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Students present multimedia performance at national conference

Three St. Lawrence students, including two Global Studies majors, recently presented an original multimedia performance at the 2013 Union for Democratic Communications conference held at the University of San Francisco.  GS majors Allison Paludi '14 and Thomas Matt '15 joined Tzintzun Aguilar Izzo '15, a Multi-Field major, in presenting "Robot's Dream," based on an original poem written by Aguilar Izzo addressing the changing relationship between humans and the technologies they create.  All three students are active members of the Weave and have served as Weave interns while at SLU.  At the conference, they were joined by Dr. John Collins (Professor and Chair of Global Studies), who presented a paper co-authored with Jana Morgan '07 titled "Teaching the Weave: Challenges, Strategies, and Lessons Learned."

In his artist's statement for "A Robot's Dream," Aguilar Izzo describes how the presentation combines spoken-word poetry with images:

The performance is meant to be interactive, calling on audience participation.  Images are projected on the performers, drowning their words and actions. The performers are not in control of these images.  Instead, the spectators edit the images together, live.  This process is known as VJing, similar to DJing. In essence, it is a live mashup.   As the images are projected onto the performers, their words are ensnared in the re-appropriated spectacle. The participants are placed in the role of the editor, the censor of their own media.  The piece becomes a reflection on mediation and the role of human verbal communication in an increasingly digitized world.  As the words become drowned in the wave of images, the audience comes to question both the value and the danger of digitalized media consumption.

Paludi, Matt, and Aguilar Izzo have also presented "A Robot's Dream" on campus for multiple audiences including the monthly Poetry for Peace series.  After returning from San Francisco, they created a digital version of the presentation (see video to the right).  While the presentation is primarily meant to be experienced live, the video version provides an opportunity for other audiences to engage with the ideas found in "A Robot's Dream."