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Historical: Bell Labs and the Arts…

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ARTS IN MULTIMEDIA, a project of The Multimedia Communications Research Laboratory at Bell Labs

During my tenure at Bell Labs (1996 – 2000) I started an official Artist-in-Residence Program, The
Arts in Multimedia (AIM) project.

It was a joint effort (1998 -2000) between Lucent and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and provided artists access to the latest multimedia and networking technology and to scientists at Bell Labs, Lucent’s research and development arm.

AIM teamed artists with researchers and research technology developed by Bell Laboratories. The intent was for this collaboration to create a new model for non-traditional partnerships within the flexible framework typical of Bell Labs research projects.

These collaborations represented a unique opportunity for both artists and researchers to explore and to jointly pursue aspects of new media technology that advance their ideas. Researchers and artists gained a fresh perspective as they worked together. Both bring to the table an understanding of technology; together they explored how it can be used to further their efforts in art and in science.

Projects Funded:

Ear to the Ground

Bell Labs statistician Mark Hansen of the Statistics and Data Mining Research Department and audio artist Ben Rubin of EAR Studio plan to make audible the complex, dynamic stream of information that records
our movements on the Internet. The project will create new technologies for the transformation of information into sound. They hope to create “listening posts” – places or Web sites where people can listen to the pulse of global information systems.

Exploration of Virtual Space

  • Bell Labs multimedia communications researcher Jakub Segen, audio scientist Nicolas Tsingos, and digital artist Paul Kaiser are exploring the creation of a dark multi-dimensional space. As viewers tour thevirtual space, they will interact and mingle with a variety of technological forces. These may include passing figures from videofeeds, a barely perceptible hand manipulating the scene, the introduction of abstract objects in visual space, and changes in the tempo and pitch of music in acoustic space.

Robotic Cameras and Voice Recognition Creating a New Reality

  • Bell Labs researcher Dan Lee and developer Kit August team up with artist John Jesurun to explore the use of robotic or smart cameras with actors to create a new form of dramatic presentation. Using and interacting with technology will lead to a better understanding of the components necessary to create a virtual scene.

History of Bell Labs Innovations…
Bell Labs has a rich heritage and involvement in and affecting the arts. Here is a very short list that demonstrates the Bell Labs innovations of the twentieth century.

Written by marahrosenberg

27 January 2009 at 12:13 am

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