Applications Open for 2015-2016 ATEC/EMAC Scholarship

The Arts & Technology Scholarship is funded by the Metroplex Technology Business Council 2008 Tech Titan Award and the Greater Texas Foundation. The award is a total of $2000 for one year towards tuition, or $1000 per Fall and Spring semester.

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Completed applications are due no later than March 20, 2015.

Requirements

  • Students must be Arts & Technology or Emerging Media & Communication majors.
  • Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduates. Applicants must or will be enrolled as full-time students (12 SCH).
  • Scholarship recipients must enroll in at least one course in Arts & Technology or Emerging Media & Communication each semester.
  • Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA to qualify for the award and to continue to receive the award.
  • If a student drops a course and/or earns less than the required GPA, s/he will be placed on probation the following semester and the Arts & Technology Scholarship committee will review her/his case.
  • If graduating in December, students who apply during their junior year will receive one-half of the award (for the fall semester of their senior year).

Students must submit the following materials:

  1. An essay (approximately 250-300 words) in in which you analyze and make an argument about an important example of the intersection of arts and technology (which may include emerging media and communication).
  2. Up to 2 letters of recommendation that speak to your academic or professional ability.
  3. Please submit a portfolio web-link of your best material and short description of work submitted (For group work, please describe what your role was in the project).
    Limit: 3-5 minutes of a reel or video, 6-8 screen shots or four pages maximum of written work including an abstract.  Quality not quantity is vital.

 

Download the application.

Please send questions regarding the scholarship application to: tara.lewis@utdallas.edu

 

ATEC Lecture Series Returns on Jan. 28

The University of Texas at Dallas will welcome Lincoln Wallen, chief technology officer of DreamWorks Animation, to kick off the second season of the ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series on Jan. 28.

The lecture series, presented by The Dallas Morning News, returns to the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, which houses programs that explore topics at the intersection of arts and technology.

“Last year’s inaugural series was a complete success. Our campus opened its doors to a number of creative minds that challenged the University community to explore new avenues of collaboration, invention and research,” said Dr. Roger Malina who holds the Arts and Technology Distinguished Chair. “As the ATEC program at UT Dallas continues to explore how to fuse technology with the creativity of the arts and humanities, and as the University as a whole looks to push the boundaries of research, this year’s group of speakers is sure to spark the minds of many.”

Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m. Lincoln Wallen, chief technology officer, DreamWorks Animation
Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln Wallen, chief technology officer, DreamWorks Animation

Wallen joined DreamWorks Animation in 2008 as head of research and development to direct the creation and deployment of the studio’s CG production platform and software tools. A recipient of InfoWorld’s 2012 Technology Leadership Award, he has also enjoyed a distinguished career as a professor at Oxford University and was the first director for the multidisciplinary Smith Institute for Industrial Mathematics and Systems Engineering.

March 4, 7:30 p.m. John Maeda, design partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
March 4, 7:30 p.m.
John Maeda, design partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

World-renowned artist, graphic designer, computer scientist and educator John Maeda will speak on March 4. He was named one of the “75 most influential people of the 21st century” by Esquire. In 2014, President Barack Obama named him a member of the National Council on the Arts. Maeda previously served as president of Rhode Island School of Design, but has since taken on new roles at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and as chairman of eBay’s design advisory board.

April 8, 7:30 p.m. Hugh Herr, associate professor, MIT Lab
April 8, 7:30 p.m.
Hugh Herr, associate professor,
MIT Lab

Hugh Herr, an associate professor who heads the biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab, will speak April 8. Time magazine called him the “Leader of the Bionic Age” because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of biomechatronics, a technology that marries human physiology with electromechanics. Herr is responsible for breakthrough advances in bionic limbs that increase mobility and offer new hope to people with physical disabilities. A double amputee, he designed his own bionic legs and the world’s first bionic foot and calf system called the BiOM.

April 28, 7:30 p.m. Tony and Jonna Mendez, former CIA officers
April 28, 7:30 p.m.
Tony and Jonna Mendez, former CIA officers

Tony and Jonna Mendez will be the featured speakers April 28. Tony Mendez, a retired CIA officer, author and award-winning painter, received the Intelligence Star for Valor for engineering and conducting the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the 1979-1981 hostage crisis. The rescue operation involved creating an ostensible Hollywood film production company, complete with personnel, scripts, publicity and real estate in Los Angeles. The story served as the basis for his most recent book, Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled off the Most Audacious Rescue in History, as well as the Academy Award-winning film Argo. Jonna Mendez worked in the agency as a technical operations officer with a specialty in clandestine photography. Her duties included training the CIA’s most highly placed foreign assets to use spy cameras and process the intelligence they gathered.

Last year, the series drew nearly 4,000 people to four lectures that featured Robert Edsel, author of the bookMonuments Men; Microsoft executive and datacenter chief Christian Belady; Vinton G. Cerf, chief Internet evangelist at Google; and astronaut, engineer, physician and teacher Dr. Mae Jemison.

ATEC Building Offers Bigger Frontier for Jonsson School Researchers

gans-lab-800-2015-01
Dr. Nicholas Gans (center), assistant professor of electrical engineering, and research assistant Jingfu Jin start one of their autonomous robots in the high bay room in the ATEC building. The nearly 1,300-square-foot room has 16-foot-high walls, enough space for a quadrotor robot to fly in Gans’ lab.

A walk through the ground floor of one of the newest lab and classroom buildings at UT Dallas — the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building — reveals technological innovations such as flying robots, autonomous vehicles and 3-D immersion rooms, along with visual art exhibits from students and alumni.

Nearly a dozen professors from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science have offices, labs or both in the $60 million, 155,000-square-foot ATEC building, which was dedicated in 2013. The facility showcases the visual arts and is a highly adaptable technology hub for the Arts and Technologyprogram, which creates connections between science and engineering and the arts and humanities.

“The Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building provides another opportunity to expose students and visitors to the engineering and computer science fields,” said Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Jonsson School and director of the Laboratory for Autonomous Robotics and Systems (LARS) housed in the building. “In addition to classrooms for game design, sound design, and drawing and painting art studios, there are areas for virtual reality, tele-immersion, and product design and manufacture — areas typically held in dedicated engineering and computer science space.”

Dr. Ryan McMahan (right), assistant professor of computer science, with Vinton Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, said he could not conduct his immersive virtual reality research on campus until the ATEC building opened.
Dr. Ryan McMahan (right), assistant professor of computer science, with Vinton Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, said he could not conduct his immersive virtual reality research on campus until the ATEC building opened.

The Sensing, Robotics, Vision, Control and Estimation Lab of Dr. Nicholas Gans, assistant professor of electrical engineering, is housed in the high bay room in the ATEC building. The nearly 1,300-square-foot room has 16-foot-high walls. To conduct research on vision-based estimation and control for robots and autonomous vehicles, he needs room for his quadrotor robot to fly and his autonomous vehicles to roam.

“There are only a few places on campus where we could safely conduct our research because we need rooms with ceilings above 12 feet,” he said.

Dr. Ryan McMahan, assistant professor of computer science, had a similar dilemma. His immersive virtual reality research uses advanced technology to track full-body movements in real time — and display stereoscopic images for the user’s perspective. The technology immerses people in 3-D worlds where they can train at a surgical table, or travel down a coal mine.

“Instead of controlling an avatar on a screen, it feels egocentric, as if you are actually there,” he said. “I require a lot of space to move around, so before this building opened up I was not able to conduct research.”

The motion capture room, where many of his Future Immersive Virtual Environment (FIVE) students work, has a tracking zone of 12 feet by 12 feet, which is enough for only one person at a time.

“We are working on proposals to double the area so that a person could be tracked immediately when they enter the motion capture room,” he said. “In the real world, there is more than one nurse at a surgical table, so our training modules would become more effective.”

McMahan’s 13 students in his FIVE lab have majors in computer science as well as in ATEC or Arts and Humanities, which houses the ATEC program. Lab members meet at least once a week.

“When I need a surgical room or other model, I ask an ATEC student because they have learned modeling and animation,” he said. “But if I need a new interactive technique such as the ability to climb a ladder, my computer science students are the ones who can develop the needed software or algorithm.”

Gans agrees that engineers working with artists can be mutually beneficial.

“If you look at any prototype versus a product on the market, there is a final design step that incorporates aesthetic issues,” he said. “Artists turn something that may be functional into something that is also appealing.”

Gans has research collaborations with Arts and Humanities faculty members and also has taught with ATEC professors in summer camps. Their robotic art camp was a creative way to teach robotics, motors, sensors and programming to an audience without prior experience.

Gans makes a point to leave the windows open in the robotics lab room, and passers-by have noticed the robotic arms and other sensors that line the walls.

“A 12-year-old kid was looking in our window for a while, so I went over there and talked to him and he asked me a lot of questions,” he said. “He ended up joining my robotics camps. In the engineering buildings, that never would have happened because he would have never seen inside our lab.”

Gans said students benefit from being in the building.

“The space is essential, and the facilities themselves are quite nice,” he said. “Sometimes I joke with my lab members that graduate students are supposed to be in a dungeon with no windows so you don’t know what time it is.”

Having engineers in the ATEC building also comes with practical benefits. During the building dedication, three Mylar balloons floated to the top of the building.

Gans’ quadrotor robots were used to retrieve them. Two of the balloons are still on display in his lab.

“There was no other way to get them down,” he said.

Art History Institute’s Ad Astra Lecture Begins Spring Slate of Events

Two talks this week will kick off the spring semester’s arts events.

On Wednesday, Dr. Sean B. Carroll, vice president for science education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will chronicle the adventures of scientist Jacques Monod in a talk presented by UT Dallas’ Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History as part of the Ad Astra Lecture Series.

Sean B. Carroll will talk about scientist Jacques Monod on Wednesday in a lecture presented by the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at UT Dallas. Carroll wrote about Monod in his book Brave Genius: A Scientist, A Philosopher and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. The lecture will be held at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Named after the Latin phrase ad astra, meaning “to the stars,” the lecture series hosts emerging and established practitioners from art, science and technology with a goal of expanding the world and practice of the discipline of art history.

Carroll, an award-winning scientist, writer, educator and film producer, described Monod’s emergence as a public figure and leading voice of science in the book Brave Genius: A Scientist, A Philosopher and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize.

Carroll’s other books include Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species, which was a finalist for the National Book Award for nonfiction; The Making of the Fittest; andEndless Forms Most Beautiful. He also wrote a regular feature, “Remarkable Creatures,” for The New York Times.

The lecture is at 7 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art. Admission is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, UT Dallas will host a panel discussion with distinguished figures in contemporary art and art education.

The discussion, titled “Panel Discussion on The Art Effect: Translational Ecology of Contemporary Art,” comes in conjunction with the Loris Gréaud exhibition that opens Saturday at the Dallas Contemporary. The forum aims to achieve an “intellectual investigation of translation, postproduction and relations in the context of contemporary art.”

The discussion will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building main lobby.

The panelists are:

  • Nicolas Bourriaud, director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris, curator, art critic and theorist. Bourriaud was curator for contemporary art at the Tate Britain in London from 2007 to 2010.
  • Éric Mangion, director of the National Centre of Contemporary Art of the Villa Arson in Nice, France, since 2006.
  • Loris Gréaud, transdisciplinary artist based in Paris. Gréaud creates transformative experiences that challenge the senses and confront the viewer with otherworldly landscapes.
  • Frank Dufour (moderator) digital artist, director of graduate studies for the ATEC program
  • Justine Ludwig, senior curator, Dallas Contemporary
  • Noah Simblist, associate professor and chair of the Division of Art, Southern Methodist University
  • Charissa Terranova, associate professor of aesthetic studies, UT Dallas

The event, supported by the Cultural Service at the French Consulate in Houston, is free and open to the public.

ATEC Faculty Art Exhibition Among Best of 2014

Arts and Technology Professor Frank Dufour’s DREAMARCHITECTONICS exhibition at the Dallas Contemporary was named among the 10 Best Art Exhibitions of 2014.  The Best of Dallas® is presented annually by the Dallas Observer.

Dallas-Contemporary-DREAMARCHITECTONICS-e1413416045256

About DREAMARCHITECTONICS

Dr. Frank Dufour
Dr. Frank Dufour

DREAMARCHITECTONICS is an interactive audio-visual installation that aims to infuse into the space a state of reverie or meditation in order to explore the structure of dreams.  Entering this space, the participant is immersed in a sphere of controlled quietness created by aerial active noise-cancellation.

Within this space, a book offers extracts of poetic texts, evocative of dreams. When read aloud, the chosen text is analyzed according to the acoustic and temporal signature of the reader’s voice, thus controlling the visual and musical output.  The resulting audio-visual sequence is designed to reveal the structural connections among the images suggested by the text.

The tuning between the system and the participant forms a syntonic experience similar to the effort of the remembrance of dreams.  The work seeks to present this fragile and fugacious sensation of movements in images, sounds and meanings occurring in dreams and attempts to render perceivable the altered experience of Time, characteristic of the dream-state.

The video above has been remixed for online platforms and diffusion on stereophonic systems. This version does not fully render the spacial acoustic dimension of the original installation.

Panel Discussion on The Art Effect: Translational Ecology of Contemporary Art

Dallas ContemporaryIn conjunction with the Loris Gréaud exhibition at the Dallas Contemporary opening Jan. 17, The Arts & Technology program and The Center for Translation Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas are hosting a panel discussion with local and international distinguished figures in contemporary art and art education. The objective of this forum is the intellectual investigation of translation, postproduction and relations in the context of contemporary art.

The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, Jan. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Edith O’Donnell Arts & Technology building main lobby.

PANEL

Nicolas Bourriaud

Nicolas Bourriaud
Nicolas Bourriaud

Nicolas is currently Director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris, cu- rator, art critic and theorist. From 2007 to 2010, Bourriaud was curator for contemporary art at The Tate Britain in London, where he organized, Altermodern.

From 1999 to 2006, he was also curator of contemporary art and co-director of Palais de Tokyo. Commissioner of Biennales in Lyons, Moscow and Athens (2005-2011) Bourriaud has curated numerous exhibitions worldwide. He is the founder of the art journals Documents sur l’Art and Revue Perpendiculaire and is a published author whose essays Relational Aesthetics, Postproduc- tion and The Radicant have been translated into fifteen languages.

Éric Mangion

Éric Mangion
Éric Mangion

Eric Mangion has been Director of the National Centre of Contemporary Art of the Villa Arson in Nice, France since 2006, where he programmed an exhibition cycle conceived from ephemeral practices (sound, poetry or performance). From 1993 to 2005 he directed the FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

He is an active art critic writing for an array of venues, including Art Press, Mangion investigates the function of “disappearance” as an artistic gesture, whether it be a matter of concealment, covering up, destruction, theft, vandalism, or simply the disappearance of the artist, thus analyzing how disappearance accompanies theoretically and formally the creation of our time.

Loris Gréaud

Loris Gréaud
Loris Gréaud

Loris Gréaud is a transdisciplinary artist based in Paris, France. Gréaud creates transformative experiences that challenge the senses and confront the viewer with otherworldly landscapes. Gréaud is the first artist to use the entire space of the Palais de Tokyo for an exhibition titled, “Cellar Doors,” while concurrently showing performative works titled “[I]” in the Louvre and and in the Centre Pompidou.