The Gray Center’s signature initiative is the Andrew Mellon Collaborative Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship program, designed to foster intensive and experimental collaborations between artists and scholars.
Professor Steven Rings (Department of Music) and composer / percussionist Glenn Kotche aim to rethink the three musical categories of voice, groove, and song, considering them at once as a fused, holistic group, and as parameters amenable to strategic separation and recombination.
University of Chicago historian and professor Judith Zeitlin (Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations), and Beijing based composer Yao Chen collaboratively undertake the creation of an opera, with Yao composing the music, and Zeitlin writing the libretto. Entitled Ghost Village, the opera will be based on a ghost story of the same name that features in Pu Songling’s (1640-1715) masterpiece, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio.
Give It or Leave It
Artist Cauleen Smith (California Institute of the Arts) and Film Scholar Robert Bird (UChicago Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Department of Cinema Media Studies) endeavor to unpack the revolutionary potential of filmic images. This project began with their work together on the Smart Museum's exhibition Revolution Every Day (September 17, 2017 - January 28, 2018), and will continue to develop through various forms, including their co-taught fall 2018 course.
The Whispering Campaign
Curator Dieter Roelstraete and artist and professor Pope.L (University of Chicago) expand upon their collaboration at documenta 14 where Pope.L first presented his Whispering Campaign project (Roelstraete was a documenta 14 curator). Continuing to evolve as a Gray Center Mellon Collaborative Fellowship, Whispering Campaign has also included sponsored tours and conversations at documenta 14 with University of Chicago staff, students and faculty, the exhibtion Brown People are the Wrens of the Parking Lot at Logan Center Gallery, and a co-taught course for Winter Quarter 2018 entitled Art and Knowledge.
The Archaeological Lens
Anthropologist Shannon Lee Dawdy and filmmaker Daniel Zox embark on a project whose subject matter concerns rapidly changing death practices in the US, particularly as regards disposition of the body and the creation of memorial objects. The aesthetic challenge is to use the moving picture medium with an archaeological eye as they explore how film might be used as a means to excavate the contemporary – creating visual field notes of material practices.
This interdisciplinary project brings together New York-based Transmedia artist and theorist Thenmozhi Soundararajan and two faculty from Ci3’s Transmedia Story Lab, Melissa Gilliam (adolescent health researcher and physician, Biological Science Division-founder of Ci3), and Patrick Jagoda (game designer and scholar, English & new media studies) as they explore significant social, cultural, and political issues that will impact possible human futures through a series of experimental and interactive digital narratives.
Framing, Re-framing, and Un-framing Cinema
Digital artists Paul Kaiser and Marc Downie of OpenEndedGroup collaborate with Tom Gunning (Art History and Cinema & Media Studies) on a project that seeks to study and intervene in the current redefinition of the moving image as it shifts from the frame of classical cinema to the immersive framelessness and interactivity of virtual reality.