Each semester the School of Art hosts, and/or partners with CMU departments and Pittsburgh organizations, to present exciting events, symposia, festivals and more that are open to the public.
View ALL CURRENT School of Art events on our calendar.
Past Special Events include:
wats:ON? Festival Across the Arts (ongoing)
Curated by Architecture faculty Spike Wolf and Pablo Garcia, co-hosted by the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, the wats:ON? Festival brings together departments across CMU, presenting artists and innovators advancing the fields of Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music as they intersect with new technologies, science, and social practice.
The Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts (wats:ON?) was created to honor the life of Jill Watson, whose interest in the arts inspired others through her work and her teaching. The festival celebrates Jill'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.
Anti-Gravity Downhill Derby 2010-2013
Anti-Gravity Great Downhill Derby
The Anti-Gravity Downhill Derby is a new tradition in the School of Art. Taking place the week of Carnival, AGDD positions itself as the antithesis to Buggy (CMU's speed-obsessed buggy race). The slowest race this side of the Mississippi, AGDD is open to all with big ideas and no rush to get there. Independently and collaborative entries are accepted - the only rule is that you leave your engines at home and let Aunti Gravity doo her voodoo...doo.
Initiated artist by Aunti Gravity herself, Pat Oleszko, Kraus Visiting Professor of Art (2010),
Art && Code Symposium (2008-2011)
Art && Code Symposium
Just as true literacy in English means being able to write as well as read, true literacy in software demands not only knowing how to use commercial software tools, but how to create new software for oneself and others.
Emerging primarily from the arts sector, a set of new programming environments (and accompanying pedagogic techniques) have been developed by artists, and for artists, that help regular folks and other non-computer-scientists learn to program. Using visual and musical expression as the “hook”, thousands of people have not only learned to code using these new environments, but found new reasons to code in the first place. These environments – many of which are free, open-source initiatives – have made enormous inroads towards expanding the computational abilities and interests of hundreds of thousands of creative people worldwide.
Initiated by Golan Levin, Art Professor and Director of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, the annual Art && Code Symposium presents workshops and lectures reflecting the various intersections of visual art, programming, and new media. Art && Code is made possible by a partnership with CMU's Center for Computational Thinking and School of Art as well as Microsoft Research.
October 21-23, Art && Code 3D is a festival-conference about the artistic, technical, tactical and cultural potentials of 3D scanning and sensing devices — especially (but not exclusively) including the revolutionary Microsoft Kinect sensor. This highly interdisciplinary event will bring together, for the first time, tinkerers and hackers, computational artists and designers, industrial game developers, and leading researchers from the fields of computer vision, HCI and robotics. Half-maker’s festival, half-academic symposium.
Mobile Art && Code - Fall 2009
"Mobile Art && Code: Mobile Media and Interactive Arts” is a three-day symposium focused on the design of new forms of mobile and locative experiences. The event features hands-on workshops in arts-oriented mobile phone programming (including workshops in creating software for the iPhone, Android, Nokia, text mesaging, etc.), interface design for mobile devices, interactive telephony systems, and prototyping with the Arduino (a tiny computer which is popular for making interactive objects). Additionally, we also will have a marathon day featuring a dozen lecture presentations by leading international artists, designers, historians, hackers, entrepreneurs and researchers working in these areas.
Art && Code - Spring 2009
- Tom McMail, Microsoft Research (Keynote Speaker)
- Dr. Wanda Dann, Carnegie Mellon (Alice)
- Ben Fry, (Processing)
- Casey Reas, UCLA (Processing)
- Daniel Shiffman, NYU (Processing)
- Ira Greenberg, Miami U. of Ohio (Processing + Flash)
- Luke DuBois, (Max/MSP/Jitter)
- Zachary Lieberman, Parsons School of Design (openFrameworks)
- Sebastian Oschatz, Meso.net (vvvv)
- why the lucky stiff (Hackety Hack)
- Evelyn Eastmond, MIT Media Laboratory (Scratch)
- John Maloney, MIT Media Laboratory (Scratch)
- Golan Levin, Carnegie Mellon (Conference Organizer)
Caught Looking 2008-2010
In partnership with Pittsburgh Filmmakers, SOA presents a free evening of giant projections, booming sound, and the open air premiering 1-minute videos by CMU students, faculty, staff, and PF members on the biggest screen in Pittsburgh - the JUMBOTRON at PNC Baseball Park. Caught Looking takes place each year in the late spring.
Initiated by Christopher Sperandio, former Jill Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art (2005-08) at Carnegie Mellon, past guest curators include: Jacob Ciocci, (MFA '05 / Visiting Professor of Time-Based Media, 08-10) and Andrew Swensen, former Director of Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
Billboards project 2007-2011
In partnership with Lamar Outdoor Advertising, each year SOA undergraduate and graduate students can submit work to be displayed on billboards around Pittsburgh throughout the month of April. 8 designs are chosen by a guest curator from Pittsburgh.
SOA's collaboration with Lamar Outdoor Advertising was initiated in 2007 by Christopher Sperandio, former Jill Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art (2005-08) at Carnegie Mellon.
Other Events & Symposia
Teach 4 Amerika Rally w/ the Bruce High Quality Foundation - Spring 2011
Teach 4 Amerika was a 5-week, 11-city, coast-to-coast road trip that crossed state lines and institutional boundaries to inspire and enable local art students to define the future of their own educational experience.
Traveling the byways of America in a limousine painted as a school bus, BHQF visited university art departments, schools, institutions, and alternative spaces across the nation, bringing together concerned educators, artists, arts administrators, and—most importantly—students to brainstorm on the future of art schools.
The project called for a national rethinking of the current art education system. With the multitude of institutionalized fine arts degree tracks throughout the country—which increase in number, enrollment, and cost each year—BHQF have been actively calling for students’ self-organization in New York City with their “unaccredited,” alternative, and completely free school, The Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQF).
Presented by the School of Art in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum and The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, hosted Teach for Amerika, a new project by The Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF), presented by Creative Time, the New York-based nonprofit public art presenter.
Code, Form, Space - Spring 2009
Download CFS BOOKLET
Download CFS POSTER
A mini-symposium on generative form and digital fabrication, algorithmic processes, harnessed through the medium of code, allow creators to generate complex forms and organic structures by the application of elementary but carefully-tuned sets of rules. Digital fabrication systems, such as computer-controlled laser cutters, 3D printers, and machining systems, offer a nearly instantaneous way of exploring ideas in new spatial and material formats. The combination of these two approaches represents an extreme but growing position in art and design, wherein the traditions of hand-craft are exchanged almost entirely for the unprecedented possibilities made possible through a demanding new form of mind-craft.
Four practitioners – Casey Reas, Marius Watz, Ben Pell, and MOS Architects (directed by Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample) – who are reconfiguring the material world through rule systems and digital fabrication tools, lectured about their work which spans the disciplines of art, design, architecture, and engineering; the objectives of provocation, of utility, and of pure aesthetic delight; and the realms of bits, atoms, and ideas. All of these practitioners have singularly rigorous personal aesthetics and sensitive understandings of how the arts can transform the way we live. In their contrasting approaches at the limits of digital craft we can catch a glimpse of a new humanism in our increasingly computer-articulated environments.
The Art of Play - Spring 2008
The Art of Play presented new developments in the creation and dissemination of video games as art. Artists/game developers were invited to present workshops and lectures on creating experimental video games, and set up an arcade in the Ellis Gallery. Featuring work from the gaming collective Kokoromi, Randy Smith, etc.
Curated by Heather Kelly, Jill Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art (2008) with support from CMU's Entertainment Technology Center.
You're Not the Boss of Me - Spring 2007
“You’re Not the Boss of Me,” entertained and informed the local community about copyright, criminality, fair use and transgression in American culture. Artists, critics, lawyers and filmmakers were on hand March 30 and 31, 2007 to explore the issues and answer questions.
A DIY fair, organized by student Ally Reeves (MFA '08), took over the firs floor of CFA and included work from Pittsburgh artists, activists, and craftspeople (ranging from printmakers to pirate radio) who sold their wares and shared information about open-source vs. regulated creative content.
The festival featured:
- a keynote lecture by artist James Boyle
- a performance by Girl Talk
- presentations by artists Jacob Ciocci/Paper Rad, Martha Colburn, Brody Condon
- a discussion led by Kathy M. Newman and Melissa Ragona, School of Art Assistant Professor of Critical Theory.
- a performance from Carnegie Mellon’s Contemporary Ensemble
- a selection of films curated by Thomas Beard
- a multimedia closing party video-jockeyed by Suzie Silver, Professor of Art & Electronic/Time-Based media
Sponsored by the School of Art; the Center for Arts in Society; School of Music; the Entertainment Technology Center; the Master of Arts Management program and the Office of the Vice Provost for Education; Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Andy Warhol Museum. Curated by Christopher Sperandio, Jill Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art (2005-8).