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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
August 23, 2005

Grisha Coleman, Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Presents a Public Laboratory Performance of echo :: system

PITTSBURGH—Grisha Coleman, a research fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, recently received a grant from Pittsburgh's Multicultural Arts Initiative to develop a public performance of the second installation of her project, echo::system, entitled "ActionStation #2—The Desert." A laboratory performance, giving a preview of the work, will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, September 9, at the Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater, Purnell Center for the Arts on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Admission is free. For information and reservations, contact 412-268-3454.

The project, a series of site-specific installations with live music and performance, recreates natural habitats such as the bottom of the ocean, an open prairie, a volcanic island and a desert. The separate installations allow the audience and performers to immerse themselves in fully synthetic environments by using the disciplines of choreography, architecture, writing and visual arts, and integrating aspects of the natural world with new information provided by the live performers and the interaction of the audience.

Coleman said, "By applying one process, that of live performance, and illuminating another, that of science, I hope to create new awareness for the creativity and resonance between art and science." The artists and scientists involved in the work include: Coleman, the lead artist; Mike Bryant, a biologist; John Oduroe, an architect; Jesse Gilbert, a sound designer and programmer; Onome Ekeh, a writer; and various video and lighting designers.

"ActionStation #2—The Desert" has previously been showcased at the Banff Center's New Media Institute and the New World Theater at Amherst College, and it had a studio showing in March 2005 at On The Boards in Seattle, Wash. Regarding the future of the project, Coleman and her team will continue working in Pittsburgh through the spring of 2006 on composing and choreographing the performance material, designing the digital model and engineering the technology for the project.

Coleman's work is part of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry's two-year residency program's emphasis on artist collectives, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Heinz Endowments and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Carnegie Mellon's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry was founded in 1989 and is an interdisciplinary research facility within the College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into five schools: Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music; and their associated centers and programs.

For more information about the College of Fine Arts, please contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or


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