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IAA Autism Advocacy

What’s The Problem with Autism?


Diagnoses of autism have skyrocketed over the past few years, prompting a series of contentious debates around its origins.  But what is often left unexamined are the conceptual and scientific frameworks used to define and address it.  What traits make someone autistic? What do autistic people have in common? What makes them different from each other? Who gets to tell the story of who autistic people are and how they experience the world?


Why Are Autism Researchers and Autism Advocates Talking Past Each Other?


The tricky thing about autism is how it impacts clinical judgments about who is worth listening to and who’s to be ignored. Autistic people are the ones who live with their neurological and psychological conditions, yet the way they experience the world often signals to clinicians that they are unreliable narrators of their own experience.  The biggest liability for talking about autism is having it.


What’s The IAA Doing About It?


We’re having autistic people talk about autism: specifically, young adults on the spectrum who are in a position to reflect on their experiences and share their insights.  While this area of involvement is new for the IAA, one of our board members – Steven Pederson – is currently working on a book about autism, and we are working with other advocates (such as Reid Madden) to start curating conversations around this issue.




EMF Advocacy:
Publications and Academic Conferences

EMF Art Installations
(Juried & Grant Funded):

EMF Community Education:


The IAA is proud to have displayed our work on EMF science at the following galleries and museums:

  • Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (Seoul, South Korea)

  • Ely Center of Contemporary Art (New Haven, CT)

  • Tugboat Gallery (Lincoln, NE)

  • Franconia Sculpture Park (Shafer, MN)

  • NE Sculpture Gallery (Minneapolis, MN

EMF Publications, Talks, Conferences

  • “The Art of EMF Science: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Post-Digital Health Advocacy.”
    With Steven Pederson and the Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy. PostHuman: New Media Art 2020.  CICA Press, 2020.

EMF Juried Installations

“Cellular Home Invasion.”International Solo Show.
Czong Institute of Contemporary Art. Seoul,South Korea; 2019.
With Dr. Aaron McKain, Prof. Allison Baker, Prof. Josh Gumilea, and Riley Miller.

Cellular Home invastion uses sculpture, sound, and live programming to examine
the competing scientific paradigms that currently,
but contradictorily,
define and govern the “health” and “normalcy” of our post-digital bodies and homes.

By aesthetically enacting the competing realities of two recent “cellular” revolutions

  • the scientific discovery of the microbiome

  • the emerging medical consensus on the health effects
    of the frequencies that power our phones and the “internet of things”


the IAA transformed the Czong Institute space into a surrealistic
(but scientifically true)
representation of the posthuman environments
that all citizens, patrons, and patients must now learn
(ethically and epistemologically) to navigate.

Click here to see the entire exhibit.


Publications, EMF Advocacy
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