Digital Reflections

This week’s blog is from Harry DeLorme, the Telfair Museums’ wizard of cool, curator of education AND founder of PULSE, the art & tech event that gets rave reviews every year (i.e. don’t miss it!). Read on as Harry sets the stage for this year’s PULSE happenings. FYI – – The Creative Coast’s blogspot is Savannah’s sounding board for local thinkers, innovators, wanderers and wonderers. Guest bloggers share their thoughts, opinions and creative noodling from all over the map…


January is a time for looking back and looking forward. January also means the PULSE Art + Technology Festival is rolling into Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center (January 27-31) with a heady mix of interactive art exhibitions, performances, workshops and lectures by international and local creatives. This year, Telfair celebrates some major milestones. It’s the 10th anniversary of both the Jepson Center and the PULSE Festival. Not surprisingly, a key theme at the museum in 2016 is “reflections.” Rather than looking back on cool things past however, PULSE will reflect current work and future-looking projects.   PULSE2The interactive art in the 2016 PULSE exhibition I’ll Be Your Mirror will both reflect your image and provide opportunity for reflection. The exhibition includes two of artist Daniel Rozin’s acclaimed mechanical mirrors, each one a tour de force of interaction design. Videos of Rozin’s mirrors spread across the web like wildfire on sites like Wired and The Creators Project every time a new one is exhibited. Fans take note: Rozin will be in Savannah to lecture at the Jepson on January 29. Standing in front of Rozin’s Trash Mirror No. 3 you’ll see a low-resolution image of yourself created from 500 individually-motorized pieces of trash. Rozin’s ingenious design allows us to literally see ourselves in the objects we throw away. Acclaimed artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s work, Level of Confidence, prompts reflection and empathy as it tries in vain to match your face, via software, to the 43 missing Mexican college students who were kidnapped in Iguala. The artist has made this work freely available to galleries and museums to install to call attention to the incident. In a more lighthearted vein, Los Angeles-based artist Nova Jiang’s Ideogenetic Machine offers you a creative role, incorporating your image and pose into the projected panels of a generative hand-drawn comic book. Another PULSE installation, by Danish musicians and artists Louise Foo and Martha Skou, allows you to exercise your musical creativity by “playing” a visual score with an iPhone or iPad. As a curator I’m interested in bringing great artists like these to Savannah but I am just as interested in celebrating work created locally, collaborating with local organizations, and providing learning opportunities for local educators, students an families. This year PULSE includes two lively interactive art works by current and former SCAD students studying Physical Computing with Professor Josephine Leong. The projects riff on famous works of art and are a lot of fun to boot. PULSE collaborators Art Rise Savannah are hard at work on a PULSE tie-in exhibition at Non Fiction Gallery and the 2nd International GIF Festival (the first installment was a hit at PULSE 2015). Local musicians will perform opening night January 27, during the GIF Festival on January 28 and afterwards offsite at Jelinek Studios, where Jeffrey Tosh is curating a program of sound art. On Friday night January 29, in addition the Rozin lecture, the local Medeology Collective teams up with Sculptor Andrew Scott to create a selfie-themed interactive installation called Prismatica. PULSE11Even the headlining musical artist this year has ties to Savannah. Roberto Lange, aka Helado Negro, graduated from SCAD with a degree in Computer Art back in 2004. He’s appeared in Savannah since, first at Savannah Stopover then at deFINE Art and his star continues to rise. In addition to well-reviewed musical releases, he’s collaborated with the likes of Sufjan Stevens and performed at major concert venues and major art museums, including the Perez Art Museum, Miami, Mass MoCA and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, to name a few. Lange will be accompanied onstage by elaborately-costumed dancers that the artist calls “tinsel mammals” for what should be a beautiful show at the Jepson. Perhaps the most exciting part of it all for me however is the opportunity to see work by young people in Savannah using technology creatively. The PULSE Family Day will highlight projects by local makers and students. How wonderful to think that we are exhibiting video games designed by students at the STEM Academy, virtual reality projects from St. Andrews School, and wearable technology by young women from local high schools in Armstrong’s FashTech project. Looking back on 10 years of PULSE and the state of creative work in our community, I am truly inspired to see these art and technology projects emerging from public and private schools in Savannah. More than anything, these creative young people have me looking forward to what’s next. See the full PULSE Schedule and get your PULSE Pass here. Harry]]>

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