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Science Gallery Atlanta names curator for inaugural exhibition on addiction

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Cultural producer, writer and documentarian Floyd Hall will serve as curator for “Hooked,” the inaugural exhibition of Science Gallery Atlanta.

Science Gallery Atlanta at Emory University has named Georgia native Floyd Hall as curator for its inaugural exhibition “Hooked,” which focuses on the twin themes of addiction and recovery.

Hall, a cultural producer, writer and documentarian, has worked across media platforms on a wide-ranging array of projects for local National Public Radio affiliate WABE, Woodruff Arts Center/High Museum, City of Atlanta, Central Atlanta Progress and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Prior to his cultural work he was a design, operations and manufacturing engineer at Lockheed Martin, the aerospace and defense company.

Deborah Bruner, senior vice president for research at Emory, oversees Science Gallery and says her team is incredibly fortunate to have Hall as the curator for “Hooked.” 

“Science Gallery is intended to foster greater community engagement in science and research,” Bruner says. “Mr. Hall has deep Georgia community roots, and that along with his unique background in engineering and the arts will ensure the inaugural exhibition is thoughtful, accessible and creatively reinforces the importance of science and research. Now more than ever, public engagement and understanding of how scientific research impacts everyday life is critical to improving our health and quality of life.”

Hall cites his years being raised in Atlanta – with childhood summers in Augusta, Georgia – and later living in New York City as an adult as primary influences on his life. He says time spent in these locations gave him moments of clarity and insight about regional perspectives, how spaces influence patterns of life, and the imagination and ingenuity of different cultures.

“As an artist I am interested in the process of how we come to define and design ourselves, and how history, culture and art blend together to construct narratives of place,” Hall says.

Hall holds a BS in mathematics from Morehouse College, a BS in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Columbia University’s Business School.

“Hooked” is slated to open in early 2022. It will feature immersive experiences using a mix of curated pieces from the Science Gallery exhibition in London and specially commissioned interactive artworks by Emory faculty, students and Atlanta artists.

Below is a Q&A with Hall on his thoughts about the upcoming exhibition:

How do you think “Hooked” will be valuable for the Emory and Atlanta communities?

I think both Science Gallery Atlanta and “Hooked” will help frame Atlanta — and in particular Atlanta’s cultural and research communities — within a global and historical context … with Emory University being the catalyst for that. Both scientists and artists help document and explain culture in their respective ways. And I think through this exhibition, and with Emory’s support, there’s an opportunity to help make amazing research more accessible and meaningful to our lives through stellar arts experiences.

What do you want people to take away most from this exhibition?

With “Hooked” I would like to challenge what we think we know or accept about addiction and the human experience. I really want people to see beyond typical perspectives and walk away from “Hooked” thinking about a wider range of factors that influence addiction in our society — physiological, neurological, geographic, digital culture, social rituals, mass media, public health, public safety, public policy, etc. I want “Hooked” to be a moment where we can push really interesting research and really compelling ideas to the forefront to add nuance to how we think about addiction.

How do you hope to leverage some of your past professional experiences for “Hooked”?

At my core, I think of myself as a translator. Having been both an engineer and a cultural producer in the arts, I’ve spent a lot of time taking complex, creative ideas from one area of expertise and fostering connections to other areas of knowledge. I think this will serve me well in preparation for “Hooked” and in the days beyond. I love scientific research and have a deep respect for the artistic process, so I’m excited about how those two passions will shape my curatorial perspective.

About Science Gallery

Part experiment, part exhibition, Science Gallery is a living laboratory for ideas. Its programs connect, engage and showcase the work of artists, scientists, researchers, industry and a global network of collaborators. Some Science Galleries are housed in permanent spaces while others curate pop-ups exhibitions and traveling exhibits. 

The Science Gallery Network consists of leading universities united around a singular mission: to ignite creativity and discovery where science and art collide. Science Gallery International is the non-profit, charitable organization catalyzing the growth of the network, providing services, tools and resources required to power and expand this unique global collaboration, which now has eight members across four continents: the pioneering member Trinity College Dublin (Ireland); King's College London (The United Kingdom); The University of Melbourne (Australia); the Indian Institute of Science, Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, The National Centre for Biological Sciences (India); Ca' Foscari University of Venice (Italy); Michigan State University (United States); Erasmus University Medical Center (The Netherlands); and Emory University (United States).

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