One highlight of this year’s ArtLab event will be 10 minutes “laser talks” presented by a selected group of Vanderbilt individuals outlined below. These talks will showcase the process of using lights, lasers, and lenses through film, performances, digital art, photography, and microscopy.
Jonathan Rattner has found his specialization in informative film which promotes viewer interaction with the medium. A graduate of the University of Iowa and the NYU Tisch School for the Arts, his films – often an innovative collage of anachronistic and found footage – have been screened at numerous events including the Ann Arbor Film Festival and several academic institutions in the US and Europe. Jonathan is a current assistant professor in the department of Cinema and Media Arts at Vanderbilt.
Musician and multidisciplinary artist Alejandro Acierto endeavors to link the world of artistic expression to the corporeal self. On the side of music, his critically-acclaimed cross-cultural performances range from classical to experimental; he has often paired these musical interests with the visual arts, highlighting the realities and often ill-formed conceptions of immigrants and those underrepresented. Throughout international success, Alejandro remains a passionate educator, particularly in the field of new media, earning his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and serving as Mellon Assistant Professor of Digital Art and New Media here at Vanderbilt.
True to form of an ArtLab contributor, Jacob Steenwyk‘s interests both academic and personal are quite diverse. As part of the Rokas Lab at Vanderbilt, he specializes in investigating microbiology through utilizing a computer science background to model species phylogeny. Jacob is also a strong proponent of local science outreach, but outside of academia, his pursuits include serving in diversity committees, songwriting and digital music production, poetry, and graphic art – such as the algorithmically-based digital pieces which he has on display at ArtLab.
For native Nashvillian John Warren, the 16mm film camera has never gone out of style. By utilizing a technology which many others elect to pass by in conjunction with digital post-production means, his works function as a nexus between history his more contemporary subjects. The process of capturing film he describes as a revelatory process, a discovery of an inner emotion with melds with the subject of his lens. His work has been exhibited at countless festivals and fine arts museums both near and abroad, also receiving an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission. John is currently a professor of Video Art at Vanderbilt, in addition to performing outreach with local high schools and non-profit organizations.
Bryan Millis, a sort of microscope guru on campus, can be found day to day assisting students through the Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR) core. Bryan is a member of the Cell and Developmental Biology department and carries out his own research as well as helping other scientists attain a high level of microscopy. He also gives lectures to graduate students about the inner-workings of microscopes, lasers, and light paths. Recently, Bryan built a lattice light sheet microscope from scratch which is currently undergoing testing before being incorporated into the CISR lineup.