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

University Establishes Brettell Award in the Arts in Honor of Educator

Dr. Richard Brettell
Dr. Richard Brettell

The University of Texas at Dallas, with a generous gift from philanthropist Margaret McDermott, has announced the creation of the Richard Brettell Award in the Arts, a biennial honor recognizing established artists in any medium.

The award will be bestowed upon artists whose body of work demonstrates a lifetime of achievement in their field. Winners will receive a $150,000 prize and will participate in a campus residency where they will spend time interacting with faculty and students.

“Dr. Richard Brettell is recognized worldwide for his prolific scholarship, for his charismatic lectures that have introduced thousands to great art, and for his leadership in creating numerous cooperative organizations in which scholars and artists can collaborate in new and rewarding ways,” said Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, executive vice president at UT Dallas. “Margaret McDermott has made a visionary gift that honors her esteemed friend and colleague Rick Brettell, while simultaneously providing a major new enrichment of the cultural life of UT Dallas and the greater Dallas community.”

The campus residency will provide award recipients with access to the innovative work being conducted at UT Dallas in the arts, science and technology. Recipients will have an opportunity to connect with the students and faculties across the full spectrum of the University’s research centers and academic departments. The residency will include a major public lecture along with seminars, faculty round-tables, and extensive interactions with students and with members of the larger Dallas arts community.

 

Details will follow after an official announcement of the awardee in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, April 9.

The award may be given to an artist working in any art form including performance, literary and visual arts. The inaugural recipient of the award has been selected by McDermott and Brettell, and will be announced Sunday, April 9.

The award honors Brettell, the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair. One of the world’s foremost authorities on Impressionism and French painting from 1830 to 1930, Brettell is also the founding director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at UT Dallas.

“Following the leadership of Mrs. McDermott, the arts have come to play an increasingly important role at UT Dallas.” Brettell said. “This award will further emphasize that role, and ensure that artists in all mediums — architects, painters, actors, photographers, dancers, digital artists, choreographers, poets, novelists — the sky is the limit — will regularly visit UT Dallas and the Dallas metroplex, enhancing the links between the city and our university and inspiring our faculty, staff, and students. It is an immense honor that she suggested that this award, which is modeled on the one honoring her late husband at MIT, be named after me.”

McDermott’s prior contributions to UT Dallas include the McDermott Suite in McDermott Library, the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, many major endowed professorships, the ongoing UT Dallas Campus Enhancement Project, and the Eugene McDermott Graduate Fellows Program.

 

Brettell Award Events

The first recipient of the Brettell Award in the Arts will be featured at two lectures and a public forum:

Tuesday, April 11, 4 p.m.
Lecture at UT Dallas

Wednesday, April 12, 5 p.m.
Public forum, followed by reception
at Nasher Sculpture Center

Thursday, April 13, 2 p.m.
Lecture at UT Dallas

ATEC Team Receives Healthy Dose of Grants for Virtual Medical Work

Dr. Zielke and research team
Researchers from the Center for Modeling and Simulation and the Virtual Humans and Synthetic Societies Lab include, (from left), Stephen Rodriguez, Erik DeFries, Sean Lenox, Jacob Keul, Dr. Marjorie Zielke, Nick Orr, Gautham Mathialagan, Dylan Fino, research manager Gary Hardee, Leonard Evans, Djakhangir Zakhidov and Joel Rizzo.

A research team from the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas has received two grants — one each from Southwestern Medical Foundation and the National Institutes for Health — to fuel ongoing research into virtual reality-based medical experiences.

The Center for Modeling and Simulation and the Virtual Humans and Synthetic Societies Lab, both led by ATEC professor Dr. Marjorie Zielke, are developing an emotive “Virtual Reality Patient,” or VRP, in conjunction with Southwestern Medical Foundation, that medical students will be able to use to improve their patient communication skills.

The center also has received a clinical trial planning grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore virtual reality-graded exposure therapy for those with chronic back pain.

“Both of these new projects continue to establish the center’s growing presence in the medical simulation space,” Zielke said. “Serious games for health and medicine along with our virtual humans program are both critical research areas that we want to continue to grow and nurture.”

Revolutionizing the Medical Interview with Virtual Reality Patients

virtual reality patients
A visualization of an emotive “virtual reality patient” experience is shown. The project, under development by Dr. Marge Zielke’s research team in the Center for Modeling and Simulation and the Virtual Humans and Synthetic Societies Lab, has received funding from Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Working alongside subject-matter experts at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Zielke’s team hopes to create a platform that will replicate medical interviews with the help of virtual patients and caregivers.

Zielke said the platform will offer high-quality simulations, known as emotive Virtual Reality Patients, which can exhibit medical symptoms to help medical students improve their verbal and nonverbal communication skills.

The virtual humans will complement other training methods, and ideally possess a lifelike ability to have both a conversation and convey emotion — something Zielke said is particularly important in the interview process, given that patients express some things nonverbally.

“Virtual humans have always been a major focus for the center,” Zielke said. “We’ve been working on this project for quite a while, and we would really like this to be a stake in the ground for developing world-class research on virtual patients in Texas. We are very grateful for this grant from Southwestern Medical Foundation to continue our research track focused on virtual humans here at UT Dallas. We hope to develop one of the first augmented or virtual reality-based conversational digital patients right here in our lab.”

With the $200,000 grant from the foundation, Zielke’s team will first develop a state-of-the-art “natural language interface” capable of responsive and realistic communication, with the team compiling data on body language, facial cues and other physiological information.

Zielke said the center has long been interested in creating virtual robots that can either work in tandem, or in some cases, replace the need for medical mannequins often used in educational scenarios. The advantage of a training simulation is its potential to physically emulate what symptoms the patient is presenting.

Given the lab’s past work on game-based medical simulations featuring stroke patients, Zielke said her team has a rich backlog of data regarding stroke-specific dialogue and symptoms they can use as their first case in this new project.

“From its very beginning, Southwestern Medical Foundation has sought to advance medical knowledge to benefit our community,” said Kathleen Gibson, president and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “As new methods of advanced learning become available, we want to support those innovations that keep medical education at UT Southwestern at the forefront. This collaboration between UTD and UTSW is an exciting example of such innovation and progress.”

Serious Games for Serious Pain

The center — along with colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ohio University and others — also has received a $700,000 grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop a serious game aimed at helping patients with chronic back pain.

Unlike most games, serious games are not designed to entertain but to teach, and they’re used in industries such as defense, education and health care. The game Zielke’s team is developing employs the use of graded exposure therapy, which is a method of reducing physical or psychological impairments through gradual exposure to the source of pain or fear.

Titled VRGE (Virtual Reality Graded Exposure), the game uses graded exposure to allay physical disabilities by promoting engagement in physical activities that might otherwise seem intimidating to patients with back pain.

Zielke said graded exposure therapy has traditionally been delivered in clinical settings, so its ability to help patients at home has been limited. VRGE will use motion-tracking technology, ongoing onboard assessments and motivational rewards within the game to reinforce traditional graded exposure therapy.

This ongoing project also received support from the American Pain Society and the North American Spine Society through Dr. Zina Trost at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2015 and 2016.

Note: The research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R34DA040954. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

ATEC Welcomes Dr. Josef Nguyen

Nguyen
Dr. Josef Nguyen

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication has welcomed a new tenure-track faculty member to its staff this fall.

Dr. Josef Nguyen, an expert in play and game studies, comes to UT Dallas from the University of California, Davis, where he was affiliated with the ModLab, an experimental lab for media research and digital humanities. Embodying ATEC’s interdisciplinary nature, Nguyen’s research interests lie at the intersection of technology, literature and digital media.

“ATEC faculty model how to collaborate across differences as they demonstrate deep expertise, intellectual flexibility and collegial open-mindedness,” said Dr. Anne Balsamo, dean of the school. “Collaboration across differences changes the conversation for everyone. Dr. Nguyen is a perfect fit to the ATEC philosophy.”

In 2015, the University announced the creation of the school, which offers degrees in emerging media and communication and arts and technology,  in response to the growth in both the arts and technology and emerging media and communication programs. Last spring, 1,195 undergraduates, 119 master’s students and 25 doctoral candidates were enrolled in the programs.

“The School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication is a destination for artists, designers, scholars, researchers, and reflective practitioners who seek to collaborate on intentional future-making through the creation of new cultural forms, the design of new technological experiences, the production of new knowledge, and the transformation of culture industries,” Balsamo said.

The school is housed in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, which holds classrooms for game design, 2-D and 3-D art studios, a motion capture lab, a recording studio and 3-D fabrication labs.


New Tenure-Track Faculty

Dr. Josef Nguyen, assistant professor of arts and technology

Previously: doctoral candidate at the University of California, Davis

Research interests: play and game studies, digital media and culture, science and technology studies, contemporary literature, cultural constructions of creativity and innovation

Quote: “I am excited to join the UT Dallas community through the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. I look forward to the collaborative learning and research environment here that will allow me to investigate how the decisions involved in the design, development, circulation, engagement, and disposal of digital media are always political. I am particularly eager to work with students and fellow faculty on assignments and projects that integrate rigorous critical analysis with thoughtful and socially conscious design.”


New Faculty Series

News Center is publishing profiles of tenured and tenure-track professors who have recently joined the University. The following school profiles have been published:

UX Design Marks Its Spot as Growing Career Path for ATEC Students

nazir
Cassini Nazir, clinical associate professor in the arts and technology program and director of design and research for the ArtSciLab, trains students in user experience design. “If businesses exist in a digital space — be it a website, app, digital kiosk — they need to invest in good design,” he said.

From Dell Technologies to Capital One, companies that rely on the use of intuitive customer experiences are finding a wealth of talented designers among students and alumni from theSchool of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at UT Dallas.

The ArtSciLab — the school’s transdisciplinary research lab focused on the intersection of art and science — is immersing students into the field of user experience, or UX, design.

Cassini Nazir, clinical associate professor in the arts and technology (ATEC) program and director of design and research for the lab, said UT Dallas is emerging as a leader in UX education in North Texas.

“There’s a growing trend in more courses focused on user experience (UX) design and interaction design at colleges across the nation,” he said. “Many of these concepts have come out of human computer interaction concepts, but design research and UX have really emerged as disciplines in their own right. Industry has helped by investing in design researchers and user experience designers in their spaces.”

Nazir said more companies, both established and startup, are employing a design-centric ethos, cognizant of the role UX plays in customer relations.

The Design Value Index — an evolving metric that tracks the value of companies that meet specific design-related criteria — showed in 2014 that 15 design-driven companies had outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index by 228 percent over 10 years.

Several enterprise-level companies such as Intuit and Sabre want to work with the ATEC program to recruit talent, he said.

“UTD has really benefited from it because there’s a boom of businesses setting up offices in Dallas,” said Nazir, who is part of the Dallas Design Council. “Many of those companies have been hiring teams of designers, and we’ve been successful in filling those needs.”

Moon
Emerging media and communication senior Lina Moon was selected to be a part of Capital One’s inaugural Design Development Program, where she will spend two years learning about different fields such as interaction design and coding.

Clear Line to Job Opportunities

The lab has had students move into design positions at companies such as Sabre, Cisco Systems, AT&T, Siemens, General Motors, Fossil and J.C. Penney.

Debi Terry Ndindjock BA’13, a digital experience designer at Dell, first gained an interest in UX design while taking the interaction design course as a sophomore.

Ndindjock considered herself as purely a graphic designer, but she said she was intrigued by the psychological aspects of design, realizing UX design merges the two concepts.

“The turning point was when (design consultant) Stephen Anderson visited our class and spoke about his work,” she said. “I knew that was what I wanted to do. Since it is a relatively new field, we get a part in defining the industry as a whole.

“UX design requires such varied skills and education: visual design, writing, research and technology. You get to get in where you fit in.”

Cathryn Ploehn BA’14 said the same course — taught by Nazir — also propelled her into the field. Ploehn also served as designer for the ArtSciLab.

“Cassini’s enthusiasm was a gateway to taking further related courses, and finally a capstone in UX,” she said. “The application of the concept of empathy to design and development captivated me.”

Ploehn, who manages UX design problems and data visualization for Visionist Inc., said that developing a sense of empathy is fundamental to what makes user experiences successful.

“Really listen to what a person says to you both inside and outside of a user research setting,” she said. “Try to feel what it is like to be somebody else. Practice by exposing yourself to points of view beyond your comfort zone.”

For senior and UX Club president Lina Moon, there wasn’t an aha moment that led to an interest in UX design.

“I think being part of the UX Club as an officer and working in the ArtSciLab really gave me the confidence to pursue the field further, as it gave me a good support network and provided me access to more collective knowledge,” Moon said.

In July, Moon started a full-time position with Capital One’s inaugural Design Development Program.

The two-year program pairs students and recent graduates with a mentor who guides new associates through different fields such as interaction design and coding.

The growing demand for UX designers can be attributed, at least in part, to the growing demands of consumers of digital products. Nazir said designers often play the role of customer lobbyist, researching and voicing the needs of consumers to their business.

“Audience expectations of what constitutes a good experience are now much higher than they were in the past,” he said. “If businesses exist in a digital space — be it a website, app, digital kiosk — they need to invest in good design.”

ATEC Professor Roger Malina Receives Honorary Degree

Roger Malina
Roger Malina

Arts and technology professor Roger Malina has been awarded an honorary degree from the Technical University of Valencia in Spain for his work promoting and advancing research at the intersection of art, science and technology.

The Spanish university cited his role as director of the ArtSciLab as a contributing factor. As a transdisciplinary research lab, the ArtSciLab focuses on innovative projects such as the podcast platform Creative Disturbance.

For 25 years, Malina has been involved with the Leonardo organizations, which his father founded in San Francisco and Paris. The organizations strive to promote work that explores the interactions between the arts and sciences, as well as between the arts and new technologies. Malina currently serves as the executive editor of the Leonardo journal, published by MIT Press.

Malina earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Study Finds That Industry Norms Influence Journalists’ Ethical Behavior

Dr. Angela Lee
Dr. Angela Lee

Tasked with feeding the 24-hour news cycle, journalists must constantly consider the ethical nature of their reporting. A new study from UT Dallas suggests that their behavior is heavily influenced by industry peers.

The study, published in the Journal of Media Ethics, found that if journalists believed that others would approve of unethical behavior, they would be more likely to act unethically. Conversely, if they believed others were acting ethically, they were more likely to act ethically.

Dr. Angela Lee, assistant professor of emerging media and communication and the study’s author, divided her behavioral analysis into two types of social influence: descriptive norms and injunctive norms. Lee said that descriptive norms refer to what we think others do, whereas injunctive norms refer to what we think others want us to do.

“We applied these concepts from social psychology to journalism ethics and found that individual journalists may be more prone to act more ethically if they perceive ethical behavior is the norm in the field,” she said. “They are also more prone to act unethically if they perceive that unethical behavior is ‘approved of’ in the field.”

Lee found that descriptive norms account for almost half of the variance in ethical journalistic behaviors, while injunctive norms account for a little less than one-third of the variance in unethical journalistic behaviors.

She used the Reasoned Action Model (RAM), a classic persuasion model used in psychology, to explore the gap between journalists’ moral intentions and their actual behavior.

“The RAM theorizes that behavioral intention is the best predictor of behavior,” Lee said. “In other words, whether one is going to do ‘x’ is best predicted by whether one is ready and willing to engage in ‘x.’”

The study focused on a random sample of 374 journalists from 33 leading news outlets across all mediums, including The New York Times, NBC, USA Today and The Huffington Post.

Lee formulated six scenarios common among journalists to examine the ways injunctive and descriptive norms influenced their behavior:

 

  • Doing a story on an organization or club that you or someone in your family belongs to.
  • Using press releases or video releases without any editing or rewriting.
  • Editing elements of a photograph or video postproduction.
  • Adjusting image quality in a photograph.
  • Separating analysis and commentary from news reporting.
  • Reporting diverse perspectives in a story.

When asked about their most recent experiences, 20.6 percent of respondents had done a story on an organization or club that they or someone in their family belongs to; 49.3 percent had used a press or video release without any editing; 3.3 percent had edited elements of a photograph or video postproduction; 42.3 percent had adjusted the image quality of a photograph or video; 87 percent had separated analysis and commentary from news reporting; and 95.2 percent had reported diverse perspectives in a story.

Because of their special role in democratic societies, journalists have a professional obligation to deliver news information to the public responsibly and ethically.

Dr. Angela Lee,
assistant professor of emerging media and communication

Lee said it’s hard to say why the study shows descriptive norms have a stronger impact on ethical behavior, but research shows that journalists, compared with other professionals, are among the most capable of making good moral judgments. She said this weakens the impact of injunctive norms on unethical behavior.

Newsroom leaders can reinforce descriptive norms and curtail unethical behavior by regularly recognizing staff members who act ethically. On the other hand, news organizations also must make clear what is against the rules to reinforce injunctive norms, Lee said.

“Because of their special role in democratic societies, journalists have a professional obligation to deliver news information to the public responsibly and ethically,” Lee states in her paper. “Despite their notable moral compass, journalists do not always act on their abilities. Ways to encourage them to do so should be discovered and put into practice in newsrooms.”

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 www.nashersculpturecenter.org/ultra-seeing.

 

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.

 

 

EMAC Professor Earns System Teaching Award

Dr. Kim Knight
Dr. Kim Knight

Dr. Kim Knight, an assistant professor of emerging media and communication, has received the 2016 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awardfor her work and innovation in the classroom.

Knight has been a professor at UT Dallas since 2010, but her first foray into teaching was more than 14 years ago at California State University, Northridge as a teaching assistant under the tutelage of English professor Dr. Irene Clark.

It was there that Knight learned many of the strategies she still uses today.

“From the very beginning, Dr. Clark helped me frame the classroom as a space that should place students and their thinking at the center,” Knight said. “The classroom is a space where students arrive with a variety of experiences and learning styles; where their work is process-based and broken down into small steps with opportunities to revise and improve; and as a space with political and social dimensions that cannot be ignored.”

Knight received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from Cal State Northridge, and she said her interest in new media and digital technology stems, in part, from her love of science fiction and fantasy literature.

“It wasn’t much of a stretch to go from literature about technology to writing that used digital technology,” she said. “As a first-generation college student, I was excited by the empowering aspects of networked technologies and their potential for opening up access, promoting amateur production, flattening hierarchies, and creating a more just and equitable world. My interest is in studying new media in all of its facets so that we can fulfill those promises.”

Knight’s work at UT Dallas focuses on how these objectives intersect with issues in new media such as privacy, ownership and diversity.

As an inherently dynamic subject, new media and technology can have its challenges for teachers, but Knight said what’s most exciting about the field is that working scholars and students are helping to define it.

“And yet, it resists ever being fully defined,” she said. “It also means that you can never keep up with everything that is developing on a daily basis. This affords the rich opportunity to invite students to bring their own knowledge of those developments into the classroom.”

Dr. Kim Knight
Dr. Kim Knight leads a Fashioning Circuits workshop at a STEAM-focused summer camp at Eastfield College. (Photo by Lauren Shafer)

Some of her most popular courses touch on viral media, writing in digital spaces and understanding how text, image and sound are used in digital spaces.

She said her favorite course to teach is Fashioning Circuits, which also serves as a research blog and digital humanities project.

“The grounding in social and cultural theory helps students understand the scholarly implications of something that some assume is a frivolous topic: fashion,” she said. “Fashion is about bodies and about culture. When you connect it to technology, it helps to make explicit that technology is also about bodies and culture.”

The course, which usually has a few students who don’t consider themselves creative or coders at the beginning, is an opportunity to explore the expressive possibilities of sewing, coding and electronics as media, she said.

The project also works with community partners to develop programming to introduce nonprogrammers to coding in a humanities aspect.

Knight, who received her PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, said her goal is to help her students develop into well-rounded and educated citizens who are ready to be critical participants in a democratic society.

“If I focus on helping students understand one technological platform, it does not serve them well,” she said. “Instead, it is important to help them develop an understanding of how technology, community, power and communication intersect so that they can ethically engage with the technology of tomorrow, regardless of what form that takes.”

 

Knight Examines Digital Viruses, Public Anxiety

The perceived threat of a computer virus attack can keep us in a constant state of anxiety, according to Dr. Kim Knight.

In her latest article, the EMAC professor contends that a preoccupation with living in a virus-free digital world affects how consumers behave online and offline.

Knight said that when people want to avoid a disaster — like a flu outbreak — from reoccurring, they try to identify and address all future scenarios to eliminate that possibility.

It’s a concept known as “premediation,” originally theorized by Dr. Richard Grusin, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, as a collective experience with individual effects prompted, in part, by media and the way it handles outbreaks.

Knight studied the concept in the context of various apps, such as Google’s Flu Trends, FluNearYou and Sickweather, which track the spread of illness on a regional level using crowdsourced data from users or mentions of illness on social media.

While these digital tools exist to help mitigate anxieties over viruses, Knight said they can still be a source of “premediative” behavior. By constantly requiring new information and requesting updates from users, the software acts as a feedback loop, always reminding users of the possibility of infection.

Internet users and people who use illness-tracking apps are willing to share computing information and personal data with anti-viral technologies to assuage their anxiety, which could have unintended consequences.

Because the user surrenders ownership, the data can and will be exploited, she said. For Knight, the minimal public health benefits do not outweigh the privacy concerns.

Read her entire article atelectronic book review, a peer-reviewed journal focused on the arts, sciences and humanities through the lens of emerging digital media.