‘Humanizing the Digital:’ Symposium to Explore Intersection of Art + Tech

The event, April 20-21 in TWU's Visual Arts Building, will feature two digital art exhibits, discussions, and workshops.

digital fabrication

Artists, researchers, makers, and students will gather in April on the Texas Woman’s University campus in Denton for the 2018 North Texas Digital Fabrication Symposium.

The event, April 20-21 in the Visual Arts Building, will feature two digital art exhibits hosted by the university’s Department of Visual Arts, as well discussions on digital fabricaiton in practice, theory, and curation.

“… in many ways digital fabrication technology is reconnecting us with our humanity, rather than leading us away from it as some have feared in the past.” 

Colby Parsons

The exhibits will showcase artworks depicting the ways in which new technologies are “reconnecting society with humanity,” according to a release.

“The theme of this year’s symposium ‘Humanizing the Digital’ is meant to capture a trend emerging in the field, which is that in many ways digital fabrication technology is reconnecting us with our humanity, rather than leading us away from it as some have feared in the past,” Colby Parsons, associate professor in TWU’s Department of Visual Arts and co-leader of the organizaing committee, wrote in an email to Dallas Innovates.

Julie Libersat, assistant professor of studio art at TWU, also is helping organize the event.

This is the third year for the symposium, but the first year for TWU to serve as host, Parsons said.

ART EXHIBITS TO FEATURE WORK FROM PRESENTERS, STUDENTS

The “Humanizing the Digital” exhibition will be on display March 31-April 22 in the university’s East|West Galleries in the Visual Arts Building. An opening reception will be from 5-7 p.m. March 31.

The exhibition will include works by some of the artists and presenters from the symposium, and will represent a variety of practices and viewpoints within digital fabrication, according to TWU.

A juried exhibition of student artwork will be held during the symposium, and will be on display both days in the Project Space in the Visual Arts Building basement. 

Called the “(Non)Standard Exhibition,” it will highlight undergraduate and graduate student art that uses digital fabrication technologies. The displayed pieces will include “handmade elements and/or explore an aesthetic of imperfection or failure.”

WORKSHOPS TO OFFER HANDS-ON DIGITAL FABRICATION EXPERIENCE

The symposium will include panel discussions organized around three subthemes — embodiment and technology; adaptation and play; and process and practice.

digital fabrication

Logo: NTDF

Also, six workshops will provide participants with hands-on experience using digital fabrication tools.

The event is put on by the North Texas Digital Fabrication Group created by James Thurman, associate professor at the University of North Texas. The inter-university group gathers regional faculty, staff, and students to meet and share information about digital fabrication.

Membership in the group comes from UNT, TWU, Texas Christian University, and the University of Texas at Dallas.

Information on symposium registration, additional details, and a calendar of upcoming events, can be found here.

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