Reza Safavi Visits UMaine

The Distinguished Guest Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the President’s Office and the Intermedia MFA Program, invited well-known digital artist Reza Safavi to visit the Orono campus this past week for a whirlwind two-day schedule that included a presentation, interactivity programming workshop and meeting students one-on-one.

Safavi lead a three-hour workshop with both Intermedia MFA students and also New Media undergraduate students.  The workshop covered some electronics basics using arduino boards to manipulate LED lights, motorized children’s toys, and other found materials and objects.  The lively group of students was busy working to create some basic electronic connections that could be applied to their own projects in their studios.

During the presentation Safavi gave a brief performance, which included manipulation of video by using his own heart rate as a trigger through a wireless heart rate monitor.  He spoke about his past work including some explanations for concepts, ideas and methodologies.

On his second and last day of his very busy and exciting visit, Safavi met with graduate and undergraduate students one-on-one to discuss student works and to answer questions and share stories.  These meetings took place in Stillwater, which is the unofficial hangout area for graduate students.  At several points the room was packed to near capacity as folks listened in or asked questions.