Spring 2010 wats:ON? -School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

2010 Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts

wats:ON? 2010:  ADVENTURES IN VIRTUALITY

Wed 17 - Sat 20 March 2010

Adventures in Virtuality - Curated by Spike Wolff and Pablo Garcia

While the term Virtual Reality entered our vocabulary a mere 20 years ago, the desire for simulation and special effects have existed al long as there has been artistic representation.  To succeed in making virtual effects, two major elements need to be in place: a precise production technique and a subject to perceive the effect.  Virtuality, contemporary or historical, takes many forms.  High-fidelity digital simulations, world maps and surveying technology, descriptive geometry, cinema and photography, and more, either digital or analog, combine into a long history of virtual technologies.  The artists included in this dialog work within the realm of phenomenal perception, ungrounding our conditioned ways of seeing to create an ambiguous play between physical and perceptual space.  The experience of these works is of dynamic parallax and shifting displacement, in a space that is both present and absent.  Impossible space, space that can be perceived, occupied and experienced, but does not exist.

ANTHONY MCCALL, ARTIST
Wed 17 March
4:00pm ‘You and I, Horizontal’ exhibition opens CFA 421
6:00pm  artists talk studio for creative inquiry
McCall, known for his solid light film installations, creates environmental cinema existing in the zone of both the cinematic and the sculptural, creating a powerfully visceral spatial experience out of virtually, nothing. ‘You and I, Horizontal’ runs through 20 March.


DRAMA, BACKSTAGE
Thu 18 March
1:30pm open house, Chosky Theatre
Come sneak a peek backstage at CMU's School of Drama. Performance has long been closely tied to virtuality, presenting various spaces and atmospheres within the restrictions of a stage and an audience. Recent technological developments have transformed theater into a multimedia experience, augmenting the already rich history of analog virtual techniques. Hosted by Matt Gray.

HUHTAMO
ERKKI HUHTAMO
MEDIA ARCHAEOLOGIST
Thu 18 March, 6:00pm ‘Projecting Images: a Media-Archaeological Perspective’, studio for creative inquiry
Huhtamo, professor of media history and theory at UCLA, has pioneered media archaeology as an emerging critical approach to understanding media-cultural phenomena and the media interface which molds human experience. His lecture will address the development of projection practices throughout history and why people project images; the talk will be illustrated with a rich array of rarely seen imagery.

Erkki Huhtamo was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958, and holds a Ph.D. in Cultural History. He works as Professor of Media History and Theory at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Department of Design | Media Arts. His work has explored many aspects of media history and the media arts. Two new books, Illusions in Motion, a history of the moving panorama, and Media Archaeology, a collection of writings (edited with Dr. Jussi Parikka), are forthcoming from the University of California Press.

MACHINIMA
FILM FESTIVAL
presented by FRIEDRICH KIRSCHNER
Fri 19 March, 8:30pm film festival, studio for creative inquiry
Kirschner will present a curated sampling of Machinima film live via skype from Berlin. Machinima, machine animation cinema, creates narrative film with avatars or objects via the virtual environment of computer gaming.

ARCADE
GAME NIGHT
Fri 19 March, 10:00pm video games provided by ETC, studio for creative inquiry
Old school to current market to the future of gaming; play hands-on interactive video games provided by ETC, the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University.

DISCUSSION
FEATURING ‘CONICAL INTERSECT’
BY GORDON MATTA-CLARK
Sat 20 March, 4:30pm dialog and closing reception, studio for creative inquiry
Screening of ‘Conical Intersect’, a work inspired by McCall’s early film ‘Line Describing a Cone. 16mm print provided by the Carnegie Museum of Art.

GEHR
ERNIE GEHR
EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKER
Sat 20 March, 6:00pm films and discussion, studio for creative inquiry
Gehr’s work allows for a spatial and perceptual experience of film. He will screen a selection of his films, from early 16mm to recent digital work; the program will include his seminal visionary work ‘Serene Velocity’.

History of the Festival

The Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts honors Jill Watson's commitment to an interdisciplinary philosophy as an artist and celebrates her accomplishments and reputation as an architect.  Jill Watson was a Carnegie Mellon University alumna, adjunct faculty member in the School of Architecture and acclaimed Pittsburgh architect who died in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash on July 17, 1996.

Support

These events made possible by The Jill Watson Family Foundation.