Dartmouth’s DAX Week Celebrates Creativity

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Screenings of student computer animation and a 24-hour “Make-A-Thon” competition are just two of the featured events in Dartmouth’s second annual Digital Arts Exhibition (DAX) from May 6 through 12.

DAX poster

The DAX week kicks off with FABrication Labs (FAB Labs) in the Hopkins Center Garage (formerly the Studio Art drawing studios), which will be held from noon to 11 p.m. on May 6, 7, 8, and 10. Spearheaded by Spencer Topel, assistant professor of music, the FAB Lab motto is “make something!” Students will assist visitors in learning to make animated videos, digital musical instruments, and other creative projects.

“This is an opportunity to really see the potential for an interdisciplinary art-technology space within the Hopkins Center, and so far, the response from different schools, departments, and faculty is outstanding,” says Topel. “Through events such as DAX and others around campus, Dartmouth is poised to become a leader in a growing national trend in universities and education towards a holistic integration of research and practice in science, technology, and art.”

The week-long arts series will be highlighted by an exhibit of student work in the Black Family Visual Arts Center on May 9 from 7 to 10 p.m. Visitors to the DAX exhibition will have the opportunity to play games, listen to digital music installations, demo new technologies, virtually paint on the walls, and watch two film screenings.

The 7:30 p.m. screening in Loew Auditorium features student computer animation, while at 9 p.m. a short, live-action movie created with digital technology will be screened.

“We are thrilled to highlight student work in the rich and varying realm of work we call ‘digital arts,’” says Lorie Loeb, director of the Digital Arts program. “The quality of work is mind-boggling and the excitement across campus is palpable. Everyone wants to see what the students have come up with and what they can make and learn in the FAB Lab.”

Loeb notes that a special FAB Lab day for elementary through high school students will be held on Tuesday, May 7, with programs geared toward third- through eighth-graders from 3 to 5 p.m. and for high school students from 5 to 9 p.m.

The week culminates in a 24-hour “Make-A-Thon,” a competition to create projects using a mix of art and technology starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.  Dartmouth students are encouraged to take part in the “Make-A-Thon,” and high school students are also welcome to participate. Winners will be awarded cash prizes of up to $1,000 or an X-Box 360.

The DAX exhibition showcase, Fab Labs, and “Make-A-Thon” are free and open to the public.

DAX was developed out of a collaboration involving several academic departments, including Digital Arts, Digital Musics, Computer Science, Studio Art, Theater, Digital Humanities, Film and Media Studies, and Thayer School of Engineering. The project is supported by the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost, as part of Dartmouth’s Year of the Arts. DAX is also funded by the Neukom Institute, Microsoft, The Arts and Sciences Deans, Computer Science, Digital Musics, Film and Media Studies, and Digital Arts.

Year of the Arts logo

Dartmouth has long been a leader in integrating the arts into the collegiate experience, from the establishment of one of the nation’s first campus-based performing arts centers to the commissioning of new work and promotion of artist-in-residence programs on campus. Dartmouth is reaffirming and deepening its commitment to the arts throughout the 2012-13 academic year through a yearlong series of special programs, events, and initiatives that highlights the centrality of the arts as an indispensable component of its educational experience.

Major initiatives include the opening of the Black Family Visual Arts Center, the 50th anniversary of the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the initiation of an expansion project at the Hood Museum of Art, as well as a series of programs exploring the intersections between the arts and other disciplines. Together these initiatives reflect and celebrate both the university’s historic commitment to the arts and its role as a model for the artistic campus of the 21st century. The public art initiative of the Year of the Arts at Dartmouth is made possible in part by the generous support of the Offices of the President and the Provost. For more information, please visit arts.dartmouth.edu.