The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge is a serial broadsheet publication produced by the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga, in conjunction with The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea, a site-specific exhibition, public program, and publication series designed to expand perspectives on climate change through artistic practices, cultural inquiry, and political mobilization.
In order to productively collide with the present crisis, we recognize that ideas cannot be constrained by disciplines. An ecology of knowledge based on the relationship and antagonism of “useful” ideas will be composed and circulated through The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK). The name of this innovative platform is borrowed from a non-profit society founded in London in 1826, focused on publishing inexpensive texts such as the widely read Penny Magazine and The Library of Useful Knowledge, and aimed at spreading important world knowledge to anyone seeking to self-educate. Both continuing and troubling the origins of the society, the Blackwood Gallery’s SDUK platform will circulate research, ideas, and debates from a range of exigent discourses and practices, including those among the visual arts, environmental humanities, public policy, political economy, sustainable design, science and technology studies, extinction studies, and the major scientific and cultural debate of a generation—the Anthropocene.
The SDUK broadsheet series brings together contributors from diverse fields in the sciences and humanities, students and faculty from across the University of Toronto Mississauga, community organizations and activists, policy makers and policy agitators, artist researchers and speculative thinkers, all to advance new forms of literacy around climate change discourse.