Conversations on Emerging Practices

The Emerging Practices [EP] research forum presents a spring series of conversations featuring visiting theorists, curators, and practitioners working across domains and methodologies, each concerned with the role of technology in socio-cultural production. Each speaker will present their work in a short lecture, to be followed by an open dialogue moderated by EP graduate students.  The events in this conversation series are free and open to all.

>Jens Hauser • Friday, February 1, 4-6pm, CFA 144: Jens Hauser is a Paris-based curator, author, and arts and culture critic who focuses on the interactions between art and technology, as well as on trans-genre and contextual aesthetics.

>David Familian • Monday, February 18, 6-8 pm, CFA 144: David Familian is the Artistic Director of the Beall Center for Art and Technology at UC Irvine. He has curated one-person exhibitions of Shih Chieh Huang, Golan Levin, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Chico MacMurtrie, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Nam June Paik and Victoria Vesna.

>EcoArtTech • Monday March 4th at 6-8pm, CFA 144: EcoArtTech is Leila Christine Nadir and Cary Peppermint working in postdisciplinary collaborative to merge primitive with emergent technologies in the overlapping terrain between “nature,” built environments, mobility, and electronic spaces.

>John Craig Freeman • Friday, April 19, 12-2pm, CFA 136: John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public work at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities.

Support for Conversations on Emerging Technologies series is provided by the Humanities Institute, Techne Institute, Graduate Student Association, Department of Visual Studies and Squeaky Wheel

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2012 ISEA: Machine Wilderness! Faculty, grads and alumni participate in global festival of art & technology!

Several faculty, Phd/grads and alumni from the Departments of Visual Studies, Media Study and Architecture made their way out to the enchanted desert landscape of northern New Mexico for the 2012 International Symposia on Electronic Art (ISEA). The International Symposia on Electronic Art is one of the most important academic gatherings on electronic art world-wide, bringing together the worlds of art and science. Each year the festival takes place in a different global location. This year’s theme “Machine Wilderness” referenced the “New Mexico region as an area of rapid growth and technology within vast expanses of open land, and presents visions of a more humane interaction between technology and wilderness in which machines can take many forms to support life on Earth.” The festival was divided into the subthemes Radical Cosmologies, Trans-Species Habitats, Dynamobilities and Econotopias which was directed by Dept of Visual StudiesProfessor Stephanie Rothenberg focused on emerging creative economies.

Student participation included current Media Study PhD grad Paul Sargent and grads Laura Curry and Jordan Dalton. Visual Studies alumni included  Alice Alexandrescu, Tim Scaffidi, Marc Tomko, Caitlin Cass. Media Study alumni included Anna Schime, Liz Flyntz and Cayden Mak.

Faculty included Visual Studies professors Paul Vanouse , Joan Linder  and Stephanie Rothenberg; Media Study professors Teri Rueb, Marc Bolen and Josephine Anstey and Architecture professor Jordan Geiger.

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CIRCUIT CIRCUS: exhibition of interactive electronic artwork

Circuit Circus

Tuesday, May 4, from 7PM to 9PM at Soundlab, Pearl and Swan Streets, downtown Buffalo.

One night exhibition of interactive electronic artwork by students from Visual Studies, Media Study and Architecture produced in the course Real-Space Electronic Art (Art 489/589).  Admission free.

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HARVESTWORKS: Artists Guide to Useful Technology

HARVESTWORKS: Artists Guide to Useful Technology
Free MAX/MSP/JITTER Workshop & Lecture!
Saturday, March 27th, 2:00-5:00pm
@ Squeaky Wheel (712 Main St, Buffalo NY)
RSVP: / 884-7172
The Artist’s Guide to Useful Technology is a Harvestworks’ project of workshops, symposia, consultations, tutorials and problem-solving forums on-site at Harvestworks, on our website and around the country.
Computer driven media is changing the fabric of our daily lives. These complex mechanizations and databases deliver sound, images and kinetic objects with increasing speed and personalized accuracy.  As art becomes more dependent on technology, a thorough understanding of both the possibilities and implementation becomes increasingly important for artists in all fields.  Without this information, it can become increasingly difficult for them to realize their vision.
This free workshop & presentation will include Max/MSP/Jitter, a software program that provides real-time video, 3-D, and matrix processing capability, for live interactive performances and installations. Topics covered include: Harvestworks project case studies, with in-depth discussion of technical approach and project management; presenting projects by the workshop leaders (live sound processing & V-J software instruments), with in-depth discussion of the artistic implications. The event will be moderated by two representatives from Harvestworks, a non-profit media arts center that offers artist support and residency opportunities, located in Lower Manhattan.
Reserve your spot today – call 884-7172 or email!
(If you didn’t get a chance to RSVP, that’s okay. You can still take the workshop, but the chances of getting the Harvestworks Workbook may be slim – make sure RSVP if you’d like to have a workbook to study from later!)
Artists Biographies
As Deputy Director at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center in New York, Hans Tammen is responsible for the oversight of all projects related to Max/MSP/Jitter and Physical Computing, and manages the education program, the audio, audio postproduction and video studios. In this position he encounters the projects of approx. 250 clients, students and Artist In Residence per year.
Hans Tammen’s use of computer technologies is an integral part of his performances and works. He programs a computer for realtime live sound processing and uses his guitar equipped with proximity sensors as a human interface and controller. He specializes in multichannel audio performances, where a single (mono) motif is juxtaposed against a multichannel pattern that surrounds the audience.
Adam Rokhsar is a multimedia artist with degrees in psychology from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Music Information Retrieval Laboratory, and the head coordinator of NYU’s Music Technology student research groups. Adam designs sound for interactive installations, teaches computer music and video programming, and is working on a Master’s thesis on machine-learning algorithms. His sound design work can currently be heard in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and his video work was displayed in the Jakopic Gallery as part of multimedia project Senza Televisione.
Founded as a not-for-profit organization by artists in 1977, Harvestworks has helped a generation of artists create new works using technology. Our mission is to support the creation and presentation of art works achieved through the use of new and evolving technologies. Our goals are to create an environment where artists can make work inspired and achieved by electronic media; to create a responsive public context for the appreciation of new work by presenting and disseminating the finished works; to advance the art community’s and the public’s “agenda” for the use of technology in art; and to bring together innovative practitioners from all branches of the arts collaborating in the use of electronic media. We assist with commissions and residencies, production services, education and information programs, and the presentation and distribution of their work.
For more information about HARVESTWORKS, visit
This workshop was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.  Program development was supported by the New York State Music Fund.
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Happy Spring!

Emerging Practices?

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Richard Stallman Presentation

Richard Stallman visits UB and Emerging Practices

> 6:00pm Monday February 22, University at Buffalo North Campus, Norton 112 < Stallman launched the GNU Project and initiated the free software movement years before others even thought about 'open software'. Don't miss the Fidel Castro of Computer Science ! All are invited - there is no admission charge. Curious? Go to:

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Lalya Gaye — Lecture and Workshop!

LALYA GAYE Lecture+Mobile phone workshop 12.03.09

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lecture, 11:30am – DMS 232 – Lalya discusses her work which “explores potentials of ubiquitous computing for everyday life aesthetic activities, and focuses in particular on locative media and mobile music technology”.

Workshop – 7:00pm – DMS 246 – ***Limited Space – Please RSVP to Erik: erikconrSPLATbuffaloDOTedu*** This hands-on workshop will demonstrate the creation of media for mobile phones using python.


Lalya Gaye is an HCI/interaction designer, researcher and teacher, trained in engineering, who works in multidisciplinary projects at the convergence of art, technology and design.

In her research, she is interested in the relation between people and new technologies, in the context of contemporary culture and society: how to design new technologies that can challenge and inspire people creatively, and what aesthetic activities people come up with when having access to them. This covers a broad range of interests, from mobility and urban space, to aesthetic computer-mediated interactions such as electronic music making or digital photography, to physical interfaces and the integration of technology into everyday environments, artefacts and behaviours, i.e. ubiquitous computing. Her research explores in particular the potentials of mobile and ubiquitous computing for everyday life aesthetic practices and creative behaviours, and builds on mobile music, locative media and physical computing projects. She approaches her research question with a combination of user-centred, body-centric and culturally grounded interaction design, of physical prototyping and of user studies in context.

For more information about Lalya Gaye’s work, please see:

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A Conversation with Mathias Jud

I’ve had the pleasure of having a conversation with Mathias Jud via email for the past week or so. We talked about art, activism, the German Democratic Republic, and the People’s Republic of China.

The GDR serves as a kind of point of entry for Jud and Wachter into the broader world of media censorship. They spent some time in the GDR as artists-in-residence, and during that time they noticed the ways in which Western media were still used under the radar. picidae is named after the “Wall woodpeckers,” the first people who tore holes in the Berlin Wall — in some ways, the project is tearing some pretty big holes in the new variety of Iron Curtain.

picidae is a project that takes image grabs of websites that are banned or firewalled. This way, they can avoid the censorship of, say, China’s Golden Shield. In fact, picidae is used by people living in China to get information from beyond the Great Firewall. Mathias also said that it was an experiment in seeing the Internet from a different perspective, considering how our relationship to the medium might be different if we were born on the other side of the world.

Because picidae has been used as an activist tool — and because their other projects have been very politically heavy — I couldn’t help but wonder if Jud and Wachter relate to the activist element in their work. Mathias said that, while their work has a real-world impact, it is art, and they consider themselves artists. He told me, “We are very proud and feel honoured, when our work is used to fight or grant basic human rights.” Mathias also said that their works are works in progress, that require the audience to participate in the experiment. Since it is an experiment, it seems there are many ways individuals can use the tools that Jud and Wachter create.

Interestingly, some internet security companies have contacted them to find out more details about picidae and how it can be used or turned off. Their responses were not those of the enemy, trying to shut down the project, but instead had the tone of peers. Mathias explained that they were mostly curious about how picidae worked. When I asked about this “other side,” Mathias pointed out that maybe it’s the same side — it’s hard to tell in the constantly shifting configurations of power on the internet.

You can catch Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter talk about picidae as well as their other work tomorrow on campus and at Sugar City.

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Special Guest Appearance by Berlin Artists Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter

Wachter / Jud (Honorary Mention ARS 2006, Honorary Mention Transmediale 2008, Winner Cynetart 2008) are in Buffalo as part of their first US tour this week. Wachter / Jud’s work visualizes forces we are subject to, but have no control over. They are the creators of Zone*Interdite, a community project that maps restricted military areas around the globe and unveiled secret prisons such as the children’s prison in Guantanamo or Bagram, Afghanistan as well as Picidae, a message passing system that converts texts into images and makes them illegible to common forms of filtering and censorship.Wachter / Jud will present their work at UB’s Department of Media Study and Sugar City on Tuesday November 17 (3pm and 9pm).

Zone Interdit

Presentation: Department of Media Study, University at Buffalo, CFA232, Tuesday, November 17, 3pm
Discussions: Sugar City, 19 Wadsworth St., Buffalo, Tuesday, November 17, 9pm

Both events are open to all. Limited seating available. Please arrive early.

>> Special Guest appearance by Berlin artists Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter <<
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