Thursday March 21

7:30-9:30 p.m., Science Center 101

How Entertainment Is Changing, and What Cinema Could Look and Feel Like 20 Years from Now

David Linde '82, CEO Lava Bear Films, former Chairman, Universal Pictures
Q&A Moderated by JB Davis '92, Center for New Cinema

As a student at Swarthmore, David Linde received $500 from the college to make two satirical James Bond films on campus. Within twenty years, following key positions at Miramax Films and Good Machine (a seminal independent production company), he rose to become President of Focus Features and subsequently Chairman of Universal Pictures. He currently runs Lava Bear Films, a production company built with the support of a significant group of international media companies.

David will talk about his career, his focus on global filmmaking (including executive producing Biutiful, Y Tu Mama Tambien, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Drago) and his work with a who's who of filmmakers from the Coen Brothers to Ang Lee to Sofia Coppola and Quentin Tarantino. He will also discuss how Swarthmore influenced him, how the movie business is changing, and what the future holds for how we all interact with entertainment and technology.

Friday March 22

8:30 am, Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall

Coffee and welcome

Bob Rehak, Swarthmore College and Shawn Brixey, University of Washington, Seattle

9-9:45 a.m., Language Resource Center, Kohlberg Hall

Small Teams, Big Impact: Interactive Media Development for Research, Pedagogy, and Outreach

Sonny Sidhu '09, Master's Program, Comparative Media Studies, MIT

Because of their relatively high costs of production, interactive media development projects in higher education have tended to remain within the exclusive domain of large research universities-until recently, that is. Ongoing trends-such as the decreasing cost of high-end hardware, the increasing user-friendliness of integrated game development engines, the growth of the audience for small-scale independent games, and the proliferation of gaming-ready mobile devices within the population-are rapidly changing this landscape. Today, it is practical for even the smallest liberal arts institutions to support interactive media development projects, but the question remains to be answered: what role can such projects serve in the advancement of the liberal arts? This talk will address three areas of potential-research, pedagogy, and outreach-examining how interactive media development initiatives can advance the diverse yet complimentary interests of students, educators, institutions, and the general public. The talk will include live demos of several recent interactive projects developed by small, student-led teams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


10-11:30 a.m., Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall

An Algorithmic World

Sheldon Brown, Director, Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination University of California, San Diego

As our culture increasingly becomes part of algorithmic systems, how does this shift our expectations and imaginations of what is possible and for what ends?  I provoke those questions through my artwork, and look to the affordances of this condition to expand the range of aesthetic engagement.


The Art of Emulation: Pioneering New Telematic Frontiers

Shawn Brixey, University of Washington, Seattle

"Telematic Art" is the study and creation of all forms and levels of situatedness, agency, presence and absence. Telepresence for example is a procedural embodiment of telematics, where ones real physical location, is actually remote from ones true location.

Building upon the important distinctions between notions of simulation and emulation, this presentation will explore the invention of new methods, tools and thought processes with which new forms of "telematic art" are rapidly emerging.

Rather than accepting the current definition of telematic art as strictly a networked interaction between people over distance, this presentation will use novel new research projects created by artist and University of Washington Professor, Shawn Brixey as case studies to propose a much broader, inclusive, and less anthropocentric interpretation of telematics that involves networked collaboration between humans and other systems, thus permitting us to engage poetically and artisically with structures vastly more complex than ourselves.

12:30-2 p.m., Science Center 101

Video Screen as Matrix of Sensations: A Multisensory Approach to the Artistic Development of Responsive Video Membranes

Philomène Longpré, Ph.D. Candidate, Concordia University

The immateriality of moving images is materialized in a plethora of surfaces, shapes, and formats. Artists have access to an abundance of tools and mediums for developing different forms of interactivity between the body, media, space, and time. Thus, artists have been pushing the limits of both the virtual world and the physical world, expanding and transforming the static two-dimensional frame while trying to escape from it utterly. However, what if the video screen were to evolve into a responsive video membrane specifically designed for specific moving images? How could this catalyst of sensations push creativity forward? Furthermore, many studies have demonstrated that the screen's materiality, spatiality, and interactivity influence the perception of the visual world presented within it, particularly in the context of exhibitions in gallery spaces. There are key factors that can alter perception and augment an individual's sensory, affective, and cognitive experience of a moving image.


Media Artworks as Variability Machines

Richard Rinehart, Director and Chief Curator, Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University

Artworks are part of our social memory; they contribute material culture to the historic record. But what happens to the historic record when material culture becomes immaterial? And what happens to artworks that are orphaned by history? If we return to the roots of contemporary new media - to the first modern theories of computation developed by Alan Turing and his peers - we may discover that what we need for the future of new media art turns out to have been built in from the very beginning: variability.

2:15 p.m., Science Center 101

Markerless Motion Capture: Innovative Opportunities for Digital Media and the Arts

Demonstration by Alex Czarowicz, Organic Motion
Organic Motion is a software company specialized in computer vision systems for human tracking and leading innovator of real-time, markerless 3D motion capture systems.

Organic Motion's markerless motion tracking systems harness the Company's core computer vision technology, enabling computers to cognitively "see" people's complex movements and generate accurate 3D tracking data in real‐time, all without body suits or tracking devices.

Organic Motion's systems can be calibrated in minutes, provide immediate scanning of subject(s) and stream data in real‐time into the leading interfaces for animation, biomechanical analysis, training and simulation.

3:30 p.m., Science Center 101

What Media Artists Can Tell Us About Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

Holly Willis, Media Arts + Practice Program & Institute for Multimedia Literacy, University of Southern California

While the "pedagogical turn" in contemporary art has received significant attention lately in the context of participatory art practices, not much has been written about the role new media artists might play in helping reimagine teaching and learning in higher education. Further, the discourse surrounding the need to expand our concept of literacy for the 21st century to include an understanding of digital media too often participates in what Bill Readings, in his scathing indictment of contemporary higher education titled The University in Ruins (1997), dubs the "economic management of students." Writing that contemporary universities are primarily interested in training students to be docile workers, Readings asks what happened to the mandate to promote critical thinking and cultural resistance. This presentation argues that our era's most compelling media artists have taken up this mandate, and as such, they play a powerful role in what we now call digital education, even as this education often takes place outside the boundaries of the university. Calling on educators to consider what media artists might offer us in expanding our understandings of media-rich pedagogies and practices, the presentation also suggests specific tactics, contexts and attributes for this productive engagement.

4:30 p.m., Science Center 101

Closing Forum