Top 10 coolest moments from the Arts and Tech Symposium

Artists, musicians, technology specialists and researchers from all over the world gathered at Connecticut College Feb. 27- March 1 to share new ideas and explore the endless possibilities of the fusion of art and technology.

Here are our top 10 favorite moments from the 14th biennial Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology symposium:


Eye can see you

Composer and violinist Mark Zaki, assistant professor of music at Rutgers University-Camden, performs his piece “no one can hear you dream” for voice, violin, video and live electronics. We think it is eye-catching.


Prima Donnamaton

Soprano Melissa Mino and a robot share the stage for the performance of “Galatea Reset” by Maurice Wright, the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Music Composition at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. The piece comprises two excerpts from a lyric music-theater work written for robots and human performers. Who doesn’t love a singing R2-D2?


Blue man (no group)

Abderrahmán Anzaldua performs the violin for the piece titled "Greed" by Christopher Biggs, assistant professor of digital composition at Western Michigan University. This stunning performance left us wanting more.


Shopping cart symphony

Visitors to the symposium exhibit at the Hygienic Art Galleries in downtown New London use a hand crank to play “Industrial Opus,” a kinetic sculpture built onto a shopping cart. The piece is a collaborative project from the George Mason University School of Art Experimental Lab.


Dance with me, myself and I

Using custom software and Microsoft Kinect, artist Catherine Siller traverses the boundary between space and screen in a duet with her virtual self. The piece, "Not Not 0.1," investigates the relationships between digital mediated language, the body and identity.


Electric jam

Composer-improvisers Thomas Ciufo, assistant professor of music at Towson University, and Curtis Bahn, associate professor of music composition and interactive performance at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, perform “Sonic Constructions,” an interactive electronic music performance for computer-extended instruments. That’s a lot of cords.


Please turn your cellphone on

Combining technology new and old, composers Keith Kirchoff and Christopher Jette create a real-time symphony. While one performer relates the real-time events via a series of tweets on a manual typewriter, the other reflects upon the same events via long-form essay on a smartphone. Audience members follow along on their own cellphones. #chronicled. (#ThatsActuallyTheTitle.)


In control

Media artist Butch Rovan, a professor of music and chair of the Department of Music at Brown University, uses a custom wireless music controller and video footage of South African dancer Ami Shulman to bring to life the ideas of Henri Bergson, whose meditations on time, matter and memory offer a philosophical framework of the multimedia experience. The piece is titled, "of the survival of images." 


Pondering positions

New media artist João Beira and musician Yago De Quay use an EEG headset and a depth sensor to create the coolest meditation experience we have ever seen. Their work, “BioMediation,” merges the tangible physical world with the emotional dimension. 


Orchestrated magic

Dozens of musicians positioned in front of laptops in countries all around the world perform together — live — under the direction of conductor Roger B. Dannenberg, a professor of computer science, art and music at Carnegie Mellon University. Dannenberg leads the Global Network Orchestra musicians using scrolling graphical scores, similar to those used in Guitar Hero. Besides being an unprecedented musical feat, the event proves once and for all that video games (or at least their technology) do have a purpose. Take that, Mom. 


March 6, 2014