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Saturday, March 19, 2011

DNA of Creativity

We had our annual brainstorming meeting for SDVAN future projects and this one on a combined Art and Science promotion took off like a rocket. Kaz Maslanka stepped forward to construct our DNA of Creativity blog website where all the member of this group can share ideas and get to know each other. The result of all of this is that we have a bumper crop of new links to share and a special blog site for you to visit to see them.

Synergy is the optimum word for this blog and that is no surprise when Naomi Nussbaum (Synergy Art Foundation) suggested we connect with UCSD, which has a developed interdisciplinary program with Art and Science in one building. With the help of Portia la Touche, we had an invitation for a special guided tour of Calit2 at UCSD.

First stop for me was the lecture by Maurizio Seracini (also know as the DiVinci Detective), which was part of the UCSD 50th Celebration and held at the Price Center. Seracini is obviously passionate and sincere about his wish to bring the scientific process to the conservation of art works. He is also creative about his investigations. The story I like the best revealed his Eureka moment while trying to discover if there were hidden murals behind white washed walls in an old Italian building. Nothing was revealed using all his special equipment until he remembered one machine was designed especially to work well though liquid. . A quick spray of the walls with a water mist and all was revealed. Seracini is Adjt Professor, Director, UCSD Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3) which is part of the Jacobs School of Engineering. He has a vision to put UCSD on the international map and has arranged a10 year collaboration at the Italian home of Amerigo Vespucci for student to do oversea studies.

Back to the tour of Calit2 and the exhibition
Synthesis: Processing and Collaboration including Virtual Reality installation for the StarCAVE with special guest Tom DeFanti, Director of Visualization and Senior Research Scientist at Calit2. Trish Stone was our tour Director and is the Gallery Coordinator at Atchinson Hall. Kira Carrillo Corser (pictures above) and Kay Colvin (View Album) both took photos to share. Tom showed us not only the StarCave, a space with motion detecting interaction programs, but also his mobile communication system where multiple computer screens are visible and uploaded wirelessly. Expensive equipment was on view, but we thought less aesthetics than one would have wished.

We hope to invent some way to have a collaboration with UCSD which does not involve visiting the campus. They realize they have a parking problem and their maps are outdated and thus confusing. Even the entrance to the building from the street was through a dark tunnel with no signage. It will be interesting to see if we can help shine some light on them outside of the confines of academia. Time will tell.

I attended the Full Steam Ahead meeting pulled together by Jessica McKimmie of Sneaker Academy at Art Expression Gallery quite soon after that. One of discussion points was the definition of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). We now see this term more clearly as a placeholder for the idea of interdisciplinary combinations of art and science. There is no STEAM organization but STEAM with the added “A” for arts re-enforced the idea that the arts are essential part of recovering our economy. John Eger tackles this subject in his article for the Huffington Post. (Remember his book Arts Education and the Innovation Economy: Ensuring America's Success in the 21st Century now available at Amazon)

Edward Abeyta, director of Student and Client Services at UCSD has a team working to compile a resource called Steam Manifesto similar and complimentary to DNA of Creativity and it is worth checking it out as well.

Now for some interesting statistics on how the Arts in STEM (no “A”) contribute to the economy. Dr. Francis X. Kane is quoted, "Of the two million U.S. Arts jobs requiring significant technology proficiency 10% are architects; 11% are fine artists, art directors and animators, 7% are producers and directors; and 7% are photographers. The products of these disciplines represent 6.4% of the U.S. economy and over $126 billion annually in revenue from foreign trade." In this same article he mentions TEAM-STEM. Read the whole article on the SteamManifesto site:

Our next DNA of creativity meeting is Tuesday April 12 from 10 am to noon. We have just learned of a very promising potential funder for this project, so please let us know if you want to attend.

PATRICIA FRISCHER, author of "The Artist and the Art of Marketing" has lectured extensively on marketing for artists. She is a trainer of artists’ agents, art dealers, consultant and collectors. Frischer has taken on the roles of gallerist, curator, writer, teacher, website coordinator and artist. Her many metamorphoses make her difficult to fit into any of the usual art world categories. She is a founding member and coordinator of the San Diego Visual Arts Network, ( ) which funds the SD Art Prize, directory and events calendar and SmART Collector features. Her own artwork ( ) has been shown internationally.

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