By Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353, firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, Calif., June 3, 2010 — Engineers expect to be called upon to do all manner of hands-on work to advance their careers, but Saura Naderi never expected she'd be called upon to do the hand jive.
"I'm not much of a musician; I just know that's what gets people going," said Naderi, who started MyLab as a way to give aspiring engineers the opportunity to research, design and implement their own ideas. "Music, art and games are things people would do regardless of whether or not they're engineering-related. I try to choose projects that get people excited, and this collaboration naturally grew from that."
"My vision was to show how contemporary artists use these devices in their music, where the artistic gesture is the use of the stompboxes and the sound is like paint," explained Sizonenko of the exhibition, which opened yesterday and continues through Sept. 30 (the opening reception for the exhibition is June 12). "We're trying to show that electronic music is an artistic expression where the equipment serves as an extension of the musician's hands and mind."
ICAM major Nichol Bernardo designed housing for the pedals. Roland BOSS and BBE Sound donated pedals to MyLab to give the students experience working with the devices.
Following on the heels of "The Art of the Stompbox" will be a series of further collaborations between MyLab and the Museum that stemmed from a project Naderi dubbed "A Night at the Museum Trade Show 2010."
"I wanted to give the students in MyLab the feeling of participating in a mock trade show, where they would be the ones building and marketing the device prototypes and 'customers' would decide which ones they wanted to buy," Naderi added. The customer in this case was the Museum of Making Music, which chose six of the seven student-designed interactive devices and may implement them in the coming months.
The projects include:
• A playback system that lets visitors use faders to interact with song samples and instrumentation
• A device that gives museum visitors the choice to play a song using wax cylinders, wire, vinyl, reel-to-reel tape and other media
Students involved with these projects include Wurzbach (who participated in the Stompbox project); Joey Ma (ICAM); Daniel Arias (EE); Jamie Hauk (ICAM); Karl Magnus Delight (EE); Eileen Yu (EE) and Jose Ruvalcaba (EE).
Although the students have built prototypes of each of their projects, the MMM will likely select a design company to built the implemented versions. Students will play a role in making the devices more robust, however, and museum visitors will also have a chance to interact with the devices to decide which among them will become a part of the museum's permanent collection.
Noted Sizonenko: "Museums usually go to design companies to commission ideas, but we felt that since we have such a strong engineering community in San Diego, we would see if they come up with interesting and suitable ideas. By working with MyLab, we are giving a younger generation of people — who will be the next generation of museum-goers — the chance to design something unique."
Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353, email@example.com