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

From left: UT Dallas students Ritwik Kaikini, Colin Campbell, Ashton Brillante, Richard Campitelli BS'15 and Shruthy Sreepathy, Dr. Roger Malina, doctoral student Chaz Lilly BA'11, MA'15 and clinical associate professor Cassini Nazir BA’02, BA’03, MFA’11 work in the ArtSciLab, which recently launched ARTECA.

From left: UT Dallas students Ritwik Kaikini, Colin Campbell, Ashton Brillante, Richard Campitelli BS’15 and Shruthy Sreepathy, Dr. Roger Malina, doctoral student Chaz Lilly BA’11, MA’15 and clinical associate professor Cassini Nazir BA’02, BA’03, MFA’11 work in the ArtSciLab, which recently launched ARTECA.

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.

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.

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.

Announcing STEM to STEAM graduate seminar for Fall 2016, ATEC UT Dallas.

ATEC 6380. 501 STEM to STEAM.

Contact roger.malina@utdallas.edu for info and approval to enroll.

Fall 2016 Instructor: Professor Roger Malina. Classes will be held on Monday Evenings.

This seminar will be co-taught with modules led by Dr. Paul Fishwick, Dr. Eun Ah Lee and Professor Kathryn Evans.

Course description: The seminar is open to PhD, MA and MFA students. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (9 semester credit hours maximum).

Syllabus is designed around the research or creative projects of each student.

This course will study current and emerging topics, approaches, and practices, where arts, sciences, and humanities interact or converge, with the goal to advance new research questions and areas of inquiry.

The integration of the arts, humanities and design into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math has become an important research and education agenda in the US and internationally. In this seminar each student will work with the instructor and/or other students on topics in science and engineering that are part of their ATEC or EMAC PhD, MA or MFA project of interest.

The syllabus will be modified to discuss topic areas of each student. Deliverables from each student for the seminar will be defined individually so that each student makes significant progress on their own project. TOPICS Guest lecturers will include visitors to ATEC and also online guests proposed by the students. Topics and readings will include the following topics, with others to be added responding to student areas of interest: The ethics of curiosity, Readings from the work of Indian philosopher of science Sundar Sarukkai, Foundations of inter and transdisciplinary research with readings from the work of Allen Repko, The science of collaboration, readings around the methodologies used to develop successful collaboration strategies when the work bridges the arts, sciences and humanities, Key readings from the Science of Team science initiative, anthropologist James Leach and other experts on training collaboration techniques.

Required reading will be the NSF funded study led by Dr. Malina on enabling new forms of collaboration between the arts and humanities with science and engineering. How researchers and artists can use developing techniques in cultural analytics, data visualization and representation, data Science. How digital humanities are enabling new research questions and methods. Data immersion and exploration. Performing data. Contemporary initiatives in cognitive sciences and neurobiology that can inform research and creative practices. Innovations in scholarly and art publishing and education. How researchers and artists document their work and present to different audiences today. The history and current practices of inter, multi and transdisciplinary research including recent work on the second wave of “consilience’ or emerging practices to succeed in ‘vertical integration’ of the sciences/engineering with arts/design/humanities. Research in arts and design.

We will look at how international programs are developing research methodologies in arts and design and emerging best practices. Development of rationales for art-science and art-technology in society in the USA and Europe. History and trends in design education. Creative industries today. Citizen science, collaborative science and open science developments today.

Deliverables Students will be expected to use social media and new forms of professional documentation such as video abstracts, podcasts, an online research web site or blog. Each student will record a podcast discussing their work to be published on the Leonardo Creative Disturbance podcast platform at MIT Press. Strategies for public engagement. Funding is available for student presentations at local events and conferences. Students who wish to enroll are encouraged to contact the instructor at roger.malina@utdallas.edu. So that, the syllabus can be augmented in areas of specific interest or need of the student.

Grading will be based 10% on attendance, 45% on participation and presentations made during the semester and 45% on the final deliverable. The final deliverable for the end of the semester is intended to help each student work and advance their ATEC or EMAC PhD, MA or MFA project or interest. Format of the deliverable will be determined by the student in consultation with the instructor.