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Oct. 26: Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon's Center for Arts in Society Presents Discussion on the Media's Representation of Art


Shilo Raube                

Eric Sloss

Media Advisory:
Carnegie Mellon's Center for Arts in Society Presents
Discussion on the Media's Representation of Art

Event: Carnegie Mellon University's Center for the Arts in Society (CAS) will host a panel discussion on "Hijacking Controversy: Tales from the Front Lines of Tactical Media" to explore how the media represents art and how artists can engage strategically with the media. The panel discussion, which is free and open to the public, will feature Carnegie Mellon professors Richard Pell, Paolo Pedercini and Kathy Newman.

During "Hijacking Controversy," Pell, an assistant professor of art, and Pedercini, a visiting assistant professor of art, will talk about their experiences with the media misrepresenting controversial projects.  In 1999, Pell and a group of artists created "The Robotic Graffiti Writer," which used highly sophisticated technology to paint chalk graffiti as commentary on the military's use of robots. The media coverage focused on the project's technical aspects and ignored the political message. Pell will discuss how the slight influenced the group's decision to develop a media strategy for future projects.

Pedercini also has experience overcoming media distortions. When his "Faith Fighter" video game was inaccurately labeled as offensive to Muslims, Pedercini created a new version that satirically used technology to promote an all-inclusive stance on religion.

Newman, an associate professor of English and media studies scholar, will join Pell and Pedercini to examine the relations between controversy, media representations of art and the ways in which artists can control or influence how the press portrays their projects.

The Center for the Arts in Society is a research center in the College of Fine Arts and College of Humanities and Social Sciences that brings artists and humanists together to investigate the role of arts in society. "Hijacking Controversy" is sponsored by the center as a part of a multiyear exploration of the topic of public art and as part of a specific initiative studying the role of controversy in the arts. For complete event details, visit

4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Margaret Morrison 103 (Breed Hall), Carnegie Mellon University