Center for Arts and Technology Symposium Preview

As seniors in the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, the following four students have been working hard on their final projects all year which, as the title implies, deal with the relationship between arts and technology. Their projects focus on different subjects and vary in mediums; projects include mixed media artwork, a musical performance, the creation of a social media website and a documentary film. The College Voice asked each student to contribute a short write-up about his or her project. Below are their answers.

Andrew Nathanson

Nathanson’s senior project, entitled Building Stories: Cummings Arts Center, is a documentary that explores the Cummings Arts Center’s history, people and secrets. The project features rare photos, 3-D models and interviews. Fittingly, the documentary will be displayed on Cummings’ own façade. To capture the massive scale of the building, it will be viewed as a nighttime, multimedia projection on the side of the building facing Tempel Green; two high-power Christie 6K projectors, on loan from a Connecticut College alumnus connected to Cummings Arts Center, will bring to life a 100-foot canvas along the building’s iconic silhouette. Building Stories will run on loop from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM on Wednesday, April 24 with a rain date of Thursday, April 25.

Eric Stern

Stern is a senior Music and Technology major and computer science minor. His final CAT project, “Sonic Nostalgia,” consists of a performance of an electroacoustic music composition that he wrote for cello and live electronic sounds. Stern composed the piece last semester during an independent study for his major. For his CAT project, the performance of this piece utilizes a program he wrote in Max/MSP and the X-Box Kinect as an interface for the control of electronic sound elements by tracking hand motions and gestures. In the performance, as the cellist plays with him, Stern will use his hands in free space to trigger and manipulate pre-composed audio samples that were created using recordings and both digital and analog synthesizers. This project allows for flexibility and communication that a live instrumentalist wouldn’t have when playing alongside fixed-media. The piece will be performed in the music department’s New Music Concert on May 6 at 7 PM in Evans Hall.

Hannah Plisthin

As a senior art major, Plishtin has merged her honors thesis with her senior project for the Ammerman Center. Originating from an attempt to better understand her own voice, this mixed media exploration focuses on women’s language and communication as a gendered subject. The final installation, consisting of painting and video work, will debut in the Senior Thesis Exhibition on Friday, May 3 in Cummings Art Center.

Dan Shoukimas

For his CAT project, Shoukimas has been developing a collaborative online project with Cambridge-based artist Heddi Siebel. They have named the site “Little Boat Dreams,” and it will be launched sometime within the next month. Shoukimas and Siebel have created the first online social media application written entirely with WebGL, an API that lets WebKit browsers like Google Chrome display interactive 3-D content. The site functions around ideas of curiosity and exploration, and is both a social media experience as well as something more personal: through the collection and sharing of dreams, one can assemble a virtual, online dream journal and share it with the world. In addition, users can use rich search and browsing features to find and collect varied content from around the site and make it their own.