Guiding Force Behind DMA Joins Faculty in Arts and Humanities

Bonnie Pitman served as a leader of the Dallas Museum of Art for more than a decade. She is now a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University.

Bonnie Pitman, a guiding force in remaking and advancing the reputation of the Dallas Museum of Art, recently joined the faculty of the School of Arts and Humanities.

As Distinguished Scholar in Residence, she is charged with creating new methods of education, focusing much of her expertise in technology and emerging media in helping to build the national reputation of the school.

“The University is fortunate to have such an innovative thinker join our faculty,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Hobson Wildenthal. “Attracting distinguished leaders indicates high-caliber academics and research. The University and the community will surely benefit from Bonnie Pitman’s wealth of experience.”

Pitman arrived at the DMA in 2000 as deputy director and was named Eugene McDermott Director in 2008 before departing in May 2011. Under her leadership, the museum found new ways to engage audiences, dynamically build the collections and present major exhibitions and innovative programs to the community.

“I am honored to be joining the innovative faculty and research staff in the School of Arts and Humanities, and I do so largely because UT Dallas is deeply committed to creating new models for learning and collaboration,” said Pitman. “The leadership and support of Provost Wildenthal and Dean (Dennis) Kratz is vital to the development of interdisciplinary education and research programs in the School.  A primary aspect of my work will be to strengthen the relationships between UT Dallas and other educational, cultural and health-related institutions in our region, nationally and internationally.”

Under Pitman’s leadership, DMA initiatives like the Center for Creative Connections challenged visitors to engage with art. Late Nights at the DMA brought performances, concerts, readings, film screenings and family programs into the galleries. Pitman co-authored a book, Ignite the Power of ArtAdvancing Visitor Engagement in Museums, which documented a seven-year research project that examined how people connect with art at the museum. She also served as editor and an author of The Dallas Museum of Art, Guide to the Collection.

“UT Dallas aspires to be at the forefront of higher education, and a transformative leader such as Ms. Pitman is the ideal person to help the University achieve that goal,” said Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.

Kratz said Pitman’s use of technology in education also makes her a great asset to the University. He cited the smARTphone Tours at the DMA that introduced interactive content to exhibits as an example of how Pitman’s expertise fits the University’s focus, especially through its Arts and Technology (ATEC) program.

Dr. Richard Brettell
Dr. Richard Brettell, also a former director of the DMA, will work closely with Pitman.

“She has expertise in using technology to transform the educational and aesthetic experience. Working beside our other faculty, she will fashion a new model for integrating the arts throughout the educational experience,” said Kratz.

Pitman joins another former director of the DMA on faculty. She will co-teach a course in the fall with Dr. Richard Brettell, Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetics at UT Dallas. Pitman will also work closely with Brettell as the co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums (CISM).

“Bonnie’s vision and deep museum experience will bring a wealth of new connections and ideas to CISM,” Brettell said.

The American Association of Museums recently awarded Pitman the Distinguished Service Award, the profession’s highest recognition.  She has degrees in art history from Sweet Briar College and Tulane University and has worked as a director, educator and curator at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Canada, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives and Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Upcoming ATEC Faculty Candidate Presentations, March 19-23

Students, staff and faculty are invited to candidate presentations for various faculty positions in Arts and Technology. Candidates will offer a presentation based upon their individual research interests.

The following candidates are slated to present for the week of March 19-23, 2012.

Maximilian Schich, PhD
Candidate for Tenure-Track Position in Arts and Technology

Dr. Schich will give a lecture on Monday, March 19 at 3 p.m. in ATEC 1.606 entitled Visualizing the Ecology of Complex Networks in the Arts and Humanities.

Across several centuries the arts and humanities have accumulated large amounts of structured data, in the form of indices, inventories, catalogs, and databases. In addition more and more such structured data is published in places such as the Linked Open Data cloud or; extracted from unstructured sources such as Google Books or JSTOR; or accumulated by crowds in services such as Flickr or Facebook.

Meanwhile the multidisciplinary fields of complexity science in general, and complex network research in particular, provide more and more methods and tools that allow us to explore these data beyond the traditional limits of reference catalogs, printed books, or database interfaces. As a consequence, we are presented with an extraordinary chance to make significant progress in a key mission of the arts and humanities, namely to uncover the morphology, ecology and evolution of cultural artifacts, understanding meso- as well as global-scale phenomena that characterize the complex system of culture.

Making use of this situation, my talk analyzes, visualizes and explains structured data collections ranging from simple bibliographies to complicated research databases as networks of complex networks between objects, persons, locations, time ranges and events. Introducing a quantitative hermeneutics approach the presented work complements and bridges both traditional arts and humanities scholarship as well as modelling and simulation in complexity science.

Maximilian Schich is an art historian currently working as a Visiting Research Scientist at the Center for Complex Network Research at Northeastern University in Boston. In 2007, he received his Ph.D. with a thesis on ‘Reception and Visual Citation as Complex Networks’. Besides, Maximilian looks back at over a decade of consulting experience, working with (graph) data in art research – within Projekt Dyabola, Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institute for Art History), the Glyptothek, and Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich.

His ongoing post-doctoral work on ‘Complex Networks in Art History and Archaeology’ has been funded by the Special Innovation Fund of the President of Max-Planck-Society and Prof. Albert-László Barabási in 2008, and since April 2009 by German Research Foundation DFG. Maximilian is an Editorial Advisor at Leonardo Journal (MIT-Press).

Dehlia Hannah
Candidate for Assistant Professor in History and Philosophy of Technology

Ms. Hannah will present a lecture on Monday, March 19 at 4:30 p.m. in ATEC 1.606 entitled Performative Experiments: Aesthetic Interventions in the Philosophy of Scientific Instruments.

Dehlia Hannah is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at Columbia University completing a dissertation titled Performative Experiments: Contemporary Art and the Aesthetics of Scientific Experimentation. She is a graduate of Smith College, where she studied philosophy and chemistry, and holds a Certificate in Feminist Inquiry from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University. Her dissertation brings together the philosophies of art, science and technology to examine the scientific experiment as a formal practice in contemporary art and the use of scientific technologies and materials as new artistic media.

Meredith Drum, MFA
Candidate for Assistant Professor in Media Based Visual Arts

Ms. Drum will present a lecture on Tuesday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m. in ATEC 1.606 entitled Documentary in the Age of New Media.

Meredith Drum creates cinema projects as linear screenings, interactive exhibitions and mobile media walking tours. Her work has recently exhibited at a range of venues including the Bronx Museum of the Arts; Anthology Film Archives; Participant Inc.; Shelia C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons; Fales Library at NYU; Artport Projects at Focus 09 during Art Basel; Cinema Planeta Environmental Film Festival, Mexico City, Mexico; and Museo Valenciano de la Ilustración y la Modernidad, Valencia, Spain.

Additionally, her work has been published online on the New York Times magazine and Good Magazine. Recent grants and residencies from the NY State Council on the Arts and Free103point9; the Experimental Television Center; the Bronx Museum of the Arts; the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts; HASTAC; and ISSUE Project Room have provided support for her practice.

Paul A. Fishwick, Ph.D.
Candidate for Endowed Chair for Serious Gaming, Modeling and Simulation

Dr. Fishwick will present a lecture entitled Building Digital Worlds: Explorations in Modeling and Simulation on Thursday, March 22 at 3 p.m. in ECSS 2.102, Texas Instruments Auditorium.

To understand the world around us, we build models. At one time, these models were made of wood, plastic, and metal and then we progressed into a digital era where our models became computer programs. Interestingly, though, the vestiges of the older analog models are still with us, except that they exist in the human-computer interface to a lower-level digital substrate. I’ll cover research in model design and execution in our laboratory, and emphasize the importance of treating simulation models as language artifacts. When treated as such, models take on a variety of forms usable by scientists, engineers, artists, and educators. I’ll also cover the relevance of modeling and simulation within our Digital Arts and  Sciences programs, the field of Aesthetic Computing, and the State of Florida’s Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology.

Paul Fishwick is Florida Blue Key Distinguished Professor of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), and Director of the Digital Arts and Sciences Programs at the University of Florida.  Fishwick obtained the PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986, and has delivered fifteen international keynote addresses. He is a Fellow of the Society for Computer Simulation (SCS), and has over 200 refereed technical publications.

Graduate Students Invited to Attend RAW: Research, Art, Writing Conference

RAW Conference

The Graduate Student Association of the School of Arts and Humanities invites graduate students to attend the fourth annual symposium, “RAW: Research, Arts, Writing,” to be held on Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. in the Jonsson building.

8:30 am – Registration (Jonsson 4.614)
9 am – Opening Remarks (JO 4.614)
9:30 am – Moderated Sessions

10:35 am – Moderated Sessions
11:40 am – Moderated Sessions

12:45 pm – Lunch
1:45 pm – Keynote Address: The Future of Humanities, Dr. Benjamin Alpers
2:30 pm – Moderated Sessions

3:35 pm – Moderated Sessions
4:40 pm – Moderated Sessions

The RAW Conference provides a friendly forum for graduate students from UT Dallas and other institutions to present their research and take questions from the audience about their work.

The conference also provides an excellent opportunity for students to explore and discuss a broad range of scholarship growing out of interdisciplinary approaches in the humanities.

Several Arts and Technology and Emerging Media and Communication faculty will join colleagues in the School of Arts and Humanities as panel moderators.

Dr. Benjamin Alpers, Reach for Excellence Associate Professor in the Honors College and Associate Professor of History and Film and Video Studies at the University of Oklahoma, will deliver the conference keynote address on The Future of the Humanities.

This is the first year the RAW conference will feature a keynote speaker.

The conference program and a full schedule of events is available is available on the RAW website.

There is no charge to attend the conference.

A catered lunch may be purchased in advance for $10. Pay online and make your lunch reservation. Remember to bring your printed receipt with you on the day of the conference.

For more information, visit the RAW Conference website or contact the Graduate Student Association.

Upcoming ATEC Faculty Candidate Presentations

Students, staff and faculty are invited to candidate presentations for various faculty positions in Arts and Technology. Candidates will offer a presentation based upon their individual research interests.

The following candidates are slated to present for the week of March 5-9, 2012. All presentations will be held in the ATEC Conference Room (ATEC 1.606).

Erik Palmer, PhD
Candidate for Assistant Professor in Networked Communication and Social Media

Dr. Palmer will present a talk on Tuesday, March 6 at 2 p.m. in ATEC 1.606 entitled The New Spaces of News Media: A Regional Government’s Experiment with In-House Journalism.

Erik Palmer researches visual communication and new media, and teaches in the Department of Communication at Portland State University. He holds a doctoral degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.

Shilyh Warren, Ph.D.
Candidate for Tenure-Track Professor in Film Studies

Dr. Warren will present a lecture on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:30 pm in ATEC 1.606 entitled Missing Bodies, Missing Voices: Sexual Violence in Documentary Film.

This talk analyzes the history of feminist documentary filmmaking by considering two recent attempts to document violence against women in Mexico and the former Soviet bloc.

Both Senorita Extraviada (2001) and The Price of Sex (2011) struggle to represent the new forms of political, economic, and sexual violence shaping women’s lives. Although they deploy familiar documentary strategies, such as talking heads and voice over narration, these films ask us to listen in new ways to the stories they reveal. How should we attune ourselves to voices on the border of life and death?

Shilyh Warren completed her doctorate in the Graduate Program in Literature at Duke University. She currently teaches film studies at North Carolina State University. She publishes essays on women’s cinema, and is at work on a manuscript titled, The Feminist Real, Then and Now, about the desires and practices of feminist cinema and criticism.

Daniel J. Hicks
Candidate for Assistant Professor in History and Philosophy of Technology

Mr. Hicks will present a lecture on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 10:00 am in ATEC 1.606 entitled Two Views of Scientific Practice.

Dan Hicks is finishing his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, with a Graduate Minor in Gender Studies.

His dissertation combines social and political philosophy with philosophy of science, arguing that the science and values debate — which is usually construed purely epistemologically — should be construed in terms of the interactions between science and other goal-oriented socially organized practices.

He has published articles in Hypatia and Philosophy of Science.  Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he earned a M.S. in Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Max Kazemzadeh
Candidate for Assistant Professor in Media Based Visual Arts

Mr. Kazemzadeh will present a lecture on March 8, 2012 at 4 pm in ATEC 1.606 entitled From Walls to Walkways, From Facts to Fields: Apophenia, DIWOD, Open Src Everything, the Post Nomadic Community and Syncretic Methods for Exploring and Representing Consciousness.

Max Kazemzadeh is an Assistant Professor of Art and Media Technology at Gallaudet University (one of two federal universities in the US and the only all deaf university in the world), who uses a syncretic approach to investigate connections between art, technology, and consciousness through experiments and interactive installations.

Kazemzadeh is pursuing a Ph.D. with the Planetary Collegium at the University of Plymouth in the UK. His work over the last ten years focused on how constructed, semi-conscious interfaces influence human interaction.

Kazemzadeh has exhibited internationally, given performances, served on panels, curated exhibitions, organized conferences, given workshops, received grants, and written articles in the area of electronic and emergent media art.

UT Regents Approve Plans to Build ATEC a New Home

The UT System Board of Regents has approved construction of a 155,000-square-foot facility at UT Dallas that will house programs in visual arts, emerging media technology and multimedia communications, as well as a 1,200-seat auditorium.

The Arts and Technology building will be near the center of campus, facing the newly renovated mall.

Designed as a showcase to the visual arts and a highly adaptable technology hub for the Arts and Technology program, the $60 million building is slated for completion in 2013.

Dr. David E. Daniel, president of UT Dallas, said: “We are in a growth phase, and there has been a chokepoint for us in terms of new facilities.  The building, with its 2,150 new classroom seats and 50 faculty offices, will aid our effort to meet our strategic growth goals.”

Dr. Calvin Jamison, senior vice president for business affairs, said, “Bar none, this is the most comprehensive team effort for a major project resulting in an extraordinary iconic building.  The UT Dallas academic leadership, Business Affairs, Facilities, the UT System Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, and the architect all engaged in a complex process resulting in this achievement.”

Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, described the building design as “seductive,” with open public spaces and window views along its perimeter.

“It’s a departure from the usual building layout with offices and classrooms surrounding the perimeter,” he said. “We wanted to move the offices to the center of the building and make the perimeter a showcase for our students’ work.”

The building will house 2,150 new classroom seats, 50 faculty offices and a 1,200-seat auditorium.

Dr. Tom Linehan, head of the ATEC program and director of the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering at UT Dallas, said there was a real need for an open building design that could meet the demands of fast-changing technology.

“We did not want to construct a building around old technology,” Linehan said. “This building will help us address the changes in technology and help us fulfill our mission – while simultaneously showcasing our unique program.”

The Arts and Technology building will be near the center of campus, adjacent to the library and facing the newly renovated mall and reflecting pools. It will include an exterior courtyard next to the new auditorium. Inside features include classes for game design, visual arts, conference rooms, 2D drawing and painting art studios, 3D art studios, and photography and print-making labs, among others.

“This is such a well-designed, integrated and coherent building,” Kratz said. “With all of the room for exhibition space around the exterior, people walking by can be lured into visual arts exhibits and lots of exciting choices.”

The building’s design presented opportunities to find an architect who could accurately express the design concepts needed for the project. In the end, UT Dallas chose Studios Architecture – the same firm that designed Google Headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Kratz said the ultimate goal was to create a building modeled similarly to a website with stunning visual appeal and access to many different choices.

“We told them we wanted the building to be an architectural representation of the values of the program,” Kratz said. “Moreover, we wanted it to be accessible to everyone.”

In that spirit, the building will have an exterior video screen showcasing ATEC projects and other visual arts.

Groundbreaking is slated for August 2011.

Renowned Scholar Mihai Nadin Joins Faculty

Computer Graphics Pioneer to Head New Institute;

Arrival Strengthens UTD’s Arts and Technology Programs

Dr. Mihai Nadin, a pioneer in the field of computer graphics and an internationally known scholar in computer applications for art and design and in human-computer interactions, has joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as Ashbel Smith Professor.

Dr. Mihai Nadin

Nadin will be affiliated with both the School of Arts and Humanities and the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. His leadership is expected to strengthen the university’s degree programs in arts and technology and the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering, both joint projects of the two schools.

Nadin will also serve as director of a newly established Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems that focuses on “anticipatory computing,” or embedding the characteristic of anticipation in software for computers and other devices. The new institute, known as ANTE, was represented recently in Germany at ORGATEC, the largest world fair dedicated to the office as both workplace and environment for creative interaction.

“UTD is indeed fortunate to have a great scholar with a truly international reputation join our faculty,” said Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, the university’s executive vice president and provost. “Professor Nadin is known throughout the world for his groundbreaking interdisciplinary work that ranges across the arts, computer science and cognitive science.

“Professor Nadin brings a wealth of academic experience to UTD – including appointments at such prestigious institutions as the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, the Rhode Island School of Design and Ohio State University – that will serve the university and its students extremely well,” Wildenthal said. “This is a key hire for UTD at an important juncture in our drive to become a top-tier university.”

Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, called Nadin “a 21 st century Renaissance man, at home in the humanities and in science. We expect he will make a significant contribution to UTD’s innovative interdisciplinary effort to explore and exploit the synergies between art and technology.”

Born and educated in Romania, Nadin was among the very early scholars to address the relationship between computers and human creativity. His interests tracked his education – he has advanced degrees in computer science and philosophy.

Computational design, or the design of products and processes through the use of digital means, is a discipline founded by Nadin. He established and directed the world’s first Computational Design Program at the University of Wuppertal in Germany.

Nadin was recruited to UTD in large measure through the efforts of Dr. Thomas Linehan, who established the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering when he arrived at the university in 2002. Linehan worked with Nadin at Ohio State in the mid- to late-1980’s and believed his former colleague would be a perfect match for the institute’s charter.

“It’s hard to imagine anyone, anywhere with the breadth and depth of knowledge of Mihai Nadin when it comes to the marriage of art and technology, which is the focus of the institute,” Linehan said. “Not only is Mihai a prolific thinker, lecturer, writer and consultant, but he is also an outstanding teacher – and that will be part of his role at UTD.”

According to Linehan, Nadin will teach arts and technology, humanities and computer science courses.

The author of 23 books and countless articles, Nadin has lectured and written extensively on the mind, anticipation and dynamic systems, visualization, ubiquitous computing and various aspects of human-computer and human-technology interaction. He is credited with introducing various terms and phrases that have found wide usage throughout society, including “semiotic machine,” “post-industrial society,” “the civilization of illiteracy” and “anticipatory computing.”

Since his first involvement with the computer in the 1960’s, Nadin has espoused ways to involve computing in education and creativity, and later, with the advent of desktop computers, in art and design education. He taught some of the first known classes in many areas related to computer science.

Nadin holds a Ph.D. degree in aesthetics from the University of Bucharest and a post-doctoral degree in philosophy, logic and theory of science from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, West Germany. He earned an M.S. degree in electronics and computer science from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest and an M.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Bucharest.