Carnegie Mellon University

Fund for Research and Creativity

The Fund for Research and Creativity (FRC) was established in 2015 by the President of Carnegie Mellon and supplemented by the College of Fine Arts to support research and creative projects across CFA. It offers an avenue of support in light of decreased funding sources in the governmental, corporate, philanthropic or private sectors for the arts. We will accept applications in early 2022. 

FRC funding is available to all full-time faculty members within the College of Fine Arts. Once a year, the FRC committee evaluates applications and can distribute up to $40,000 in awards. Applications are accepted annually from January 15 through March 1. Award announcements are made in early April.

Selection Criteria

Proposals are competitively evaluated upon:

  • The vision, originality, quality and potential impact of the proposed project
  • The professional, artistic and/or technical capabilities of the applicant(s)
  • The feasibility of the project
  • The potential impact of our funding and services on the project and for the artist(s) or researcher(s)
  • The extent to which the proposed work is unable to secure funding from traditional sources (e.g., private foundations, government agencies, corporations or private individuals), as argued by the applicant(s). In this case the applicant(s) are asked to explain the attempts made to seek funding from other sources and why there is difficulty in securing funding for the proposed project.

Your application is your chance to tell us about your proposed project, why it's interesting and how you plan to use the grant. 

Your finished application will include:

  • A full proposal, following the criteria provided (provide a proposal that is written in clear layman's language (i.e., for someone with no knowledge of your project and area of academic pursuit)
  • A detailed budget for the project
  • Pertinent supporting materials, including prior work samples, preliminary research, etc.

Applicants can request FRC support to obtain research materials, hire student assistants or outside contractors, purchase equipment, rent time in a recording studio, etc., as required to create the work. Collaborative projects are welcome, and partnerships across disciplines are encouraged. Projects are to be primarily faculty research projects. This grant is NOT intended to support:

  • Student research that is being overseen by faculty
  • Initiatives that are primarily pedagogical in nature. Research projects that have a pedagogical element are welcome, but if your project is primarily aimed at course development or classroom innovation, then the Wimmer Faculty Fellows Grant and other resources aimed at teaching would be more appropriate funding sources
  • Symposia, conference or lecture series development
  • Conference fees or travel expenses, except where such travel is an integral part of making and/or realizing a project supported by the fund
  • Computer hardware or equipment that can be obtained through other funding venues such as departmental funds, startup accounts or external sources of funding. If you are requesting funding for computer hardware or equipment, you must clearly explain the need and use related to your proposal and what becomes of the computer hardware/equipment after your project has concluded.

Grants are given as cash awards for materials and supplies related to your project only, and will not affect the financial aid of students employed on the project. The IP rights of finished work will remain with the scholar(s) or artist(s).

The award is a one-year award: the expected period of performance is one year. Awards are cost-reimbursable. Funds not allocated toward completion of the project at the end of the period of performance will be returned to the FRC. If the project is not complete at the end of the period of performance, the awardee may apply for an extension of up to one year. After that additional year, the funds revert to the FRC.

Recipients of FRC grants from previous award cycles are eligible to apply for new or repeat funding, on the strict condition that all reporting requirements for prior support have been satisfactorily met.

Reporting Requirements

Final reports are due within three months of project completion and should include the following:

  • A narrative summarizing the project's process and outcome
  • Documentation of the supported project, which could include any combination of photographs, video and/or audio recordings. Please note that videos should be delivered as high-resolution movie files (.mov, .avi, .mp4, etc.) and not as links to streaming services such as YouTube or Vimeo.
  • A financial report itemizing all income and expenses for the project

Wherever the works are exhibited, it is to be noted that "The work was supported in part by funding from the College of Fine Arts Fund for Research and Creativity" as part of the work's provenance.

A request for a public presentation or exhibition of your work during the academic year may be made upon its completion. It is the intention for these outcomes to live on a CFA website to celebrate the ongoing work of faculty recipients of the grant.

FRC standing committee members

  • Chair: Senior Associate Dean for Research, Molly Wright Steenson
  • Associate Head of Architecture, Mary-Lou Arscott*
  • Director, Undergraduate Program, School of Design, Wayne Chung
  • Associate Head of Drama, Richard Block*
  • Associate Head of Music, Ken Keeling*
  • Director of Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Golan Levin

Appointed faculty member from each school:

  • Architecture, Daragh Byrne (2020, 2021)
  • Art, Lyndon Barrois (2021)
  • Design, Stuart Candy (2020, 2021)
  • Drama, Lisa Velten Smith (2020, 2021)
  • Music, Frederic Chiu (2021)

Past committee members:

  • Architecture
    • Gerard Damiani (2018, 2019)
    • Jeremy Ficca* (2016, 2017)
  • Art
    • Clayton Merrell* Faculty Administrative Rep (2016, 2017, 2018)
    • Paolo Pedercini (2018)
    • Suzie Silver* (2016, 2017)
    • Jongwoo Jeremy Kim (2019, 2020)
  • Design
    • Eric Anderson (founding chair, 2016–2020)*
    • Peter Scupelli* (2016, 2017)
    • Kyuha Shim (2018, 2019)
  • Drama
    • Rob Thomson* (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
    • Jennifer Aylmer (2019, 2020)
  • Music, Daniel Teadt* (2016, 2017, 2018)

*Inaugural committee members

For questions, contact Molly Steenson: steenson@cmu.edu

2021 FRC Recipients

Frieda Abtan
School of Music
My Heart is a River

My Heart is a River is a 50-minute immersive performance featuring live cello and surround audiovisual media. The piece situates the cellist within immersive scenography in which he is already featured. His sound and body are integrated into the whole. The audience is encouraged to collapse the ontological divide between his projected body on the screen and his physical body on stage, signified to be the same character within the narrative. The combined aural and visual motion within the music and video guide the attention of the audience around the environment, sharing focus with the cellist.

 

Mark Baskinger/MoonArts
School of Design
MoonArk

In late 2021, Carnegie Mellon University is sending the first museum (MoonArk) to the Moon aboard a lunar lander developed by the CMU spin-off company Astrobotic, carried by a ULA rocket. We are seeking funding to cover the requisite space-readiness testing and final assembly of components to meet an aggressive May 1 deadline AND to prepare the twin MoonArk for museum collection.

Daniel Cardoso Llach
School of Architecture
Designing the Computational Image, Imagining Computational Design

Designing the Computational Image, Imagining Computational Design is a book tracing the emergence of a trans-disciplinary aesthetics linked to computation through an unprecedented selection of historical materials and contemporary artworks. These materials configure a visual journey which is enriched by a series of essays by emerging and established architecture, technology, and media scholars. Rich both visually and conceptually, the resulting volume reveals computational design as an “interdiscipline” emerging, timidly at first, in the interstices of mathematics, engineering, architecture, art, and design.

 

 

Dana Cupkova
School of Architecture
Rocking Cradle: Making of Architecture that Speaks

We are proposing an interactive installation of 3D-sand-printed rocking planters that would support Nursery at Hazelwood Green as a community space. These play objects would function as urban furniture, water collection devices, planters for native species, as well as would carry embedded messages from the community - in the form of plant graffiti - that we intend to develop through a series of community engagement workshops. We ask for FRAC support to develop modeling to fabrication techniques for embedding ecologically informed text patterns, utilising a combination of 3D scanning, texture modeling and GAN machine learning techniques.

Johannes DeYoung
School of Art
Night Aphotic

Night Aphotic is an animated non-linear immersive media art experience that explores the psychological effects of cultural and political upheaval, expressed through mixed media animation and poetic computation. Drawing upon a rich history of animation as a tool for social and political satire, this work engages animate forms as vehicles for psychological expression and social consciousness. A hybrid blend of animate collage, spatial sound, and spoken word establish the poetic juxtapositions of this work.

Mindy Eshelman
School of Drama
Re:Dress Archive

Archives and libraries are not neutral spaces: the goal of the RE:dress archive is to create an equitable space within the history of dress for women, for Black and Indigenous people, for people of Color, and for queer folks. This archive and database seek to decenter the Western gaze and give opportunities to people in underrepresented communities to have their research made accessible to the public.

Laura Garofalo
School of Architecture
Artpark Grotto

The Artpark Grotto is a permanent installation proposed for Artpark in Lewiston, NY. The structure, made entirely of terracotta panels, is a contemporary take on the earthen grottos found in historic gardens. This semi-enclosed space explores the phenomenological and environmental qualities of such structures. The installation is constructed from layers of standard terracotta panels cut on a waterjet cutter to expose their hidden structure that reminds visitors of how earth and water form a hidden world at multiple scales beneath our feet. Meanwhile, its smooth cut interior face alludes to the effects of water on the earth’s surface.

Katherine Hubbard
School of Art
I may be direct/ed

Interdisciplinary artist, Katherine Hubbard will publish her first book, I may be direct/ed with Capricious, an art foundation focused on book publishing in support of queer and intersectional perspectives. Through Hubbard’s photographic and text based performance works, I may be direct/ed, will materializes her ethos of photography as a social condition through a host of newly commissioned critical essays. I may be direct/ed honors the complexity of the medium of photography, the richness of visual perception, subjectivity and the material world as it relates to representation.

Jongwoo Kim
School of Art
Male Bodies Unmade: Picturing Queer Selfhood

This book is about incoherent male bodies. It examines them coming apart and reorganized in the history of modern and contemporary art. Welcoming the productivity of incomprehension in matters concerning the body, each chapter captures transformations of queer selfhood—or each case study explores what it means to become conscious of selfhood and its desire in relation to the body that defies everyday logics of naturalness, wholeness, and reproduction. Focusing on works by Beardsley, Cocteau, Bacon, Hockney, Gober, and Ahn, Male Bodies Unmade investigates representations of corporeal instability and pleasurable self-extinction.

Megan Rivas
School of Drama
The HOW TO BE Project

The HOW TO BE Project will be a set of twelve play commissions for Black-identified writers speaking to the current moment. Each HOW TO BE Project writer will select a chapter of HOW TO BE AN ANTI-RACIST by Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D. to use as inspiration for their own work – not a dramatic adaptation of the selected chapter, but a wholly original piece for performance. The commission results may take the form of song, poetry, movement, monologue or short play according to the writer’s wishes. The commissioned pieces will be performed and presented digitally by Bishop Arts Theatre Center in Dallas, TX.

Tome' Cousin
School of Drama
VANDERZEE (Picture Takin' Man)

VANDERZEE (Picture Takin’ Man) is a new media musical collage of words, images, movement and music that illuminates the life and art of Harlem Renaissance photographer James VanDerZee. It celebrates VDZ’S artistic achievements and his commitment to the presentation and preservation of African American culture. Mixing creative artistry through dramatic events throughout the past century, VANDERZEE takes the form of a “theatrical gallery” highlighting photographs, embodied and explored through the use of text, music, media and movement.

Francesca Torello
School of Architecture
Virtual Fresco

Virtual Fresco is a mixed-reality application for the College of Fine Arts Great Hall, which weaves a compelling narrative between the experience of architectural space, the building’s decorative apparatus, and a critical reading of the early 20th century legacy of Eurocentric arts education. Virtual Fresco provides an interpretive lens and a shared platform to re-envision the Great Hall’s immersive didactic potential, creatively expanding Hornbostel’s travel inspiration with the global reach of CMU’s diverse community. The project combines on-site mobile and remote web-based platforms, which are critical to the outreach of art institutions.

Erica Cochran Hameen
School of Architecture
An automatic mobile sensing platform for CO2 source localization

Americans spend 90% of their life indoors; since so much time is spent indoors, providing satisfactory environments is good for human health & productivity. Among the 5 factors of indoor environment quality, indoor air quality, is one of the most significant factors to occupant health and productivity considered in the design of commercial buildings such as office buildings and schools. To respond to this challenge, the research team is developing a low-cost automatic mobile sensing platform to facilitate CO2 source localization in open plan office spaces; the sensor suite consists of infrared sensors, an ultrasonic sensor and a CO2 sensor. 


Dina El-Zanfaly
School of Design
hyperSENSE: Augmenting the sensory experience in space

Just as we shape environments around us, they also shape our experiences and senses. In this project, I look at how we can create physical and digital interactions between humans and environments to augment our senses. I investigate in this research project how we can augment the sensory experience of users in a designed environment using computational design and making tools. Building automation and IOT devices have been receiving growing attention while ignoring the aspect of embodied experience in spaces. In this research, I look at how we can start building embodied interactions within space.


Dan Lockton & Daragh Byrne
School of Design & School of Architecture
Spooky Technology

Spooky Technology explores creative research opportunities around our understanding of the invisible technologies in our everyday lives, from objects with ‘intelligence’ to systems in our homes that talk to us (and each other). Through creating an Inventory of Spooky Technologies, design research with people around their mental models, and a Design Jam bringing together the CMU community to prototype and experiment, the project—a collaboration between the School of Design and the School of Architecture—opens up a new dimension for critical creative engagement with the technologies around us.


Nica Ross
School of Drama
Working title: BJJGNC

A VR based essay on the failure of surveillance told through motion capture. Utilizing sensor and sensor-free motion capture methods to capture gender non-conforming bodies practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the essay challenges machine vision based technology intended to capture and render the "truth" of a body's performance.

Azadeh Sawyer
School of Architecture
Examining the impact of bird-friendly design on daylight and users’ perception

This project proposes an approach in designing bird-friendly facades, augmenting the daylight performance criteria and the paradox of design with daylight—that it is both science and art. Facades confront human satisfaction around daylight and views and environmental performance associated with energy and recent bird-friendly approaches. From an environmental perspective facades should maximize daylight, minimize energy use while preventing bird-collisions. From an occupant perspective, facades should provide daylight, maximize views and visual comfort. These objectives can be in direct conflict, resulting in unpleasant environments.


Andrew Smith
School of Drama
Women in Theatre Festival 2020

The Women in Theatre Festival seeks to broaden opportunities for women in the entertainment industry by producing new work by women with more than 50% female representation of all artists involved. The 4-week Festival in NYC will feature 3 world premieres, each with a female gaze and a female-identifying character as the central action. All 3 are inspired by the conversations that permeate our society: Safe Spaces, a play about safety in parenting, college, adulthood, and life; The Frog Prince, an adapted children’s show; and Border Plays, a devised production that explores the lines that divide and unite us.


Susan Tsu
School of Drama
Innovative Costume of the 21st Century: The Next Generation

INNOVATIVE COSTUME OF THE 21st CENTURY: THE NEXT GENERATION was an unprecedented exhibition shown in 3 renowned museums in Moscow, summer of 2019. Inventive work of 250 costume visionaries from 50 nations was featured in 2D, 3D, video, & photographic forms. Despite national differences, the designers of the exhibition have shown us that themes addressing identity, gender equality, environmental awareness, costume activism, redefinitions of what constitutes costume/clothing and skin, and the fragility of existence are shared throughout the world. We seek now to share these discoveries & promote dialogue investigating the future of our field.


Angela Washko
School of Art
Workhorse Queen

Workhorse Queen is an experimental documentary film following Rochester-based drag queen Mrs. Kasha Davis’ life, career, and recent shift toward international visibility after competing on the reality television show RuPaul’s Drag Race. The film is a portrait of Ed Popil, a man who was working as a manager at a telemarketing company and now finds himself struggling to navigate life as a full-time professional entertainer as a result of a reality television show. This project highlights the impact of Drag Race on the performers who make it onto the show and additionally focuses on those who have been rejected.

Daniel Cardoso Llach
School of Architecture
Molecular Tectonics: A Computational Investigation into Materials and Space

This investigation leverages mathematical research into crystals and molecular bonds, and recent advances in computational design and manufacturing, to develop new types of material assembly and spatial organization. An installation inspired by the Wearie-Phelan structure —a mathematical construct that approximates the geometry of foam bubbles— is proposed. The installation comprises eight digitally fabricated polyhedra assembled without nails or glue. Evoking a crystalline structure, it illustrates how molecular tectonics may yield an unlimited range of ordered three-dimensional structures.


Johannes DeYoung
School of Art
The Van Dyke Dick Show

The Van Dyke Dick Show is a neo-noir animated short film that reflects upon the absurdities, solipsisms, and gritty underbellies of contemporary civic life amidst a period of exaggerated cultural anomie. Created in collaboration with a neural network that’s trained on language from film noir and beat poetry — and a stylized visual synthesis of German Expressionism, Cubism, and Dada collage — this film explores resonances between contemporary civic discords and the historical threads that bind them to the past.


Clayton Merrell
School of Art
Altered Landscapes

I am currently developing a body of work that visualizes aspects of our dire global ecological situation by transforming images of classical landscapes. I have begun to expand on this series by rapidly prototyping ideas through a process of painting over my own etchings, then using those images as starting points for large paintings. An upcoming residency at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice will facilitate the production of higher-quality prints, amplifying the visual power and sense of effacement and loss that I am trying to convey through the work.


Paolo Pedercini
School of Art
Solarpunk Game

Untitled Solarpunk Game is a narrative-driven videogame about the last day in the life of a baby boomer. The game is set in the year 2040, and presents a reasonably utopian future of Pittsburgh in which techno-political innovation is tied to an increasing democratic participation and environmental remediation. The project draws from utopian literary traditions of the past as well as the contemporary trends of accelerationism and solarpunk.


Suzie Silver
School of Art
Better Out Than In

Better Out than In (BOTI) is a queer folk tale video about a lovely ingénue whose thunderous flatulence proves to be a mighty super-power. The story challenges expectations of femme/female behavior while celebrating the taboo but universal love for flatulence and fart humor. BOTI is the third video in the queer folk tale series, “Fairy Fantastic!” (FF!) which reimagines the folk-past of traditional tales to include queer, trans, and gender-fluid characters. Through these stories we seek to convene a mixed-ages, queer audience to recognize with joy the primordial and perennial queer body.


Jon Rubin
School of Art
The Department of Water

The Department of Water is an installation that occurs in two sites simultaneously: an apartment/artspace in Tehran, Iran, and an exact replica of that apartment in the Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh. This project creates a collaborative space between the U.S. and Iran that ingeniously works around geographic distance, economic sanctions, and political discord. For 9 months, artists Jon Rubin (U.S.) and Sohrab Kashani (Iran) will operate both versions of the same space as if they were one, producing exhibitions where every object, video, and event made for one space is duplicated for the other.


Andrew Smith
School of Drama
The Women in Theatre Festival

The Women in Theatre Festival seeks to broaden the opportunities for women in the entertainment industry by producing new work by women with more than 50% female representation of all artists involved. The 5-week Women in Theatre Festival will be curated by Project Y Theatre Company at the ART/NY Theaters in New York City in June 2019, and will prominently feature the world premiere production of Three Musketeers 1941, by Megan Rivas, a modern adaptation that places the action into the hands of all- female crew of musketeers.


Susan Tsu
School of Drama
Innovative Costume of the 21st Century: The Next Generation

As Chief Curator for INNOVATIVE COSTUME -- premiering at Moscow’s State Historical Museum, I have engaged 112 National curators, created the submission website, and from 1323 submissions by 938 designers, chose 300 works from 250 designers, prepared panel discussions, and curated a parade of costumes to appear in Red Square. 50 nations of the world are represented. We hope to document the artistic vocabulary of the next generation of designers, generating a platform by which dialogue on the issues of the day may be explored. This project, generously funded by an FRC in 2017, is ongoing.


Reza Vali
School of Music
Four Persian Mystic Poems
Four Persian Mystic Poems is a chamber music composition project. Reza Vali will be composing two versions a chamber work titled "Four Persian Mystic Poems" for the New York based ensemble Alba Consort, and the Pittsburgh based contemporary music ensemble NAT 28.


Alexa Woloshyn
School of Music
Indigenous Musicians in Pittsburgh: Thunder Nation and its Creative Network 

“Indigenous Musicians in Pittsburgh” documents, analyzes, and contextualizes the sound worlds of powwow drum group Thunder Nation and its creative network based in and around Pittsburgh. The project documents the oral histories of these musicians and, with the help of experts and archival sources, pairs them with the larger histories of Indigenous presence and migration. The project will produce archival audio-video recordings and interviews as well as a studio album and a book chapter. As a result, the project will challenge the prevailing erasure of Indigenous peoples in our region.


Imin Yeh
School of Art
I'm in Ya

I’M IN YA is a 150 page artist publication. It features color pencil drawings of 75 facebook profile pictures and messages, documenting the 10 days when I received 75 facebook messages from complete strangers who decided to make fun of my name, Imin Yeh.

 

Kim Beck, School of Art
Title: Invasive Species

Super Invaders is a new collaboration with Nicole Heller, an ecologist and curator of the Anthropocene at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. I have long used weeds and landscape in my drawings, prints and installations; with Dr. Heller, the museum's botanical, invertebrate and vertebrate collections will form the basis of new work on invasive species. Together, we will lead a series of experimental tours in the landscape as well as create a portfolio of etchings and letterpress prints. Our project considers how we coexist with other creatures and plants and the ways we change each other. With Nicole Heller, museum fellow; curator of the Anthropocene at Carnegie Museum of Natural History


Dana Cupkova and Daragh Byrne, School of Architecture
Title: Towards Sentient Matter: Architecture as a Mood Ring

This research explores interactions between material form and its embedded electromechanical controls, while using human emotiveness as an activation of change in material and spatial character. Contemporary advances in technology shape interactions between organic and inorganic systems and their mutual formation. Both physical and human matter are open to design. Based on last year's work, we propose to build a full-scale functioning prototype using thermal, tactile and thermochromic responses guided by embedded distributed control systems that change in response to human physiology and thought.


James Duesing, School of Art
Title: Snob Bog

Snob Bog is a series of interconnected site-specific animations. It will interpret ideas put forward in William A Gamson's "Simulated Societies" to create pointedly humorous, animated vignettes that reveal social and political hierarchies in contemporary life. Visual recognition software will be used to identify common locations in grocery stores that will trigger animated events for the viewer using a cell phone or other mobile device. With Jessica Hodgins, CMU School of Computer Science


Stefan Gruber, School of Architecture
Title: Web Platform for an Atlas of Commoning

"An Atlas of Commoning" is a traveling exhibition co-curated by Stefan Gruber and ARCH+ magazine for ifa. The requested funding is for developing a web platform that will make the Atlas of case studies featured in the exhibition accessible to a global audience. The platform is conceived as growing and open knowledge archive, producing an invaluable documentation of local grassroots projects from all over the world. It will serve as a site for international exchange and reciprocal knowledge production, in short, a space of commoning. With Anh-Linh Ngo, Editor-in-Chief,  ARCH+ magazine; and Sabina Klemm, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)


Rob Handel, School of Drama
Title: Looking at You

LOOKING AT YOU is an immersive techno-noir music theater piece confronting the issue of privacy in a digitized age and the question of how loss of privacy could transform us as a global culture. Born of a collaboration between faculty from the CMU School of Drama and the CMU Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory, it tells a story of government surveillance and whistleblowing while using digital tools created to data-mine the information of spectators during the show and feed it back to them in real time. With Alessandro Acquisti, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy


Stephen Neely, School of Music
Title: The Haptic Enviro-Sensing Metronome: An Exploration into the Felt Experience

The Haptic Enviro-Sensing Metronome (HESM) is an exploration into the felt experience and the 'nudgability' of the participating actor. Using touch over sound or sight, we intend to lead the user through an event with a pulse that will ebb and flow in reaction to the environment by using environmental sensing, machine learning and refined human-computer interaction. The HESM is an investigation into the power of touch, the human desire for harmony with our surroundings, and the challenge to machine learning to anticipate and foster this ideal. With Gus Xia, Ph.D., Co-PI, Computer Science NYU Shanghai; Andrea Weinstein, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; Curtis Boirum, Robotics Institute Carnegie Mellon University; Nicholas Pourazima, master's student in Music Technology


Richard Pell, School of Art
Title: The Mermaid Genome Project

Mermaids have historically represented the edge of what is knowable. They appear in times of uncertainty when our capacity to act on the world outpaces our understanding of it, whether we sail too far out to sea, or choose to believe beyond the bounds of evidence. I will use contemporary genomic techniques to create a plausible, though ultimately flawed, complete DNA sequence of a mermaid: a hallucination designed to be viewed with the tools of 21st century science. It will engage viewers in a conversation about how we evaluate truth. With: Benjamin Vernot, Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; Fred Gould, professor of Agriculture, North Carolina State University, Center for Genomics and Society


Jesse Stiles, School of Music
Tittle: The Bear with a Boy's Shadow: Experimental Narratives in Spatial Cinema

The Poyais Group is creating an immersive cinemagraphic narrative that tells the story of a town in an unknown time and place. In this town, the citizenry is terrorized by a bear. Someone notices that the bear has the shadow of a boy. Then they must track down which boy it is and reason with him. This story will be experienced by audiences in both real and virtual spaces using the technology of spatial cinema. It will be presented in galleries using multi-channel video projection systems and in virtual spaces using Virtual Reality (VR) systems. With Olivia Robinson, Carnegie Mellon University (IDeATe adjunct instructor); Jesse Ball, School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Jon Rubin, School of Art
Title: The Edge of the Field (Carnegie International)

This collaborative art project will occur during the upcoming 57th edition of the Carnegie International. We will use our invitation to this highly selective exhibition as a loophole to invert the usual system of selection and inclusion. Throughout the exhibition we will utilize the museum as a studio for the manifestation and distribution of approximately 10,000 artworks that have been recorded to be rejected from prior Carnegie International exhibitions. The project imagines and enacts the invisible mountain of labor that lies below the tip what enters through the gates of high culture. With Lenka Clayton, artist

Daniel Cardoso-Llach
Title: Soft Reconstruction

Soft reconstruction proposes a series of software reconstructions of some of the earliest algorithms used in design, including the "Coons Patch" and Bezier's B-Spline curves. Beyond visual representations, these interactive objects will offer access to forgotten sensual, material and technical aspects of early computational design techniques and interfaces. The interactive pieces will be displayed in the exhibition "Designing the Computational Image / Imagining Computational Design" in the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon in the fall of 2017.


Dana Cupkova and Daragh Byrne
Title: Mind-Controlling Sentience: Non-deformable Responsiveness to Human Physiology

This research explores interactions between material form and its embedded electromechanical controls, while using human physiology and emotiveness as an activation of change in material character. Contemporary advances in technology shape interactions between organic and inorganic systems and their mutual formation. Both physical and human matter are open to design. We will build series of complex architectural forms — using thermal, tactile and thermochromic responses guided by embedded distributed control system — that change their effect and microclimate in response to human thought.


Dan Lockton
Title: Electric Acoustic

What does energy sound like? Electric Acoustic proposes a mobile, interactive, ambient installation that sonifies, in real time, electricity use of appliances in the built environment, and the current electricity generation mix based on location. Initial investigations of people's imaginaries around energy, fossil fuels and renewables, and how these might translate into sound, will feed into the development of the exhibit, which aims to explore the potential of increasing public understanding of energy and its impacts through turning 'invisible' everyday phenomena into something audible.


Kyuha Shim and Eddy Man Kim
Title: Dimentional Typography in Virtual Reality

There is a significant amount of research from creative disciplines on Virtual Reality (VR), yet there has not been any practice-based research that focuses on finding a methodology for communication design that is applicable to the subject environment. The project explores immersive typography and aims to contribute to scholarship about the implications of virtual reality technologies on design for computing platforms. The outcomes include literature review, interviews and an exhibition of work, and a comprehensive publication online and in print.


Lawrence Shea
Title: Ghosts in the Machine

Ghosts in the Machine is a project exploring how rapidly developing phone-based technologies such as augmented reality and location based interactivity can be used to create unique, historically rich and artistically engaging experiences at multiple sites across the city. The project's hypothesis is that these tools allow higher levels of complexity in storytelling, ideally merging content-rich information with a place to create a new spatialized narrative form. This project earnestly strives to turn mere "information" back into meaning through our innate wayfinding and placemaking capacities.


Susan Tsu
Title: Innovative Costume: The Next Generation ,An Exhibition and Chronicle of Costume D

I am chief international curator for a major international exhibition of student and emerging designers' work entitled Innovative Costume: The Next Generation, working with Igor Roussanoff; artistic director; and the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Moscow, Russia. The exhibition will premiere in Moscow in June 2019, and tour the world. It will be the first exhibition of its kind chronicling and documenting the work of the world's most creative young designers. A website and comprehensive exhibition catalogue will be developed to share and preserve the work as a record and teaching tool.


Reza Vali
Title: The Isfahân Project

The Isfahân Project is a CD production project of the recordings of recent chamber works for string quartet by Reza Vali. The compositions on the CD will be recorded in Pittsburgh by Carpe Diem String Quartet.

Joshua Bard and Richard Tursky
Title: Through Thick and Thin: Recovering the Craft of Architectural Plaster

Through Thick and Thin proposes the design, fabrication and installation of a robotically plastered exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art's Hall of Architecture, pending final CMoA approval. The Carnegie Museum curates one of the country's few remaining collections of cast plaster antiquities and provides a unique venue to exhibit contemporary uses of robotic technology to augment the nearly forgotten craft of applied architectural plaster.


Manson Caden
Title: Opacity

Opacity is a research project and live mediated performance developed around the conceptual framework of the "interface," specifically the threat of increasing occultation of the interface and the intermediation of algorithms between the real and the experienced. Opacity investigates topics of representation, liberty, control, surveillance, liveness, networks and political resistance.


Ali Momeni
Title: Transforming Mobile Phones into Personal Electroacoustic Musical Instruments

This proposal intends to create four exemplar functional prototypes of musical instruments that combine an acoustically functional sculptural object, with real-time interactive software running on a mobile phone. Each instrument is based on a distinct mode of gestural interaction: tapping, rubbing, plucking and blowing. All instruments will be low cost, reproducible by anyone with access to a maker space, and built around the pervasive iOS and Android mobile computing platforms. These prototypes will allow Momeni to secure further funding through crowdsourcing and the Technology Transfer Office.


Sarah Pickett
Title: The Roots of Music and Sound in Shakespeare: An Interactive Installation

This project will involve research into the early use of sound and music in Shakespeare's plays during the Elizabethan era. The project will also include a performance/installation component utilizing the First Folio text of Hamlet that will allow the user to interact with the text and sound in a live setting. I hope to bring sound to life in a way that ignites the audience’s imagination and gives a sense of what the experience might have been. In addition to highlighting the historical importance of sound, the project will also show how this translates to contemporary productions.


Reza Vali
Title: The Arghonoon Project

The main objective of the Arghonoon Project is to develop a computer-based keyboard instrument with the following capabilities:

  • Able to produce the sounds of Persian traditional instruments.
  • Able to produce the sounds of Persian folk instruments.
  • Precisely employs the Pythagorean tuning system of Persian and Middle Eastern music, with support for alternate tuning systems.
  • Provide the ability to use existing sound libraries of Western European instruments tuned to Persian/Middle Eastern tuning systems with support for alternate tuning systems.

Angela Washko
Title: The Game: The Game

The Game: The Game will be an independent video game that dives deeper into the breadth of different seduction communities, looking specifically at the five most well-known pick-up artists to create characters that will attempt to seduce the player using their signature techniques (taken directly from their instructional books). Players will explore the complexity of the construction of social behaviors around dating as well as the experience of being a woman navigating this complicated terrain. The game will be installed in an immersive environment for my solo exhibition at TRANSFER in NYC.