From Art School to IBM
On February 7 the official blog of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) sat down for an interview with Director of SAIC’s Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration Pamela Jennings to discuss the state of the art-science community. Highlighting Jennings’s multidisciplinary focus, the NEA describes her as “equal parts artist, engineer, and researcher.” Jennings discusses her unusual path to success, “from art school to IBM,” noting her contributions to innovative projects like the CONSTRUCTS toolkit, a wireless sensor network system for mixed-reality applications, and the organization of the first joint NEA/NSF art and science workshops in 2010. “My focus on hybrid practice has been the nexus of art, design, and engineering,” she explains. Currently, Jennings is an influential member on the steering committee of the Network for Science, Engineering, Arts & Design (SEAD), and simultaneously implementing an intellectual property policy at SAIC. “It’s an interesting opportunity and dilemma when the borders between the arts and business acumen intersect. This is perhaps the next great chasm to wrestle to the ground,” she says.