Staging Life: AI and Biotech in Art

This past March, Yvan Tina, the coordinator of the Creative Disturbance podcast project in the ArtSciLab, defended his dissertation at the School of Arts and Humanities of Aix-Marseille University in Aix-En-Provence. Yvan’s PhD program is very unique in the fact that it is a joint supervision thesis between Aix-Marseille University and UT Dallas under the direction of Professor Yannick Butel (Aix-Marseille University) and Roger Malina (UT Dallas).

Yvan presented his dissertation at Aix-Marseille University on March 16, 2018 about the use of artificial intelligence and biotechnology in art has led to a radical reformulation of theater as living performance. Below is his thesis abstract:

The use of artificial intelligence and biotechnology in art has led to a radical reformulation of theater as living performance. These technoscientific practices have displaced the subject of performance and produced various new discourses: In this study, I propose to make use of these discourses to expand the frame of theatricality to the realm of artificial life art. The displacements operated by means of theatricality in the artistic field are taking place both on the level of the artworks and the level of discourse.

In light of such operations, we see the potential of transformation relying on the use of these materials in theatrical aesthetics, as well as the obstacles found in them. Taking place between the arts and the technosciences, the study proves that the theatricality of technological works relies on the artifice of language.

The jury he presented to composed of Amos Fergombe (University d’Artois), Michael Osborne (Oregon State University), Roger Malina (UT Dallas) and Yannick Butel (Aix-Marseille University). He was awarded the title of Doctor in Performing Arts at the end of his defense.

The criteria and standards to start a PhD in France is much different than it is in the States and because of this there were a lot of administrative complexities dealing with Yvan’s PhD.

In France, it is a bottom-up system: You can only get accepted to the PhD program once you submit your proposal of your dissertation. In the US, you submit your proposal after taking doctoral exams and being admitted to the PhD program.

Because Yvan started his PhD in France then enrolled as a PhD student at the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communications in 2014, it made things a bit more complicated. His PhD program at UT Dallas was different than in France and going through what he needed to be qualified was essential to his completion of his PhD.

Yvan is currently still conducting research at both universities and he plans on staying in Dallas this upcoming semester to work on the translation of his dissertation from French to English, take his doctoral exams, and redevelop the Metalife website so that it can be used as a research tool.

Call for Curriculum of Art/Science/Humanities

Kathryn Evans, Roger Malina and Eun Ah Lee of the ArtSciLab at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) are announcing the launch of CDASH 2.0, a new website for curriculum in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities.

The CDASH project is interested in the collection of a broad range of curriculum that combines the performing and visual arts (music, dance, theatre, film, visual arts and new media) and the sciences. Of most particular interest are curriculum submissions of in-person, on-line and hybrid blended courses taught during formal graduate, undergraduate, primary/secondary and informal education.

This new website allows teachers and professors to easily enter the details of their course(s). Users must register and create a login before submitting a course and those who submit syllabi will gain entry to the Cloud Curriculum, where they have access to view/download other syllabi, find resources, and participate in on-line discussions and projects.

Please submit your course today!
For more information, contact us at cdash@utdallas.edu.

 

 

Our international collaborators are Robert Root-Bernstein (Univ. of Michigan, USA), Paul Thomas (Univ. of New South Wales, Australia), Annick Bureaud (OLATS, France), Lucinda Presley (Innovation Collaborative, USA), Meredith Tromble (San Francisco Art Institute, USA), Julia Buntaine (Rutgers Univ and Exec. Ed., ScuArt Magazine, USA), Jane Prophet ( Univ. of London, UK), Laurie Baefsky (Exec. Editor, A2RU, Univ. of Michigan, USA), Joao Silveira (Univ. Fed. do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Alex Garcia-Topete (UTD, USA and Mexico), Yvan Tina (UTD, USA and France), and Sharath Chandra Ram (UTD, USA and Bangalore).

 

This project is co-sponsored by The ArtSciLab at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), the UTD School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, and The UTD Center for Teaching and Learning.

 

New Website for Curriculum Development in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities

We are excited to announce the launch of CDASH 2.0! 

Project leads Kathryn Evans, Roger Malina, and Eun Ah Lee are pleased to announce the re-launch of our 2012 project studying Curriculum Development in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities at cdash.atec.io.

Leonardo Executive Editor Roger Malina and  UT Dallas faculty member Kathryn Evans are inventorying examples of courses and curricula that are in the art-science–humanities field such as courses on art and biology, music and mathematics, art and chemistry, dance and environmental sciences, etc. The re-launched CDASH inventory includes over 120 courses. We are seeking courses at the graduate, undergraduate and primary/secondary level.

Individuals who have taught an art-science-humanities course at the university or secondary-school level, in formal or informal settings, are invited to submit their course on our new CDASH website.

After you log in or register, you may submit you course through an easy-to-complete form.  Those who submit syllabi will have access to the Cloud Curriculum portion of the site, where they can access other syllabi and resource material.

We are interested in the broad range of curriculum that combines the performing and visual arts (music, dance, theatre, film, visual arts and new media) and the sciences. We are looking for submissions of in-person, on-line and hybrid blended courses.

Our new website allows you to easily enter your course and all the relevant details.  Please log in or register before you submit your course. You may also access the other areas of the site. Those who submit syllabi will be admitted to the Cloud Curriculum, where you can download other syllabi and resources.

This project is co-sponsored by The ArtSciLab at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD),  the UTD School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication , and The UTD Center for Teaching and Learning.

For more information, contact us at cdash@utdallas.edu.

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.

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.

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.

isea-cd-languages

“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.

Bridging the Silos: Curriculum Development as a Tool for Crossing Disciplines in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities

To be published in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac Special Issue:  The Culture of Digital Education

Abstract
A survey of current cross-disciplinary offerings in higher education is needed to understand the mechanisms that were employed to offer them and their pedagogical basis. We present here a study that analyzes a compendium of arts-science-humanities cross-disciplinary courses that was created through several Calls for Contributions from 2009 to 2013.

A web site was created and over 100 submissions were posted at utdallas.edu/atec/cdash/ . The data from the courses was analyzed as to the nature of the cross-disciplines, level of offering (graduate vs. undergraduate), geographical location, level of collaboration (number of instructors), and the department(s) offering the course.

A comprehensive re-visioning of curricular structure to encourage collaborative teaching of integrative courses and programs is needed. Suggested actions include specific ideas to enhance networking and visibility, sharing of syllabi and course materials, and a research effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of cross-disciplinary art-science-humanities courses.

This preliminary study points the way towards further efforts in curricular design and research that will be required for cross-disciplinary arts-science-humanities courses to be integrated into the college curriculum.

View the full paper here

Kathryn Evans, Senior Lecturer in Music, School of Arts and Humanities,
kcevans@utdallas.edu
website

Roger Malina, Professor and Associate Director, Arts and Technology (ATEC), and CNRS Aix-Marseille University. School of Arts and Humanities,
roger.malina@utdallas.edu
website