Death of the Mechanical Man Featured in the Montreal Underground Film Festival

Michael Drews’s “Death of the Mechanical Man”

“Death of the Mechanical Man,” a 21-minute film directed by Big Robot’s Michael Drews, made its premier in October of 2016, deep in the City Market Catacombs. For its debut, Big Robot accompanied the film live, conjuring up memories of silent films.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo.

Now, the short film has been chosen as part of the 2018 Montreal Underground Film Festival (MUFF). The festival celebrates low-budget filmmaking and promotes films that challenge the constraints and conventions of mainstream Hollywood. The independent filmmakers, writers, teachers, and cinephiles of MUFF are committed to seeking out edgy films bristling with a sense of creative freedom, energy, and experimentation.

For more information about the festival, visit the MUFF website.

Big Robot creates media-enriched art and music, interweaving aesthetic expression with computer interactivity. Their blend of audio-visual design with acoustic instruments forms a multi-dimensional performance at the crosspoints of virtual and physical gesture, sound, and space.

To learn more about Big Robot, visit their website.

Research Identifies Communities at Risk of Adverse Clean Energy Effects

Researchers at Indiana University have developed a new method for identifying communities that may be negatively affected by clean energy policies designed to hasten the move from fossil fuels to more environmentally friendly solutions.

Read the original article from News at IU.

Renewable and sustainable sources can lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air and opportunities for economic growth. But the change from fossil fuel to new energy is not always easy to make and does not impact all communities – or individuals – equally.

“The energy transition will bring many benefits to society,” said Sanya Carley, an associate professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington. “But the benefits, as well as the costs, will not be dispersed proportionately across society. My co-authors and I embarked on this study because we believe that it is important to study the distribution of benefits and burdens and to help the policy- and decision-maker community identify those populations that are most vulnerable.”

Carley is one of the authors of “A framework for evaluating geographic disparities in energy transition vulnerability,” which was published online today by the journal Nature Energy.

She and her co-authors set out to find a way to determine which populations in which areas of the country are at the highest risk for negative consequences from environmentally beneficial policies. By adapting a tool known as the Vulnerability Scoping Diagram, they were able to identify the geographic areas and individuals that can be defined as being vulnerable.

Often these vulnerable communities are places where fossil fuels represent a large portion of the local economy or where many individuals are not capable of paying for the increased cost of new, cleaner energy. Pinpointing the populations at the highest risk for negative socioeconomic consequences will allow them to be targeted for programs and assistance to help limit or eliminate those unintended effects, the researchers say.

Previously, the Vulnerability Scoping Diagram has been used to determine the vulnerability of communities in the context of natural hazards, disaster management and climate change. The IU research represents the first time it has been applied to a social science setting.

“It is important to document adverse effects of policies, not in an attempt to undermine their credibility or efficacy, but to better understand their limitations and unintended consequences,” said David Konisky, also an author of the paper and an associate professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

In one example of using the tool, the researchers examine county-by-county vulnerability to renewable portfolio standards, in which states require utilities to generate a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources. While not all states have adopted such standards, the analysis finds the highest vulnerability in some counties in Texas, California, Hawaii and New York.

Additional authors of the study include SPEA doctoral student Michelle Graff and Tom Evans, former professor of geography in the IU College of Arts and Sciences and now a professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona.

Reflecting on Religion and Philanthropy

Giving to religion makes up a third of all giving in America, and over half of all Americans say their religious or spiritual values motivate their philanthropic giving. If this is the case, why do religion and money remain such taboo topics in our society?

The full philanthropic impact of religious communities goes far beyond finances. The story of religious philanthropy speaks to when, why, and how religious institutions engage their broader communities in volunteering, advocacy, and cultivating a civil society.

Is philanthropy primarily meant to take care of those within one’s own community or the larger society? Does philanthropy provide for basic needs or promote institutional change? Should religious giving develop an individual’s character or shape the morality of society, or are such purposes off limits in a pluralist society?

Two leading historians will share their reflections on what we can learn from the intersections of religion and philanthropy in the past and what issues might define the topic into the future: Jim Hudnut Buemler, Anne Potter Wilson Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Vanderbilt University, and David Hammack, Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History at Case Western University. The event will be moderated by David P. King and Philip Goff.

This public talk will be held on Thursday, May 17, at 5:30pm, at the Damenvervein Room of the Athenaeum, 410 E. Michigan Street.

IUPUI Welcoming Campus Initiative Project and Hospital Habits

Godwin Charles Ogbeide

Hundreds of IUPUI faculty, staff, administrators and students learned about the value of a smile, an expression of gratitude and kindness, at seminar luncheons that were part of a project funded by the Welcoming Campus Initiative.

Read the original article from News at IU‘s Rich Schneider.

The last of the luncheons this academic year took place April 25 at the Campus Center. The luncheons were free and open to faculty, staff, administrators, and students.

The Welcoming Campus Initiative provides internal grants of up to $25,000, with a match by the proposing unit, to support implementation of projects related to the overarching themes of communicating who we are, creating a vibrant and inclusive student experience, designing an accessible, inspiring urban campus, engaging and integrating with the community, and investing in faculty and staff.

Titled “The Habits of Hospitable People,” the luncheon seminars were led by Godwin Charles Ogbeide, an associate professor in the Department of Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management in the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management and director of the Events and Tourism Institute.

With his research focus on leadership strategy and the science of hospitality, he explores physiological changes that occur in people as the result of hospitable actions. Ogbeide is particularly aware of the importance of actions that make the campus welcoming. During the luncheon, Ogbeide shared scientific findings about the physiological impact of hospitable actions and discussed verbal and nonverbal hospitality communications.

Those hospitable habits include acknowledgement, friendliness, gratitude, empathy, and kindness, Ogbeide said. Acknowledgement can occur in several ways, including with a smile and eye contact, he said: “When you see me smile, don’t you already feel comfortable and welcomed?” When acknowledgement occurs, the reaction is, “I can talk to this person,” Ogbeide said.

“How often do we show gratitude to one another, to our guests, to visitors and students?” he said. “If you thank a student or visitor for coming to IUPUI, the culture changes. Word of mouth will be good. People will say, ‘They’re nice at that university, and I want my son or daughter to go there.'”

Designed to help make IUPUI a welcoming campus, the luncheon seminars themselves were welcomed. The other part of the project that was approved by the Welcoming Campus Initiative was to develop IUPUI Welcome-365, a user-friendly mobile app to enhance orientation at IUPUI and navigation of campus as well as generate a welcoming feeling.

With the app, students have the campus in the palm of their hand, Ogbeide said. Its features include an interactive campus map that can guide students to buildings and parking; a university calendar and personal calendar; and access to IUPUI academic, financial, and health resources.

The app removes challenges of not knowing where buildings are located or how or who to ask for help, Ogbeide said. “IUPUI is a large campus, but we can make this big place the size of their phone.”

Author to Speak on Family Challenges at Commencement

A’Lelia Bundles

Fresh from practically defeating the Indiana Pacers by himself in the playoffs, Lebron James will ease some of the pain by helping pay tribute to one of Indianapolis’ most renowned women.

Read the original article from News at IU‘s Tim Brouk.

The star forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers has been attached as an executive producer, along with Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, on a future Netflix series focusing on Madam C. J. Walker, the namesake for the Madam Walker Theatre Center near IUPUI and the nation’s first African-American female self-made millionaire. James and Spencer are connected through the William Morris talent agency.

“What I can say is that the writing process is tentatively scheduled to start during the summer,” said Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles via telephone from Washington, D.C. “Once the writers are assembled, they’ll map out the arc of the story. I’m a consultant on the series. If all goes well and the planets align properly, I will be involved periodically while they are developing the storyline.”

The series is based on Bundles’ best-selling 2001 book, “On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker,” which follows Walker’s life from a Southern cotton fields worker to a poor washer-woman in St. Louis to the employer of thousands of African-American women in her own hair care and cosmetics firm, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company, based in downtown Indianapolis. The book was optioned by Zero Gravity Management in 2016.

Bundles is finishing up another book, “The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance,” based on her great-grandmother and namesake, who was the daughter of Madam Walker. A’Lelia Walker was a major cultural influencer in New York while representing the family business in the Big Apple.

As guest speaker at IUPUI’s commencement on May 12 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bundles will talk about those women and her own career as a former ABC and NBC news producer and journalist. Several thousand students and their families will be in attendance.

A North Central High School graduate raised in Indianapolis on Grandview Drive, Bundles received degrees from Harvard College and Columbia University before settling in Washington, D.C. Her father, S. Henry Bundles, was president of the Center for Leadership Development in Indianapolis and now lives in Florida. Her late mother, A’Lelia Mae Perry Bundles, was vice president of the Walker Company while being involved in Indianapolis politics.

Center for Ray Bradbury Studies Receives NEH Grant

Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, one of the most extensive single-author archives housed at a university, has received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Read the original article from News at IUPUI.

On April 9, the NEH announced $18.6 million in grants for 199 humanities projects across the country, including a number of humanities collections and reference resources grants.

The grant will allow the center to prepare a preservation plan and operational procedures that will help it to eventually expand into a museum and archive with gallery space, all open to the public.

“Ray Bradbury’s archives are a treasure not only for this campus but for all scholars and fans of Mr. Bradbury and his work everywhere,” said Thomas J. Davis, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, which hosts the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. “This generous grant will eventually allow more people to study and enjoy his life’s work and personal items.”

The center was founded in 2007, and the collection, housed in Room 121 of Cavanaugh Hall in the heart of the IUPUI campus, spans the lifetime of the science fiction master (1920-2012). His literary works, art, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, audiovisual materials, and more are all preserved — nearly 15 tons of materials in all. His home office has also been meticulously recreated with its original contents.

“He kept everything — everything was a memento to life for him,” said Jonathan R. Eller, director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies and Chancellor’s Professor of English. “All his life, he was learning and observing. When he was beginning to dream about human beings going to outer space, the moon, and Mars, that was his dream before it was popular. His dreams became our dreams through books like ‘The Martian Chronicles.'”

Bradbury’s work continues to inspire millions today, from astronauts to statesmen to children. Literary and Hollywood legends such as Herman Wouk, Steven Spielberg, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, and Walt Disney, among many others, wrote letters to Bradbury during his lifetime — those are also housed in the collection.

The NEH grant will allow for the hiring of two graduate interns — at least one from the School of Liberal Arts’ Museum Studies program — devoted to coordinating all the work required to expand into a museum and gallery.

“We will be learning best practices for preservation and for inventory and accessioning, as well as the kind of activities that a gallery or archive or museum does to make sure the public has access to these items,” Eller said. “Once we’ve benefited from this grant, a lot of doors will open.”

Breaking It Down: What Can I Recycle at IUPUI?

Jessica Davis, Director of IUPUI’s Office of Sustainability. Photo by Tim Brouk, IU Communications.

In support of Earth Month and Earth Day, Jessica Davis, Director of IUPUI’s Office of Sustainability, has been extremely busy.

But she wasn’t too busy to perform a “mini dumpster dive” in the Campus Center. After the April 13 lunch rush, Davis chose a few bags of trash to monitor IUPUI’s recycling prowess. Efforts are trending positively, but there is still much work to be done.

Read the original article from News at IUPUI‘s Tim Brouk.

“Our campus recycling has gone up, and the total waste generation has gone down. That’s a good thing,” Davis reported. “That being said, we’re still far under the national average.”

In 2016-17, IUPUI’s recycle rate was about 20 percent, while leading peer institutions check in at 40 to 50 percent. The national average is about 30 percent, according to Davis.

The Campus Center serves as a hub for the Office of Sustainability’s several programs. Displays on the first floor show what can and cannot be deposited in the several blue bins near dining areas. Still, as Davis’ inspection proved, students, staff, and faculty members are still unsure about what to recycle.

IUPUI and Marion County have unique recycling do’s and don’ts. Items that couldn’t be recycled 10 years ago are now fair game, but then there are items that seem recyclable but aren’t. Like a cardboard box or a compost heap, Davis breaks it down for you.

Pizza boxes are recyclable, even if Papa John’s got a little overzealous on the toppings. Having remnants of cheese, grease, and crumbs does not disqualify a box from being recycled at IUPUI.

Discarded plastics are a persistent problem on both land and sea. They are also the bane of recycling efforts at IUPUI. Plastic straws and utensils are too small for machines in Marion County, while plastic bags are known to clog up the systems.

“All of our recyclables that go into a single bin get sent to a material recovery facility,” Davis explained. “All of the materials are separated, but those soft plastics — like plastic bags and plastic wrap — can shut down operations and have to be pulled out. The bins for just plastic bags from grocery stores are processed separately and bailed up for reuse. So, we don’t want plastic bags in our bins.”

Davis recommends employing reusable bags and dropping off any plastic bags in those bins at area supermarkets.

IUPUI and Marion County recycle more plastics than other Indiana municipalities, Davis said. Look on the bottle or container for the piece’s digits. “As long as it’s a number 1 through 7, it’s recyclable here on campus,” she said. “Plastics number 1 through 7 are usually rigid plastics like beverage bottles and containers.”

However, there are still products that are unable to be recycled. Most crinkly snack bags and wrappers are made with a blend of plastics that defy current recycling means.

Concerning coffee, from the lids to the to-go cups to the little sleeves that keep your fingers unburned, your entire caffeinating experience can be recycled.

Davis said “information deficit” is the No. 1 problem with the low recycling rate, followed by Indianapolis’ notoriety as a poor curbside recycling city. Bins are everywhere at IUPUI, but education is still needed.

One initiative spreading across campus, known as “deskside recycling,” could significantly increase rates. The bins that fit under desks and cubicles of faculty and staff offer a larger space for recyclables and a smaller space for trash. These receptacles are in 20 IUPUI buildings and will be in all of them by 2019.

“When you’re in an office, 90 percent of what you throw away is recyclable,” Davis said. “This bin setup matches the waste stream you create – larger recycle bin for more recyclables.”

Making the City | The Ethics, Values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts

This semester’s third installment of The Ethics, values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts Seminar Series, “Making the City,” will be held on Monday, April 16, from 4-6pm at the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, University Library 4115P.

Cities across the US are grappling with major transformations that expose the many tensions inherent to historical disparities in economics, education, safety, and political access brought on by inequalities based in race and class. Midwest cities have responded to these challenges with a variety of approaches. This seminar series is concerned with addressing one of them: the role of culture in reshaping cities – specifically through public art.

In the discourse and practice of urban design, public art has increasingly been seen as a key tool in redeveloping our cities – from making cities more livable and safe to encouraging economic development and educational achievement.

Using art as a tool to address urban design challenges goes by a variety of different names: creative placemaking, civic art, and tactical urbanism, to name a few. These approaches are fundamentally tied to ethical frameworks and notions of value. Seminar meetings will discuss the intersections of ethics, public art, and urban design through shared readings, guest speakers, and conversation.

Click here to reserve your ticket on Eventbrite.

The Ethics, Values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts Seminar Series is supported by The Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society at Indiana University, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, and the Herron School of Art and Design.

Masterclass: Ian Chang + Rafiq Bhatia (of Son Lux)

We are excited to welcome guest artists Ian Chang and Rafiq Bhatia to Indianapolis and the IUPUI campus. Drummer Ian Chang and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia are classically trained musicians and composers that make up two thirds of the popular rock trio Son Lux. The pair works heavily with music technology in their own compositions and within the group and will present a free performance masterclass at the IUPUI Campus Center’s Klipsch Theatre (lower level) at 1:00pm on Thursday, April 12. They will discuss their performance techniques and the integration of music technology into their work.

This event is made possible with generous support by the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology, Pioneer Indy, and the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute.

Drummer Ian Chang makes electronic music that is humanistic. In a metronomic genre, Chang takes a fresh approach that is rooted in physicality. Using drums to control and manipulate samples, he is able to realize complete musical ideas with unaccompanied and unedited performance. The result is a seamless marriage of raw performative intensity and sophisticated sound design. Find him on YouTube.

Rafiq Bhatia’s music reconciles meticulous sound art with mercurial improvisation to deliver searing emotional intensity. The composer-guitarist’s first two albums – Strata and Yes It Will – have been described by the New York Times as “transcending real sound in real time with the unexpected,” and by the Washington Post as “approximat[ing] life in the information age …profuse, immersive and immense.” Visit his website.

Feel free to RSVP to this event on Facebook.

Kristi Palmer Appointed Interim Dean of IUPUI University Library

Original article at News at IUPUI.

Associate Dean for Digital Scholarship Kristi Palmer will lead University Library as Interim Dean effective April 9.

IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy E. Johnson has announced the appointment of Kristi Palmer as Interim Dean of University Library.

Palmer has served as Associate Dean for Digital Scholarship in University Library since 2014 and is an associate librarian. She will begin her new position as Interim Dean April 9 as David Lewis prepares to retire effective May 18.

As interim dean, Palmer will provide leadership and guidance of library operations, strategic direction, and responsibility for the mission of the library, connecting people with resources and services and transforming the lives of community members by facilitating discovery, creativity, teaching, learning, and research.

“I’m delighted that Kristi is taking on this role, which builds on her impressive leadership and service to the campus and the community through her responsibility for the library’s digital scholarship program and the Center for Digital Scholarship,” Johnson said.

As Associate Dean for Digital Scholarship, Palmer developed and implemented the library’s digital scholarship strategy. She supports the creation, digitization, and preservation of scholarly, historical, and cultural content as well as manages the campus’s institutional repository and other library tools for accessing digital content. She has been a leading supporter of the promotion of open access in the library.

Palmer is responsible for the library’s operations team, which provides security and management of the server environment, operating systems, and network and application infrastructures utilized by all areas of the library. As a member of the library’s administrative team, Palmer assists in the oversight of the library’s liaison program, including planning and program review and the assessment of liaison librarian performance.

“IUPUI has been a welcome constant in my educational and professional life for 17 years, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve my campus in this new role,” Palmer said. “I’m privileged to be part of a University Library staff that is committed and driven to fulfill our mission to inform, connect, and transform the IUPUI and Indianapolis community.”

Palmer began her career at IUPUI in 2003 as an assistant librarian and has steadily risen to her current rank and position. During her 15 years working on campus, she has served as Chair of the University Library Faculty Organization, been a member of the IUPUI Faculty Council Executive Committee, served as liaison to the IUPUI Staff Council, served on the IUPUI Libraries Faculty Council, and served on search and screen committees and administrative review committees. Presently, Palmer is the Chair of the Faculty Council Campus Planning Committee. She has been honored with the 2016 Indianapolis Business Journal “Forty Under 40” award and was named a 2009 Library Journal Mover and Shaker.

Palmer earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Ball State University in 1999 and her Master of Library Science from IUPUI in 2003.