Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Kristin Stransky
#85: Kristin Stransky
There's a new kind of alchemy happening in the art world, a creative compound where art and science merge. At the University of Denver, it's called Emergent Digital Practices, and Kristin Stransky, who teaches there, is at the forefront of the movement, making stuff that wouldn't have been possible ten years ago, using up-to-the-minute materials and technological tools. What do things look like on the frontier of digital art? Find out by reading Stransky's 100CC questionnaire.
If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
I would collaborate with Radia Perlman. Her contributions to the Internet, educational robotics tools and other aspects of technology would be an incredible experience. If I could bend space-time and add another to the mix, it would be Lady Ada Lovelace. I would like to hear how Radia and Lady Ada's experiences as women in science have impacted their lives.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Leah Buechley and Limor Fried are very interesting right now. They are both engineers who have developed various systems and components of electronics. They are both successful in different spheres: Leah in education and Limor in business. However, they overlap significantly, and I think that is where interesting things happen within our cultural output. They have both made electronics and engineering accessible to many and all who are interested. They also come up with novel methods and projects to make the technology relevant to more people.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
Cutting eyes out on collages.
What's your day job?
I am an adjunct professor at the University of Denver in the Emergent Digital Practices program, a freelance designer/developer and artist.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
First thing I would do is purchase an incredible studio facility with workshops for metal, fabric, digital fabrication and woodworking. I would host workshops and demos for the community and focus on the interests of young women and girls at the intersection of art and tech. I would construct massive and tech-heavy art pieces as well as explore new ways of creating with technology. I would also complete development on a learning and fabrication system that I have been working on and bring it to market, where it might be a valuable tool for helping spur young women's interest in technology.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
More funding opportunities and more galleries open to showing interactive and digital pieces, even if only for a week at a time. Denver has a great digital-art community and pushing that even further would be ideal. Also, more opportunities for the emerging artist might encourage more risk-taking in the arts. Continuing funding and spaces for demonstrations and workshops in digital media would also help expose more people to the technology that can be used for creative pursuits.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I have many, but here are just a few:
Christopher Coleman and Laleh Mehran. They continuously develop and deliver engaging and complex pieces.
Kelly Monico, particularly for "Bitches n' Hoes," which is currently shown at Monkey Town and was at BMOCA.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
This summer, I am going to help teach at Blue Stamp Engineering in New York City. It is a program that is offered in the Denver area this year and uses a project-based approach to getting young adults interested in engineering. This would allow me to recruit and hopefully inspire an interest in engineering and technology among young people.
I am going to be working on another interactive exhibition that is going to riff off of the show currently up at Plus Gallery. I am continuing to apply for international exhibition opportunities and conferences to lead workshops and demonstrations. Additionally, I am looking at expanding my nylon-link system, fablock, that is used for jewelry and as a part of the EmotiScan and SentiHub pieces in common/myth at Plus Gallery.
This coming academic year, I am going to continue to teach at the University of Denver in the Emergent Digital Practices program. I will be offering the Wearables class I have developed and also teaching various core classes for the program. I am developing an Advanced Wearables class for next spring.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in 2014?
I think this has and will continue to be a big year for the continued exposure of digital art in the Denver art scene, with Monkey Town 4, Denver Digerati's Friday Flash and the many exhibitions that have opened this year in RiNo featuring technology and digital media. I am hoping that Denver's art community will continue to expose and support digital artists this year and in the coming years.
Throughout the year, we'll be shining the spotlight on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.
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