Dean Monica Ponce de Leon, Professor Peter Sparling and Photographer Ernestine Ruben collaborate on installation at UMMA

Experiments in dance, photography, and architecture come together to create this multimedia environment, reflecting the shared vision of Monica Ponce de Leon, architect; Ernestine Ruben, photographer; and Peter Sparling, dancer, choreographer, and video artist, with a score by Erik Santos. The supple, sensual environment they created together features a video synthesis of photographic imaging and the choreography of actual bodies projected onto the skins of a multilayered, membrane-like structure, providing a walk-through body, an interactive site for live dance, music and poetry, and a luminous web for visitors to explore.

Dean Ponce de Leon collaborated in the exhibit with: Peter Sparling, UM Thurnau Professor of Dance, and an active independent dance artist, choreographer, and “screendance” creator; Ernestine Ruben, an internationally recognized photographer particularly well known for her experimental works based on the human form; and Eric Santos a composer, Associate Professor in the UM School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and Director of Electronic Music Studio at UM.

The exhibit is open at the University of Michigan Museum of Art March 22-May 15, 2011. An “Artists’ Talk and Reception,” March 21, 5 p.m., in the Helmut Stern Auditorium, allows for a discussion with the artists about the creative process and collaboration that resulted in this installation.

Acknowledgements in the making of the exhibit:

  • Maciej P Kaczynski design and fabrication collaborator
  • Tom Bray video installation
  • Mark Meier scripting and advanced computation
  • Amy Cova dancer

Student Project leaders: Lauren Bebry and Matt Nickel.

Faculty collaborators: Catie Newell, Jen Harmon, Patrick Jones and Wes McGee.

Student collaborators: Bruce Findling, Ben Hagenhofer-Daniell, Andrew McCarthy, Daniel Nissimov, Greg Perkins, Sarah Petri, Geoff Salvatore, Derek Sloane, Andrew Stern, Jenny Wang, Brenna Williams, Conor Wood, with assistance from the following students: Kate Douthat, Jonathan Erdmann, Michael Senkow, Lauren Vasey, and Zeechan Vira.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost. Additional support has been provided by UM’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, Office of the Vice President for Research, and Digital Media Commons at the James and Anne Duderstadt Center.