Ellen Sandor (MFA 1975, HON 2014) and (art)n, Chris Kemp, Chris Day, and Ben Carney, Mies-en-scène: The Farnsworth House, 2009, digital PHSCologram


Celebrating Women in New Media Arts

Friday, March 18, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

This one-day symposium will provide a reflective context to examine the achievements of women in the field of media art and emerging technologies from the 1980s onward. The event celebrates the forthcoming book from the University of Illinois Press, Women in New Media Arts: Perspectives on Innovative Collaboration, edited by Donna Cox, Janine Fron, and Ellen Sandor.

Symposium participants include Tiffany Holmes, Dean of Undergraduate Studies and book contributor; Lisa Wainwright, Dean of Faculty; Ellen Sandor (MFA 1975, HON 2014), book editor and contributor; Donna Cox, book editor and contributor; Janine Fron, book editor and contributor; Elissa Tenny, SAIC Provost; Barbara Sykes (MFA 1981), book contributor; Dana Plepys (BFA 1981), book contributor; Abina Manning, book contributor, Director of the Video Data Bank; Carolina Cruz-Neira, book contributor; Margaret Dolinsky, book contributor; Lucy Petrovich, book contributor; Jon Cates, SAIC faculty; Brenda Laurel, book contributor; Jane Veeder (MFA 1977), book contributor; Copper Giloth, book contributor and former SAIC faculty; Stephanie Rothenberg (MFA 2003); David Getsy, SAIC faculty; Snow Fu (MFA 2014), SAIC faculty; Claudia Hart, book contributor and SAIC faculty; Lee Blalock (MFA 2011), SAIC faculty; Marlena Novak, SAIC faculty; Sabrina Raaf (MFA 1999); Maxine Brown, book contributor; Christina Gomez, SAIC faculty; Faith Wilding, former SAIC faculty; Terri Kapsalis, SAIC faculty; Jessica Westbrook, SAIC faculty; Kirsten Leenaars, SAIC faculty; and Lynn Tomaszewski, SAIC Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Symposium schedule

Francis Halzen


Conversations on
Art and Science:
2015–2016 Brinson Lecture:
"Ice Fishing for Neutrinos"

Tuesday, February 9, 6:00 p.m.
MacLean Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Admission is free and open to the public. No pre-registration, space limited. Doors open 5:30 p.m.

IceCube is a strange telescope which looks down rather then up. It is located at the South Pole and it is BIG (a cubic kilometer) with eighty-six holes over 1.5 miles deep melted into the Antarctic icecap. IceCube recently discovered a flux of neutrinos reaching us from deep in the cosmos, with energies more than a million times greater than those humans can produce in accelerators. These energetic neutrinos are astronomical messengers from some of the most violent processes in the universe including: starbursts, giant black holes gobbling up stars in the heart of quasars and gamma-ray bursts, the biggest explosions since the Big Bang. We will explore the IceCube telescope, its recent scientific results, and working at the South Pole.

Francis Halzen, 2015–2016 Brinson Lecturer—Francis Halzen is a theoretical physicist who works at the interface of particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. He is the Principal Investigator for IceCube, the world's largest neutrino detector, the Director of the Institute for Elementary Particle Physics, and the Hilldale and Gregory Breit Distinguished Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Among his recent honours are the 2015 Balzan Prize, the European Physical Society Prize for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology in 2015; the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Physical Sciences in 2014; the Physics World Breakthrough of the Year Award for making the first observation of cosmic neutrinos; and the International Hemholtz Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This event is made possible by a generous gift from the Brinson Foundation to the University of Chicago.

Scott Kildall, Data Crystals: Crime Incidents in San Francisco, 3D print

Conversations on
Art and Science:
Scott Kildall

Monday, October 26, 4:30 p.m.
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave., 1st floor

Scott Kildall (MFA 2006) is an interdisciplinary artist who writes algorithms that transform various datasets into 3D sculptures and installations. The resulting artworks often invite public participation through direct interaction. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the New York Hall of Science, Transmediale, the Venice Biennale and the San Jose Museum of Art. He has received fellowships, awards and residencies from organizations including Impakt Works, Autodesk, Recology San Francisco, Turbulence.org, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, Kala Art Institute, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Kildall received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Brown University in Political Philosophy.


Conversations on Art and Science:
George Lucas

Wednesday, April 15, 6:00 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr.

This lecture is not open to the public; only SAIC students, faculty, and staff with school ID may attend.

Filmmaker George Lucas's devotion to timeless storytelling and cutting-edge innovation has resulted in some of the most successful and beloved films of all time, including the Star Wars saga and the Indiana Jones franchise, while also pioneering new digital standards for sophistication in film visuals and sound and inspiring generations of young people to follow their imagination and dreams. Lucas serves on the board of the Film Foundation and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts Advisory Board, and he will build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, emphasizing American illustrative, digital, cinematic, and animation art as an avenue for the exploration of the great storytelling history, populist works, and artistic innovation of the past 150 years.

Conversations on Art and Science:
Bioart, Ecoart and the Spaces In-Between

Friday, March 27, 4:15 p.m.
The MacLean Center Screening Room, 112 S. Michigan Ave., room 1307

Visiting artist Kathy High and SAIC professors Eduardo Kac and Andy Yang will discuss their work at the intersection of art and biology in a panel discussion moderated by Heather Dewey-Hagborg. High's work pursues queer and feminist inquiries into areas of bioscience, science fiction, and animal studies, and she will present on her creative work in the field of biological art. Kac will discuss his work, Natural History of the Enigma, which centers on a genetically engineered flower that is a hybrid of the artist and a petunia. This new flower expresses Kac's DNA exclusively in its red veins. Yang explores the interweaving ecologies of the natural, cultural, and biohistorical. Dewey-Hagborg is known for her provocative interventions examining biotechnology and privacy.

Presented by Conversations on Art and Science and Bioart Colloquium.

Eugenia Cheng: SAIC Scientist-in-Residence
Deep Structures: Seeking the Essence of Mathematics

Tuesday, March 10, 4:30 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician and pianist who is currently on sabbatical from her tenured position at the University of Sheffield, UK. Cheng is a strong believer in bringing math to a wider audience and breaking down stereotypes surrounding mathematics. She was an early pioneer of mathematics on YouTube, and her short math videos have now been viewed more than 800,000 times. Her media work includes television and radio interviews with the BBC, Sky New, ABC (Australia), and CBC (Canada). Her first popular math book How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics will be published by Basic Books in 2015.


Wilson Hall, the iconic high-rise building at the heart of the Fermilab grounds
Wilson Hall, the iconic high-rise building at the heart of the Fermilab grounds

Colliding Art and Science:
Particle physics and architecture at Fermilab and common research methods in art practice

Tuesday, February 24, 4:30 p.m.
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave.

Artist Meghan Moe Beitiks (MFA 2013), physicist Sam Zeller, and docent Anne Mary Teichert will discuss neutrino research at Fermilab, America’s premier particle physics laboratory, and common methods of research in art and science. Beitiks's exhibition Observations of Final States in Interactions (WaterSteet Studios, Batavia, IL) challenges the conventional division of visceral art practices and rational scientific study by finding a shared subject in neutrinos research at Fermilab. Teichert will discuss the founding director of Fermilab, Robert Wilson, the physicist and sculptor who designed the iconic building and embedded the science campus with a sensibility only visionary artists could provide. Zeller will discuss the deep implications of neutrino research and what physicists use to answer questions about how the universe began.

Quentin Metsys, The Money Changer and His Wife, 1514
Quentin Metsys, The Money Changer and His Wife, 1514

Conversations on
Art and Science:
Mary S. Morgan: Narrative Configuring in the Social Sciences

Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 12:00–1:00 p.m.
MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave., room 608

Mary S. Morgan is a Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics in the Department of Economic History at the London School of Economics. She is the foremost authority on the history of modeling and visualizing factual data. Her book The World in the Model (2012) follows from her already influential work on how facts travel. She has recently held a British Academy/Wolfson Research Professorship for "Re-Thinking Case Studies Across the Social Sciences." Social science case studies juxtapose their disparate materials to form puzzles to be resolved in ways that parallel those used by artists of the early modern period to create "thinking pictures" (such as "emblems"). Both communities create possibilities for narrative not just out of critical turning points in storied time, but by processes of configuring: framing, reflecting, and the use of conceptual materials.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism.

Henrik Håkansson, installation view A Forest Divided, Lunds Konsthall, Lund, 2012. Photo: Terje Östling.
Courtesy of the Artist, Galleria Franco Noero, Torino, and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow
Henrik Håkansson, installation view A Forest Divided, Lunds Konsthall, Lund, 2012. Photo: Terje Östling.

Conversations on
Art and Science:
Henrik Håkansson: An Introduction

Tuesday, October 28, 2104, 6:00 p.m.
SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr.

Swedish artist Henrik Håkansson is a naturalist who has repositioned his fascination with nature into the art world, over time becoming an accomplished amateur expert. Focusing on the minutiae of nature, but often presented on a grand scale, his projects combine the interests of a biologist, ethnologist, and artist, recalling the 19th-century explorers who documented the natural and cultural riches of then little-known lands and unknown environments. Håkansson's recent exhibitions include Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden; MIMA Sound Space, Middlesbrough, UK; and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. He was included in the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014), Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan (2011), São Paulo Biennial (2003), and 50th Venice Biennale (2003).

Presented in collaboration with SAIC's Visiting Artists Program.

Anna Von Mertens, Midnight until the first sighting of land, October 12, 1492, six miles off the coast of current day San Salvador Island, Bahamas (detail), 
2006, hand-stitched cotton, 41" x 97.5",
courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Photo: Don Tuttle

Conversations on
Art and Science:
Anna Von Mertens

Thursday, August 28, 2014, 12:00 p.m.
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave.

Anna Von Mertens translates data from odd avenues of knowledge on to textiles with stitching to define time intervals around low points in American history, such as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, and the bombing of Baghdad. Her translations are mapped out with the aid of a computer program and then hand-stitched to become celestial time-lapsed tapestries that are sized in wide-screen dimensions. Each piece accurately reproduces the rotation of the stars and planets as they would have been viewed from earth at the location and time of a particular event. Von Mertens received a United States Artists Simon Fellowship in 2010 and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award in 2007.

Image: Anna Von Mertens, Midnight until the first sighting of land, October 12, 1492, six miles off the coast of current day San Salvador Island, Bahamas (detail), 2006, hand-stitched cotton, 41" x 97.5", courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Photo: Don Tuttle

Conversations on Art and Science:
Multiverse: Facts, Fictions, and Fantasies

Thursday, August 28, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave.

SAIC's Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration presents an evening of cosmology in collaboration with COSMO 2014 and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. The "multiverse" theory posits that our universe is but one of an enormous number of separate and distinct universes. Artist Anna Von Mertens will discuss her textile compositions that use computer programs to accurately map out the rotation of the stars and planets; SAIC Professor Kathryn Schaffer will discuss projects and insights that bring together cutting-edge cosmological science and art and design students; and Julie R. Amrany and scientist Emil Martinec will discuss their collaborative work based on black holes. University of Chicago's Michael S. Turner will moderate a provocative discussion on the multiverse with panelists: Raphael Bousso, a theoretical physicist at University of California, Berkeley, Eva Silverstein, a MacArthur Fellow at Stanford University, Jeff Harvey, a string theorist at the University of Chicago, 2014 Kavli Prize winner Andrei Linde from Stanford University, and Rocky Kolb, Dean of Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Sheelagh Carpendale

Conversations on
Art and Science:
Sheelagh Carpendale:
In the science world with an arts background

Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 4:15–5:45 p.m.
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave., 1st floor

Sheelagh Carpendale is a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Calgary where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Information Visualization and NSERC/AITF/SMART Technologies Industrial Research Chair in Interactive Technologies. Her research on information visualization, large interactive displays, and new media draws on her dual background in Computer Science (BSc. and Ph.D. Simon Fraser University) and Visual Arts (Sheridan College, School of Design and Emily Carr, College of Art). She has received an ASTech Innovations in Technology award; and the CHCCS Achievement Award for her substantial contributions to the fields of computer graphics, visualization, or human-computer interaction, among other awards. She leads the Innovations in Visualization (InnoVis) research group and initiated the interdisciplinary graduate programs in Computational Media Design. She is an internationally renowned leader in both information visualization and multi-touch tabletop interaction.

InnoVis Research

Tyler Schnoebelen

Conversations on
Art and Science:
Tyler Schnoebelen: Expression and Social Media

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 4:15–5:45 p.m.
MacLean Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd floor

You choose the lecture:
Emotion or Gender Identity in Social Media

This talk will be focused on either emotion OR gender identity. Vote by tweeting @TSchnoebelen.

Tyler Schnoebelen is currently the Chief Analyst at Idibon in San Francisco. Schnoebelen finds the patterns in data that make it meaningful. At Idibon he writes one of the most followed blogs on computational linguistics, which beyond considering the weirdest languages or looking at historical trends in linguistics, addresses pivotal questions like, Corporation name or Burning Man camp?". He has 10 years of experience in UX design/research in Silicon Valley and a PhD from Stanford. His work there included experimental psycholinguistics, fieldwork on endangered languages, and a dissertation on emotion (he got his BA at Yale studying playwriting and poetry). His insights on social media have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, and NPR.

Stephanie Rothenberg, The Secret of Eternal Levitation, 2012Stephanie Rothenberg, The Secret of Eternal Levitation, 2012

Conversations on
Art and Science:
Making the Invisible Visible:
Stephanie Rothenberg

Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 4:15–5:45 p.m.
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave., 1st floor

Stephanie Rothenberg's artistic practice engages performance, installation, print, and digital media to create provocative interactions that expose the power dynamics within technological utopias. Moving between offline and online worlds, the real and the virtual, her artworks map the impact of new technologies on cultural identity, the workplace, and our natural environments. Rothenberg has exhibited internationally in venues such as the Sundance Film Festival, MASS MoCA, LABoral Art Center, Transmediale, Zer01 Biennial, New York Hall of Science, and the Whitney Museum's artport. She is a recipient of numerous awards, most recently from the Harpo Foundation and Creative Capital and has participated in residencies at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center and Free103 Wave Farm, among others. Her work has been widely reviewed, including Artforum, Artnet, Brooklyn Rail, and Hyperallergic. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Studies at SUNY Buffalo where she teaches courses in design and emerging practices.

David Gondek

Tricksters of Big Data:
Artificial Intelligence or Intelligent Artifice?
With Dr. David Gondek

MacLean Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 4:30 p.m.

Between digitization and prestidigitation, an appreciation of the cognitive mechanisms underlying human perception and reasoning can be used as valuable inspiration for Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers to construct intelligent systems—or instead, can be used as magicians' devices to persuade audiences of their legerdemain.

David Gondek, SAIC's first-ever visiting Scientist-in-Residence will attempt to untease into which camp Artificial Intelligence falls by exploring the science behind its recent advancements, the scientific and media portrayals of notable human-machine matchups such as computer chess and Jeopardy!, and more recent attempts to predict the imminent dissemination of intelligent machines into other domains. Along the way he will discuss how to peel back the curtain to understand and assess AI technologies such as Knowledge Representation, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing which underlie many of the cutting-edge systems in use today; revisit the recent history of human-machine misunderstandings; and look forward to what the future might hold for progressively intelligent computer systems and the world that we will increasingly share.

David Gondek is the first Scientist-in-Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At IBM Research, he led the Watson Game Strategy and Knowledge Capture and Learning groups for the IBM Jeopardy! Challenge, which saw a computer system defeat grand champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on the nationally televised quiz show in 2011. For this victory the project received the distinction of winning both the AAAI Feigenbaum Prize for advancements in experimental Artificial Intelligence as well as the first Webby "Person of the Year" Award granted to a computer system. Following Watson's victory, Gondek served as Technical Lead for IBM Research's adaptation of Watson to the medical domain before leaving IBM in 2013. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brown University.

This event is open to the general public.

Read an interview with Gondek here.

Conversations on Art and Science:
Felice Frankel

Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 4:15 p.m.
The Leroy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave.

Science photographer Felice Frankel is a research scientist in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Frankel has published her images in more than 200 journal articles and/or covers and various other publications for general audiences, such as National Geographic, Nature, Science, Newsweek, Scientific American, Discover, and New Scientist.

She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received awards and grants from the National Science Foundation,  National Endowment for the Arts,  Alfred P. Sloan Foundation,  Guggenheim Foundation,  Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation,  Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, among others. Frankel was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award at Brooklyn College, CUNY and the Lennart Nilsson Award for Scientific Photography.

The Monster at the Heart of the Milky Way:
A public science lecture by astrophysicist Andrea Ghez

Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
MacLean Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Andrea Ghez, Professor of Physics & Astronomy who holds the Lauren B. Leichtman & Arthur E. Levine Chair in Astrophysics, is one of the world's leading experts in observational astrophysics and heads UCLA's Galactic Center Group. By studying the motions of stars, Ghez provides the best evidence that supermassive black holes exist, challenging our knowledge of fundamental physics and suggesting that most, if not all, galaxies harbor such objects at their cores. Her work has also shown that the environment near a central supermassive black hole looks nothing like what was expected. In the near future, she hopes to test Einstein's theory of relativity, as well as theories of galaxy formation and evolution confronting time-honored hypotheses.

Ghez earned her BS in Physics from MIT in 1987, and her PhD from Caltech in 1992 and has been on the faculty at UCLA since 1994. She has received numerous honors and awards including the Crafoord Prize in Astronomy (she is the first woman to receive a Crafoord Prize in any field), MacArthur Fellowship, and election to the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Her work can be found in many public outlets, including TED, NOVA's Monster of the Milky Way, Discovery's Swallowed by a Black Hole, and Griffith Observatory.

For more information see the UCLA Galactic Center Group website.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Liberal Arts, Deans' Office, University of Chicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the Brinson Foundation.

Conversations on Art and Science:
Ariane Koek

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 4:15–5:45 p.m.
The Leroy Neiman Center
37 S. Wabash Ave., 1st floor

Ariane Koek leads International Arts at CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory, based outside Geneva, Switzerland. She created and initiated the laboratory's first arts policy, Great Arts for Great Science, as well as the policy's flagship program, the annual Collide@CERN artists' residency program.

Prix Ars Electronica Collide@CERN is the new international competition for digital artists to win a residency at CERN. It is the first prize to be announced as part of the new Collide@CERN artists' residency program initiated by the laboratory. This new prize marks a three-year science/arts cultural partnership and creative collaboration between CERN and Ars Electronica, which began with CERN's cooperation with Origin, the Ars Electronica Festival, in 2011.

Prior to CERN, Koek was CEO of the Arvon Foundation for Creative Writing, which ran 120 writers' residencies per year in four different locations. She has had an award-winning career as a BBC producer and director in both radio and television, working across arts, science, and politics. In 2009 she was award the Clore Fellowship. As part of the award she initiated coming to CERN, and has been there ever since.

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child

Artists/Designers/Entrepreneurs: Is Art School the New Business School?
Professor Nicholas Negroponte

Friday, March 8, 2013, 3:00 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Please join us for a lecture by Nicholas Negroponte, exploring entrepreneurialism in art and design.

Nicholas Negroponte is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT and Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Media Lab. He is is also the founder and chairman of the non-profit, One Laptop per Child. He co-founded, and was director of the MIT Media Lab and the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Technology. A graduate of MIT, Negroponte was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided design, and has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1966.

For more information, please contact Allison Green at 312.899.5136.

Channel Two Adam Trowbridge and Jessica Westbrook

Adam Trowbridge and Jessica Westbrook, as Channel TWo (CH2) mixed.up(realities)

October 16, 2012
4:15–5:15 p.m.

SAIC Contemporary Practices faculty Adam Trowbridge and Jessica Westbrook have been collaborating since 1990. CH2 focuses on mixed reality, media, research, design, development, and distribution... authorized formats + unauthorized ideas... systems of control + radical togetherness. CH2 was awarded a Rhizome Commission in 2012, a Turbulence Commission in 2011, and a Terminal Commission in 2010.

Image courtesy of Dr. Sidney Nagel


Illumination: Designer James Carpenter and Physicist Sidney Nagel in conversation

Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Please join us for an interdisciplinary conversation between architect James Carpenter and physicist Sidney Nagel, exploring the role of light in their work.  

James Carpenter is the recipient of numerous awards including the National Environmental Design Award from the Smithsonian Institution and the AIA’s Honor Award as well as a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He is founder and principal of the firm James Carpenter Design Associates in New York.

Sidney Nagel is the Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor in the Physics Department and the James Franck and Enrico Fermi Institutes at The University of Chicago.

For more information, please contact Allison Green at 312.899.5136.

Image: courtesy of Dr. Sidney Nagel

Institute of Breaking: Innovator Henry King and Physicists Heinrich Jaeger and Wendy Zhang discuss themes of "breaking" in their own investigations.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 1:00–3:00 p.m.
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave., 1st floor

This event is part of a two-day series of talks presented by the Institute of Breaking, an interdisciplinary collaboration between SAIC and the James Franck Institute and the College at the University of Chicago, bringing together voices from art, design, and science to explore new modes of artistic and scientific production and inquiry around this common theme.

Henry King is an independent innovation consultant and is currently a part-time SAIC faculty member. Heinrich Jaeger is an experimental physicist, professor, and director of the Chicago Materials Research Center. Wendy Zhang is a theoretical physicist and Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the James Franck Institute and the College at the University of Chicago.

About the Speakers

Henry King: A Break from Tradition: From Stores to Flows

From store logic to flow sense: we are seeking a break in how we think about the world. For the last 10,000 years, we have made stores of animals, plants, ideas, money, people, water, and other potential resources in order to maximize their usefulness to us. Now is the time for a different approach.

Henry King is an independent innovation consultant, using the methods and tools of innovation and IT to help organizations and regions achieve their transformation goals. His client list includes organizations of all types and sizes in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the former Soviet Union. He is currently helping a commercial, nonprofit, and educational consortium design a new model for health and wellbeing in rural Appalachia. He is also helping design new school models in the United States and in the Middle East.

Henry King is a part-time faculty member and design council member of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he teaches in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects and engages with students and interdisciplinary faculty in the areas of innovation, design, and creativity. King studied Classics at Oxford University. He has written on innovation themes in Businessweek and Fast Co. Design.

Dr. Heinrich Jaeger: Breaking Granular Fluids

What if the molecules in a liquid were 100,000 times larger than normal? This unfamiliar world of ultralow surface tension can be realized in fluids comprising seemingly simple granular material, for example, in jets of fine dry sand or in freely flowing powder streams. Jaeger discusses recent experiments where he and his team use high-speed video and computer simulations to track how granular fluids evolve and eventually break apart into droplets.

Heinrich Jaeger is an experimental physicist whose current research focuses on investigations of self-assembled nanoparticle structures, the rheology of dense suspensions, and on studies of the packing and flow of granular materials. He received his PhD in physics in 1987 and has been on the faculty at the University of Chicago since 1991, directing the Chicago Materials Research Center from 2001–06, and the James Franck Institute from 2007–10.

Dr. Wendy Zhang: What is the sound of a glacier breaking?

During the summer, glaciers in Greenland, which flow into the ocean, shorten in length by calving icebergs from their seaward edges. Icebergs that are long and narrow slabs capsize as they calve. Each capsize releases an enormous amount of energy into the surrounding environment. It also gives rise to long-period seismic waves detectable over the entire earth.

At present we do not understand how the energy released by an iceberg capsizing is subsequently partitioned among processes such as mixing of the stratified ocean water, compression of the ice mélange, or generation of small-scale tsunami waves; nor do we know to what degree the seismic signals can be decoded to give specific physical information about the condition of the glacier. Wendy Zhange will describe ongoing efforts to address these questions using tabletop experiments and models of idealized capsizes.

Zhang is a theoretical physicist interested in fluid flows, solid motions, as well as the nonlinear interactions between these two kinds of movements. She has studied how the singular dynamics of liquid drops near pinch-off can be organized toward a universal form by scaling while simultaneously also disorganized by instabilities. Other works explore the aftermath of singular forcings by analyzing how granular streams and liquid drops respond after impact. She received her PhD from Harvard in 2001 and joined the faculty at the University of Chicago after a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at University of Chicago and at University of Texas-Austin. She is currently is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, the James Franck Institute, and the College at the University of Chicago.

Lectures continue on Wednesday, October 3 at University of Chicago as part of the Computation in Science Lecture Series in the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, room 206 at the corner of 57th Street and Ellis Avenue. 12:30–1:30 p.m. with discussion following.

October 3 speakers include:

Alan Rhodes: Breaking & Barriers: Between the Virtual and the Real

Dan Price: Title TBD

Dr. Sidney Nagel: Topological Transitions and Singularities in Fluids:  The Life and Death of a Drop

Shane Mecklenburger

Here + Now Dean's Lecture Series:
Shane Mecklenburger (MFA 2009): The End & Beginning of Everything

September 11, 2012, 4:15– 5:15 p.m.

SAIC alumnus Shane Mecklenburger (MFA 2009) collaborates with systems of value, transaction and conflict by making diamonds, 'weaponizing' paint, turning love into money and repurposing shooter games. He is an Assistant Professor of Art at The Ohio State University.