- Arts & Culture
Arts & Culture Conference
The University of North Dakota Arts and Culture Conference
The Arts and Culture Conference began in 2011 as an interdisciplinary initiative at the University of North Dakota in an effort to facilitate a campus and community conversation about the arts in contemporary public life. The conference brings together a diverse group of individuals involved in varied forms of cultural production to discuss the similarities and differences of their creative works from the perspective of a common theme. The Arts and Culture Conference brings various artists into connection with each other in an effort to bring the community into connection with the arts. The conference strives to involve the University of North Dakota community as well as the Greater Grand Forks area and the public at large to ensure that our awareness of and connection to the arts remains vibrant and meaningful.
To ensure as many points of access to the Arts and Culture conversation, the conference fosters interdisciplinary modes of participation and inquiry from across the Arts and Sciences. To advance the educational mission of the University of North Dakota, the conference connects the events of the conference to as many different classrooms as possible, supplementing the learning experiences of hundreds of students each year. To ensure that the conversation sustains itself beyond the week of the events, the conference includes creative activities that enrich the community in lasting ways, enabling students and the public to maintain an attention to the role the arts play in creating and critiquing contemporary culture.
Binary Inventions: Arts and Culture in the Digital Age
Digital technologies radically expand the possibilities of contemporary life. However, at the heart of our complex and diverse technologic communities lies the simple truth of digital life: the either/or logic of binary code. The 2012 UND Arts and Culture Conference focuses on the ways in which contemporary public life is enriched by a multitude of creative activities and channels for human expression. At the same time, the conference hopes to draw attention to the powerful, and sometimes overlooked, influence digital technologies have on the choices we make when we create cultural objects and express our sense of self and community.
The 2012 UND Arts and Culture Conference includes a series of public events that showcase the relationship between the arts and contemporary public life. At the center of the conference is, Binary Inventions, an exhibition of a print portfolio made exclusively for the Binary Inventions conference. Housed at the Third Street Gallery in downtown Grand Forks, the exhibition invited 13 artists to digitally create a print that represents our contemporary digital condition. This year's conference will also include showcases of digital creativity at the Empire Arts Center, including a recital focused on the integration of digital technologies and classical musical performance and a screening and discussion of mixed-media animations. In addition to artistic performances, the conference includes a series of talks and presentations by individuals working in various fields of digital cultural production, including artists and journalists, all of whom will sit down together for a panel discussion on the relationship between the arts and culture in a digital age.
In an effort to demonstrate the expansive modes of digital creativity in contemporary life, Binary Inventions has invited a variety of creative individuals to the University of North Dakota and the Grand Forks area to talk about their processes, perform and present their digital works, and converse with each other and the community about the relationship between the arts and culture in a digital age. The conference's participants are Erik Beehn, formerly of Los Angeles' Gemni G.E.L. fine art publishing house; Andy Ihnatko, columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and Macworld; Keith Kirchoff, pianist and electro-acoustic composer, Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, the animation team that is Tiny Inventions; and Greg Wyshynski, editor of Yahoo! Sports' hockey blog Puck Daddy. Thanks to the participation of these visiting artists, the conference provides a broad array of perspectives on digital creation and digital culture.
The conference would not be possible without the support of the Department of Art and Design, the Communication Program, UND Collections, and the Department of Music. The conference exists thanks to the generous support of the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Myers Foundation, and the North Dakota Council on the Arts.