Brown Modern Culture & Media Portfolio
Student Work: An overview of student projects I oversaw at CMU
Reel of Recent Moving Image Work: 2013-21
The exhibit, Ivan Sutherland’s Trojan Cockroach, a multimedia spatial narrative, tells the interwoven story of the development of virtual reality, the origins of computer graphics, and the genesis of walking robots.
The primary protagonist of the exhibit, Ivan Sutherland, is considered the “father” of the field of computer graphics, for developing the world’s first computer drawing program, Sketchpad, as well as an early XR simulation.
The immersive exhibit The Blue Plate (The Machine Stops) is a spatial narrative, connecting three otherwise disparate landmark moments in the history of modern computing media.
An adaptation of a short story from 1909, The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, the story is considered prescient for its prediction of telecommunications and digital technology.
Virtual Newell/Simon Simulation incorporated both computer-generated and analog interactive experiences in a large-scale mixed-reality environment, to engage visitors with the history of artificial intelligence.
A collage of period-specific computing environments- stretching from the 1960s to the 1980s- the space was embedded with augmented reality image triggers and gesture-controlled interactive applications.
Boo Box is a “virtual reality dressing room”. I developed this interactive virtual reality project in order to investigate the way we perform gender in virtual spaces, through the use of real-time clothing simulations. This enabled users to try on realistic fabric simulations in VR, each of which emulated playful gender constructs.
The “virtual hands” of a user’s controllers responded to fabric realistically, depending on stretchiness, starchiness, or other properties of tactility.
As part of a series of workshops in collaboration with Princeton University’s LGBT center during the pandemic, I developed a project, Snap the Drag, to engage students with the complex function of drag culture in LGBTQ+ history, by using augmented reality to experiment with radical forms of self-expression.
During spring break, students were invited to work with visiting speakers and faculty across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, with the aim of providing a safe space for culturally relevant experiments in XR technology.
During COVID, restrictions to the Princeton University Art Gallery meant that physical access to the museum was limited.
While hosted as a visiting Professional Specialist at Princeton University in the Fall of 2020, I worked with an interdisciplinary group of colleagues to develop a Virtual Princeton University Art Gallery, to give students a novel way to experience art the pandemic.
A multipart collaboration between Performing Arts, the Department of Music and Computer Science, Voyage 2 the Moon, was a satirical sequel cinematic reconstruction and deconstruction of Georges Méliès iconic 1902 short film, A Trip to the Moon; arguably the origin of science fiction in film- incorporated a variety of sophisticated computer techniques, in celebration of the film’s historic and innovative technical artistry.
The 1950 film, City of Lost Men is a re-edited and shortened compilation of a twelve-part serial series, originally titled The Lost City. Released as a serial of 12 films starting in 1935, The Lost City is considered to be the first science-fiction serial.
The condensed version of the serial, of which this installation is based, released in the 1980s on VHS, is a chopped up and sewn together mixture of 12 original narratives, condensed into one. I unedited the film, segment by segment, in order to better understand the logic of its cinematic architecture.
Experiments in the Revival of Organisms was an experimental animation and theatrical performance, derived from a 1940 documentary of the same name. The original short documentary demonstrated the research of Russian scientists at the U.S.S.R. Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy. My interest in the film was focused on the film’s portrayal of “science” that was in fact, largely fiction. The film depicts a medical experiment using a living- and later, dead, dog; to demonstrate an experimental procedure of Frankenstein-like proportions.
As part of a series of exhibits for emerging artists at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, titled “Exposures”, I was invited by museum curator Eric Shiner to design an exhibit for the front windows of the museum. I drew inspiration from Warhol’s history to create Andy Warhola’s Living Room, a 3D recreation of Andy Warhol’s “memory” of his childhood home, digitally fabricated and spatially reformatted on the facade of his Museum.
From September 2013 to August 2014, I lived and “performed” my life inside a re-installation of my grandmother’s original New Jersey home. My grandmother had begun to develop signs of Alzheimer’s and was forced to live in a nursing home, abandoning all of her belongings.
As a result, I developed a project- Grandmother's House, a year-long experiment in life, architecture, and technology, at the intersection of set- design, immersive theatre, and the advent of new mediums for reality capture.
For this collaborative performance project, Intergalactic Immigration Station, I directed a technology-engaged social practice intervention, based on the theme of an “intergalactic” version of the US Department of Homeland Security.
This project was selected and sponsored as part of a public arts festival, Open Engagement, founded by artist Jen Delos Reyes, an artist-led initiative committed to expanding the dialogue of socially engaged art. In 2014, the conference held an exhibition of public art projects throughout the city of Pittsburgh, PA.
In the Spring of 2019, I was invited by the Science Museum of Western Virginia to develop a Holo-Booth, a project exploring volumetric capture in a public context, hosted during an exhibit opening held at the museum. Using the contemporary mixed reality headset, the Microsoft Hololens, along with the volumetric capture software Depthkit, I arranged 3D stereo cameras to create a “photo-shoot”-like environment. We were enabled to rapidly capture holograms of visitors to an opening exhibit at the museum, each of whom was prompted to give short, improvisational performances.
As lead creative technologist for a creative research project, Dancing Plants, I collaborated with colleagues across Plant Science, Computer Science and the Performing Arts to study plant movement- the “dance of plants”.
I designed a system for capturing stop-motion media of the growth of pepper plants, afterwards, analyzing the data with computer vision- in order to generate data sonifications resulting in “plant science symphonies”.
To explore the Visual Language of Chromatin, I led the development of a multi-disciplinary team to create an immersive virtual reality exploration of the chromosomes of a fruit fly.
In this collaboration between molecular biologists, computer scientists, entomologists, and visual artists, I integrated the data visualization platform “Visual Molecular Dynamics” (VMD) a software package widely used in structural biology, with the Unity game engine. This enabled researchers to manipulate and explore DNA inside of a 360 physical and virtual environment.
The idea behind the Robot Archive was framed as an experimental museological practice; to create pop-up, site-specific experiences where discussions around the complexity of modern robotics could happen in unconventional contexts.
By engaging audiences of nonspecialists, the esoteric and idiosyncratic marvels of modern robotics were made accessible to a wider public.
Exploring the media archeology of the digital camera as it relates to advances in the field of computer vision, I developed a miniature Computer Vision Museum in conjunction with a series of workshops incorporating computer vision with a fine arts photography course.
As a collaboration with Virginia Tech photography faculty Michael Borowski, a series of workshops offered Fine Arts students a user-friendly introduction to the complexities of computer science; resulting in an exhibit exploring the intersection of computer vision technology and the fine art of photography.
In collaboration with the BUILD research team, a group of faculty-sponsored by the education division of the furniture company, Steelcase, I collaborated on a two year research project to create a dataset about human/environment interactions.
Our team developed an experiment by converting and updating the technology of an otherwise standard classroom into a cutting-edge, active learning laboratory, designed to research the pedagogical function of active learning, from an architectural and design perspective.