All events start at 6 pm and take place at:
National Mechanics
22 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106


December 11, 2017

Rethinking Ink: Lasers, Tattoo Removal, and Second Chances

Arm and armThere was a time when tattoos were taboo, and you thought long and hard before getting one. Today 20 percent of American adults are inked. Tattoos just don’t carry the stigma they once did—unless it’s a particular kind of tattoo, in a particular place on the body. Fortunately, as our penchant for getting tattoos has grown, so has our ability to get rid of them. In the 1960s, researchers started experimenting with lasers to remove tattoos, and since then the technology has dramatically improved. Now we can erase our past, whether it’s a sailor’s drunken decision from overseas or a gang insignia that prevents its owner from getting a job—and could even get him killed. Sociologist and CHF Beckman Legacy Project research fellow Joseph Klett traces the modern history of tattoo removal through the stories of his father—a retired sailor—and ex-gang members in California.

KLETT profileAbout the speaker: Joseph Klett is a sociologist and research fellow with the Beckman Legacy Project at CHF. He studies how technology is used to shape perception in everyday life. He asks questions like: What perspective does technology provide for users, and How does this perspective reproduce the values of its creators? He is currently writing a book called Organizing Sound about audio engineers and music teachers as they try to influence the way that people listen to and make sound in the world.

September’s talk is hosted by the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

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