One State Together in the Arts, a biennial multidisciplinary conference organized by Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council, features just ten presenters who offer innovative and inspirational insights into the arts. Held June 24-25 in the Quad Cities, the meeting focuses this time on the intersection of arts and the community. Jennifer Monson, a professor with Dance at Illinois, will explore her creative process for BIRD BRAIN, iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir, and the Mahomet Aquifer Project, three extensive collaborations that joined dance with scientific investigations and community involvement. Monson will discuss how taking dance out into the natural world and inviting the public to engage has encouraged experimentation, urban environmental research, and a greater understanding of the role of humans on our planet. These projects ultimately led to the formation of iLAND, a laboratory for innovation in dance, science, and collaboration.
Updated June 21, 2013
The atmosphere at your workplace really may disrupt your sleep. Mohamed Boubekri, an associate professor in the School of Architecture, served as a principal investigator on a study of exposure to daylight during the workday and sleep quality. A total of seventy-one campus office workers—forty-nine who had windowless spaces and twenty-two who could see daylight—completed questionnaires on sleep quality and quality of life. A smaller group also received testing for light exposure, physical activity, and sleep-wake patterns. Along with researchers at Northwestern University, the Hwa-Hsia Institute of Technology in Taiwan, and Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, Boubekri found that workers in offices with windows slept 47 more minutes per night, were more active, and had better sleep overall when they were compared with their window-free counterparts. The researchers hypothesize that office designs emphasizing windows and with improvements in lighting could positively affect office workers’ mental and physical states. Results of the study were presented at SLEEP 2013, a conference for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine focused on both research and clinical practices.
June 6, 2013
The Alma Mater may be offsite for this year’s graduates, but that doesn’t mean they have to skip the classic photo op. Students from the School of Art and Design constructed some Alma stand-ins who will be glad to pose for candid shots. Associate Professor Melissa Pokorny led the group of five graduate students—Sara Alsum-Wassenaar, Ben Hatcher, Alex Schutz, Scott Vanidestine, and Xinran Yuan—and five undergraduate students—Ben Barber, Dylan Gifford, Katie Maubach, Ali Sunseri, and Sean Tierny—in creating the six-foot plaster versions. Look for these surrogate Alma Mater statues on the Quad, at Assembly Hall for the university-wide ceremony, on the north side of campus, at the School of Art and Design, and at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.
May 11, 2013
Jennifer Monson of Dance at Illinois will be celebrated at the Movement Research Gala on May 13. The artistic director of iLAND (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance), Monson is best known for her nature-centered project BIRD BRAIN, which took dancers along pathways traveled by gray whales and birds in site-specific performances influenced by their locations and supported by scientific data. Movement Research serves as a laboratory for exploration and experimentation in movement-based art forms while capturing the diversity of artists and audiences. Each year, choreographers, dancers, and other motion-centered innovators are recognized for their contributions. Previous honorees include Meredith Monk, Yvonne Rainer, and Molly Davies.
May 6, 2013
New York Live Arts, a theatre space for novel experimentation in movement arts, hosted a program of dances featuring Boom! by Cythia Oliver on April 25-27. In this duet, Oliver challenges stereotypes, rules of behavior, and notions of self as she and Leslie Cuyjet crawl, crouch, argue, and slip between molten movement and comedic conversation. Brian Seibert of the New York Times notes that “their self-mockery was winning from the start and thereafter.”
May 6, 2013