Laugh Crying: Research Project Launch

We laugh cry. No one knows exactly why. Seems it’s one of life’s great comedic biological mysteries.

We are pretty sure this will be the only Laugh Crying Research Project Launch event in Portland this fall. You don’t need to laugh cry to attend. We welcome all those curious about this bizarre comedic behavior to join us.

Talk: Long-time laugh crier, Laura Allcorn, will fill you in on our research and questions.  
  • Why do we laugh cry?
  • How does laugh crying shape our interactions?
  • What tends to bring us to laugh tears?
  • What conditions are favorable for laugh crying?
  • How does laugh crying affect our physiology?

We’ll share insights about why our eyes leak when we come unglued with laughter. Get ready to identify your lacrimal muscles! We’ll share thoughts from an interview we conducted with a researcher who studies dimorphous reactions (aka tears of joy) who helped us understand the theories around why we may laugh cry and what it signals to others. 

Report A Laugh Cry: We’d love to add your most memorable laugh crying episode to our collection! Come fill out a Laugh Crying Report. 

Laugh Crying Portrait Drawing: When’s the last time you had someone draw just your eyes like a first-time caricature artist while you tell them them about a time you laugh cried? We hope it will be at this event! 

Fear not if you don’t like drawing, there will be a template you can use that’s guaranteed to help you make eyes with laugh tears shooting out at the perfect angle.

We’ll wrap up with a show and tell. With your permission, we’ll hang your laugh crying portraits in the official Laugh Crying installation at IFCI.

Coming Soon!

Emerging Etiquette: advice for the AI era

A participatory project where you become an advice columnist.

At Emerging Etiquette, near future realities are treated as present day dilemmas. We’re exploring what will become polite behavior in a society that is enmeshed with AI.

Want to offer advice on situations no one has ever experienced before?
Good, we need you. Each issue is authored by first-time advice columnists.

Been in an awkward social situation? Curious about AI? You’re hired.

Accept a position and you’ll be collaborating with 16 new hires and AI co-workers. We’ll provide the unusual advice requests. You’ll provide your slowly simmered takes on the future. Together, we’ll put out an issue.

We’re known for our fun working environment. There’s no need to be anything other than yourself as you explore this new workplace scenario.

Your employment ends after a quick 90 minute stint.

Learn more here.
Apply here. $10 fee for Issue 0.
ISSUE 0: February 18th 7-8:30pm
Report to the Portland, Oregon office.

Project funded in part by:

Speculative Futures Portland Chapter: December Meetup

We’re excited to host the next meet up of Portland’s futures thinkers!

Tuesday, December 13th 2022
Register here.

Join us for an introduction to Laura Allcorn’s unique approach to Futures Thinking – one that combines comedy, science, performance and design. This meetup will be held in-person at the Institute For Comedic Inquiry where we can experience Laura’s projects first-hand and learn about her approach.

Laura Allcorn is the founder of the Institute for Comedic Inquiry — an experimental comedy research institute that collaborates with scientists and makes it fun for the public to explore complex topics like AI, surveillance, and data privacy. Her projects span topics and formats. For example, the SKU-Market is a satirical mini-market you can shop that explores how our purchasing habits and online behaviors can be interpreted, skewed, and applied to shape our lives in unexpected ways. Or, the syntHAsizer, a machine for playing with laughter as a verbal display of communication for humans and digital assistants. Both of these projects and more, will be available to explore during the meetup.

6:00-6:30pm - Doors open, refreshments and open studio
6:30-6:45pm - A short talk by Laura Allcorn, founder of the Institute for Comedic Inquiry
6:45-7:30pm - The chance to experience and interact with a few of her projects (installed in the space) and socializing happy hour time with fellow future thinkers and visitors.

About Speculative Future Portland
Our mission is to host community, conversation and knowledge sharing in order to further the ways in which we can utilize futures thinking, planning and design for application in both professional or personal work. This group is the local Portland chapter of the global Speculative Futures community, hosted by the Design Futures Initiative. Sponsors include: MADO

Excuse Me, Algorighm: Did I say you could do that?

An exhibition of IFCI’s work about AI in our everyday lives.

Opening Party!
Saturday, October 1 2022

Get in touch to make an appointment to visit.

Things To See + Do
Our data is wandering around and doing things we may not expect on our behalf. It can be fed into all sorts of AI applications. Come mock-shop, silly-walk, and fake-laugh your way through exploring these topics and imagining the role you want AI to play in your life.

Shop a mini-market and be profiled by its judgy algorithm.

Gait Augmentation Workout
Perfect your silly walk in an absurd workout about surveillance and privacy.

Fake laugh into a machine that remixes it to ‘real’. Debate if an AI should laugh like a human.

Have comments?
The timing couldn’t be better! The Federal Trade Commission is finally exploring new rules for regulating harmful commercial surveillance and lax data security practices.

We read the 100+ page request and are ready to help you gather your thoughts for public comment!