What the Eyes Don’t See
At Connecticut College´s upcoming arts and technology symposium, visitors will be greeted by avatars that track and record their movements and robots made from recycled materials. The exhibits are part of the 12th Biennial Arts and Technology Symposium, "Revolution: Technology as Change," March 4-6. The symposium gathers world renowned avant-garde artists, performers and media specialists to explore the intersection of arts, sciences, media and technology. "This year´s symposium is a true reflection of the collaborative nature of arts and technology," Libby Friedman, coordinator of the symposium and assistant director of the College´s Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, said. "We will premiere works from internationally known artists and composers." Bringing a wide variety of artists, media specialists and performers to the College gives students the unique opportunity to work side by side with professionals, deepening their understanding of the relationship between technology and art. "The commissioned artists will provide an accessible and exciting experience for students and the public to explore and interact with artworks and processes," Andrea Wollensak, professor of art and co-associate director of events for the Ammerman Center, said. In a keynote address, Pattie Maes, associate professor of media technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will discuss how her research group is redefining the human-machine interactive experience. Maes, who earned a spot on Newsweek´s "100 Americans to Watch" in 2000, is the founder and director of the Fluid Interface Group at MIT´s Media Lab, a cutting-edge technology research group that designs immersive, intelligent and interactive interfaces to change the human-machine relationship and creates systems that are more responsive to people´s needs and actions. For example, the group is currently working on the "Sixth Sense," a wearable device made of everyday objects that enables users to project photos and information onto any surface, turning it into an interactive display. Other symposium highlights include a performance by the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, dance performances featuring Connecticut College students, interactive installations and computer animations. The keynote address, evening concerts and exhibits are free and open to the public. The schedule for public events is as follows: Thursday, March 4 • "Interactive Installations," 5 p.m., Cummings Arts Center Galleries. Exhibits will include robots made during The Scrapyard Challenge, an intensive workshop that challenges participants to use discarded "junk" to build robots; "Entanglement Witness," an installation that greets users with a virtual avatar; "Audio Graffiti," an installation that enables spectators to navigate through sound and virtual space; "The Messengers," an interactive wireless art installation; and "Man With A Movie Camera: The Global Remake," an internet interpretation of a 1929 silent film. • "Multimedia Performance," featuring electro-acoustic media and dance works, including "Persistence of Vision," an interactive light media and dance performance featuring Connecticut College students, 8 p.m., Evans Hall. Friday, March 5 • "Fluid Interfaces: Blending The Physical and Digital Worlds," a keynote address by Pattie Maes, associate professor of media technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder and director of MIT´s Media Lab´s Fluid Interfaces Group, 9 a.m., Evans Hall. • "Audio and Video Screening," a screening of videos and animated films, 4 p.m., Fortune Hall, Cummings Arts Center. • "Multimedia Performance," featuring electro-acoustic media and dance performances, including Kinodance Company´s "FUSE," a stage experiment in dance, visuals and music, as part of Connecticut College´s 2009-2010 Dayton Artist-in-Residence Program, and "Paraguay," an experimental music and theater performance that integrates audio, video, analog and digital content, 8 p.m., Palmer Auditorium. Saturday, March 6 • "Multimedia Performance," featuring electro-acoustic media and dance works, 8 p.m., Evans Hall. The concert will feature the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, a contemporary American ensemble. The symposium is sponsored by Connecticut College´s Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology with support from onStage at Connecticut College; the college´s departments of art, computer science, music, dance and film studies.