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Published: December 08, 2022

Pair of Performances Seek To Open Portal for “Space-time Travel”

The University of Tampa will present an artistic performance exploring space-time travel at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Sykes Plaza on the UT campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Using the new Susan and John Sykes Ars Sonora® musical sculpture as a theoretical conduit for space-time travel, students from the Department of Art and Design and the Department of Music’s Interactive Arts Ensemble will collaborate and assist Gabe Michael Kenney, visiting researcher and artist, with a performative sound experiment. Harnessing sound waves' potential for carrying mass, Kenney will attempt to demonstrate space-time travel by examining contrasting theories of relativity and quantum physics to a watching public.

Pair of Performances Seek To Open Portal for “Space-time Travel” The event will feature music played on the Ars Sonora.

“The recently completed Ars Sonora has been a catalyst for creativity, inspiring both the musical and visual elements for the event,” said Bradford Blackburn, director of music technology and composition and associate professor of music.

“As a musical sculpture, it is a marvelous beacon of sound and light in the middle of the campus, and for this event it will serve as both a figurative conduit for the exploration of space-time travel and as a central hub around which — and through which — the student, faculty and guest artist collaborators pivot.”

The performances are the culmination of a semester-long project that has challenged students to think about how art and music can draw inspiration and purpose from science. Kenney’s work, which exists between the worlds of theoretical physics and artistically rendered science fiction, complements the students’ studies. Through striking mixed-media sculptures, coupled with performance art that invites audience engagement, Kenney will transport viewers on a surrealistic journey into the fantasy of space-time travel.

Music students will perform as a virtual/electroacoustic kalimba ensemble and stage quantum ritual theater in support of the space-time travel experiment. Joshua Cessna, Ars Sonora curator and UT staff pianist, will play with the ensemble. Simultaneously, student researchers from the Department of Art and Design will present visual installations that explore the principles of cymatics, simulation theory and forms of photographic abstraction, which will visually augment the Ars Sonora portal’s theoretical principles.

“The event will provide a memorable evening for all who pass through the portal to the other side,” Blackburn said. 

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