Three Short Animations
Fall 2019: Art 5670/8600: Mechanical Theaters and Toy Orchestras
Professor: Ali Momeni
The paradox of shadows:
"Shadow is all appearance, immateriality, without substance; but at the same time gives a way of avoiding the seduction of surface--often referred to as appearance as opposed to essence."
-William Kentridge, Excerpt from a lecture delivered at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, on the occasion of the exhibition William Kentridge, 20 October 2001-20 January 2002
This class aims to create a collaborative practice based research structure surrounding the history, techniques and critical discourse surrounding automata, mechanical theaters, toy orchestras and shadows. Students and instructore will pursue a literature review whose findings will be shared through in-class presentations and on-line documentation. This research will include past and present-day technologies and aesthetics, as well as the analog and digital means through which the theatrical experience incorporates information.
As the course is intended for students with a primary interest in <em>making</em>, the research methodology will be practice-based and divided into two halves: for the fist half of the semester, students are expected to read, write, research, find, tag, organize, gather. This phase focuses on building a practice in working with mixed media as opposed to creating a finished object/work. In March we will hold mid-term reviewers, where students will lay-out all that they have gathered in their research and get feedback on the materials, directions, aesthetics, references and imagery they have gathered. The 2nd half of the course is dedicated to the creation of a new work.
Since this graduate-level seminar meets only once per week, students are expected to dedicate studio/making-time to this course outside of the class-period. In class studio days will be dedicated to demonstration of and monitored experimentation with the subject matter's instruments and techniques; in-class hours will also be used for group critiques.
Spring 2010: COLA 3950/5950: Art for the People, Art on Wheels
Professor: Ali Momeni
Art for the People/Art on Wheels is a vehicle for familiarizing and engaging students with the Minneapolis Art on Wheels (MAW) project, as well as a way for students to produce and show works of public art.
Minneapolis Art on Wheels is an on-going public arts initiative. We leverage advanced mobile technology to bring socially engaged art and technology into diverse communities. We aim to use the scale and accessibility of our exhibitions to make the Twin Cities an international leader in socially engaged and technologically enhanced creative projects. We are able to produce moving images up to several hundred feet, outdoors, in public spaces. Our emphasis on mobile devices (i.e. cellular phones) and gestural interaction with media (e.g. laser tag, real-time video tracking and gesture recognition) allows a wide audience to interact with mobile media. The project engages students in creative use of technology and materializes this engagement in the form of community outreach and temporary public art.
Ali Momeni UMN Tenure and Promotion index: This page contains an expanding outline to my research, teaching and service contributions to the University of Minnesota as probationary tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Art and the Collaborative Arts Program. Links to detailed descriptions, still, video and audio documentation of projects are included throughout.
This year marked a transitional stage for the Experimental and Media Arts department. Together with my colleagues Lynn Lukkas and Diane Willow, we accomplished the following:
-Official name change from Time and Interactivity to Experimental and Media Arts
Fall 2009: ART 1601: Introduction to Experimental and Media Arts
Professor: Ali Momeni
This introductory course explores the fundamental elements of experimental and media arts in general, and electronic art using digital production tools in particular. Students will explore a personal aesthetic and develop a critical framework for their ideas and work. Theoretical/critical readings, lectures, discussions, presentations of film, video, and new media artists are included.
The course is organized around 4 themes:
The weekly schedule follows this themes in order and allows students to explore combinations of media with increasing facility as the semester proceeds.
1. To introduce students to image/video/sound/performance and their digital production tools as a medium of artistic production with a unique visual, aural, and temporal language.
For more information see the class blog and the course syllabus.
I will be representing the Experimental and Media Arts area of the department of art in the GARC committee for the next two academic years.
Primary agenda items to which I will be contributing are:
Fall 2009: Development of the new Art Department website is underway. As chair of this departmental committee, I am acting as the main organizer and communications agent between the department, CLA-OIT and the CLA Web Team. All coordination of the department's efforts are organized through this website. First draft of text revisions will be gathered by 12/9/09; in the mean-time, I will be working with area heads and staff members to get all necessary content components in place for the CLA Web Team. For more information about tasks and time-line refer to the above website.
Fall 2010: Development site of the Art Department website is now on-line and being regularly revised. In addition to collecting and generating necessary/missing content for the site I am coordinating a larger effort to the departmental site to a much more visual appearance (by consisten attachment of current stills and videos to various site nodes) as well as a more communally maintainable one (by creating areas/roles within the site/staff).
Fall 2009: COLA 3950/5950
Title: Make Anything Talk to Anything: Cross-Media Real-Time Programming with Max/MSP/Jitter
This course is intended for visual artists, musicians, designers, computer scientists, engineers and architects (among others) interested in exploring real-time interactive software applications. Such applications allow translations/interactions among various media; examples include sound to video (e.g. music visualizers), gesture to sound (e.g. the theramin, Wii controllers as musical instruments), gesture to video (e.g. motion tracking for interactive visualizations, interactive architecture), interactive sculptures (e.g. sensor controlled mechanics, robotics, lights, LEDs). The Max/MSP/Jitter new media programming environment will be the primary instrument of the course. Max/MSP/Jitter is a graphical programming environment that provides user interface, timing, communication with electronics, communications with the web, MIDI support, real-time audio and video synthesis and processing. The course will be a rigorous boot-camp for this instrument; after the initial introduction in the first third of the semester, the course will be project-based where each student will develop several independent projects/works/experiments. The course is offered as an upper-level undergraduate/lower-level graduate rank. In-class meeting hours will be similar to those of studio courses in the Art Department, i.e. two three-hour sessions per week. Like other studio courses, much of that time will be spent on supervised individual work. In addition to the 6 weekly in-class hours, students are expected to considerable time outside of class mastering this powerful instrument. Students are encouraged to collaborate with one-another; collaborations with the instructor are also possible. Familiarity and comfort with laptop-based technology is a pre-requirement; this includes experience any of a variety of desktop publishing tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, GoLive, QuickTime, Final Cut) as well as a general sense of interest and curiosity in the creative potentials of the laptop and software platforms. Previous programming experience of any kind is welcomed but not required. Similarly, previous experience with Max/MSP/Jitter is not required but also welcomed.