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Arts and Technology Symposium

Aug. 17, 2004 — Artists, musicians, architects, dancers, cultural theorists and scientists will meet at the University of Utah on Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 to discuss how computer and digital technologies provide new forms, spaces and processes for artistic expression.

Examples include creating architectural structures in cyberspace, using the Internet for interactive performances by dancers, employing computers in musical performances, projecting video images on buildings, and performing dances in an environment of projected images generated by the dancers’ heartbeats.

The three-day Symposium on Arts and Technology, “Arts of the Virtual: Poetic Inquiries in Time, Space and Motion,” will begin with a keynote lecture and reception at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Other sessions will be held in the New Media Wing of the Art and Architecture buildings. (The wing is the old Utah Museum of Fine Arts.)

“The purpose of the Symposium on Arts and Technology is to bring together visionary artists and thinkers from around the world who are breaking new ground in the areas of music, dance, architecture, performance, visual art and technology,” says Ellen Bromberg, a symposium organizer, assistant professor of modern dance and assistant dean of research at the University of Utah College of Fine Arts.

“We aim to foster a dynamic environment for the performance, presentation and exchange of ideas,” she adds. “Not only will attendees be able to participate in this exchange of ideas, but they will have the opportunity to experience some of the most innovative art works emerging from the hybrid spaces between technology and the various art forms.”

Artists, scientists and others interested in attending the symposium must register by Sept. 10 to receive the discounted registration fee of $151 (or $51 for students). After Sept. 10, the fee is $201 (or $76 for students). The fee covers two lunches and admission to all performances, events and exhibits. Symposium details, a schedule of events and information on how to register by mail or online by credit card may be found at:

People without access to a computer may register by calling Victoria Volcik at (801) 585-3791 and mailing the registration fee to Symposium on Arts and Technology, Center for High Performance Computing, 155 S. 1452 East, Room 405, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.

News media representatives are invited to cover the symposium free of charge.

The symposium will include presentations, performances, workshops and discussions by leading artists working in “hybrid spaces” between technology, visual arts, dance, music and architecture. Perhaps the best way to understand these hybrid spaces is through the art of those who will present or perform at the symposium:

— Keynote speaker Marcos Novak (5:30 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 30, Utah Museum of Fine Arts) is billed as a global nomad, artist, theorist and “transarchitect” – a pioneer of architecture in cyberspace, or the creation of structures in virtual reality. A resident of Venice, Calif., and an assistant professor in the media arts and technology program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Novak lectures, teaches, and exhibits worldwide:

— George Lewis (lecture 9:30 a.m. Fri. Oct. 1 and performance with Muhal Richard Abrams 7:30 p.m. Fri. Oct. 1) is an improviser-trombonist, composer and computer-installation artist. He has explored electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations and text-sound works. Lewis’s work as composer, improviser, performer and interpreter is documented on more than 120 recordings:

— Krzysztof Wodiczko (11:15 a.m. Fri. Oct. 1) is a professor of visual arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is internationally renowned for more than 70 large-scale slide and video projections on architectural facades and monuments in Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United States:

— Choreographer Yacov Sharir (workshop with Julio Bermúdez 3:15 p.m. Fri. Oct. 1 and Sat. Oct. 2) has danced and performed professionally for 30 years, including 13 with the Bat-Sheva dance Company of Israel. Sharir was the founder of the American Deaf Dance Company, which pioneered the inclusion of deaf artists in professional dance. He later founded Sharir Dance Company at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches dance, choreography, computer-aided art courses, virtual reality-cyberspace in the arts, and multidisciplinary graduate courses:

— Julio Bermúdez (workshop with Sharir 3:15 p.m. Fri. Oct. 1 and Sat. Oct. 2) is an associate professor at the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning. He focuses on digital media and the application of architectural concepts to data environments. He devised cyberPRINT, a virtual reality performing art project that merges dance, choreography, music, engineering, medicine and architecture:

— John Crawford (workshop 3:15 p.m. Fri. Oct. 1 and Sat. Oct. 2) is a leader in the emerging field of digital videodance, using computers to create animations that are closely integrated with dance. He originated the Active Space concept to describe his interactive performance systems that produce visuals and music in response to movement:

— Composer, arranger and pianist Muhal Richard Abrams (performance with George Lewis, 7:30 p.m. Fri. Oct. 1) is widely recognized as one of the most influential artists in contemporary improvised music, and has recorded more than 25 albums. A founding member and guiding force of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Abrams has been a central figure in shaping and defining innovative approaches to the integration of composition, improvisation and performance.

— Shelly Eshkar (lecture 9:30 a.m. Sat. Oct. 2) is a digital artist whose research explores drawing, computer graphics and human motion. One of his primary tools is “motion capture,” a technology that digitally captures the movement, but not the physical likeness, of human motion. Once digital movements are inside the computer, Eshkar creates new digital bodies and spaces to host these motions. Details on Eshkar and longtime collaborator Paul Kaiser are at:

— Choreographers and artists Hellen Sky and John McCormick (lecture 11:15 a.m. Sat. Oct. 2) are artistic directors of Company in Space, an Australian company that combines dance, computer graphics, music, live performances and Internet interactive performances. Their work has gained international recognition, and has been in a range of international festivals bridging the arenas of new media art and performance:

Funding for the Symposium on Arts and Technology is provided by University of Utah’s Center for High Performance Computing, Office of the Vice President for Research, College of Fine Arts, College of Architecture + Planning, Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, School of Music, Department of Communication, Department of Art and Art History, and the Department of Modern Dance. Others providing support are the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation and Yamaha Corp. of America.