Dean’s youth organizing effort Generation Dean and belonged to John Kerry’s Internet team. With colleagues, she co-founded the New Organizing Institute.
Founder, Longshot Magazine, Foodprint Project, and Editor Emeritus at Inhabitat
Matt Thompson is the editorial product manager at NPR, where he helps craft digital and editorial strategies, working on everything from creating the ethics handbook to training member stations. Thompson has been a prominent voice in digital journalism since 2004, when he co-created the short, speculative fiction movie EPIC 2014. He is a frequent speaker, board member of the Center for Public Integrity, and adjunct faculty member of the Poynter Institute. He's worked for the Knight Foundation, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Reynolds Journalism Institute and Fresno Bee.