Connecting the Dots between the Arts and Everything Else!

ArtsEngine Student MicroGrants Program Grantees

Begun in the 2015-2016 academic year, the ArtsEngine Student MicroGrant program has funded 44 student-led interdisciplinary projects, where art has been a central theme of tenet.

Here is a brief description of out funded projects and successful grantees – congratulations to them all for their outstanding work!

2016-2017 Grantees

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Grantees

Kevin Allswede
Brain-Computer Interface for Live Performance and Improvisation
This project involves both performance and research components. The performance aspect involves real-time electroencephalogram (EEG) signal processing that controls electronic music that sets the backdrop for live improvisation on violin. The research component will look at bio-signal/mind- state characterization during performance.

Grace Bydalek
Solos Literary Magazine
Through a literary magazine and website, Solos’ mission is to have an impact in promoting school-wide unity, showcase the work of writers and artists within SMTD in a format not currently available, create meaningful relationships through readings and other magazine events, and expand the breadth of collaboration within SMTD.

Baldwin Giang
Tell Me How: A Radically Inclusive Queer Work for Tenor, Countertenor, and Chamber Orchestra
The proposal is to present and record the premiere performance of a new interdisciplinary work with music by composer Baldwin Giang and newly commissioned text by award-winning queer poet Warner James Wood (a 2016 M.F.A. graduate from UM’s Helen Zell Writer’s program) in November 2016.

Helen Haas (Fall 2017)
Enchantress Chamber Opera Performance
I am seeking an ArtsEngine grant for a performance of the 2014 chamber opera Enchantress. Written by singer, researcher and composer Kamala Sankaram with libretto by Rob Handel, Enchantress focuses on Ada Lovelace, early contributor to the foundation of computer programming. The 20 minute opera dissects the relationship between Ada and her husband in juxtaposition with her collaboration with Charles Babbage in the publication and annotation of the Analytical Engine, the first published computer algorithm. My performance of this piece will include a female member or members of the Computer Science Engineering Department as a lecturer.

Carolina Heredia
My composition entitled Ausencias/Ausências/Absences takes its artistic impetus from the last writings of three South American female poets who took their own lives: Violeta Parra from Chile, Alfonsina Storni from Argentina and Ana Cristina Cesar from Brazil. I will produce an interactive multimedia work, including live music, dance and video collaborating with dance faculty Sandra DeYoung.

Larissa Marten
I Killed the Cow
I Killed the Cow is a devised, solo, multi-media theatre piece that I have written under the supervision of Gillian Eaton, Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Michigan. It will be performed in the Duderstadt Video Center in March 2017. During both performances, it will be filmed, and on the last performance it will be live streamed. As a multimedia theatre piece, I Killed the Cow includes components of many different art forms. Despite being a solo show, the creative process requires the expertise of a composer, sound engineer, and an entire film team to tackle the supporting art forms that will bolster the solo performance.

Kayla Mathes
Climate Change Video and Cello Composition Project
We will be producing a video depicting the local impacts of climate change to Michigan that will then be accompanied by a newly composed solo cello score and performed on my senior recital.

Robert Maynard
Dance Film and The Internet as Artistic Landscape
This work comprises a nonlinear dance film and an original online platform that investigates how the internet creates alternate modes of engagement for audiences of dance film. A collaboration of fashion, dance, film, music, and technology, the work creates a fantasy landscape in cyberspace that allows viewers to navigate their own experiences.

Ellen Wallace
Spellbinding: An Evening of Eerie Performances
This event is an immersive and collaborative haunted performance event taking place at Trotter Multicultural Center on October 22, 2016. The performance consist of many different kinds of art (dance, music, visual art, theatre), and is aimed to be inclusive to student produced works and all kinds of art forms.

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design Grantees

Anna Brooks
Action Potential
Action Potential is a multimedia, data-representative performance with an aesthetic twist. Audiences can expect to be entertained by science-themed music, data representative sculptures, and take-home pedagogical artwork. The project will consist of a thirty-five minute musical performance by Nate Safren and Anna Brooks, both musicians and respectively a neuroscientist and STAMPS art student.

Ruth Burke
Keeping Everyone Comfortable
Keeping Everyone Comfortable is an immersive sound installation that acts as a passageway into my MFA thesis exhibition, Of the Quiet. The 24’ angled corridor holds six sequential audio pieces that present a close rendering of a range of sounds that portray the textures and nuances of hand milking a cow. This introduces the viewer to the sensory framework in which to experience my thesis show.

Sara Ciaramella
Food Waste Design Project
Kraken Foods is a student start-up that is focused on ending aesthetically motivated food waste. We are working to collect rejected fruits and vegetables, turn them into juice products with a longer shelf life, and sell them. This project heavily focused on design work to build a brand, design campaigns for food waste awareness, and develop packaging that is both sustainable and appealing.

Marisa Diamond
Generation C(ircus)
Generation C(ircus) is an Integrative Project through the School of Art & Design. The project will center on circus arts education and youth empowerment and leadership. My plan is to work with two different youth communities, teaching circus arts and developing and performing a show with both communities. I am also planning on writing a curriculum for youth circus education throughout the year.

Amy Kamdem
New Heirlooms
New Heirlooms This project explores contemporary African culture, as it exists among black immigrants in the US. Using the anthropological concept of the discursive tradition as a lens, I will design functional serving ware that captures African customs while allowing for adaptive iterative use. My intent is to create new family heirlooms that can grow through generations.

Mia Massimino
Call Your Mom's, A House
Call Your Mom's, A House will take many forms: projection, movement, and interactive experiences. The works in A House are united under themes of intimacy, privacy, and voyeurism. The audience will be guided from room to room, encountering nests, cribs, and tactile curios. After this show, audiences will encounter their homes as complicated symbols and active characters in their personal formation.

Jay Moskowitz
Abominable Bastard
This will be a larger than life seated puppet that I can climb inside and animate to perform stand up comedy live. The performance form will then shift to an open story slam. This creature will be a way to comically open a dialogue with the audience about masculinity and regret in our culture.

Tanner Petch
Radio Alternate Reality Arcade
This project will be an interactive installation in the form of an arcade. Between 5-10 arcade machines will be fabricated for the final exhibit, as well as the environment the machines are located in. One machine will be a pinball machine (already built), and the rest will take the form of the traditional video machine.

Gus Schissler
Temperamental Tech (Fall 2017)
Temperamental Tech is a collection of product prototypes that asks, what if our technological devices required a symbiotic relationship in order to function properly? Current proposed projects include a computer program that has the ability to forcibly shut down the user’s laptop when neglected and an iPhone charging case in the shape of a pair of lips that can only be operated by kissing.

Alexandria Zang
CAPS Mental Health Signage/Calendar
We will create four additional platforms for CAPS to reach students. These new promotional channels are (1) new vinyl signage for the Wellness Center walls, (2) pre-made bulletin boards for Residence Halls, (3) a CAPS activity calendar/mindfulness booklet, (4) an interactive webpage that directs to CAPS website. We want to increase visibility, and reduce stigma for mental health.

Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Grantees

Austin Mitchell
Towards a New Violin
This project combines new theories in acoustics, architecture, and digital fabrication with the tradition of violin making. It uses the violin as a vessel for exploring how form is inseparable from function and how generative design computing paired with digital fabrication techniques can manipulate acoustic performance qualities.

College of Engineering Grantees

Aaron Chow
Lead-to- Pixels: Digital Images, Material Surrogates
Current digitization means taking the physical book, making a digital copy, and asking readers to view images on a screen. Our project challenges this approach to digitization with innovative uses of both images and 3D printing. We re-materialize type, ornaments, and illustrations for teaching, letterpress studios and book history research.

Keenan Rebera
Quantifying the Cube
In order to promote more awareness of the great sculptures on campus, I propose an initiative to make them more interactive. Essentially, we place a device on The Cube, secured by an array of strong magnets to discourage theft that displays the current rotational speed of the cube, the current high score, and other data. This makes the sculpture more interactive/interesting.

2015-2016 Grantees

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Grantees

Sophia Goldberg
Blame the Baby
Blame the Baby is a multimedia performance piece that considers the strengths and inadequacies of language in an episodic sketch format. We hope to juxtapose a range of languages (aesthetic, written, coded, etc.) to create a representation of our individual experiences with misinterpretation and understanding-- an exploration we hope will generate a sort of domestic comfort for our audience.

Carolina Heredia
The Immersive Concert Stage
Our new music ensemble is collaborating with software designers to construct a new concert experience. The software will track the music and create unique visualizations and light installations as part of the performance, helping more people connect to the music.

Noniko Hsu
Asah & Raeq
Asah & Raeq is a public performance that takes on the approach of a blend of video game, animation & classical music. It's exploring the possibilities and ideas of performance in the 21 century, with truly multi-media & trans-disciplinary approach. On top of these, the heart of this production is use art/music as a way to heal the inner

Maxwell Karmazyn
Soloist Now
A music education app, called Soloist Now, that listens to the nuances of a musician playing a piece, and adjusts the tempo, dynamics, and phrasing of the provided orchestral accompaniment like a conductor of a real orchestra would. Our product aims to bring the experience of soloing with an orchestra with you everywhere, and to defeat a common problem among all musicians: performance anxiety.

Zachary Kolodziej
TV Show: Fibers Pulled Tight
The project is a "variety show" that showcases original music, comedy, movement, and animation created in collaboration with many student artists and performers. The show will feature sets and props designed and fabricated by collaborators and myself.

Fidelia Lam
Sway is an interactive sound and visual art sculpture installation involving custom modified hammocks with interactive audio/visual elements. The project draws on disciplines of visual/sound design, engineering, computer science, and music to create a sensory microenvironment. The hammocks invite people passing through the installation space to take a moment to sit, be still, breathe and sway.

Isaac Levine
Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel will be a sculptural sound installation utilizes instruments imitating speech mechanisms to create a sound environment that blurs the line between vocalization and texture. It is inspired by the story of the Tower of Babel and will be designed with an engineering student and a stamps student. The opening night will be an interdisciplinary dance and music performance in response.

Veniece Session
BOLD is an art and sound senior thesis exhibit that wanders through various modes of expression; literary arts, visual arts, and music performance to explore a radical understanding of Blackness and overall self-love.

Chelsea Tinsler (and Alisa Yang, SMTD)
Stop Speaking
This project is seeking to realize Andy Akiho’s musical composition. Stop Speaking for solo snare drum and digital playback, through a combination of live performance and a newly crafted fixed mixed media presentation. The piece aims to juxtapose the computer generated robotic narration of the playback track with a collection of analog and abstract moving images video elements that will balance the live musical performance. Through this interdisciplinary collaboration, we intend to engage a wider audience by presenting a multi-faceted piece of performance art.

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design Grantees

Lindsey Abdale
Textures in Nature and Printmaking
I will be installing a series of prints (woodcuts, lithographs, screen prints, intaglio, etc.) throughout Nichols Arboretum in conjunction with an original musical composition, which investigate textures and patterns in nature. I am combining my second degree in earth science and my background in printmaking to create a new type of environmental art.

Maya Crosman
Visceral Reactions Art Installation
I am creating a multimedia gallery installation at the Stamps School for my Independent Project this academic year. I plan to create a sequence of enclosed environments that take participants through a journey of sensory processing. I want this installation to exhibit how humans react emotionally to visual, auditory, spatial, and textural information.

Emily Dibble
You Touched Me
You Touched Me is my Stamps Capstone project, which incorporates the arts, technology, and feminist science research to create a multimedia art project. This project will take the form of both an exhibition and a performance open to the campus and local communities. You Touched Me prompts people to think about narratives of touch and consent, a particularly relevant topic on campus. This project allows those who view it and interact with it to gain more subtle understandings of touch and consent.

Nikki Horowitz
My senior BFA Interarts Performance thesis, PERSONAL PROJECTIONS will be a collaborative multimedia documentary video series that utilizes projection interaction between actors, dancers, and musicians. Through performance, my team will analyze memories that are triggered by sensory stimulation- a sight, smell, taste, touch, or sound.

Justine Smith
The project, currently named History, is a multimedia installation combining items like a beautiful barrel chair that is being thrown away as my family is beginning to move off the farm that has been in the family for generations, and 8mm film taken by the family at the peak of the farm. Throughout the project I will be reviving family history through artifacts, to give these items a new life.

Jon Verney
By synthesizing traditional darkroom processes with environmental science, I have formulated a means of redeveloping and chemically toning black and white silver gelatin prints in sulphuric geothermal waters. I propose a collaborative project with staff at the Material Sciences and Engineering Department to conduct microscopic analysis of these thermally toned photographs using high-powered characterization equipment such as Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) to identify exactly which elements are present on the surface of the photos

Alisa Yang (and Chelsea Tinsler, A&D)
Stop Speaking
This project is seeking to realize Andy Akiho’s musical composition, Stop Speaking for solo snare drum and digital playback, through a combination of live performance and a newly crafted fixed mixed media presentation. The piece aims to juxtapose the computer generated robotic narration of the playback track with a collection of analog and abstract moving images video elements that will balance the live musical performance. Through this interdisciplinary collaboration, we intend to engage a wider audience by presenting a multi-faceted piece of performance art.

Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Grantees

Carolyn Gennari
The Arctic Theatre Royal, The Voyage Continued
Inspired by the arctic voyages of Captain William Parry from1819-1826, I will collaborate with students and faculty at the University of Michigan to develop a performance that reflects the layered history of the arctic from the time of 19 th century exploration to current anxieties facing this region today.

Jonathan Hanna
Design Forum: Walls of Inclusion Competition
Design Forum: Walls of Inclusion Competition an interdisciplinary design competition that attempts to make evident the effects of ethics and politics on design practice, to be followed by an exhibition of the winning work and a publication to document the event.

Gideon Schwartzman
Terror from the Air
This research proposal aims to chronologically depict a century of conflict, from 1915-2015, through the interdisciplinary lens of history, art, urban planning, and the primary focus of architecture. This project will develop through an analysis of the tangible and metaphysical voids created by conflicts. The final manifestation of this research grant will consist of both a book and exhibition.

Alireza Seyedahmadian
The Alzheimer Project
The Alzheimer Project is an interactive installation with the purpose of creating an atmospheric experience for creating empathy and awareness towards Alzheimer patients.

Omid Torghabehi
The Cadenza is a prefabricated performance space, coupled with a digital platform. There will be a corresponding digital platform in which performers and organizations can request to use Cadenza, upload their performances and share their experiences.

College of Engineering Grantees

Brandon Patterson
The Amazing Adventures of Bubbles, Stars, and Waves
Our project centers on creating a children's book that, through an illustrated story themed around the research topics of two engineering graduate students, will engage children’s imaginations and curiosity to excite them about science.