Paula Gaetano-Adi Desiring Machine

2023-2024 Colloquia "Material/Culture"


Our relationships with art, culture, and everyday living have radically shifted in a digital age. Both in conversation with and defiance of technology as invisible or ineffable, this year’s theme seeks to reframe materiality, and ground us with stakes that art and technology pose—culturally, environmentally, politically, and representationally. What does it mean to be a creator, producer, or maker in the 21st century? What are the ways in which we should (re)consider art and technology’s impact?

The invited speakers and performers for this year’s colloquium all consider how we generate culture and the tools, structures, and resources required to maintain and challenge forms of arts and technology. Dates and more information available on our website (https://cat.conncoll.edu) and social media @ammermancenter.

2023-24 Colloquia


Colloquia Thumbnail 2020-21

2020-2021 Colloquia "Break Out"


The Ammerman Center’s theme for 2020-21 is “Break Out,” a term that is at once generative and disruptive, focusing a critical eye towards structures of power in arts, technology, and culture in the present while highlighting the work of those who are actively crafting other possible futures and breaking out of old patterns. 

Our invited speakers are visionary artists, technologists, musicians, activists, curators, organizers and hackers whose work truly deserves being called “interdisciplinary.”

2020-21 Colloquia and Workshop Series


2018-19 Colloquia and Workshop Series

Creative Ecologies

Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology presents the 2018-2019 Colloquia and Workshop Series, Creative Ecologies. How does one define and expand the notion of ecologies in a multidisciplinary and expansive way through the lens of arts and technology? What connections exist or could be envisioned between artistic, environmental, technological, ethical, political and cultural systems? How do we examine a notion of creative ecologies in relation to the human experience? This series draws together presentations and hands-on workshops by artists, scientists, scholars, and makers to discuss and create intersecting systems and processes.

2018-19 Colloquia and Workshop Series



Rendering DNA

"Rendering DNA"

Heather Dewey-Hagborg

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Art, Biology and Psychology

Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a transdisciplinary artist and educator who is interested in art as research and provocation. Dewey-Hagborg’s work focuses on how we read DNA, interpretation, identity and new forms of surveillance. She has shown work internationally at events and venues including the Poland Mediations Bienniale, Ars Electronica, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, the Science Gallery Dublin, PS1 Moma, the New Museum, and Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, New York.

April 13, 2015
Lecture at 4:30, Bill 106
Reception at 4:00 

FE-09 - Isovists: recent work

"FE-09 - Isovists: recent work"

Sarah Oppenheimer

Sarah Oppenheimer is a visual artist based in New York City. Oppenheimer's work begins with the premise that the specificity of site can be extended from the particular to the general.

This generally (for us, the inheritors and inhabitants of modern space) is the arragement of spatial zones that abut and overlap in a mappable way. Holes alter this arrangement, functioning as a catalyst for the transformation of the perceptual experience of the occupant. The hole is an active blurring of the (architectural) distinction between zones.

February 9, 2015
Lecture at 4:30, Olin 014
Reception at 4:00, prior to lecture


Frankie - A Documentarian Robot

"Frankie - A Documentarian Robot”

Lecture and interactive installation by Maayan Sheleff, Independent curator and artist, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem

Sheleff will exhibit and discuss her interactive robot "Frankie", a project by Maayan Sheleff, Eran Hadas and Gal Eshel. Frankie is an interactive installation: a robot that interviews people and documents them, attempting to learn what it means to be human. 

Sign up for 7 minute interviews with "Frankie", who’s international debut was at the Ars Electronica festival, Austria, 2013. Shellef's projects involve the exploration of social and political issues, mostly through new media, the moving image and performance. Subjects that reoccur in her work are human-machine relationship, surveillance and war, as well as trauma and testimony.

November 17, 2014, 4:00, AJ Room, Cro


21st Century Storytelling Since 1994

"21st Century Storytelling Since 1994"

Marianne Weems, Artistic Director and James Gibbs, Company, Dramaturg

Builders Association

Weems and Gibbs discuss their works, including “Sontag:Reborn”, adapted from Sontag’s early journals by performer Moe Angelos. “Sontag:Reborn” traces Sontag’s private life from the age of 14 to her emergence as a world-renowned author and activist. Directed by Marianne Weems and using the Builders Association’s signature synthesis of poetic video and sound, this tightly-crafted story of self-discovery and sexual identity is both exuberant and intimate, exploring the private life, loves and idiosyncrasies of the iconic intellectual.

Sept. 22, 2014, 4:30, OLIN 014


The Inflexible Partner

"The Inflexible Partner"

Christopher Grymes

Discussion and performance of Prof. Arthur Kreiger’s work, “Uncommon Bonds,” for clarinet and tape, including the processes of creation and preparation, dealing with the infallibility of a synthetic partner, and issues specific to the electro-acoustic idiom.

Nov. 12, 2012, Fortune Recital Hall

Twenty-one Twelve

"Twenty-one Twelve"

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s multimedia artworks examined the genres and conventions of filmmaking, memory and language. They are known for constructing subjective databases of existingmaterial and making fragmentary miniature film sets with lights, video cameras, and moving sculptural elements to create live cinematic events. Discussion of their work in the context of social roles, stereotypes, typecasting, categorization, memory and genres.

Feb. 4, 2013, Olin

The Hidden Hammer and the Lesbian Museum

"The Hidden Hammer and the Lesbian Museum"

Barbara Hammer

Hammer discussed her documentary film essays on lesbian and gay history. Co-sponsored with Dept. of Film Studies

Mar. 4, 2013, Olin

Organizing Principles or The desire to go inside of a TV and bring an audience with you = New Media + Theater

"Organizing Principles"

Reid Farrington, Creative Director, Foxy Films

Farrington discussed the evolution of his hybrid audio/video works.

Apr. 8, 2013


Putto 4 Over 4: The Public and the Private

"Putto 4 Over 4: The Public and the Private"

Michael Rees

Co-sponsored by the Art Department, the Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology and the Office of College Advancement.

Sept. 16, 2010, Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room, Shain Library

The Waking/Dream-ness of Sound

"The Waking/Dream-ness of Sound"

Betsey Biggs, Post-Doctorate Fellow in the Multi-Media and Electronic Music Program at Brown University

Nov. 13, 2010, Olin 014

Social Dance-Media

"Social Dance-Media"

Harmony Bench, Assistant Professor of Dance at Ohio State University

Feb. 17, 2010, Bill 106

Scandora: Using Music Information Retrieval and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Predict Musical Meaning


Michael Casey, Professor and Chair of Music at Dartmouth College, and director of the Bregman Music and Audio Research Studio (BMARS)

Using Music Information Retrieval and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Predict Musical Meaning

Mar. 7, 2010, Olin 014

A Camera, Marker, Paper and Scissors

"A Camera, Marker, Paper and Scissors"

Casey Neistat, Independent artist and film-maker

Apr. 4, 2010, Olin 014


"Musical Science and Engineering Art"

Elaine Chew, Professor of industrial and systems engineering and electrical engineering at the University of Southern California

Chew explores the roles of engineer as artist and artist as engineer.

Jan. 29, 2009

"Disarticulations of the Artificial Woman"

Allison de Fren, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ammerman Center

Fren examines the way in which women are represented in film and other media.

Feb. 25, 2009

"Kurosawa's Rashomon through Improvisational Interactive Performance"

Rachel Boggia, Visiting assistant professor of dance at Wesleyan University

Boggia explores computer use in improvisational and interactive performances.

Mar. 25, 2009

"Ground Truth"

Andrea Polli, Director of Interdisciplinary film and digital media at the University of New Mexico

Polli's short documentary takes a look at real-time sonic and visual representations of Arctic weather patterns.

Apr. 22, 2009


Supported by a generous grant from Citizens Bank with additional funding from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation

"The Floating Cinema and Cross Cultural Video Production"

Jon Rubin

Rubin is a film and new media artist based in Brooklyn; Associate Professor of Film and New Media at SUNY/Purchase where teaches a Cross Cultural Video course in which SUNY students collaborate with students from Turkey, Mexico and Belarus; and serves as Director of the Center for Collaborative Online International Learning.

More information on Rubin

"Synesthetic Explorations in Multimedia Dance/Theatre"

Todd Winkler

Winkler is a composer and multimedia artist at Brown, where he co-directs Multimedia & Electronic Music Experiments @ Brown (meme@brown), the Ph.D. program in Computer Music and Multimedia, and chairs the Music Department. His work explores ways in which human actions can affect sound and images produced by computers in dance productions, interactive video installations and concert pieces for computers and instruments.

More information on Winkler

"Resistance, Technology, and the Work of Etienne-Jules Marey"

Butch Rovan

Rovan is a composer and performer in the Department of Music at Brown University, where he co-directs meme@brown) and the Ph.D. program in Computer Music and Multimedia. Rovan researches gestural control and interactivity.

More information on Rovan and Marey

"Digital Fauxtography"

Terrence Masson

Masson is President of Digital Fauxtography Inc; Specialist in Computer Animation, Graphic Design and Special Effects. Masson has worked for ILM, Warner Bros, Dreamworks; collaborated on "Flushed Away" and "Fantastic Four, and served as the Computer Animation Festival Chair for Siggraph 2006.

More information on Masson


"Art, Technology, and Politics of German Design, 1890-1945"

Doug Scott

Scott is Design Director at WGBH Boston, a producer and broadcaster of public television and radio content. He teaches graphic design, typography, and design history at Yale and RISD.

"Viewer As Performer"

Barbara Lattanzi, Media Artist, Dept. of Art at Smith College

Lattanzi improvised with video playback to analyze Quicktime-formatted video as well as to play and experiment with the video's time structures for rhythmic and aesthetic effect. Lattanzi demonstrated her software on such archival works as the film classic Nosferatu, satellite news feeds, NASA cinematography of the Apollo Moon Mission; and new works: "The Interrupting Annotator" and "CSPAN Karaoke" that demonstrate unique ways of viewing and "talking back" to streaming news videos on the web. Lattanzi's presentation will feature original software that is freely available for download from her website: wildernesspuppets.net.

"IMAGE + SOUND: Integrating Visual and Aural in the Digital Realm"

Peter Kirn, Graduate student in music composition at The Graduate Center, CUNY


Sponsored through a generous grant from AT&T

Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel

Graphic designers who live and work in Falls Village, Connecticut, in a modern studio originally built for the American muralist Ezra Winter in 1931. Their talk focused on rethinking the role of graphic design as a humanist discipline. They discussed recent and current projects that engage language and literature, science and mathematics, biography, geometry, and media both new and old.

"Dynamic Diagrams"

Tim Roy, Vice-president for Information Architecture at Dynamic Diagrams, Providence, RI

Roy discussed how visual design and information combine and are organized in Web site construction.

Tristan Murail

Professor Murail (Music Department, Columbia University) discussed highly sophisticated digital sound analysis tools and the contribution they have made to music composition. Murail is renowned for work that concentrates on the spectrum of sound rather than on melody, allowing listeners to enter into the structure of sound itself.

"The Many Faces of 3D Computer Animation"

Gerardo Orioli and Jay Nilsen, Sr. Animator and VP Animation, Sonalysts Studios, Waterford


Dance Interaction and Forensic Animation

Robert Weschler and Frieder Weiss

Dancers, musicians and computer science students at Connecticut College worked with Palindrome to present an original arts and technology performance piece involving video, music and dance. CC Professors Zahler, Izmirli and Schenk also participated in the residency.

"Forensic Animation Evidence"

Ted Gipstein '76

The use of forensic animation as courtroom evidence. Co-sponsored by the Center for Arts and Technology and the Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series.


Robots, Avatars and Sound Sculptures: Artists Redefining Technology Through Words, Sound, Sculpture and Performance

The 1998 Colloquia Series, "Robots, Avatars, and Sound Sculptures: Artists Redefining Technology Through Words, Sound, Sculpture And Performance" featured three technology leaders who brought new and fresh perspectives to sound, web sites and robots. Helen Thorington, Matt Heckert, Adrianne Wortzel all presented to the college community examples of their interactive work. Descriptions of their individual use of technology in the arts follows.

Helen Thorington

Thorington is a sound artist, writer, and radio producer whose work has been presented internationally. She is currently at work on several productions for radio; a CD-ROM project; an interactive narrative that relates Tarot, a serial killer, volcanoes, and the imagination of an unknown person who may or may not be the user; and a book with Jacki Apple, Breaking The Broadcast Barrier. Radio Art 1980-1995: American Artists making images and telling stories with sound and language.

Matt Heckert

Heckert builds large mechanized sound sculptures. He is a former director/artist with Survival Research Labatories, where he staged unique theatrical performances with the only performers being remote control robots. His current work involves the Mechanical Sound Orchestra, machine sculptures that produce sound and develop a control system that allows them to be orchestrated in sound performances. He is a recent winner of the Golden Nica for Computer Music award at the 1997 Priz Arts Electronica in Austria.

Adrianne Wortzel

Wortzel is an artist, educator and writer. Her robotic interactive installations have been exhibited at the Ars Electronica Festival in Austria, and the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Her web projects include "The Electronic Chronicles", "Permutations" and documentation of her robotic installations and performances: "Globe Theater: Robotic Pageantry".