Collaborator Kathryn Evans to Defend Doctoral Dissertation

kathryn-evansKathryn Evans is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Art and Technology, with an emphasis on arts education in the 21st century. To that end, she will be presenting her dissertation entitled “Does Studying Music and Sound Design Enhance Academic Abilities in Non-Music Majors: A Phenomenological Approach” on Tuesday, November 8 at 10 am on campus in ATC 1.201.

About Kathryn Evans

Ms. Evans currently holds M. A. degrees in Mathematics and Music from the University of California, San Diego. Evans’ interests include enhancing the cultural environment at the University for students, faculty, staff and the community at large; and creation of an arts curriculum that uses technology to enhance the marketability of students with arts degrees.
A singer, conductor, director and producer of many diverse talents, Ms. Evans has performed and directed music composed from 1200 to contemporary times using a variety of settings and styles. An accomplished recitalist and chamber musician, Ms. Evans has completed tours of music for voice and guitar with fellow faculty member Dr. Enric Madriguera in Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Spain and Latin America.
Ms. Evans is currently the head of the Vocal and Choral division of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas, where she directs the UT Dallas Chamber Singers, teaches vocal instruction, opera theatre workshop and a variety of music history courses.
Ms. Evans was the Associate Dean for the Arts of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas from 1999 to 2010. She was awarded the School of Arts and Humanities Distinguished Service Award in 2010 for her years of service in this position.

Marcel Cage and John Duchamp perform REUNION at Nine Evenings 2 in Seattle


On October 28, 2016 ArtSciLab team members will be performing “Data Stethoscope” brain connectome data in Seattle. Performance is dedicated to celebration of the 50th anniversary of Nine Evenings held in New York by EAT and Bell labs in 1966. 
The performing team includes: artist/musician Scot Gresham Lancaster, Tim Perkis, neuroscientist Gagan Wig and Roger Malina. The project includes also neuroscientists Micaela Chan and Neil Savalia, Art and Technology PhD student Veena Somareddy and the Make or Break gaming company, with Mike Leach and Robert Nally. A truly transdisciplinary, inter-generational, intercultural  team.
The performance will include the FMRI brain Connectome data sets for cohorts of 20, 40, 60, 80 year old. Gagan developed  a team to understand the way brain interconnections evolve with age and experience for healthy adults. The hope is to identify precursor anomalies that may lead to cognitive problems. The software has been developed with the use of data sonification to augment the data visualization of the networks, hence the title ‘data stethoscope”.
Scot Gresham Lancaster, Tim Perkis and Andrew Blanton will be performing three solos, with differing aesthetic approaches to the visualization and sound. At the conclusion of the performance, Scot has designed a chess board interface in homage to John Cage and Marcel Duchamp, who in 1968 performed a celebrated game of chess that triggered sound and music that they titled ”Reunion”.
Detailed story of the piece.
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Scot has invited Gagan and Roger to be chess performers for this chess performance in homage to John Cage and Marcel Duchamp, hence the meme John Duchamp and Marcel Cage!
To underline the appropriateness of this device, board was practiced by  University of Texas at Dallas Chess Team, which repeatedly wins national and international chess tournaments. Special thanks go out to James Stallings, Director of UTD chess program, and  to International master Zurabi Javakhadze from Georgia, who is ATEC major and member of ArtScience Lab. According to Roger Malina: his father, scientist-artist Frank Malina was an avid chess player and at home, playing chess was often the social platform for art-science technology discussions.
Scot Gresham Lancaster provides this personal recollection:
”Earlier in my career I had the opportunity to work closely with composer/performers John Cage and David Tudor. It was John Cage that connected me with Lowell Cross who designed the photoelectric enabled chess board that was an important part of the “Reunion” electro-acoustically enhanced chess match between Cage and Marcel Duchamp. I received the circuit for this chess board from Mr. Cross and built a working version of the board for a reenactment of the piece for a celebration of Cage’s work at a memorial concert at Mills College in Oakland,CA in 1998. This cemented my interest in using chess play as a source of indeterminacy as a  Post-Cage style musical performance organizing principle.
Fast forward some years later and we are working with the Art/Science lab and the Center for Vital Longevity at UTD and discover that the university has a world class chess program with full scholarships and several World Grand Masters. That program also has a new generation of digital chess boards that can be used to digitally communicate the moves of a chess game in real time. The opportunity arose to use the Art part of our Art/Science collaboration presented itself with an invitation for us to participate in the 50th Anniversary of the historic Engineering Art and Technology (EAT) 9 evenings performance. This time in Seattle and entitled 9E2. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to show our work and dedication to  really fully playing at the Art/Science boundary.
The Artists on the team are seasoned performers with decades of experience but the thought occurred to us that we could integrate the symbolic representation of brain activity, the chess game, as a way to get the scientists on the project directly involved in the performance itself. So while we are using a good part of the evening to directly create music using the tools we have been developing to research by visualizing and sonifying fMRI and EEG data in many different ways. Some of these techniques proved useful for the scientists, but all were created with an idea that they would be part of a human experience and therefore be crafted to bear some artistic interest. By the end of the evening the scientists themselves are driving the form of the visual and sonic interactions directly from the chess moves they are making. The symbolic meeting of the minds driving the multi sensory experience the audience is witnessing.
Special thanks go out to James Stalling of the UTD chess program, of course, the director of the two labs collaborating on this complex and fascinating project, Drs. Roger Malina and Gagan Wig and finally my artistic collaborators Andrew Blanton and Tim Perkis.”
Here is What Malina has to say about the event:
”We are unbearable excited as we countdown for tonight’s performance! I must admit this Art-Science collaboration is one of the most interesting and difficult projects I have been involved in – more difficult than most of the research projects in astrophysics that I have been involved in, for NASA or the European and French Space Agencies! The goal of having an art-science collaboration develop both research software that will help Gagan’s team make scientific discoveries and also the artists perform compelling art is a sweet spot of art-science practice.”
 
Event 9e2 is an art exhibition and performance series commemorating “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering,” an iconic exhibition 50 years ago in New York that sparked a new era of collaboration between artists, scientists, and engineers.

Interdisciplinary Literature Come Together in ATEC Lab's New Online Reading Platform

For scholarly work that exists outside the realm of traditional peer-reviewed journals, outlets for getting research recognized and read can be few and far between.
To overcome this challenge, the ArtSciLab, UT Dallas’ transdisciplinary research lab, recently launched ARTECA. The new online reading platform will serve as a curated space for academic literature at the intersection of the arts, humanities, science and technology.
A collaborative effort between the ArtSciLab, the MIT Press and the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST), ARTECA includes an expanding collection of more than 200 books and access to three MIT Press journals.
“The ArtSciLab seeks to be a pioneer in the field of experimental publishing. We hope to probe, test and experiment with new ways for professionals to document their work and show it to others,” said Dr. Roger Malina, Arts and Technology Distinguished Chair and director of the lab. “ARTECA provides a way for us to ‘beta test’ the future for the art-science-technology community.”
Malina said the aim is for ARTECA to enable new collaborative practices within transdisciplinary social communities, an idea he embodies as a physicist and astronomer working in the arts.
Chaz Lilly BA’11, MA’15, a research assistant for the project and a doctoral candidate in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC), said the aggregator was modeled after MIT CogNet, a similar MIT Press platform that consolidates literature in the brain and cognitive sciences.
“There are a lot of issues in how we disseminate research in academia,” Lilly said. “We live in a digital world where online research and publishing is an immediate resource, but a lot of it doesn’t reach its audience without an access point.”
With CogNet, the MIT Press developed a platform that facilitates access to more than 700 books, six journals and 13 reference works, and subscriptions from more than 100 academic institutions. The hope is to re-create its success with ARTECA.
“We’re thrilled to be working with ISAST and The University of Texas at Dallas to expand the dimensions of scholarly publishing in the art, science and technology space,” said Nick Lindsay, journals director for the MIT Press. “The Press has a long-established history of bold experimentation in publishing, and ARTECA fits that tradition perfectly.”
While the site only houses books and journal issues, subsequent phases will introduce increasingly experimental resources such as podcasts, multimedia-based materials, a job board and online textbooks for massive open online courses.
The subscription-based platform has been made available at no cost to UT Dallas students and faculty linked to the campus network. Remote access is needed to use the resource off campus.
“With ARTECA, we are experimenting with a hybrid open access and paywall system,” Malina said. “Professionals who contribute to the content and quality of ARTECA will have open access.”
Malina said that authors who prefer to pay author fees and have their articles accessible via open access may do so. Other faculty and students will have access by subscribing to institutions’ libraries.
“We will also be developing functions and tools to promote and enable transdisciplinary collaboration,” Malina said.

Roger Malina & Paul Fishwick: Deep Personalization and Entryways

Roger Malina and Paul Fishwick talk about Deep Personalization and Entryways with Koshi Dhingra, who hosts talkstem website. Talksteam promotes conversation about the diversity of STEM and STEAM thinking in our daily lives, in our communities, and in our world.
Koshi Dhingra has a doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and has years of experience teaching at the middle and high school levels, as well as teaching in teacher education programs. Most recently, she served as a director of the Science and Engineering Education Center at the University of Texas at Dallas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzo2P3ezOiI

Clark Scholars Boost Research Skills Through Summer Program

Twenty-four UT Dallas students, most of them freshmen, got a head start on their undergraduate experiences by spending nine weeks this summer conducting research on campus.
The Anson L. Clark Summer Research Program, coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Education, saw projects ranging from the development of prosthetic casings to the design of “smart” agricultural systems. Students recently displayed their research results during a poster presentation and symposium. Incoming UT Dallas students who have been awarded Academic Excellence Scholarships are eligible to apply to be Clark Scholars. No previous research experience is necessary.
“Every year I’m amazed at how these students progress in nine short weeks, both socially and in their grasp of advanced research methods,” said Courtney Brecheen, associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Education. “For many, participation in this program is their first chance to socialize with other university students and become acclimated to campus. It doesn’t take long before they really come together as a group, and by the end of the summer, they have mastered the art of articulating complex research to a general audience.”
The 2016 class of Clark Scholars collaborated with mentors in School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC), the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. Nearly all of the students intend to continue their research with their mentors’ lab groups during the upcoming year, Brecheen said.
Dr. Paul Pantano, associate professor of chemistry and past recipient of the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring, serves as the program’s scientific adviser.
Among the participants was Joel Ewing, a first-year ATEC student, who worked with Cassini Nazir, ATEC professor and director of design and research of ArtSciLab, and Dr.Roger Malina  Distinguished Professor of Arts and Technology, to design a website. ARTECA — a collaboration between UT Dallas’ ArtSciLab, which Malina directs, and the MIT Press — will be an online curated space of essential content in an interdisciplinary field where art, science and technology meet.

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ATEC student Joel Ewing helped design a website that aggregates scholarly content in an interdisciplinary field that combines art, science and technology. Dr. Roger Malina, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Technology, was his faculty mentor.

 
“The problem was, there was no central place to access materials related to this field,” Ewing said. “When ARTECA is launched, UT Dallas students will have free access to it, and other universities can subscribe. My role as a designer was to look for and address issues that affect user experience.”
Hannah Barber, a first-year student in biomedical engineering who led a collaborative project with ATEC students to design and produce decorative casings for lower limb prosthetics. She worked with faculty mentor Dr. Robert Gregg, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering, along with students of Andrew Scott, associate professor of arts and technology.
Computer science students Daniel Garcia and Christopher Janusa spent the summer working together to develop “smart” electronics for agriculture applications. Their faculty mentor was Dr. Subbarayan Venkatesan, professor of computer science.
“There is a need for agriculture systems that are automated, simple to use and configurable,” Garcia said. “This could include systems like automated irrigation and temperature control.”
The students envisioned a smart system that includes sensors and actuators that monitor, for example, temperature and soil moisture, and could be integrated with weather data to automatically adjust irrigation and other actions according to the forecast. Users could use a web interface to regulate the system, Garcia said.
The Clark Summer Research Program is funded by an endowment from the Clark Foundation, whose philanthropy has supported scholarly endeavors at several Texas colleges and universities, such as the Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture and the Dr. Anson L. Clark Presidential Scholarship at UT Dallas.

Roger Malina Receives Honorary Degree

Roger Malina has been awarded an honorary degree from the Technical University of Valencia in Spain for his work promoting and advancing research at the intersection of art, science and technology.
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The Spanish University cited his role as director of the ArtSciLab as a contributing factor. As a transdisciplinary research lab, the ArtSciLab focuses on innovative projects such as the podcast platform Creative Disturbance.
For 25 years, Malina has been involved with the Leonardo organizations, which his father founded in San Francisco and Paris. The organizations strive to promote work that explores the interactions between the arts and sciences, as well as between the arts and new technologies. Malina currently serves as the executive editor of the Leonardo journal, published by MIT Press.
Malina earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley.

From Dakar to Dallas: Creative Disturbance attends Gamecamp Senegal

Virtual Africa on Creative Disturbance
The Virtual Africa on Creative Disturbance

The Audiolats channel Virtual Africa on Creative Disturbance hosted a video conference between Dallas and Dakar where UT Dallas students engaged with Gamecamp Senegal attendees on topics relating to games, language, culture and creative industries.
Students from the School of Art, Technology and Emerging Communication at UT Dallas held a virtual meeting with Gamecamp organizer Kofi Sika Latzoo and Goethe Institut Sénégal’s director Michael Jeismann, led by Virtual Africa’s project coordinator and ATEC doctoral student Yvan Tina.
The group discussed the issue of technological development in some areas, the various business models available for the gaming industry, the implementation of transmedia narratives across multiple platforms, the role of government agencies in creative industry, and the future of mobile gaming in Africa.

Gamecamp Senegal at the Geothe Institut Dakar

It follows from that discussion that microtransactions currently constitutes the most reliable business plan for game developers in Sénégal due to the high cost of internet plans that keep most people from being able to play online with their smartphones. The microtransaction strategy allows one to progress at his/her own pace and to access the game offline. The low tech approach, as opposed to high tech (virtual and augmented reality), doesn’t have good days ahead given the rapid growtth of technology. However, there are alternative solutions such as the use of solar energy to deal with the access to electricity and the internet. One could even envision the emergence on new games based on this ecological approach. Similarly, the potential of serious games, through the gamification of many aspects of life, offer the opportunity to overcome the challenge of education in some African countries.
The last issue to be pointed out remains the incredible diversity of African societies, with thousands of languages and cultures, presents a real difficulty for game designers. It remains, however, that multilingualism and the development of African storytelling (based, for example, on oral traditions or afrofuturist speculations) would be an incredible asset for anyone involved in the African creative industries.
The Gamecamp—a festival which ran from July 14-17, 2016 in Dakar, Senegal—is a partnership with the Goethe Institut, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA Sénégal) and Orange Telecommunications. The festival has toured many African countries since its inception and was marked this year by the release of Google’s Cardboard as well as of NVIDIA’s Shield, the most powerful box android TV in the market, and the cloud gaming Geforce Now.
The festival allows attendees the opportunity to discover many games that have been developed in Sénégal such as Da’karapid, Cross Dakar City, HA Buggy and Diambar. Workshops for game designers on Unity, Game Design Canvas and several gaming tournaments (Call of Duty, Leagues of Legend) as well as an initiation to 360 panoramic photography (ConceptSky VT) are also offered in this program.

Yvan Tina, PhD Student publishes papers in the Technoetic Arts Journal and SciArt Magazine

Yvan Tina is a Phd Student in the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication and member of ArtSciLab. His work investigates the possible convergences of biotechnology, synthetic biology, and artificial life with the performing arts. He is a member of the international, multilingual podcast platform Creative Disturbance where he regularly contributes to Meta–Life and Virtual Africa.
His recent publications include:
1. On Complexism: Pulsion and Computation, Technoetic Arts Journal, Volume 14, Issue 1-2, June 2016
taThis article discusses a concept introduced by art theorist Philip Galanter in several publications over the past decade: complexism is a notion that looks at both past and future while aiming to reconcile (post) modern aesthetics with the cybernetic and biological paradigms. This article focuses on the re-evaluation of the performance arts within the framework of this theory, favoring the idea that every artwork necessarily resists attempts of subordination.
2. Straight Talk with Yvan Tina, SciArt Magazine, April 2016
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In this article Yvan’s insights provide a bridge between the sometimes disparate domains of art and science —a perspective increasingly necessary with the rapid emergence of new materials and technologies available for artistic appropriation.

Creative Disturbance at ISEA

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Director of Design and Research for the ArtSciLab Cassini Nazir recently presented at the 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), which was held in Hong Kong.
Talking on a panel titled “Creative Work and Well-Being,” Nazir discussed technical and design challenges for nurturing crowd sourced conversations on the Creative Disturbance platform. He outlined innovative methods in design, development and production for the podcast series.

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“Creative Disturbance is a platform developed in response to the need for a rupture in the arcane networks that currently connect creative people,” Nazir said. “We’re reaching an international, multilingual network and facilitating collaboration among the arts, sciences, and new technologies communities.”

Creative Disturbance celebrates its third year and at the time of the conference features 65 hours of content in ten languages, with over 270 contributors.
Creative Disturbance was one among many projects from UT Dallas faculty accepted into ISEA 2016:

  •  a robot that sleepwalks and Error as Armor. Data Obfuscation in the Yakamoto Industries Project, Dean Terry
  •  Vigil for Some Bodies, xtine burrough
  •  AIDS Quilt Touch Project, Anne Balsamo and Dale MacDonald

Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international non-profit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology.

Over seven days, more than 450 speakers, workshops and presentations explored the theme of “Cultural Revolution,” investigating the borders between academia and artwork, practice and theory, systems and reality, and art and society.