ADRIANNE WORTZEL creates unique and innovative interactive web works, robotic and telerobotic installations, performance productions, videos and writings. These works explore historical and cultural perspectives by coupling fact and fiction via use of new technologies in both physical and virtual networked environments. She collaborates with research scientists working in the fields of robotics and/or artificial intelligence both in the US and internationally. Her work employs narratives nascent to technological research while examining comparatively the methodologies in order to point to its creative and intuitive nature built on an armature of empirical knowledge. The content examines, or displays, through fictive and dramatic scenarios, stories and scripts, aspects of how humans relate to machines.
Exhibition venues for these works include the Whitney Museum of American Art commission of her interactive telerobotic piece Camouflage Town for the exhibition Data Dynamics (March 22-June 10, 2001) as well as an online work for the Whitney’s Artport web site (August 2005); StudioBlue@Citytech for Eliza Redux (also online) (2009-2010), 516Arts, Albuquerque, New Mexico (2010), Abrons Art Center (Performa 09 Performance Art Biennial), New York (2009); Re-enactment of the Battle of the Pyramids, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center (2008); and Light Industries, Brooklyn, New York (2009); Extensions Between Body, Mind And Electronic Worlds (online in 2005) in Naples, Italy; Lehman College Art Gallery and Lehman College Theater (1998); Arreale99, Baitz, Germany (1999); Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria (1997), Creative Time Art at the Anchorage (1997), MIT Vera List Center (1997); Orlando Museum of Art (1997).
Broadcasting and Studio Work
She was an original host and content producer for an early Real Audio (and, subsequently, cuseeme video) weekly web broadcast: ART DIRT, an interview and performative format on art and technology, broadcast from Pseudo Programs in New York and now in the collection of the Walker Art Museum at http://www.walkerart.org/gallery9/dasc/artdirt/.
She is the Founding Director of StudioBlueLab, an interdisciplinary collaborative lab facility for faculty and student invention, first funded as The Robotic Renaissance Project in 2001 at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art by the National Science Foundation (Wortzel: co-principal investigator). [Wortzel is the subject of a feature story: Creative Minds Mingle: Robotics at the Junction of Art and Engineering in the “Discovery” section of the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=103059]. Robotic Renaissance, was funded as well by of the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition at Cooper Union.
The second incarnation of StudioBlueLab is currently active at New York City College of Technology, CUNY, where Wortzel is a Professor of Entertainment Technology and Emerging Media Technologies. StudioBlue@Citytech was funded by a 2005-2006 City University of New York Graduate Research Technology Initiative Grant (Wortzel: principal investigator) entitled Innovative Multi-use Devices for Telerobotics and Theater. StudioBlue@Citytech (http://studiobluelab.com) is an interdisciplinary laboratory for faculty and student research and development projects. Under her leadership, this facility currently encompasses the work of seven faculty members from Entertainment Technology, Emerging Media Technologies, Architectural Technology and Computing Engineering Technology. Along with their students, they engage in research and experimentation projects ranging from robot interaction, micro-energy harvesting, measuring, storage output communication devices, performance robots and telerobotics, visual and auditory simulation, computation and visualization.
Grants and Residencies
Her art works have also received support from The Franklin Furnace Award for Performance, the Greenwall Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts (three times: for video production of archipelago.ch (2006); for the live production of Sayonara Diorama, her original play featuring robotic and human actors (1998), and for Graphics (1981). She is also a recipient of six PSC-CUNY Research Foundation Grants (from 2000-2010), and a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Award (1990). In 2005, Franklin Furnace added her name to their list of “Visionaries” in a group including Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono and Ed Ruscha.
Among the residency awards she has received are: Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, New York (July-December 2008), the Swiss Artist-in-Labs Residency Award at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Informatics, University of Zurich Switzerland (July-December 2004) , and Polar Circuit in Lapland (1997 and 1998),
Publications and Documentation
Her writing and articles have been published in national and international publications. Examples are: The Dynamic Darwinian Diorama: A Landlocked Archipelago Enhances Epistemology in the Proceedings Of The 50th Anniversary Summit Of Artificial Intelligence (2008), Eliza Redux, in Second Person, M.I.T. Press (2006), Converse Engineering: Stories Of Emerging Differentiation and Otherness in Robotic Entities in Artists-In-Labs: Processes Of Inquiry, VerlangWien, NewYork (2006), and Sayonara Diorama: Acting Out The World As A Stage In Medieval Cartography and Cyberspace in the Hereford World Map: Medieval World Maps And Their Context (British Library Studies In Map History), The British Library (2006); On Medieval Cartography And The Ideological Mapping Of Cyberspace in Atlas Mapping, Linz, Austria, Verlag Turia & Kent, (1997) Wien Austria; Eliza Redux: A Mutable Iteration in Leonardo, Vol. 40, No.1 Eliza, pp. 33-36 (2007), Narrative In Robotics Scenarios For Art Works (with Dr. Daniel Bisig) in Proceedings Of The Symposium On Robotics, Mechatronics And Animatronics In The Creative And Entertainment Industries And Arts, AISB2005, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK, The Talking Cure In Hypermedia Performance Production in Performance Research Journal (1999); Adrianne Wortzel: Artist’s Statement in Leonardo (1999); A Facsimile Moo Play Capture Based On The Nun’s Priest Tale By Geoffrey Chaucer in New Observations Magazine (1999); Screening Our Lives-An Interview With Sherry Turkel, Intelligent Agent, Vol.2, No.2. Globe Theater Archives: A Blue Planet Discourse Intelligent Agent Magazine Intelligent Agent, Vol.2, No.1, Fall 1997; Venues Of Process: The Road Unraveled, The Changing Form Of Exhibition, by musEleanor, C.M.S.A., [musEleanor is a pseudonym, C.M.S.A. stands for Certified Muse in the Service of Art] in Intelligent Agent, Vol. 1 No. 11; Blast5drama: Art-Is It Stranger Than Diction, by musEleanor, CMSA, Intelligent Agent, Vol.1, No. 9; Cyborgesian Tenets And Indeterminate Endings, The Decline And Disappearance Of Destiny For Authors in Leonardo (1996). Her work has also been published on DVD in Aspect, The Chronicle Of New Media Art, Personas and Personalities, Volume 7 (2005); The Electronic Chronicles (as a pioneering work in new media) in The New Media Reader (2003), and in Electric Living in Canada (2000).
Her work has been documented in books such as in Rethinking Curating: Art After New Media, by Beryl Graham and Sarah Cook, Leonardo Press (2010); World Of Art: Digital Art by Christiane Paul, Thames and Hudson, (2008 and 2004 eds); Art In The Digital Age, by Bruce Wands, Thames and Hudson (2007); From Technological To Virtual Art, by Frank Popper, M.I.T. Press, pp. 382-387, (2007); Digital Current: Art In The Electronic Age, Author: Margot Lovejoy, Routledge, (2004).
Education and Professional Background
She was educated at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, where she received a Bachelors of Arts with Honors as a Major in Fine Arts with a minor in English in 1964. She received her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Computer Arts from The School of Visual Arts in New York in 1995.
Wortzel is currently a Professor of Entertainment Technology and Emerging Media Technologies at New York City College of Technology, the senior technical college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Her keystone course as a teacher is Topics and Perspectives in Emerging Technologies, a collaborative research and projects course open to the entire student body where students from all disciplines at the College.
Wortzel is also on the doctoral faculty of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she co-teaches courses in developing inventive technologies for pedagogies in all disciplines of the PhD programs offered. In any given semester, there may be doctoral students of music, economics, comparative literature, urban education, and anthropology.
Wortzel is also an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where she teaches the course entitled Design, Illusion and Reality, an interdisciplinary, collaborative projects courses for students of art, architecture and engineering.
My work concerns itself with the arc of human experience of technological advances as they emerge, become pervasive, and finally, obsolete. They chronicle the repetitive birth and subsequent death of nostalgia in an age where gaps between the past and present, present and future, may be narrowing to extinction. My work delineates how the ubiquitous presence of robotic devices and protocols, as present in telerobotics, haptic phenomena, space exploration, nanotechnology, and other technologies, impact our civilization.
By juxtaposing a past reality with a projected future, the works engage in a form of time-travel story, somewhat agonizing over the human condition by framing individual moments in order to put into focus the question of whether there is any difference in impact, and what difference(s) are evident, in the ability of fast-paced technological advances over time to convey meaningful narrative and allegory. These original narratives are intermingled with paraphrases of researchers’ work and historical documentation and provide commentary on of empirical observation put in service as an uncanny fit for the careful evolving of robotic morphologies in the 21st century.
Fragmented media are repurposed as “avatars” to represent an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life. These discrete units are provided for the reader/traveler to subsequently weave back together with alternate paths and by taking into account the missing (synapse) text as subtext, form new experiential stories.