GVU Brown Bag, 2022 Research & Engagement Grant Winner: Media Arts Residency Program
Georgia Tech artists-in-residence Whitney & Micah Stansell, Tristan Al-Haddad, William Barrow, Whispers of Night, Rafiana, Doctor Calico, and Adia Davina will do a panel discussion on arts and technology. These artists-in-residence are working at Georgia Tech this spring as part of three distinct residency programs: Media Arts, Library AIR, and PREMIER. The panel will be led by residency program organizers Yanni Loukissas (Media Arts), Catherine Manci (Library AIR), and Noura Howell (PREMIER). The Media Arts and PREMIER residency programs are funded by GVU/IPaT.
About the Artists:
Tristan Al-Haddad is a multi-medium designer and visual artist in addition to previously holding the position of assistant professor in the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech. He leads Atlanta-based Formations Studio. Al-Haddad’s work has been exhibited in venues including the Pompidou Center, The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, The Boston Center for the Arts, The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and The AIA’s Center for Architecture in New York, as well as being published in print sources including the New York Times, Dwell, Metropolis, Art Papers and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Al-Haddad was one of seven recipients of the ARTADIA Artist Award in 2009 in addition to being a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria in Valparaiso, Chile. In 2014 Al-Haddad was selected by the US Department of State to represent the United States at the Colombo Art Biennale in Sri Lanka. He has large scale permanent sculptures located throughout the United States.
Micah and Whitney Stansell’s body of work ranges from fibers, sculpture, painting and drawing to single and multi-channel film and video works, to large public art installations. The work often explores ideas of family history, narrative traditions, and binary relationships that pull from contemporary issues influenced and informed by environment and location.
The Stansells’ work has been reviewed in numerous publications including Art in America, Moviemaker Magazine, FiberARTS Magazine, and the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Exhibiting in galleries, museums, contemporary art centers, and film festivals, the Stansells’ work has been experienced in cities around the world including Beijing, Vienna, New York, and Atlanta.
Recent honors include a Forward Arts Prize, Special Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival, Artadia Award, MOCA Working Artist Project Award, Herradura Art Prize, NMWA 2020 Artist to Watch, and a Student Academy Award Nomination for their graduate thesis film. Their work can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and in Cornell University, and SCAD-Atlanta, Lacoste France, and Hong Kong.
Whispers of Night: Majid Araim, Benjamin Shirley -- Whispers of Night is an ongoing musical collaboration between Majid Araim and Benjamin Shirley, a multi-instrumental duo rooted in the sounds of the South and dedicated to exploration, improvisation, and creative expression. After almost a decade of collaboration and tours across the United States and Europe, the duo honed a sympathetic and dynamic musical bond, persistently seeking to cultivate novel concepts of composition, recording, and presentation in musical practice. Since 2014, Whispers in the Night developed a conception of improvised music nurturing the sound worlds of acoustic instruments such as fiddle, mandolin, cello, banjo, harmonica, drums, and voice, bringing to the fore their resonance and timbres with the elemental feeling of the music traditions of the southern Appalachian region.
Doctor Calico. Here’s what you need to know about Doctor Calico: A child prodigy on piano and drums at four, he played glockenspiel in the orchestra by six. This led to experiments with tape and turntables by age eight, then programming BASIC on a Commodore 64 and analog synthesizers utilizing subtractive synthesis at 10. Calico produced his first catalog by age 15 in a home-built, four-track studio called Soundworks, for which he received the Governor’s Award in Art. He started producing records, then signed a publishing deal for a 300-song catalog by age 18 with MCA.
Calico has produced many major label artists including Organized Noize, Akon, X-Clan, Toni Braxton, and Elephant Man. In addition to being self-taught in more than 100 instruments, he started the award-winning, state grant-funded Renaissance Kids program for College Park schools. Additionally, Calico founded a 60-week residency in 2015 at the Magnolia House in Historic West End Atlanta with Dr. Al-Yasha Williams of Spelman University.
Doctor Calico currently works as a DJ and electronic musician at Underground Atlanta’s arts facility and performs at various venues in the city. Recent accomplishments include going viral as an influencer on Instagram by sharing live musical performances and archival content. He has racked up more than a million views on the self-made platform with no advertising or paid partnerships.
William Barrow. Born in western Kentucky, William Barrow works with oftentimes outdated electronics to convey contemporary concepts through sound and video. He produces videos and electronic sounds as a result of experimentation with children’s toys, audio and video tape machines, and synthesizers, creating interconnected systems of pre-existing and homemade instruments.
Barrow studied at Murray State University, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in video and performance. There he was a manager of the university galleries and the sculpture studio assistant for four years, as well as being the head of 3D printing operations for the Summer Art Workshop. He has worked in collaboration with dancers, electronic and acoustic musicians, and provided live sound for Butoh dance workshops and outdoor yoga classes. Since moving to Atlanta, Barrow has joined the Atlanta Improvisers Orchestra (AIO) and worked closely with experimental performance and event venue No Tomorrow.
Adia Davina is an experimental, independent and multi-disciplinary artist based in Atlanta. Currently she is pursuing an interdisciplinary degree at Georgia State University, as well as engaging in collaborations with the theatre department as a playwright and wardrobe assistant.
Davina has performed in Ghana with Rakaba, a west African dance company, sung in numerous choirs, trained at John Robert Powers and performed, recorded and toured the United States with artist Raury. Her unique vocals can be heard echoing through his hit song, and her first feature, “Gods Whisper.” Her last performance with him was at Coachella 2017. Davina currently works as a stylist and make-up artist and directs, writes and produces music.
Rafiana is a multidisciplinary artist of Puerto Rican and American descent from Atlanta producing works in the performing arts, music, film, and painting. They have shared the stage with Grammy-nominated performers, as well as self-professed “non-performers.”
Rafiana's work focuses on improvisation and the many ways in which that practice collides with elements of form. After graduating from Georgia State, their work became largely based in an abstraction of poetry as it related to the body, the physical world, movement, dance and music.
The most recent live works include large-scale experimental theater pieces in which an orchestra scores movements and actions loosely choreographed with an emphasis on improvisational “moods” created by various elements in each scene.
Rafiana designs many of the aesthetic elements of their theater world, which involves creating costumes, props, object curation, painting, sound design, and lighting. The more recent themes of their work have been rooted in exploitation of the self, exploring variations on the concept of clowning and experiments with abstraction of samples to environments and material played on the midi guitar.