October 15, 2009

Exhibition Represents Collaboration Between Students and Faculty in Art and Computer Science

Computation, Vision: Emergence will run Oct. 20-Dec. 12 in the Grossman Gallery

The exhibition Computation, Vision: Emergence will run Oct. 20-Dec. 12 in the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery in the Williams Visual Arts Building.

A public reception will be held from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, in the gallery. During the reception, images from the exhibition will be projected on the outside of the building and on the walls of the gallery. Attendees are encouraged to wear white in order to reflect the images. A brown bag presentation, “Deep Patterns and Processes in Nature,” will be held noon Monday, Oct. 19, in the Gendebien Room of Skillman Library.

The artwork in the exhibit represents a collaboration between students and faculty in the art and computer science departments through the Emergent Patterns project. Headed by Ed Kerns, Eugene H. Clapp II ’36 Professor of Art, and Chun Wai Liew, associate professor and head of computer science, the project explored the complex patterns and processes that can emerge in visual structures.

Students from both technical and artistic backgrounds worked with software programs to produce different forms of recurring, natural patterns. These organic structures and patterns were then combined in layers of transparent surfaces. The multiple-layered works will allow the viewer to see the evolutionary track back through the surface to the less complex visual systems from which the final image emerges.

Student participants included Rhodes Baker ’10 (Columbus, Ohio), a computer science major; Imogen Cain ’12 (Perkasie, Pa.), an art major; Long Ho ’10 (Hanoi, Vietnam), a mathematics and computer science double major; Khine Lin ’11 (Yangon, Myanmar), who is pursuing a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering and an A.B. with a major in mathematics; and Scott Lyttle ’10 (Easton, Pa.), an art major.

This project also spawned a yearlong speaker series bringing artists and scientists to campus to talk about techniques for combining technology with the visual arts. The series is made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation through the efforts of Kerns, Liew, and Jim Toia, director of the art department’s Community-Based Teaching program.

Alex Gibney, an Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy award-winning documentary film director, kicked off the series earlier this month. Other speakers will include Stacy Marsella, research associate professor of computer science at University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, Oct. 27-29; sculptor Loren Madsen, Feb. 24-26; and Jonah Lehrer, author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist, April 7-8.

The Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery is located in the Williams Visual Arts Building, 243 North Third Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 1-5 p.m., Saturdays noon-5 p.m., and Sundays of Easton’s First Weekend noon-5 p.m. For more information, contact Michiko Okaya, director of Lafayette art galleries, at (610) 330-5361.

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