April 25: 'Images, Objects, Data'

Annual symposium connecting research in the visual arts, sciences is launched

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9:39 a.m., March 26, 2014--The University of Delaware Department of Art History and the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab) are teaming to present an annual public symposium featuring innovative research that joins the visual arts and science disciplines.

The first Art and Science: Connections and Intersections program, to be held on Friday, April 25, is devoted to the “Interpretation of Images, Objects, and Data.”

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The program has been shaped to be valuable to alumni and professionals engaged in arts, business, science and technology.  

“Today’s world demands that to be successful, the ability to work with, and relate to, others across disciplinary boundaries is critical and becoming more so as rate of change and the need for creativity and innovation are continually increasing,” a program representative said.

The goals of the symposium are to inform guests about the important interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research that blends seemingly disparate fields of inquiry and to offer opportunities for attendees to network and translate acquired information into their own fields.

Bill Luzier, Thorpe Moeckel and Carol Nigro, UD alumni and long-time volunteers with ties to the business and arts communities, are assisting in the organization of the program.

According to Moeckel, “This symposium will be of interest not only to a general audience, but also to a variety of professionals who will come away with ideas that can be integrated into their own workplace. We are thinking of this program as an ongoing opportunity to bring our alumni, supporters, and local non-profit and business leaders closer to cutting-edge academic research and to demonstrate how it might be relevant to them.”

This year’s theme was chosen to expose the operations of visual literacy. Opening the program will be Dabney Hailey of Hailey Consulting in Boston, who will lead guests in a Visual Thinking Strategies workshop.

Hailey currently is working with the Harvard Business School, Boston-based tech firms and Brandeis scientists to adapt this interpretive technique to business worlds.

Case studies offered by Maura Flannery, professor of biology at St. John’s University; Charles Little, a senior curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Abigail Quandt, a UD alumna and senior conservator at the Walters Art Museum; and two student researchers, Kristin de Ghetaldi and Elizabeth Diker, will demonstrate how information gleaned from images, objects, and data is extracted and turned into knowledge.

Completing the program is keynote speaker Barbara Maria Stafford, an art historian who is professor emerita at the University of Chicago and currently Distinguished Visiting University Professor at the George Institute of Technology. Her groundbreaking work is creating a new meta-field that bridges the humanities-neuroscience divide.

Stafford is interested in how complex works of art help viewers cognize, confer reality, or have knowledge of what lies before one’s eyes.

John Jungck, professor and director of ISE Lab, and Lawrence Nees, professor and chair of the Department of Art History, have joined forces to execute key principles of UD’s Path to Prominence.

Nees explained, “The Art and Science symposium signals our commitment to interdisciplinary research; engagement in the most compelling social, cultural, artistic, and scientific ideas that are being investigated in academia; outreach to alumni; and partnerships with the community.”

He added, “We enthusiastically invite all UD alumni, friends, and constituents to join us on April 25 and discover where interdisciplinary research in the visual arts and sciences is leading.”

The symposium is a collaboration among the Department of Art History, ISE Lab and the Friends of Art History with additional funding from the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the UD Alumni Association, Carol Nigro and Charles Isaacs, and the Department of Art Conservation.

Tickets are $50 per person, $20 for UD students. Capacity is limited and early registration is advised. Registration information and details about the program can be found at this website.

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