Telfair Museums' PULSE Art + Technology Festival returns Jan. 23 to 27 with another packed installment of fun-filled programming for all ages.
This year's offerings include screenings, performances, panel discussions, game development and STEM workshops for youth, a free family day Jan. 26, and over a dozen playable video games in different sizes, shapes and spacial configurations.
Video game retrospective
The central element of this year's PULSE features a retrospective of sorts for acclaimed video game designer Keita Takahashi, whose award-winning game “Katamari Damacy,” was originally published in 2004 for the PlayStation 2.
Takahashi is a fanciful designer of distinctly Japanese-flavored games, but he's had considerable success is the U.S. with his quirky “Katamari" series. You can read more about the various elements of the Takahashi exhibit in my Jan. 17 article at dosavannah.com. Takahashi will also be giving a presentation and talk at 6 p.m. Jan. 23, opening night of PULSE. It will include a multimedia performance by PULSE regulars the Medeology Collective.
'Designing the Future'
Another exciting element of this year's PULSE programming is a partnership presentation by W Projects in collaboration with Vice Media at 6 p.m. Jan. 25, “Designing the Future.” This free event will feature an assortment of interactive components, including 3D printing pens with accompanying 3D printer sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a Gulfstream Aerospace Virtual Reality Flight Deck, and large-scale multimedia projections by artist John Colette, along with a few other surprises.
The night will also include screenings of four short documentary films provided by Vice Media and Seeker Media covering subjects like the creation of the strongest foam in the world, exploring the Global Seed Vault in the Arctic, engineering robotic fish, and investigating the construction of skyscrapers of the future. Each film will be introduced by a local leader in their respective field, including Emily Hilson, a project engineer for Tharpe Engineering Group, and Whitney Holt, a simulation and software engineer for Gulfstream Aerospace.
This year's “Designing the Future” programming builds on the success of last year's PULSE screening of the IMAX-shot film “Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” which was also a partnership with W Projects and highlighted the significance of women in the engineering field, among other important aspects of forward-thinking design projects. “Designing the Future” continues the focus on the importance of engineering and builds on a partnership that brought so much synergy to last year's PULSE.
“It was a great partnership last year,” says Telfair Senior Curator of Education Harry DeLorme, the organizer and creative force behind PULSE. “It was really great and kind of connected us with an audience that hadn't really been involved as much in PULSE in the past. It's a nice intersection of art, technology and design.”
Importance of engineers
Hilson and Holt were also involved in last year's programming and as Hilson explains, the continued focus on engineering is crucial.
“Engineering is everywhere we look,” says Hilson. “Even though many people do not think about the people behind the buildings you live, work and interact in, or the roads you drive on every day. Educating young people on all the possibilities with engineering and related fields is critical, as our world is continuously growing and changing. The demand for creative minds will continue to grow along with it.
“I hope to introduce engineering to young women in particular, because I would like to show them that engineering is for everyone. Our field lacks diversity in the workforce, and that is something in need of change. Good engineering design needs variety; different ways of thinking and life experiences all contribute to problem-solving and innovation for our future.”
As one of the featured speakers, Hilson is hoping to shed some light on the design and architecture of future buildings and also to explain how science, technology, engineering, arts and math contribute to new ways of seeing our own future.
“I will be introducing the documentary short centered around skyscrapers, and buildings in general, of the future being designed and engineered by copying nature” says Hilson. “It will review vertical landscaping and new ways of building structures including CLT or Cross-Laminated Timber.
"My introduction will emphasize the importance of sustainable building in the future in ways that are only now becoming popular, but should become a construction standard. Moreover, I will highlight how STEAM education programs are vital to how we structure the built environment in a sustainable way for generations to come.”
Founder and creative director of W Projects Erin Wessling has been instrumental in bringing the programming for “Designing the Future” to fruition and is quoted as saying, “The creativity required to develop such innovative technologies, which ultimately informs our future, is incredibly inspiring. Bringing together unlikely forces to discuss the possibilities of today and highlight the opportunities of tomorrow for our younger generations is a true passion.”
There's a whole host of PULSE happenings that are listed at Telfair.org.
Kristopher Monroe is a writer documenting the intersection of art and community. Contact him at email@example.com and follow on Twitter @savartscene.
IF YOU GO
What: “Designing the Future”
When: 6 p.m. Jan. 25
Where: Jepson Center, 207 W. York St.