Diane Willow

I describe myself as a multi-modal artist and creative catalyst. By any medium necessary best describes my process. I work among disciplines and media, often at a nexus of art and technology, science and architecture. These seemingly divergent perspectives converge in my practice of art as a socially engaged mode of tuning our attention to common occurrences in everyday places. My work invites people to participate as choreographers of their experience of art. Informed by contemporary views of nature, technology, and community, I explore the subtle ways that we express empathy with one another, with other life forms, with sensing objects, and with responsive environments. My approach repositions a view of contemplation that is generally perceived of as solitary and removed from the flow of life into one that sparks a sense connection and community. By necessity and passion I initiate and participate in many forms of interdisciplinary collaboration. I have had the good fortune to work with inspiring collaborators including: architects, composers, city planners, neighborhood residents, musicians, anthropologists, engineers, dancers, children, and biologists. I choose to work with diverse groups of people, emerging technologies, my hands, and my imagination. A creative and inclusive thinker, I focus on the personal as well as the collective, the ecology of the part and the whole. I am confident in my ability to translate ideas into experiences and enjoy the process of encountering new questions, being introduced to new perspectives, and learning how to do things that I do not yet know how to do.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • M.A.S.VisS (Visual Studies): Center For Advanced Visual Studies, Massachsetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1992.

Curriculum Vitae

Specialties

  • sound art
  • public art
  • interactive art
  • participatory culture
  • experimental video
  • community collaboration
  • responsive environments
  • poetic interplay of nature, technology and community
  • interactive, socially engaged, contemplative environments
  • creative inquiry and artistic expression with emerging media
  • playful explorations :: new modes, new materials, new media
Courses Taught
  • ARTS 3601/5610 - New Media : Making Art Interactive
  • ARTS 5670 - Interdisciplinary Media Collaborations: the Biological Body
  • ARTS 3605/5650 - Sound Art
  • ARTS 3606/5660 - Body Electric
  • ARTS 5490 - Artistic Experiments in Time & Interactivity
  • Department of Architecture: Ephemeral Facades: The Matter of Resilience
  • May Term 8| 8 STUDIO 8 REAL 8 UNREAL Beijing, China | collaborative course with Andrea Johnson
  • ARTS 1905 Place Matters: Seeing the Mississippi
  • ARTS 1905 Art in the Mix and the Making
  • ARTS 1905 Digital Dialogues :: Technology in Your Hands
  • ARTS 1905 BioArt in collaboration with Neil Olszewski, Plant Biology
  • ARTS 1905 Trangenic Art in collaboration with Neil Olszewski, Plant Biology
  • EE 4951 - Senior Design Project, Co-Faculty Advisor
  • HSEM 3050H - Wonder Women: Art & Technology 1968 -2008
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Visiting Associate Professor: MIT Media Lab • High Low tech , 2012 - 2013
  • Scholar in Residence: Maseeh Hall • MIT , 2012 - 2013
  • Guest Professor of New Media: Beijing Film Academy , 2010 - 2012
  • Keynote Lecture: “Fringe Dwelling: Lingering in Multimodal, Ambidextrous, and Hybrid Ways of Knowing“: Digital Provocations: Evolving Computational Approaches to Pedagogy & Practice Symposium , April 12, 2012 - April 12, 2012
  • Ambient Sites: Stanford University Art + Design Lecture Series , November 10, 2011 - November 10, 2011
  • "effervescent" : a live soundwork inconjunction with my talk “¢ The Tangible Intangible: Ambient Sites, Charged Atmospheres, and Permeable Boundaries: Society for Cultural Anthropology, Natureculture, Santa Fe, NM , May 7, 2010
  • the subtle and the ephemeral :: the seemingly silent and the intermittently visible: Public Talk at Columbia College, Chicago, IL , February 25, 2010
  • Hypo-Technology: Artists ReMix the Anachronistic and the Obsolete with the Present, Co-Chair with Joane Brigham : College Art Association, Chicago, IL , February 11, 2010
  • Ambient Sites: Making Tangible the Subtle, Ephemeral, and Seemingly Silent: TEI"10, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA , January 25-27, 2010
  • The Senses in Contemporary Art: Sonic Touch: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Beyond Sight conference , October 16, 2009
  • Soft and Squishy: New Media Artists and Biology : College Art Association Panelist for the session chaired by Curator Marcia Tanner , February 28, 2009 - February 28, 2009
  • Wonder Women :: Art & Technology: catalyst for this hybrid symposium (phase one) which included artist talks and panels at UMN and the Walker Art Center, Studio Action Workshops and the concurrent exhbition in the Nash Gallery, culturing nature :: culturing technlogy , March 12, 2008 - March 14, 2008
  • Five on Five: Five Perspectives on the Interplay of Research, Innovation, Experimentation, Pedagogy, and Practice: College Art Association Panel Convener and Chair as part of Art Interactive's New Media/New Work exhibition, Cambridge, MA , February 23, 2006 - February 23, 2006
  • College Art Association / Committee on Diversity Practice: committee member contributing to a Bibliography for a Culturally Inclusive Art History , 2005 - 2007
  • dorkbotmsp - an emerging community of artists, composers, bricolers, ..: founding catalyst - for the msp affliate of dorkbot.org, where "People doing strange things with electriciy" get together to share their pieces/projects that use technology in interesting ways. , 2006

Creative

  • Into the Ether: Contemporary Light Artists: Dayton Art Institute, April 2 - - June 26 2016
  • Apex Art • Coding the Body: Installation of Walkways, March 20, 2014 - May 10, 2014
  • VJAA + HouMinn + Diane Willow team selected as the winner of Mississippi River Bridge Plaza Competition: Weisman Art Museum Mississsippi River Bridge Plaza Competirion Jury Edwin Chan, Cinda Gilliland, William Pendersen, Hilde Hein , 10/26/2011 - forthcoming
  • VJAA + HouMinn + Diane Willow exhibited as one of the four finalist teams in the Mississippi River Bridge Plaza Competition : Weisman Art Museum Target Studio for Creative Collaboration, October 2, 2011 - February 10, 2012
  • beneath a glowing ceiling veil of living light - an interactive installation with bioluminescent plankton installed within a terrestrial arch of the Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis, MN: Commission: Northern Spark Festival, June 4, 2011 - June 5, 2011
  • “effervescent" a participatory sound installation: Vis a Vis Faculty Exhibition Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN,, September 7 - October 7, 2010
  • the bower project, Weisman Art Museum, Ordinarily Here exhibition: Site-specific, interactive installation, June 19, 2010 - October 10, 2010
  • Serenade, Beijing Film Academy - New Media Department, Beijing, China: Site-specific, interactive sound installation, June 2009
  • Touched by the Air, Korean Cultural Center, Beijing, China: An interactive, tactile, sound sculpture, May 29, 2009 - June 12, 2009
  • Sonic Chandelier, Experimental and Media Arts, Nash Gallery, UMN: An interactive, tactile, sound sculpture, February 24, 2009 - March 26, 2009
  • Experimental and Media Arts exhibition, UMN Nash Gallery: exhibition catalyst :: convener, February 24, 2009 - March 26, 2009
  • co~presence, Hy Space, Joy Art Gallery, 798 Art District, Beijing, China: This interactive kinesthetic, site-specific, sound installation interacts with the dynamic architecture of the space and the participants., November 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008
  • Air into Water, New Media Triennial, Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China: This experimental video Air into Water is a meditation on the permeable boundaries of atmosphere and ocean, the intermingling of two fluids, air and water., November 2, 2008 - November 14, 2008
  • Light Sensitive, Subtle Technologies Festival, Pixel Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: The living light of bioluminescent plankton is the interactive focus of socially engaged contemplation in this participatory artwork. Light Sensitive is a two-person, invitational show., May 29, 2008 - June 19, 2008
  • Re-Inhabiting: Danforth Museum of Art - solo exhibition - an interactive, contemplative, site-specific installation, December 19, 2007 - April 27, 2008
  • culturing nature :: culturing technology: curator: exhibition at UMN Nash Gallery, February 26, 2008 - March 27, 2008
  • Present Moment Project - an IAS / University Symposium Award for Research and Creative Projects: In collaboration with Rebecca Krinke, Landscape Architecture and Henry Emmons, MD, Center for Spirituality and Healing, we are developing a series of contemplative, stress-reducing installations, interactive spaces and responsive objects., September 2007 - September 2008
  • Wonder Women :: Art & Technology: Catalyst - hybrid Symposium (phase one) at UMN, March 12, 2008 - March 14, 2008
  • Domestic Vitrines: 36 Hour Installation, Science Museum of MN, March 17 - 18, 2006
  • ReFresh :: Gateways: Interactive Installation / Okawa Center, Keihanna, Japan, 2005
  • Eyes of the Wind and Soft Touch, Interact/React exhibition, Minnesota Museum of American Art: Interactive Installation, April 9, 2005 - June 30, 2005
  • Leave-ings III: Interactive Installation, Nash Gallery, U of MN, 2004
  • Sound Garden. MindFest, Ft. Worth Museum of Science and History: 2003
  • Whispering Touch. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum: 2003
Publications
  • Mud: Willow, Diane, Sherry Turkle, MIT Press, Falling for Science: Objects in Mind, 66-68, 2008. Link
  • Ideas That Technology Can Reveal: Willow, Diane, Gretchen Jennings, National Association for Museum Exhibition, The Exhibitionist, vol. 27, no. 1 Spring 2008 79 - 86, 2008.
  • Volumes: Sound and Space: Willow, Diane, Studio XX, Montreal - .DPI, .DPI, Edition no 7 online journal, 2006. Link
  • Digital Dialogues: Technology and the Hand. Willow, Diane, Stu Kestenbaum, Haystack, Co-Editor, 2002.
  • Handhelp Reflections on Digital Dialogues: Willow, Diane, Haystack Monograph Series, Digital Dialogue: Technology and the Hand .
Awards
  • Faculty Residential Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota • By Any Medium Necessary, January 2017 - June 2017
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, University of Minnesota • Freedom of Movement, January 2016 - June 2017
  • Public Art Committions • City of Minneapolis • Downtown East Commons, Fall 2015 - Spring 2017
  • Research Artist in Residence Program [RARP] • Bell Museum of Natural History, 2015 - 2016
  • Imagine Fund Research Grant • By Any Medium Necessary: Cybernetics Serendipity, 2015 - 2016
  • Art Place, Creative CityMaking, City of Minneapolis + Intermedia Arts, 2013 - 2013
  • Studio Co-Laboratory, Research Collaborative award of the Institute for Advanced Study, 2011 - 2012
  • Imagine Fund Research Grant, Being Here, 2010 - 2011
  • Imagine Fund Research Grant • Listening to the Silent Landscape of the Everyday, 2009 - 2010
  • Faculty Residential Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota • The Body Electric, January 2010 - June 2010
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, University of Minnesota • Ambient Sites :: Poetic Explorations of Permeable Boundaries, 2009 - 2010
  • A University Symposium Award, Institute for Advanced Study + the Office for the Vice President for Reseach • The Present Moment Project in collaboration with Landscape Architect Rebecca Krinke + Psychiatrist Henry Emmons, MD, 2007 - 2009
  • Osher Fellow • Exploratorium, 2007 - 2008
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, University of Minnesota • Light Sensitive, 2006 - 2007
  • McKnight Summer Fellowship, 2006
  • Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, University of Minnesota • Light Sensitive, 2006
  • Daniel Langlois Foundation • Reflexive Membranes with Architect Philip Beesley, 2003 - 2004