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College to host arts and technology symposium


 Photo courtesy of William Brent

Photo courtesy of William Brent

Connecticut College's Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology will present the 13th biennial arts and technology symposium, March 1-3. They symposium brings artists and researchers together to share ideas and present new works, research and performances, all addressing one or more forms of fusion between technology and the arts. The theme of this year's symposium is "Aesthetics and Creative Pathways," and the public is invited to attend several exciting events that are part of the symposium, all of which are free: Keynote Speaker Martin Wattenberg, co-director of Google's "Big Picture" visualization research group in Cambridge, Mass., will speak on Friday, March 2, at 9:30 a.m. in Evans Hall in Cummings Arts Center. Wattenberg is renowned for his visual explorations of culturally significant data. His visualizations of the stock market and baby names are considered Internet classics and his visualization-based artwork has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, London Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Multimedia Concerts At the end of each day of the symposium, the Ammerman Center will present a multimedia concert comprising up to 10 short performances that incorporate everything from music - using traditional and nontraditional instruments - to dance, video, narration and more. The concerts take place in Evans Hall, with Thursday and Friday shows at 8 p.m. and Saturday's finale at 4:30 p.m. Gallery Show and Reception The Ammerman Center commissions new works for each symposium that combine at least one area of creative expression with a major technology component. The four works commissioned for this year's symposium will be unveiled on Thursday, March 1, at 4:30 p.m. in the galleries of Cummings Arts Center. They include an interactive work for piano with computer-generated audio and imagery, based on the sacred song "The Greatest of These is Love," composed by Connecticut College alumna Roberta Bitgood; an improvisation between piano and fret-less guitar with interactive electronics referencing the early 20th century Telharmonium; a musical and theatrical performance incorporating visual media and interactive electronics to represent a relationship tainted by an omnipresent media stream; and a dance, visual and sound collaboration which utilizes 3D motion capture sensor and Kinect technology to tell the story of Lilith from Jewish tradition. Immersive Installation Harkness Chapel is both the setting and focus of a site-based immersive installation called "Deep/Place" that will be on view Friday, March 2, at 3:30 p.m. It consists of diverse media elements which draw on a historical and contemporary materials about Harkness Chapel to explore architecture, cultural geography, geology and more in a dynamic interactive experience. In addition to visiting artists and researchers, many in the College community have worked hard to pull together this special event, including Ozgur Izmirli, the Judith Ammerman '60 Director of the Ammerman Center; the center's associate directors Bridget Baird, Arthur Kreiger and Andrea Wollensak; and its assistant director Libby Friedman. Participating faculty and staff include David Dorfman, Karen Gonzalez-Rice, Charles Hartman, Shawn Hove, David Jaffe, Peter Jarvis, Thomas Labadorf, Ross Morin, Patrice Newman, Rebecca Noreen, Lisa Race and Mark Seto. Students participating are Amy Barrett '12, Ajjen Joshi '12, Jon Markson '12, Hannah Plishtin '13 and Matthew Rolin '13 For more information about the symposium, visit To view other events on campus this month, visit the Connecticut College calendar of events.

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