11/16/17 – Mary Sherman, Florian Grond, Hiroshi Ishii

Bits, Sights and Sounds
Mary Sherman, Florian Grond and Hiroshi Ishii

November 16, 2017
Bartos Theater

MIT List Visual Art Center
Followed by a reception

Artist Mary Sherman and researcher Florian Grond have worked together over several years manifesting the conversation between painting and sound. The are joined by MIT Media Lab Tangible Bits director, Hiroshi Ishii to explore the relationship and connection of all our senses and which help us navigate and also find pleasure in our material world.

The Tangible Media Group works to seamlessly couple the dual world 
of bits and atoms by giving dynamic 
physical form to digital information 
and computation.

Florian Grond www.grond.at is an expert in sonic interaction design and data sonification. After receiving his MSc from Karl-Franzens University in Austria, he worked for many years at the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany as a researcher and media artist. Later he continued his research at the Center for Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University in Germany where he received his doctorate with a thesis topic on data sonification. He moved to Montreal in 2011 and held postdoctoral appointments at Concordia (assistive technology, critical disability studies) and McGill University (research-creation in higher order Ambisonics sound field recording and reproduction). He has collaborated on artistic projects with Mary Sherman as well as with blind artist David Johnson. Together with Piet Devos, he recently developed the concept of sonic boundary objects for blind ethnographies. His works have been shown at in solo and group exhibitions in Europe, North America, and Japan. He is currently working in the Biosignal Interaction and Personhood Technology lab with Stefanie Blain-Moraes, where he conducts participatory sonic interaction design for biomusic, a technology for non-communicative patients and their caregivers.

Mary Sherman www.marysherman.org is a visual artist and an adjunct professor at Boston College and  Northeastern University. In 2010, she also served as the interim Associate Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Art, Culture and Technology Program (ACT), was an artist in residence at MIT in Mechanical Engineering (from 2002-2003) and is the founding director of the artist-run, non-profit TransCultural Exchange. An active artist, she proposes to “remove painting from the wall and reinvent it in the realm of space, time, and sound…[which] despite its canny conceptualism… ultimately coalesces into a lush, sensual experience.” (Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe).  Recipient of two Fulbright Senior Specialist Grants (Istanbul; Taipei) and residences at such institutions as CAMAC (France) and the Taipei Artist Village, her works have been shown at Taipei’s Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Seattle’s 9e2 (a 50th anniversary homage to the legendary 9 Evenings), Montreal’s Oboro and  the International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN), Shanghai’s Zendai MoMA, Vienna’s WUK Kunsthalle, Beijing’s Central Conservatory and New York’s Trans Hudson Gallery, among others. Last year, Leonardo Electronic Almanac/MIT Press published a catalog of her work in painting and sound, "What if You Could Hear a Painting?"

Hiroshi Ishii is the Jerome B, Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, at the MIT Media Lab. He joined the MIT Media Lab in October 1995, and founded the Tangible Media Group which he currently directs. Hiroshi’s research focuses upon the design of seamless interfaces between humans, digital information, and the physical environment. His team seeks to change the “painted bits” of GUIs to “tangible bits” by giving physical form to digital information. 
In 2012, he presented the new vision “Radical Atoms” to take a leap beyond “Tangible Bits” by assuming a hypothetical generation of materials that can change form and appearance dynamically, becoming as reconfigurable as pixels on a screen. Ishii and his team have presented their visions of “Tangible Bits” and “Radical Atoms” at a variety of academic, design, and artistic venues including ACM SIGCHI, ACM SIGGRAPH, Industrial Design Society of America, AIGA, Ars Electronica, ICC, Centre Pompidou, and Victoria and Albert Museum, and Milan Design Week, emphasizing that the development of tangible interfaces requires the rigor of both scientific and artistic review. https://tangible.media.mit.edu/projects/

Image: Mary Sherman, Delay (Detail), Central Element: 16’ (adjustable) x 2’ x 2’; 5 speakers: 1’x1’x3” each + spotlight, AC and DC motors, aluminum, oil on wood, microprocessors, circuitry, foam core, transducers, 2012-2014/2015 (remounting/circuitry redesigned to be floor mounted)