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Interplay between arts,
humanities, sciences, technology kicks off Nov. 7
Lynn, Humanities Editor
(217) 333-2177; email@example.com
Ill. An innovative initiative at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign will officially kick off Nov. 7 (Thursday) with a panel
panel discussion of the initiative, titled "Silicon, Carbon, Culture:
Combining Codes Through the Arts, Humanities and Technology" (SCC),
will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium (Room 62) of the Krannert Art
Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign. A reception will take place
afterward. The events are free and open to the public.
The panelists, all from the Illinois faculty, include Narendra Ahuja,
electrical and computer engineering; Ann Bishop, Graduate School of
Library and Information Science (GSLIS); Bruce Hannon, geography; and
Joseph Squier, art and design. The moderator will be Jay Kesan, professor
of law. Provost Richard Herman; Jesse Delia, dean of the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Kathleen Conlin, dean of the College
of Fine and Applied Arts, will offer opening remarks.
According to Christine Catanzarite, project director of SCC, the initiative
is "a three-semester exploration of the interplay between the arts,
humanities, sciences and technology fields at Illinois."
Sixteen projects involving more than 40 faculty members were awarded
support in a campuswide competition. Funding supports courses, performances,
exhibitions, speaker series, conferences, virtual reality projects and
Many of the projects will address the initiatives outlined by Nancy
Cantor, the chancellor of the Urbana campus: globalization and the humanities,
the arts in a technological world and the implications of virtual reality
Catanzarite said that "the technological excursions of recent decades
have advanced societies in which silicon (symbolizing information systems)
and carbon (symbolizing biological systems) – and the systems
they generate – permeate our lives and weave webs of complexity
that will profoundly challenge the way we live and how we see ourselves
and relate to each other, locally and globally.
"New engineering capacities, political spaces, ethical dilemmas,
forms of social existence and means of expressing and representing ourselves
all indicate that the future will be quite unlike the past."
One of the winning projects plumbs futuristic realms, indeed.
Over the past several years, graduate student Peter Asaro, who is working
on concurrent doctorates in philosophy and computer science at Illinois,
interviewed and filmed academic "roboticists" all over the
country for a feature documentary. Now completed, the documentary, titled
"Love Machine," will premiere at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 (Tuesday) at
the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews,
Urbana. The event will be free and open to the public. A panel discussion
The 110-minute video, which features footage of many cutting-edge humanoid
and industrial robots, considers "the social and moral implications
of building humanoid robots sophisticated enough to participate in social
and emotional roles that we traditionally considered exclusively or
even essentially human: friendship, sex and love," Asaro said.
Several projects already have launched their activities. Faculty groups
examining "Memory" and "Hybridity," for example,
began meeting regularly at the start of the fall semester, and they
will continue their activities during the span of the initiative. The
exhibition "The Dream of the Audience: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951-1982)"
opened in September at the Krannert Art Museum on campus. It has included
a public lecture by Whitney Museum curator Lawrence Rinder and a book
discussion involving faculty and members of the community.
Recipients and their projects:
Contractor, speech communication; Michael Twidale, (GSLIS),
" 'Walking' Through Knowledge Networks," an interdisciplinary
Machine," screening and panel discussion with filmmakers.
English; William Brewer, psychology; Peter Fritzsche, history; Lillian
Hoddeson, history; Stephen Levinson, engineering, "The Memory Project:
An Interdisciplinary Study of Memory in the Construction of Identity
and Culture," speaker series, seminar, reading group.
Chip Bruce, GSLIS; Sharon Irish, architecture; Walter Robinson, atmospheric
sciences; Lisa Merrifield, environmental council; Jerry Soesbe, Allerton
Park, "Hands On, Plugged In: Living on the Prairie," interactive
Web site, middle-school outreach program, exhibitions and performances,
Chautauqua at Allerton Park.
Burkhardt, history; Cynthia Radding, history; Paula Treichler, Institute
of Communications Research (ICR), "Hybridity in Nature and Culture,"
speaker series, seminar, reading group.
Christians, ICR, "Virtual Reality and Ethics," international
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA); Fernando Elichirigoity,
GSLIS; John Martirano, NCSA; David Tcheng, NCSA; and John Wedge, history,
"The Cultures of Silicon and Carbon in the Global Age: New Knowledges,
Cyber-Globalization and a Reorientation of Perspectives," virtual
projects and seminar.
music; Joy Monice Malnar, architecture, "Immersive Virtual Reality
Environment Activities," virtual projects with traveling exhibition.
Mike Ross, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (KCPA); Stephen Taylor,
music, "A Symposium on the Future of Performing Arts Technology,"
symposium with performances.
and Karen Hewitt, Krannert Art Museum (KAM), "The Dream of the
Audience," exhibition with related programming.
history and medical humanities and social sciences, "Biomedical
Ethics in the Real World: Technology, Patient-Care and Public Policy,"
speaker series and seminar.
art history; David Prochaska, history; Helfenstein, KAM, "East/West
Traffic: Seven Transnational Artists," traveling exhibition with
journalism, "Documentary Film," panel discussion and film
"Three Tales," a documentary multimedia opera by Steve Reich
and Beryl Korot. Ticket and fee.
Schehr, French, "20th Annual Twentieth-Century French Studies Colloquium,"
international conference. Registration fee.
NCSA/GSLIS, "Becoming VR-Savvy: Middle School Girls Learning and
Building Virtual Worlds Together," teacher education and middle-school
The initiative is a joint venture of the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences and the College of Fine and Applied Arts, with support from
the Madden Initiative in Technology, Arts and Culture, and the Office
of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
The Madden Initiative is a result of a gift by Dean E. and Marilynn
A. Madden, alumni of the Urbana campus. The objectives of the initiative
are to examine current technologies as well as those envisioned for
the future; to assess their relevance and usefulness to teaching and
research programs, especially in the humanities, arts and social sciences;
and to study ways in which these technologies will have the most beneficial
Faculty members in the initiative will demonstrate some of their work
in progress at a showcase on the Urbana campus March 14-15, 2003. A
series of talks, demonstrations and exhibitions/performances will be
held in fall 2003, dates to be announced.
Catanzarite can be reached at (217) 244-7913 or firstname.lastname@example.org.