2022 CIRCA Pedagogy & Summer Fellowship winners

Eric Abele, Senior Lecturer, Department of Theatre

Since 2018, Eric has been working on industry-leading research to transition the teaching of costume design at the university level from hand-drawn paper sketches to digital renderings using the iPad app Procreate. Working with his research partner from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Lauren Roark (Assistant Professor of Theatre and Head of Graduate Design), they have been steadily developing cutting-edge pedagogy that has been utilized across several universities, including the University of California Los Angeles, Ball State University, and (forthcoming) the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Recently this research has been tested and proven highly effective through course units at UMBC, including THTR 336 Advanced Costume Design, THTR 439 Advanced Design Techniques, and THTR 432 Design Seminar. The CIRCA Pedagogy Fellowship will give Eric the time he needs to implement a permanent or “home” course to establish this work as a regular opportunity for UMBC students across the arts disciplines.

Lisa Moren, Professor, Department of Visual Arts

The CIRCA Summer Fellowship will support the public exhibition of the project Chamber of Wonders including developing a final version of the bioluminescent installation that is a system where the public can “converse” with these ancient single-cell organisms that light up [bioluminescent dinoflagellate pyrocystis] and allow them to bioluminesce according to their own DNA. It will also be used to cover printing, framing and installation-specific supply costs. Chamber of Wonders will be a mixed reality [XR] project that fuses augmented reality [AR] with art installations in three galleries of the Peale Museum in Balitmore in 2023.  Working with marine biologist Dr. Tsvetan Bachvaroff, this project uses live data, DNA, time-based media and story-telling in order to shift the myth of human superiority over nature to a more even inferior position. Eight artworks and installations, including a bioluminescent tank, will match the eight scenes in the AR app. The viewer experiences a narrator who weaves personal observation with scientific knowledge meandering on meditation, the origin of the Internet, protests, US elections and algae blooms describing a world out of balance.

Jules Rosskam, Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Arts

The CIRCA Summer Fellowship will support the completion of production of the film DESIRE LINES (August 2022) through its dissemination in early 2023. DESIRE LINES is a feature-length hybrid documentary that issues a radical reframing of transmasculine sexuality through intimate personal testimony and formal experimentation. Two transmen, separated by a generational gap but united by a fraught relationship to their own sexualities, are literally sucked into the pages of LGBT history as they try to unravel the mysteries of sex, identity, and community. This ethno- fiction along with present-day testimony and newly-uncovered archival materials are woven together into a narrative that dares to ask how cultural expectations, political agendas, and gatekeeping practices become factors in shaping our desires. Drawing on oral histories, grassroots activism, biopolitics, and queer theory, this film is my contribution towards collectively processing the experiences of a group who has largely been erased, misrepresented, and desexualized in the media. A frank and historically contextualized discussion of our lived experiences lays the groundwork for addressing issues like internalized homophobia and rising HIV infection rates among transgender men.