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.
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.
This interdisciplinary project brings together New York-based Transmedia artist and theorist, Thenmozhi Soundararajan and two faculty from Ci3’s Transmedia Story Lab, adolescent health researcher and physician, Melissa Gilliam (University of Chicago, Biological Science Division-founder of Ci3), and game designer and scholar, Patrick Jagoda (University of Chicago, 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.
Historian Judith Zeitlin (University of Chicago, 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 that features in Pu Songling’s (1640-1715) masterpiece, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio.
Give It or Leave It
Artist Cauleen Smith and film scholar Robert Bird (University of Chicago, 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.
Bill Brown (University of Chicago, Department of English) and architect Ted Brown embark on a collaboration that seeks to explore theoretical, practical and formal dimensions of re-assemblage. To initiate this collaboration, the Brown brothers will co-teach a course that is both seminar and studio based, working with students from diverse backgrounds of study, and bringing in other working artists to offer their insights on various notions of re-assemblage.
The Archaeological Lens
Anthropologist Shannon Lee Dawdy (University of Chiago) 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.
Framing, Re-framing, and Un-framing Cinema
Digital artists Paul Kaiser and Marc Downie of OpenEndedGroup collaborate with Tom Gunning (University of Chicago, 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.