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23.3 Innovation Issue

23.3 Innovation Issue

23.3 Innovation Issue

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This special issue is published with support from an Innovation Generation grant from the Motorola Foundation.

The issue shows how aesthetic, scientific and mathematical configurations can be perceived in everything and experienced in many ways. This full seeing and being is a spark for innovation in art, science, technology, engineering, architecture and mathematics and, more broadly, in education and business... and life!

Circuit Jamming - Artists doing digital media now
By Cinqué Hicks
Cultural theorist Cinqué Hicks surveys the Afro-futurism movement of the mid-1990s and shows how contemporary artists using digital technologies are zooming beyond the mission of that movement. Featured artists are Pamela X, Pamela Jennings and DJ Spooky.

Systematic Play
In this sidebar to the "Circuit Jamming" article, Cinqué Hicks discusses how his childhood fascination for information systems (including those of the early personal computer) led to the use of the grid in his experiments with painted "digital portraits" when he was a practicing artist.

Leah Gilliam at Work at Play
By Toni Wynn
The workspace Gilliam currently inhabits is fertile ground for the nexus of education and technology. She is director of projects at the Institute of Play, and creative director of Mission Lab at Quest2Learn, the gaming literacy-based middle school in NYC. On her own time, she is a conceptual artist producing projects such as Springtime for Mars and Agenda For A Landscape, both based on NASA's 1997 land rover exploration of planet Mars.

The Quantum Mechanical Paintbrush
by Arlene Maclin
Artist Doris Colbert Kennedy probes astrophysics. Her oil-on-canvas painting, World Sheets, gets its title from what theoretical physicists call the paths swept out by the motions of the strings of string theory. Her painting, What are space and time, really, and can we do without them? is named after a quote by theoretical physicist Brian Green, author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos. And her Toward Entropy painting refers to one theory of how the universe will end.

Imagining the Mystery of Dark Matter
by Cherilyn "Liv" Wright
"The Dark Matter Theory concerns the need for the universe to have more mass or matter than is visible in order for it to hold together," says artist Jack White. A self-defined "amateur physicist," White's lifelong interest in physics and cosmology and his desire to work with black pigments and oxidized iron inspired his Dark Matters and Entropy series of paintings.

Dreaming of Flight
Eric Sheppard's interview with John Clark
On February 15, 2011, two men long fascinated by the beauty, power and grace of aerodynamic design and movement discussed these shared interests and their depiction in art. Artist John Clark has won numerous awards from the American Society of Aviation artists. Aerospace engineer Eric Sheppard is dean of the School of Engineering and Technology at Hampton University.

Art, Energy and Invention
By Wayne Dawkins
Parabolic shapes and devices to harness wind and solar energy connect fine art, science and engineering in the work of artist Fredrick Eversley, a former NASA engineer.

Charles Gaines: A Recurring Use of Systems
By Michael Ned Holte
Conceptual artist's Charles Gaines's STEM-related art work includes Greenhouse, an enclosed Plexiglas and wood structure equipped with a grid of colored lights representing pollutants in Los Angeles (connected to a computer, the lights brighten and dim to register actual pollution levels and, at intervals, the structure fills with smog) and Falling Rock (which is connected to computerized timers).

Nature's Transcendent Image ? The Art (and technology) of Self-Realization
By Lori Salmon
In Demetrius Oliver's installations and exhibitions such as Penumbra, Perigee, Jupiter and Mare (Sea), the cosmos and ocean are given new visibility for imagining inner spaces and the unknown.

Minding the STEM
By Jerry Langley
In oil paintings such as Flight into Space, Hayward L. Oubre (1916-2006), expressed his fascination with NASA's first manned missions of the early 1960s. He also employed mathematics to correct a long-standing color theory used by artists. In structuring intricate, figurative sculptures out of wire coat hangers, the scientifically-oriented artist, drew from the kind of skills used in engineering design.

STEM Education from Life
By Michele Y. Washington
A dynamic husband-and-wife team, Ron Eglash and Audrey Bennett, is creating innovative, technology-based projects that merge design, art, computing and social justice. Both work at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Their projects include developing culturally specific design tools for teaching elementary and high school students here and abroad. The children learn math and computing through simulations of cultural practices and artifacts such as cornrow braiding, graffiti and beadwork.

How An Artist-Scientist-Conjurer Thinks, Works & Lives
By Anne Khaminwa
A profile of MIT professor D. Fox Harrell whose work is at the intersection of cognitive science, computer science, and digital media arts. One question underlies and unifies these pursuits. "How," Harrell wonders, "can I take advantage of what computers do well to help us better understand, and improve, the human condition?

Digital Craft, Design and the work of Lawrence Sass
By Carmina Sánchez-Del-Valle
MIT associate professor and architectural designer Lawrence Sass came into architecture and computing from a background in painting and drawing. Aspects of his digitally-fabricated, shot-gun house for post-Katrina New Orleans reflects his friendship with painter Kehinde Wiley. The house was on view at the Museum of Modern Art.

The Architectural "Sculpture" of Digital Modeling
By Anne Khaminwa
As a Ph.D. student in the Architecture Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Derek Ham is studying design computation with a focus on visualizations, computer modeling and animation. These tools are no longer peripheral add-ons to architectural practice; they have become integral to it. He traces his interest in sculptural modeling and architecture to childhood adventures in Nigeria.

The Shape Of Things To Come Futuristic Architecture
By Cliff Hocker
In Henrico County, Virginia, stands "Galaxy," a modernistic house designed by self-trained African American designer, Irving Haggins. When built in 1967, this house was distinctly ahead of its time compared to its semi-rural surroundings in the county's Varina district.

Architectonic Aesthetics
By Mary L. Hultgren
The genius of Hubert Taylor (1937-1991) was to transform architectural data into painted surfaces. Taylor, a licensed architect, also was an exhibiting painter. Taylor's creative genius was to transform architectural data into painted surfaces, edge and contrast and simple primary structures. Taylor's unique focus on the edge of the painted canvas allowed "the image on the surface to project beyond the physical boundaries of the work."

Math into Visual Art into Math into Poetry
by Toni Wynn
This year-long project in New York combined mathematics, visual art and poetry about math. The project continues as it travels to the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida and to Antioch College in Ohio.

Scientivity = Science + Creativity
By Donna Iona Drozda
An art educator on showing students with "science-trained brains" how to use their "artist's eyes" and how she coined the term, "Scientivity."

Making the Grade
STEM-mulating Minds by Teaching Art By Cliff Hocker
Middle-school teacher Richard Ward on how the thinking that drives the art-making process can carry over into building students' confidence and STEM skills. The tiling techniques used for the students' mosaic murals and the metrics used for their painted murals provide hands-on ways to increase STEM proficiency.

An Interplay of Patterns
By Crystal Johnson
An art educator on supporting African American girls and using geometrically-patterned visual art to pave a way for math.

The Marriage of Art and Science
By Clark D. Baker, III
A physician, research scientist and art collector discusses the interface of visual art and sciences through the work of an mixed-media artist Sonia Barnett who addresses the AIDs epidemic; Mohamed Osman, a physician-artist who imaginatively depicts medical themes; Clara Johnson a painter whose abstractions recall physiological processes; and Vandorn Hinnant, an artist whose mandala-like imagery has a mathematical basis.

Origins - Part of How We Got to Now
Copper-Alloy Sculptures and Technology in Ife
By Richard B. Woodward
The metal smelting and casting technologies of the Ife civilization of Nigeria. Magnificent works of art were created from these technologies from the 12th to the 16th centuries. This article provides historical background for the innovative, contemporary art works covered in the issue.

State of the Art Cancer Care
By Naima Gethers
In August 2010, the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) opened its doors and began treating patients. HUPTI is the nation's eighth and largest dedicated proton radiotherapy center. Proton therapy is the most advanced cancer treatments in the world today. Hampton University art student Brittany Adams translated her impressions of this achievement into a detailed, mixed media piece.

Artists featured in issue: Pamela L. Jennings, Sun Ra, Leah Gilliam, Doris Colbert Kennedy, Jack White, Demetrius Oliver, Robert Tomlin, John W. Clark, Hayward Oubre, Frederick Eversley, Charles Gaines, Kehinde Wiley, Larry Sass, D. Fox Harrell, Sonia Barrett, Mohamed Osman, Clara Johnson, Vandorn Hinnant, Donna Drozoda, Richard Ward, Crystal Johnson, John Sims, Hubert C. Taylor, John Biggers