The Ammerman Center presents CONTACT: The 17th Symposium on Arts and Technology Nov. 10-12
The Ammerman Center’s 2022 Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology, now in its 36th year, will take place at Connecticut College Nov. 10-12. The Symposium aims to create an inclusive forum for multidisciplinary dialogue at the intersection of arts, technology, and contemporary culture in a variety of formats.
This year’s theme is CONTACT. “In the contemporary vocabulary, ‘contact’ is something to be avoided in physical interactions or something perhaps just out of reach in our remote relationships with others. Contact contains the promise of new and continued engagement within communities, among disparate institutions and so-called disciplines,” said the event organizers.
In lieu of a standard keynote address and in keeping with our focus on contact, affect and collaboration, the featured speakers will be the members of the Centre for Emotional Materiality: Surabhi Saraf, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Caroline Sinders, Marcus Brittain Fleming, and Mariah Hill. The Symposium will also feature dozens of performances, panels, workshops, artists’ talks and more.
This year’s commissioned artists are spending the week at the College, building and finalizing pieces to present at the Symposium, while also meeting with students and members of local communities. Anonymous Ensemble will present “Llontop,” an installation and poetic theatrical performance that centers Quechua voices, employing cutting edge machine learning to activate objects using augmented reality with podcast-style content specific to the individual gaze of each audience member; Ensemble Pamplemousse will perform “Envelop In In,” a composition that explodes the various implications of “shadow,” utilizing common musical tools and orchestration as well as computer self-determination; and Joel Ong will show “In Silence,” a sculptural sound installation using water and bone conduction to convey stories of migration and the Caribbean diaspora of Toronto embodied in migrants to pay tribute to the emotional turmoil through the pandemic.
The Ammerman Center will also present a CONTACT Exhibition, organized by commissioned curator René Cepeda, in the Cummings Arts Center galleries Nov. 10–Dec. 10. Highlights will include Katerie Gladdys’ “Seedcabinet,” a piece that resembles scientific discourse to invite the audience to dig deeper reflecting upon their role in global and local food systems, and Peter Burr’s “Dirtscraper,” which simulates an underground structure whose ‘smart architecture’ is overseen by artificial intelligences.
Performance highlights include Morgan Green’s “Who Paints,” a durational performance in which the artist paints while being resisted by machines that control parts of her arm and body in the process; Kathleen McDermott and Monica Duncan’s “How It Slips,” an improvisational performance in public space, and a surreal appropriation of a gesture of violent revealing (flashing) and choreographed seduction (stripping) and a consideration of how femme and queer identifying bodies reveal and conceal themselves in public spaces; and Juraj Kojs’ “Saying Goodbye,” a collaborative music and movement augmented reality work in which the composer and sound artist Kojs, the singer and poet Jennifer Beattie and the dancer and choreographer Pioneer Winter will engage community members in a shared about loss, inspired by the global pandemic.
Papers and panel conversations include examinations of AR as a tool for decolonization by Alex Lee, the uses of the cringe in film by Jaimie Baron, and the intersections and subversions of contemporary art and pornography by Cory Wayman.
Finally, workshops will include the activism-minded “Poems for a Revolution,” led by members of LabSynthE, collaborative digital world-building by Daniel Lichtman, and the art of livestreaming by Juanita Austin.
A full listing of schedule of events is available on the CONTACT website. All events are free and open to Connecticut College students, faculty and staff.