For almost 20 years, I have had the good fortune of serving as the Founding Faculty Director of the University of Colorado TECHNE Lab. TECHNE borrows its name from the Greek word τέχνη — a word that has various meanings including “to make or perform art,” “to craft things” or simply “to do.” Ever since we started the lab as both a campus hub and international network in the digital arts and humanities, we have seen thousands of students, faculty, staff, visiting professors and Colorado patrons of the arts visit our facility as well as our website at art.colorado.edu. Over the years, the TECHNE Lab has become recognized as a leading edge intermedia “collaboratory” for artists, creative writers, musicians, scholars, designers, technologists and undergraduate and graduate students to investigate emergent forms of digital making.
This semester, Spring 2020, we attracted more students to our courses than ever before. The waitlists to enroll in our courses were longer than ever and we are in the process of further expanding our offerings starting with a new campus-wide Digital Art certificate program open to all CU undergraduates. For the first nine weeks of the semester, things were humming along smoothly in all six of our courses, when, as with everyone else on Planet Earth, the TECHNE Lab met its greatest challenge in its near-20 year history.
Due to the quick developments of COVID-19 and our campus and state of Colorado lockdown, the lab’s faculty, instructors, students, research and graduate assistants and staff were suddenly operating via our network distributed remote practices dispersed throughout Colorado and beyond. At the time, our amazing team had already scheduled not one, but two physical exhibitions at the Boxcar Gallery in Denver where we planned on showcasing our student digital artwork. These exhibitions were to take place over two successive weekends and, if they were like all of our prior exhibition and performance events that have taken place throughout the Denver-Boulder metro area, would undoubtedly attract many patrons including parents, local artists, neighbors, professors, staff and, of course, students. But all events that included large gatherings of people were suddenly cancelled. What would we do?
In the midst of everyone making major adjustments to their personal, professional, teaching and student lives, the TECHNE crew, working together via Zoom, developed a plan: to create an online-only exhibition of all of our student works across an array of digital media platforms. The end result is the GOING REMOTE exhibition you are visiting right now.
GOING REMOTE includes 112 works of student created digital art. The wide array of new media projects you will encounter here range from visually stimulating video art to digitally manipulated cell animation to collaborative zines to GIF art to recordings of live sound performances. The student contributions featured in GOING REMOTE, an Internet-savvy collection of ideas translated into digital forms of art, were all made under the direction of a fantastic cohort of TECHNE Lab instructors: Françoise Duressé-Stimilli, Corrina Espinosa, Cali Banks and Laura Kim. My own students in the Remix Culture course as well as all of the other students taking classes in the TECHNE Lab this semester so impressed me with their amazing resilience and digital creativity during this time of radical uncertainty. I am grateful for all of their courageous efforts and continued perseverance as well as their open minds and hearts.
As we end this most unusual of semesters in the history of higher education, I’d like to invite us all to take a breather and embrace the precious time we have to create and experience art.
Founding Director, TECHNE Lab
Professor of Distinction - Art and Art History
Website design by: Corrina Espinosa
Artist Room Index:
Emmaline K Bradley