Presented at the David Brower Center in partnership with Empire Logistics

Monday, November 30
7 pm

How do products move through our spaces, and why does it matter? This evening program will explore the global supply chain and the Bay Area’s position as a key technology hub — or “supernode” — that powerfully shapes how goods are produced, circulated, and consumed throughout the world. Empire Logistics will showcase new mapping and diagramming tools, and offer a closer understanding of local and global supply chains for artists, activists, researchers and consumers themselves. Panelists will include Peter Olney, former Director of Organizing for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Charmaine Chua, political ethnographer of container shipping across the trans-pacific passage, and Jasper Bernes, poet and essayist.


Jasper Bernes received his PhD from the Department of English at UC Berkeley in 2012. He is currently completing a book manuscript, Poetry in the Age of Deindustrialization, about the role poetry plays in the postindustrial restructuring of labor. Excerpts from this project have been published in or are forthcoming from MLQ and Critical Inquiry. He is also the author of two books of poetry, We Are Nothing and So Can You (2015), and Starsdown (2007). Other essays, articles, and reviews can be found in the Los Angles Review of Books, Endnotes, Radical Philosophy, Viewpoint, The New Inquiry, and elsewhere. He teaches in the English Department at Stanford University.

Charmaine Chua is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Her current dissertation project is a political ethnography of container shipping across the trans-pacific passage, which examines the embodied politics of inhabiting, laboring in, and disrupting the logistics supply chain. She recently worked and lived on board a container ship for six weeks, crossing the Pacific Ocean from LA to Taipei.

Peter Olney is the retired Director of Organizing for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Olney has been part of the labor movement for over 40 years. He has worked for numerous labor unions as an organizer and negotiator. Since coming to California in 1983 he has focused his work on building organization in the immigrant working class. From 2001 until 2004 Olney was the Associate Director of the University of California’s Institute for Labor and Employment (ILE). Olney has a Masters in Business Administration from UCLA. He resides in San Francisco, California.