Ball State Museum of Art to host family day for popular interactive exhibition

Topic: College of Fine Arts

February 16, 2007

The number of visitors to Ball State's Museum of Art has increased significantly since the opening of "Engaging Technology: A History and Future of Intermedia."

Since the exhibition opened in November 2006, attendance has increased 40 percent compared to the previous year, said Tania Said, the museum's curator of education.

"It is interesting to see how many people visit the exhibition more than once," Said explained. "Students will come in with a class and return later bringing friends."

"Engaging Technology" is a rich collection of inviting and interactive works that show how technology-based art emerged in the 1960s and how it will progress into the future, said Carl Schafer, the museum's associate director.

"The use of technology as artwork is wonderful," Schafer said. "In many cases, the work will react to the viewer, which is very fun."

According to Said, the most popular works are Adam Brown and Andrew Fagg's "Bion," which hangs overhead in the sculpture court, and Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman's "Messa di Voce," which is the exhibition's most interactive piece.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the museum and the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA), one of four immersive learning institutes established by a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Ball State. The institute's centerpiece is a digital studio that immerses students in the production of intermedia art and 3-D animation. Its director, John Fillwalk, served as guest curator for the exhibition.

"Because of the popularity of the exhibition, the museum is planning to work with other departments for future programs," Schafer said.

The exhibition — which is free and open to the public — will be on display through March 11. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The museum will host "Family Day: interACTIVITY," a hands-on workshop highlighting the exhibition beginning at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 25.

Among the highlights, Jessie Allison, an IDIAA research fellow, will demonstrate the technology behind the artworks. In addition, visitors can interact with the technology including:

  • Drawing pictures and having the images interpreted as sound by a computer
  • Creating digital paintings that can be saved and downloaded at home later
  • Exploring video tracking, sensor and other human-to-computer interface technologies

As a grand finale, artists from the College of Fine Arts will perform "Messa di Voce" in the gallery.

"This will have great appeal for students and the community," Said said. "If you have ever wondered how artists create their work, especially the innovative art currently on display, this nuts-and-bolts afternoon is for you."

By Chantel Arsenault and Mardee Roberts

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