When Art and Technology Collide

A unique collaboration between Georgia Tech researchers, the Office of the Arts and a Los Angeles-based performing artist is exploring how artists and technologists can work together.

The Office of the Arts recently hosted a series of workshops as part of the Creative Collisions project to learn about engineering and technology creative processes, and to share their own methods.

“Both artists and technologists are very creative,” said Laura Levy, Creative Collisions principal investigator and Interactive Media Technology Center research scientist. “They describe their processes very differently as you can imagine, but there’s also a lot of commonalities, particularly iterative design. So trying something out, seeing if it works, then improving on it is something that is shared between both of these groups.”

Although art is an effective way to showcase cutting-edge and advanced technologies, barriers often exist in resources, access, communication and collaboration. The goal of the workshops is to break down those barriers and provide a blank slate for artists and technologists to create together. The workshops also offer artists the opportunity to view technology prototypes and brainstorm ways to incorporate them in their work.

“We’re bringing together researchers and artists who may be performing here at the Ferst Center to build something new,” said Lane Conville-Canney, special events and grants coordinator, Georgia Tech Office of the Arts. “We’re not finishing each other’s project but working together to find one idea.”

The project concludes with Characters, a new dance work choreographed and performed by Katherine Helen Fisher in collaboration with electronic musician Nelly Kate and designers Leslie Rogers, Valincy-Jean Patelli, Jeepneys and Milan DelVecchio. Through dance and visual media, the piece explores the connection between identity and technology and the human need for ritual. Characters also features a wearable tech costume created by Fisher and Clint Zeagler, IMTC research scientist.

“The garment Katherine and I have worked on together will aid in audience interaction," said Zeagler. "Specifically, the audience will physically touch it during her performance, creating an engaging experience. The garment is called Le Monstre and it's a jumping, frolicking, happy thing that lights up, and helps control the stage experience through touch.”

Characters debuts at the Ferst Center for the Arts on March 5th at 5:00pm.

Partners on Creative Collisions include the Georgia Tech Wearable Computing Center, the Interactive Media Technology Center, and the Office of the Arts. The project is funded by IPaT as part of our Research and Engagement Grants Program. Each year IPaT and the GVU Center support research initiatives committed to building on our success in interdisciplinary research and innovation in the human experience of computing. Research Grants provide seed funding to conduct interdisciplinary research, while Engagement Grants are designed to foster new sorts of engagements and collaboration, whether internally or externally.

Purchase tickets for Characters

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  • Le Monstre

  • "Characters" Preview Performance

For More Information Contact

Alyson Powell

Communications Officer, Institute for People and Technology