The End of an Era

The ARC office in September 2013
The ARC office in September 2013

Unfortunately today is my last day in the employ of the Spencer Museum of Art working on the Arts, Research, Collaboration initiative. It has been a very fun ride over the last two years. The image above if from my first day in the ARC office and a lot has changed since then. I have worked with many great colleagues and many great artists, scientists, and technologists. Now it is time for me to get back to being an artist researcher. My wonderful colleague Rebecca Blocksome is off to do residencies at the Pistoletto Foundation and the Banff Centre this autumn. Thanks to everyone who has been involved in ARC over the last two years. ARC will continue on in some form at the Spencer so keep an eye on this space and don’t hesitate to get in touch.

‘Next Steps’ Part Deux

Shannon Criss presenting in the Architecture Forum
Shannon Criss presenting in the Architecture Forum

On July 24th ARC and the Spencer Museum of Art held the second ‘Next Steps’ presentations. Shannon Criss, from Architecture and Environmental Studies, and ARC partner Perry Alexander, from the Information Technology and Telecommunication Center, presented their research practices with an informal meeting of the minds afterwards. It was a really fantastic afternoon and very informative about these two exciting researchers. If you would like to know more about their work please visit the websites below and if you are a KU faculty member and would like to participate in the next event please contact Celka Straughn ( Thanks to Ryan Waggoner for taking the photos.

Shannon Criss

Perry Alexander

Perry Alexander talking about trust and computers
Perry Alexander talking about trust and computers
Steve Goddard, Richard Klocke and Perry Alexander
Steve Goddard, Richard Klocke and Perry Alexander
Architecture students presenting some of the technology in their maker space
Shannon presenting her work.
An image from Shannon’s presentation. We like to collaborate.

Red Hot Research

Water, Energy, Climate

4:00pm Friday, August 28 | The Commons

Red Hot Research is intended to bring together scholars from all disciplines, in response to the call set forth by Bold Aspirations. The format of these sessions is inspired by Pecha Kucha, which features short, slide-based talks that introduce audiences to a topic. Each installment features faculty members, speaking for six minutes each. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers (and each other) during breaks. We hope that through these sessions, faculty members will have a venue for cross-disciplinary partnering and exploration.

Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey, Seismicity and Energy Production
Dorothy Daley, Public Affairs & Administration / Environmental Studies Program, Multilevel Climate Governance & Environmental Performance
Shannon O’Lear, Geography / Environmental Studies Program, Critique of climate science
Phillip Drake, English, Representing Nature in the Echo of Disaster
Greg Ludvigson, Kansas Geological Survey, High Plains Aquifer
Travis Weller, Institute for Policy & Social Research

Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia – Book Launch


Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia

5:30pm Tuesday, May 12 | The Commons

A volume of scholarly essays published this spring by the Spencer Museum and Yale University Press is the first inclusive study of color in East Asia. Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia, a project of the Spencer’s Arts Research Collaboration initiative, comprises groundbreaking scholarship and a stunning array of images. Editor Mary M. Dusenbury, Spencer Museum research curator, will give a brief talk about the development of this interdisciplinary project and sign copies of the book. Dusenbury was awarded a Seed Grant from The Commons in 2010. This event is by invitation only; to learn more about the publication and request an invitation, please email


Thursday 14 May 2015 / 2:30–5pm
The Commons, Spooner Hall
(1340 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS)

Bernd and Hilla Becher: Spring Points, Technical Extensions, Degree Zero – Shepherd Steiner, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the School of Art, University of Manitoba.

Steiner examines the notion of scientific objectivity in the work of German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher.


Hybrid practices in the arts, sciences, and technology from the 1960s to today
Shepherd Steiner, David Cateforis, KU Professor of Art History, and Steven Duval, ARC researcher

Submit questions via Twitter using @SpencerMuseum or #HybridPractices

Both events will be live streamed at

João Fiadeiro, ARC Creative Specialist-in-Residence

ARC’s first Creative Specialist was Portuguese choreographer and researcher João Fiadeiro.  Fiadeiro’s method of “real-time composition” focuses on process rather than product, transforming movement into a theoretical-practical tool and platform to understand and rethink decision, representation, and cooperation, both in art and in life. For the past five years, he has been using this method as a research practice to explore the issues of pre-action, emergency, and decision, thereby broadening its scope to incorporate scientific fields such as anthropology, neurobiology, economics, complex system sciences, and cognitive science. Fiadeiro will do a performance lecture, “The Anatomy of a Decision”, that will explore this method, a transdisciplinary workshop, where faculty are invited to participate in his method and a work-in-progress where he will perform using the real-time composition method in response to the architectural space of The Commons.

“The Anatomy of a Decision”

Performance lecture by João Fiadeiro

Sunday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Lied Center Pavilion

“A Transdisciplinary Exploration of Human Systems”

Friday, Feb. 20, 4–8 p.m. & Saturday, Feb. 21, 9–5 p.m.

The Commons

“A Work-in-progress” w/Q&A after the performance.
Friday, Feb. 27, 4:00pm
The Commons

João describing real-time composition.
João describing real-time composition.
Real-time composing
Real-time composing
The Transdisciplinary Workshop at the Commons
The Transdisciplinary Workshop at the Commons
A Real-time composition workshop performance.
A Real-time composition workshop performance.

Peer Review

SMA & ARC Postdoctoral Researcher, Steven Duval, and SMA Videographer, Ryan Waggoner, made a film for the Hybrid Practices Conference called ‘Peer Review’. The film which was shot in November 2014 and January 2015 is comprised of interviews with Maurice Tuchman, Jane Livingston, Julie Martin, Robert Whitman, Elsa Garmire, and John Pierce. The film explores issues relating to collaborations between artists, technologists, and scientists in the historical projects of E.A.T. and Art & Technology at LACMA. These photos are from both film shoots and show Duval & Waggoner working with various interviewees who were kind enough to offer their time and sometime their homes for filming. Special thanks to Julie Martin who was instrumental in facilitating some of the interviews. The film was generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Filming Robert Whitman in the Hudson River Valley
Filming Robert Whitman in the Hudson River Valley
Steven Duval interviewing Prof. Elsa Garmire in Hanover NH.
Interviewing  Maurice Tuchman in NYC.
Interviewing Maurice Tuchman in NYC.
Interviewing John Pierce in NYC.
Interviewing John Pierce in NYC.

Red Hot Research

red hot research logo

4:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13

The Commons at Spooner Hall

Join us again this afternoon for Red Hot Research, featuring:

Daniel Coburn (Design): Broken Family Album

Magalí Rabasa (Spanish & Portuguese): Copyright/Copyleft

Erik Perrins (Electrical engineering & computer science): Next-generation Wireless Communications

John Kelly (Ecology & evolutionary biology): Variation, Genetics, Environment

Jane Barnette (Theatre): Staging “Blaze, Blood, and Danger”

Jon Lamb (English) will emcee.

Red Hot Research is a series of research sharing sessions that aims to introduce KU researchers to the work of their colleagues, stimulating multidisciplinary inquiry and the formation of new collaborative research teams. The format of Red Hot Research sessions is inspired by Pecha Kucha.