ATEC Team’s Creation to Add Interactive Harmony to Jazz Artist’s Show

ATEC sculpture for jazz show
The relief sculpture, constructed by ATEC Professor Andrew F. Scott and his students, depicts a modified peace sign emblazoned in between a set of eyes.

By now, visitors to the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building have grown used to seeing an alternating set of distinctive, cardboard sculptures strewn across all corners of the first floor.

Angular renderings of mermaids, chess knights, masks and an array of abstract forms provide a jolt of creative panache for passers-by. It’s all courtesy of the 3-D Studio and Digital Fabrication Lab led by Professor Andrew F. Scott at UT Dallas.

Stepping into the lab, visitors are met with a workspace in constant motion. At the moment, graduate students are buckling down — weaving their way through a series of tall, steel frames and multiple piles of broad cardboard panels. Scott and his team are in the homestretch of wrapping up a massive undertaking: a relief sculpture that will serve as the interactive backdrop for an upcoming Terence Blanchard concert.

The final work — flat and tall — will stand at a little over 15 feet high and 31 feet wide.

“Think of it as a canvas that we’ll be projecting light onto,” Scott said. “It’s going to be synchronized dynamically to the musical performance, so the music is going to drive the visual performance. In many ways, I see our role as being the sixth member of Terence’s group.”

Members of Scott’s team started with a model a fourth of the size of the final product, giving them an opportunity to test the visual projections they’ve been developing. Another model — half the size — followed suit.

“This model was built in a way that mimicked how we were going to create the full-scale version,” Scott said. “We sort of look at it as skeleton, muscle and skin. We have a steel framework that forms the skeleton of the piece. This carries the loads used to lift it. Attached to that, we have a 2-ply cardboard grillage muscle system that ties into the skeleton. That supports the thin cardboard skin, which is the face of the work.”

While Scott has been working in the realm of 3-D-fabricated art since he was a graduate student at The Ohio State University, his work in projection mapping is relatively new — a product of his appointment to the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication in 2015.

“The biggest shift to my move here and the way it informed my work is that, heretofore, I’d been really concentrating on object making,” he said. “Upon my arrival here, I began to incorporate all the constituent aspects of ATEC into my creative process. I started to do work with light, work with animated content in it and work driven by music. All of these things came together and marked a really dramatic shift in my artistic practice.”

He began projecting photos of people on to his 3-D sculptures. His work became a metaphor for the ways in which society projects certain images and ideas onto them, particularly African-American men.

Shortly after that, he showed his first projection-mapped piece, “Reliquary,” at the PULSE Art and Technology festival in Georgia. The piece caught the eye of his longtime friend and Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard.

“We have a very long history; we’ve been friends for many years, and we were trying to find ways that we could collaborate,” Scott said.

He ended up working with Blanchard to create the cover art for the musician’s 2015 album “Breathless.” The piece he created for the album, part of Scott’s Black Man Grove series, depicts a sole fist raised in the air with mangrove roots growing out of the wrist.

Blanchard and Scott will continue their creative partnership with this upcoming concert. It’ll be the first time that Scott’s work interacts with a live performance.

Over the final 20 days before their deadline, Scott and his team will focus on the visual elements that will be projected on to the sculpture’s façade. Referencing music taken from Blanchard’s live performances, the students are developing visuals of different textures and styles.

This is ATEC graduate student Vic Simon’s first foray into the field of projection mapping.

“I spent a whole lot of time over the winter break doing preparation — learning about projection mapping and MadMapper,” he said. “It’s been a wild ride, but it’s a really cool piece of creative technology, and I’m very excited about it.”

Students in the course — Topics in Arts and Technology: Projection Mapping — become well-versed in an array of programs used to realize the finished product. Software such as MadMapper and MODUL8 are used to manipulate and edit video in real time.

ATEC graduate student Michael Bradley has split his time between building the sculpture and writing software to help create visualizations for the show.

Bradley said that unlike other courses he’s taken, Scott invites students to combine their individual — and often vastly differing — skills in pursuit of a common goal.

“We have media specialists, fabrication specialists, 3-D modelers, programmers, engineers,” Bradley said. “It’s hard, if not impossible, to work so closely with people like this for 15 or so weeks and not pick up a thing or two from them. I’m learning about new software like in other classes sure, but in this case, when we have a problem to solve or a hole to fill everyone steps up with their own experiences, and Scott composites all the ideas we have into a working solution.”

Next week, the sculpture will be moved to the lecture hall in the ATEC building, where the team will add the final touches.

Scott often likens the way his team has worked this semester to Blanchard’s jazz ensemble — seemingly disparate creative parts coming together to create harmony. The students in the lab work in time, synchronizing the rhythm of their workflow.

“The whole is a manifestation of the interaction between the parts, and a lot of the times, you don’t know how the parts are going to come together dynamically until you’re in a live, improvisational creative process,” Scott said. “It’s going to be alive and animated. It raises a lot of artistic questions, and it raises a lot of artistic directions that could probably keep me busy for the next 20 years. It makes teaching very exciting because I can often look at some of the ways my students approach those elements, and they approach it in a way I never would. It gives me an opportunity to learn from them and edify my artistic growth.”

Terence Blanchard Live

Terence Blanchard

American jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard will perform alongside his quintet the E-Collective at UT Dallas. A five-time Grammy winner, Blanchard has been one of the world’s leading jazz artists since his debut in the 1980s. He has released 20 albums and has composed the scores for films such as “Malcolm X,” “Love & Basketball,” “Cadillac Records” and “Chi-Raq.”

The performance is made possible by the School of Arts & Humanities and the School of Arts, Technology, & Emerging Communication (ATEC).

When: Friday, April 21, 8 p.m.

Where: Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building Lecture Hall

Buy tickets

19th-Century Photo Technique Comes into Focus at Comer Lecture

Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley (Photo by Andre Tur)


In the digital era, imagery is immediate.

An amateur photographer can point, shoot, edit and share an image in a matter of minutes. But Houston-based photographer Keliy Anderson-Staley explores a different kind of immediacy in her work.

She specializes in a 19th-century technique called tintype photography, which results in stark, black-and-white or sepia-toned images, and is best known as the technique used to capture images of Abraham Lincoln and prominent Civil War figures.

“I immediately fell in love with this process when I saw the potential in it,” Anderson-Staley said. “It’s hard to say why exactly, except that I liked the connection to history, the materiality of the end product and the physical engagement with the materials.”

Anderson-Staley, who has been creating tintype portraits since 2004, will be sharing insights into her creative process as part of the annual Comer Collection exhibition and lecture series on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The free lecture, which is open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. in the Davidson Auditorium. A reception at 6 p.m. will precede the talk.

Open through March 10 in University Theatre, the exhibition, Binary Consciousness, will feature three of Anderson-Staley’s tintypes, as well as other works from the Comer Collection.

She uses a method, also known as wet-plate collodion process, that requires images be made entirely while the metal plate still has a layer of wet collodion — a viscous liquid made by dissolving guncotton in nitric acid.

The plate is then sensitized in a bath of silver nitrate that will form the image. Although the process is more labor intensive than modern photography, the results are instantaneous.

“Kevin” is one of the tintype portraits taken by Keliy Anderson-Staley and featured in the “Binary Consciousness” exhibition on display through March 10 at University Theatre.

The photos featured in the exhibition are from Anderson-Staley’s “[Hyphen]-Americans” series, which explores the diversity of American faces that she has captured over the last 10 years.

“In presenting all these modern subjects in this mode, I am very interested in how that history collapses, and in how we start to realize that what we think of as a defining feature of someone’s expression is often the result of process, of photographic technology and the conventions of the form,” she said.

Anderson-Staley said that photography has not always played an innocent role in documenting visual history — especially early processes that were often used to create racist catalogues of human “types.” But this project highlights the individuals, she said.

“Each individual in this series defiantly asserts their selfhood, resisting any imposed or external categorizing system we might bring to these images,” she said. “Echoes and patterns of similarity and difference can be found across my installations, but each portrait reminds us of the persistent uniqueness of faces and our common human identity.”

About the Comer Collection

The Anderson-Staley tintypes are only the latest addition to an impressive collection of photography and texts more than 10 years in the making.

In the summer of 2004, Jerry L. Comer MS’77 donated an assortment of 96 photographs and 153 books to the School of Arts and Humanities at UT Dallas.

“I had accumulated some pretty significant pictures, and they were just in boxes under the bed,” Comer said. “As I got more and more pictures, I became concerned that they could be damaged beyond repair. So, I decided to gift them to the school.”

Comer, an avid amateur photographer who has won a number of local competitions including the Best of Show honor at the State Fair of Texas, said he has been collecting photographs since the late 1950s.

“I’ve been a photographer for as long as I can remember,” Comer said. “I developed my first roll of film in summer camp when I was 11 years old. Taking pictures led to an interest in collecting them as well.”

Over time, he amassed a personal collection of images that depict important mid- to late 20th-century American life, including several that record the civil rights movement. Two photos in the collection — “American Gothic” by Gordon Parks and “Birmingham 1963” by Charles Moore — are featured in the LIFE book “100 Photographs That Changed the World.” Since 2004, the collection has expanded several times, and now contains close to 1,000 photographs and books.

ATEC to Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness with Week of Interactive Events

The AIDS Memorial Quilt project on the Washington Mall
Sixteen panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt Project, seen here at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., will be on display Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at UT Dallas. Visit the HIV/AIDS Awareness Week website for more information.

In recognition of HIV/AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day, UT Dallas and the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication will hold a Reading of the Names ceremony and host a display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

From Nov. 28 to Nov. 30, the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Buildingmain lobby will be home to 16 panels from the quilt, the largest piece of community folk art in the world. The memorial quilt, which has served as a tribute to the lives of those who have died of HIV/AIDS since 1987, has more than 49,000 unique panels inscribed with messages, names and art.

Leticia Ferreira, PhD student in ATEC and executive producer of HIV/AIDS Awareness Week, was instrumental in helping bring the AIDS Memorial Quilt to campus.

“The AIDS Memorial Quilt represents a celebration of life, of memory, and the struggle to be acknowledged as a fellow human being,” Ferreira said. “The quilt is not only a piece of mourning, it is a piece of celebration, honoring lives and love. For my generation, it reminds us of the activists, artists and those who are unnamed that came before us. We must honor them and continue our fight to end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.”

An installation from ATEC PhD student David Wilson will also make its debut during the quilt display. A collaboration between the school’s Public Interactives Research Lab, the Emerging Gizmology Lab and the Fabrication Lab, Wilson’s installation projection maps the 5,852 individual images that comprise the digital representation of the AIDS Memorial Quilt onto both sides of a 7 ½-foot tall reinforced cardboard star. Wilson selected the star as a symbol that connects Texas and the artistry of the quilt.

This day connects our campus community with those across the globe who are committed to raising awareness about the AIDS epidemic and who promote safe-sex education.

Dr. Anne Balsamo, dean of the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication

“The idea to fabricate a three-dimensional star, itself a cultural icon particularly here in Texas, came after design meetings within the Public Interactives Research Lab,” Wilson said. “Our goal was to choose a form that took cues from iconography found on the textile quilt, where motifs like trees, triangles, stars, rainbows and clothing are frequent, while also highlighting the cross-cultural nature of the effects of the pandemic, that as human beings effect and affect us all. The lone star transduces and retranslates the digital form of the AIDS Memorial Quilt into an intense source of color and light in commemoration of those who have died anonymously or alone from HIV/AIDS.”

Throughout the week, representatives from the Rainbow Guard, UT Dallas’ LGBTQIA advocacy student group, will provide statistics, safety tips and testing information. There will be free HIV testing at the Wellness Center.

On World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the quilt display will move to the Plinth, where volunteers will take part in the Reading of the Names beginning at 10 a.m. A vigil also will take place at the Spirit Rocks.

“Hosting the Quilt and HIV/AIDS Awareness Week is important to UT Dallas because it educates our students and the surrounding community of the historical significance behind the making of the quilt,” said Dr. Jillian Round, clinical assistant professor in ATEC and project manager of HIV/AIDS Awareness Week. “The week also plays a role in informing our community about current statistical data and the power of knowing one’s status. It is an awesome responsibility and privilege to host the quilt.”

Dr. Anne Balsamo, dean of the school, has a history with the project, having developed the AIDS Quilt Touch mobile app with her research team at the New School in New York City.

“I am so grateful to the many people and groups who have come together to plan the events for UT Dallas in honor of World AIDS Day,” she said. “This day connects our campus community with those across the globe who are committed to raising awareness about the AIDS epidemic and who promote safe-sex education. I’m proud to be a part of these events.”

The Public Interactives Research Lab, in collaboration with the University of Iowa and the NAMES Project Foundation, will launch an update to the app that will allow users to annotate a digital version of the quilt and explore names and panels.

AIDS week logo

Visit the HIV/AIDS Awareness Week website for details about all the events and interactive opportunities that will be held Nov. 28-Dec. 1.

ATEC helps brings experimental films to Nasher

Ultra-seeing image 

A unique series of films exploring the phenomenon of synesthesia and visual music will be screening at the Nasher Sculpture Center starting Sept. 11.

In a collaboration between ATEC and Light Cone, a French film organization that diffuses and preserves experimental cinema, the Ultra-seeing Film Series will feature monthly, hour-long sessions of major works selected from the archives of Light Cone’s collection. The exposition is spearheaded by Dr. Frank Dufour, professor in ATEC, and Emmanuel Lefrant, director of Light Cone with the support of the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Houston.

The first screening will explore avant-garde cinema of the 1920s and ’30s, exploring movements from Dadism to Surrealism. The series will run until May, 2017.

Admission is free with RSVP. Register for the entire series or individual screenings at


Ultra-Seeing Film Fall Schedule:

Sunday, September 11 / 2 pm: Avant-Garde from the 1920s and 30s

RHYTHMUS 21 by Hans RICHTER (Germany) 1921-1923 / 16 mm / b&w/ silent / 3′ 19

SYMPHONIE DIAGONALE by Viking EGGELING (Germany) 1923-1924 / 16 mm / b&w/ silent / 6′ 40

LICHTSPIEL OPUS I by Walther RUTTMANN (Germany) 1921 / 16mm / color / sound / 11′

ANÉMIC CINÉMA by Marcel DUCHAMP (France) 1925-1926 / 16 mm / b&w/ sound / 7′ 05

DISQUE 957 by Germaine DULAC (France) 1928 / 16 mm or DVD / b&w/ silent / 6′ 00

KREISE by Oskar FISCHINGER (Germany) 1933-1934 / 16 mm / color / sound / 2′ 00

RHYTHM IN LIGHT by Mary Ellen BUTE (USA) 1934 / video / b&w/ sound / 5′ 00

KOMPOSITION IN BLAU by Oskar FISCHINGER (Germany) 1935 / 16 mm / color / sound / 4′ 00

COLOUR BOX by Len LYE (UK) 1935 / 16mm / color / sound / 4′

ALLEGRETTO by Oskar FISCHINGER (Germany) 1936-1943 / 16 mm / color / sound / 2′ 30

TARANTELLA by BUTE Mary Ellen & NEMETH Ted (USA) 1940 / video / color / sound / 4′ 51


Sunday, October 9 / 2 pm: Michèle and Patrick Bokanowski

L’ANGE (RESTORED VERSION) by Patrick BOKANOWSKI (France) 1982 / DCP or 35 mm / color / sound / 70′

With filmmaker Patrick Bokanoswki and Michele Bokanowski in attendance.


Sunday, November 13 / 2 pm: Structural Film

AXIOMATIC GRANULARITY by Paul SHARITS (USA) 1973 / 16 mm / color / sound / 20′

DRESDEN DYNAMO by Lis RHODES (UK) 1974 / 16 mm / color / sound / 5′

In confrontation with films by local artists.


Sunday, December 11 / 2 pm: Musical Paradigm

CONTRATHEMIS : COMPOSITION II by Dwinnell GRANT (USA) 1941 / 16 mm / color / silent / 3′ 00

COLOR SEQUENCE by Dwinnell GRANT (USA) 1943 / 16 mm / color / silent / 2′ 30

RYTHMES 76 by Jean-Michel BOUHOURS (France) 1977 / 16 mm / color / silent / 18′ 00

R by Yann BEAUVAIS (France) 1975-1991 / 16 mm / b&w/ silent / 3′ 00

BERLIN HORSE by Malcolm LE GRICE (UK) 1970 / 16 mm / color / sound / 9′ 00

In confrontation with films by local artists.



Unconventional Olympians: EMAC prof to present talk on media project



mecholympicsEMAC associate professor xtine burrough will present a talk for the Dallas Museum of Art’s Late Nights series on her Mechanical Olympics media project Aug. 19.

Launched in 2008, the Mechanical Olympics are a crowdsourced competition of athletic performances that reinterpret the Olympic Games as a series of amateur, hobbyist videos in competition for “likes” on YouTube.

“My initial intent for this project was to intervene on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website where anyone can perform the role of ‘Job Requestor’,” burrough said. “When I pose there as a requestor, I disrupt a virtual platform known for exploitative labor practices, and temporarily transform it into a mechanism for participatory art making.”

The videos have been purchased and collected from workers on Mechanical Turk, an online job board, and their efforts are submitted to burrough for inclusion into the series.

Burrough will also conduct a workshop and present a series of videos during her talk. Join her from 9:00 – 11:00 p.m. in the C3 Theater at the DMA.

xtine_preferredxtine is an associate professor in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas.


Combat Pilot Encourages ATEC Lecture Audience to Fly Past Adversity


Vernice Armour faced plenty of obstacles along the path to becoming the U.S. Marine Corps’ first African-American female combat pilot.

Armour, known as “FlyGirl,” told the audience at the Arts and Technology (ATEC) Distinguished Lecture Series event on March 22 that she applied a few times before the Marines accepted her. She also failed her flight test on the first attempt.

Dressed in a khaki flight uniform and leather jacket, Armour gave an energetic talk about how she stayed focused on her mission to become an attack helicopter pilot and then served two tours in Iraq. She repeatedly encouraged audience members to pursue their dreams and keep moving forward in the face of adversity.

“Flight school was hard. Police academy was hard. Becoming a Marine was hard,” Armour said.

She recalled a time when she wanted to quit flight school, but her mother told her to dry her eyes and get back to work because she had worked too hard to give up.

“When we hit the challenges and obstacles, what’s your live-by phrase? What is it that moves you through that situation?” Armour asked. “Challenges and obstacles are inevitable. How you navigate and manage those challenges and obstacles, that’s the key.”

During her talk, Armour said that she has been asked many times if she faced discrimination along the way.

“When I felt friction or tension, it could have been for any reason,” Armour said. “Friction and tension are normal. They’re going to happen. However, we cannot afford to lose focus, cannot let drama affect our goals. When you let drama or outside things take you off course, what are you putting at stake, personally or professionally?”


She told the crowd not to wait for clearance to pursue their dreams, and challenged them to “create the breakthrough” themselves.

“There aren’t any ground controllers in life,” Armour said. “It’s up to you to give yourself permission to engage.”

Among her many breakthroughs, Armour was the first African-American woman on Nashville’s motorcycle police squad. She has played for the San Diego Sunfire women’s professional football team. In flight school, Armour made the Naval Air Station’s prestigious Commodore’s List, received the Academic Achievement Award and was the top graduate of her class. After retiring from the Marines, she founded VAI Consulting and Training LLC. She also has written a book, Zero to Breakthrough, and appeared on a variety of programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show and The View.

‘The 128-Year-Old Startup: Rebooting National Geographic for the 21st Century’

Keith JenkinsOn Thursday, April 28, the series’ third season will conclude with Keith Jenkins, general manager of digital and social media for the National Geographic Society. Jenkins, who oversees the organization’s digital experience, products and staff, will discuss photography and multimedia.

Before joining National Geographic, he was the supervising senior producer for multimedia at, a photographer and editor at The Washington Post, and the first photography director at and AOL. Jenkins, who also has held posts atThe Boston Globe and graphic designer Dietmar R. Winkler, has won numerous prizes, including an Emmy Award and honors from the Society of Publication Designers, the Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Peabody Awards. Purchase tickets.

ATEC Lecture Series Resumes on March 22 with Aviation Pioneer

The United States’ first African-American female combat pilot will be the featured speaker as the third season of the ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series resumes at The University of Texas at Dallas on Tuesday, March 22.

Known as “Flygirl,” Vernice Armour is a motivational speaker and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who used her experience serving as a police officer and completing two tours in Iraq to create a seven-step process called the Zero to Breakthrough™ Success Plan.

Armour’s talk, “Driving Diversity Deep into the DNA of Your Organization,” reveals how to foster and manage diversity — a challenge she has faced as a former diversity officer for Headquarters Marine Corps and as a liaison to the Pentagon.

The lecture, which will be in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The lecture series is presented by The Dallas Morning News.

Armour went from serving as a police officer to becoming a combat pilot for the U.S. Marines in three years. Within months of earning her wings in 2001, she was flying over Iraqi deserts in a missile-equipped attack helicopter while supporting her fellow soldiers on the ground. She made the Naval Air Station’s prestigious Commodore’s List, received the Academic Achievement Award and was her class’ top graduate.

After returning home and developing her success plan, Armour also launched VAI Consulting and Training LLC.

She has appeared on a variety of media outlets including The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, The Tavis Smiley Show and NPR. Armour also was the first African-American woman on the Nashville Police Department’s motorcycle squad, and has received two honorary doctorates and other awards recognizing her as an aviation pioneer.

Tickets and ParkArts and Technology Lecture Series logoing

For tickets, prices vary between $10 and $20 for lower-level seats in the Edith O’Donnell ATEC Building’s lecture hall. Staff and faculty members can purchase up to four tickets that will be discounted by $5. Emails with a discount code were sent to staff and faculty.

Students with a valid Comet Card can get free balcony tickets at Ticketing Assistance, ATC 1.201, beginning one hour before the lecture. One ticket per student. First come, first served.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

For directions and parking, see this map.

Coming in April

Keith Jenkins

On Thursday, April 28, the series’ third season will conclude with Keith Jenkins, general manager of digital and social media for the National Geographic Society. Jenkins, who oversees the organization’s digital experience, products and staff, will discuss photography and multimedia.

Before joining National Geographic, he was the supervising senior producer for multimedia at, a photographer and editor atThe Washington Post, and the first photography director at and AOL. Jenkins, who also has held posts atThe Boston Globe and graphic designer Dietmar R. Winkler, has won numerous prizes, including an Emmy Award and honors from the Society of Publication Designers, the Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Peabody Awards. Purchase tickets.


Emerging Media Expert to Discuss Interactive Projects on Feb. 18

Dr. Anne Balsamo

Dr. Anne Balsamo

‘Designing Culture: Reading Walls, World Expos, and Digital Memorials’

When: Thursday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m.
Where: Lecture Hall, Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building

Open to the public; no ticket purchase required.

Parking: From Floyd Road, guests will enter campus at Lookout Drive (see map). Parking in Lot B is free for lecture attendees, and a shuttle will transport them to the lecture hall.


A leading expert in the field of media studies will present a talk on public interactives — an emergent media form that serves to drive social engagement in communal spaces such as urban streets, museums and transportation hubs.

Dr. Anne Balsamo, dean of the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York City, will give a lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building’s lecture hall. Her talk, “Designing Culture: Reading Walls, World Expos, and Digital Memorials,” is free and open to the public.

Balsamo will share details from projects in her design-research portfolio that illustrate the concept of public interactives.

Projects from her Public Interactives Research Team include the “AIDS Quilt Touch,” a mobile Web app where visitors can search for a name or leave a memorial in a digital book.

“When technological innovation and creative expression are combined to communicate with wider audiences, public interactives activate some of the best affordances of emerging media: using the power of culture to communicate and explicitly including the viewer in processes of knowledge production,” said Dr. Kim Knight, professor of emerging media and communication in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication.

Previous to her post at The New School, Balsamo had concurrent appointments at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Interactive Media & Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

Balsamo has written two books — “Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women” and “Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work.” She was also a member of the distinguished Palo Alto Research Center in 1999, where she collaborated in the design of media for reading, exhibition, public art and cultural projects.

She has a PhD in communications research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

O’Donnell Art History Institute Opens New Research Center at DMA

1The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History recently debuted a new research center at the Dallas Museum of Art that will serve as a counterpart to the main offices at UT Dallas.

Designed by Buchanan Architecture, the 1,882–square-foot satellite campus is equipped with state-of-the-art digital art history research tools and provides unique access to the art museum’s collections and the research resources held at the Mildred R. and Frederick M. Mayer Library.

Dr. Richard R. Brettell, founding director of the O’Donnell institute and the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies, said the site will provide a comfortable “living room” for Dallas-Fort Worth area art historians, four senior scholars and four PhD students. The space also includes two seminar rooms.

“For all of us at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, the close study of the art object itself remains at the center of serious scholarship,” Brettell said. “For that reason, we are delighted to inaugurate a historic partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art, which has a truly encyclopedic collection of global art.”

For all of us at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, the close study of the art object itself remains at the center of serious scholarship. For that reason, we are delighted to inaugurate a historic partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art, which has a truly encyclopedic collection of global art.

Dr. Richard R. Brettell,
founding director of the O’Donnell institute and the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies

Research in the institute is focused on works of art and materials held in regional collections and institutions, and exploring intersections between the visual arts, the sciences and technology.

“The O’Donnell Foundation is, not accidently, a donor to both UTD and the DMA, and the project of digitizing the permanent collection of the DMA, so important for area scholarship, was funded by the foundation,” Brettell said. “We will, in effect, bring art historical research right into the center of the DMA in a beautifully designed space next to the DMA’s Mayer Library and adjacent to the offices of the museum’s art historical brain trust, its curators.”

The complementary spaces also illustrate the new partnership between the institutions.

“The Dallas Museum of Art is pleased to partner with UT Dallas and house the downtown campus for the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History,” said Walter Elcock, interim director of the art museum. “This precedent-setting collaboration expertly furthers the museum’s mission of being an accessible steward of cultural heritage and promoting research initiatives while expanding the knowledge base of works in our collection. We are honored to celebrate the opening of this research center, which will play an important part in the development of the next generation of art historians.”

Upcoming collaborations between the institute and the museum include a scholar’s day to accompany the museum’s new exhibition — “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots” — and research initiatives in conservation science and Islamic art.

“Initially, our collaborations will focus on two important areas — the global study of Islamic art in honor of the museum’s long-term loan of the Keir Collection of Islamic Art and in the area of conservation science, which will partner with the museum’s newly endowed and equipped Conservation Center and UTD’s Department of Chemistry,” Brettell said.

2“The space will also make available UTD’s state-of-the-art computer technology and high-speed Internet access, which will have direct benefits to the DMA’s own research agenda. This partnership will only grow and deepen in future years.”

The main campus location, designed by Cunningham Architects, opened in May and features art from UT Dallas alumnus Gabriel Dawe MFA’11 and visual arts professor John Pomara, among others.

The 3,700-square-foot space at UT Dallas also houses a collection of European art auction catalogs from the 1960s.

The O’Donnell institute was founded in 2014 with a $17 million endowment gift from arts patron Edith O’Donnell, and serves as a center for innovative research and graduate education in art history.

Fall 2015 Capstone Celebration

EMAC Capstone Blog Post

Please join us on Thursday, December 3 at 7:00 pm in the ATC Lobby for our Fall 2015 Capstone Celebration! We are always excited about this event, but it carries particular significance this semester. These are the first EMAC graduates from the new School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, and this is the first time that we have been able to host the event in our ATC home.

At the event, students will share their semester long projects. Graduate students and select undergraduate students will make formal presentations of their projects, then we will have a showcase where all students will show their work more informally. During the showcase, the audience will have the opportunity to visit with the capstone students and interact with their projects.

You may preview the projects using the following links, but we hope to see you at the Capstone Celebration to let our students impress you with their projects.


Undergraduate Projects


Sara Ahmad – Storytelling through Video ( (Honors project, Outstanding Capstone nominee)

Danielle Boer – The Daily Inquiry (

Nancy Bouton – Little Readers Room (

Candace Brand – Love.Connect.Blog. (

Nicole Brown – APPSCAM (

Dylan Carroll – Dallas Off-Road Bike Association (DORBA) Redesign (

Jennyrayne Colangan – The Kendo Documentary (

Crystal Ezeoke – #LovefysinAsia: Funding Documentary Production (

Misha Fazeli – Social Presence Study ( (Outstanding Capstone nominee)

Paul Ford – Wearable Sentiment Analysis ( (Outstanding Capstone nominee)

Laura Garsea – Utilizing New Media to Further Community Building (

Valerie Garza – Just Passing Through Missions ( (Outstanding Capstone nominee)

Yajaira Gonzalez – Wingstop CSR Research and Development ( (Honors project)

Katherine Harp – Screen Time Before Bed and Sleep Patterns in Adolescents

Madi Hess – A Legacy Never Forgotten (

Carion Jackson – Hold On, I’ve Got a Meme for This

Stephen Jones – The Food Community Blog ( (Outstanding Capstone nominee)

Twinkle Lam – Feedbag (

Eric Martinez – The Value of an Unsettling Image

Yuyun Liu – My Best Friend (

Mithun Mathew – The Richardson Breakroom

Karyn Narramore – Twitter and Donald Trump: A Love Story

Patrick O’Connor – Redeemer Designs (

Natalie Peña Mares – Intercultural Love (

Matthew McCann – Eventzee Redesign

Angelica Presti – Girls Girls Girls Volume 1 (

Matthew T Rader – Viral Vloggers (

Anum Tahir – Up, Up and Away, Super A! ( (Outstanding Capstone nominee)

Cristelle Tejes – ManeGait Extended

Alyson Tong – Chasu

Katie Truesdale – Who Really Won the Debate (

Jordan Watts – PetroFund (



Graduate Projects

Benaiah Ely – Shoeveillance (

Carlos Harleaux – My Indie Block (