Pop Up Media Lab Launched

The Pop Up Media Lab has been installed in the former slide room!  This is an experiment in creating a space for technology exploration through new media and interactive art installations.  Inspired by an article on the transformative possibilities of temporary improvements, we decided to see what could be done to program the slide room as a creative nexus of interdisciplinary collaboration (along the lines of the MIT Media Lab).

planning group meets
Students and faculty discuss plans for the lab.

We have had enthusiastic response to the idea from faculty and students alike, and have begun by simply opening the space every afternoon and one evening a week for students to work and study (thanks to extra student workers from LITS). At the same time, the student workers in the lab have begun to develop new media projects that take some computer vision programs (courtesy of Audrey Lee-St. John) and apply them to the creation of artwork.

Emil Evans creates vinyl cutouts of Mary Lyon to decorate the space.

The lab has also hosted interdisciplinary conversations among faculty, including discussions between Joe Smith and Lisa Ballesteros about a first year seminar in Computer Science dealing with robotics and art.  And just this week, students in Digital Art are installing vinyl artwork in the windows that will further transform the space.  Our amazing students are really driving this forward, and continue to impress me with their ability and enthusiasm.

Tatiana Ginsberg with Vinyl Project
Tatiana Ginsberg (right) prepares her artwork for installation in the greenhouse next door.

If this experiment is successful, I think we’ll see more interdisciplinary collaborations, a portfolio of interesting projects, and student workers gaining great experience.

“I’m very excited about the possibilities that the pop-up media lab will bring to the MHC community. Nick has already facilitated brainstorming sessions that have sparked ideas for creative new projects, such as iPad apps with the Art Museum and architecture department, and I feel like we’re only scratching the surface.” – Audrey Lee-St. John, Computer Science

“The lab will hopefully encourage more cross-pollination between all the disciplines in the Art Building and bring in the possibility for more interaction with computer science. We have many students who are interested in the intersection of art and technology, and we’d like to encourage the computer science majors to collaborate with students in the arts.” – Tatiana Ginsberg, Studio Art

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