“BEARINGS of Baltimore” Debuts at MD Historical Society

October 31st, 2014



The IRC has been working for over 2 years on Visualizing Early Baltimore, combining historical research with cutting-edge visualization technology to recreate how Baltimore would have looked in the early 1800s. Our long-term goal is to create an accurate 3D model of the city, its terrain, land use, and buildings. In September of 2014, the first and major phase of this effort opened to the public at the Maryland Historical Society during their bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812 and Baltimore’s pivotal role in it. BEARINGS (Bird’s Eye Annotated Representational Image/Navigable Gigapixel Scene) of Baltimore, Circa 1815 made its debut in September as a part of the exhibit “In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland during the War of 1812.”

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Brick Gardens at the Imagining America Conference

October 15th, 2014


IRC Associate Director and Research Associate Professor Lee Boot, New Lens Executive Director Rebecca Yenawine, UMBC IMDA graduate student Jason Hughes, and MICACuratorial Practice graduate student Marnie Benney traveled to Atlanta, GA in October to present the Brick Gardens (working title) project at the 2014 Imagining America Conference. IA is a consortium of over a hundred universities, publicly engaged artists, designers, scholars, and community activists working toward a democratic transformation of the role of higher education in civic life.

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Cathy Cook’s “Prehistoric Flight” Premieres

October 1st, 2014


Cathy Cook, Associate Professor of Visual Arts, debuted her animation Prehistoric Flight on September 6 as part of “Temporary Resurfacing,” an outdoor multi-projection video event in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The short film, which she created with the assistance of IRC undergraduate intern Deborah Firestone, was projected on a storefront in one of the city’s historic shopping districts. Prehistoric Flight is the first part of Cranes in Motion, a larger series that Cathy continues to develop with financial and technical support from the IRC.

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Eric Dyer’s “Copenhagen Cycles” at Ronald Feldman Gallery

September 15th, 2014


In September, Associate Professor of Animation and Interactive Media and IRC collaborator Eric Dyer mounted a solo exhibition at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York. “Copenhagen Cycles:2006-2014″ pairs Dyer’s kinetic zoetrope sculptures with a suite of prints and animated films he has created using them.

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Meet the IRC: Boris Boiko

June 21st, 2014


Student programmer Boris Boiko joined the IRC team in May 2014 to work on maintaining and updating web applications for the IRC and our clients. He is currently pursuing his degree in Computer Science, and feels that the experience he will gain at the IRC will serve him well in the future. “Every project involves a brand new concept, a brand new approach,” he says. “It’s all a huge learning experience and a chance to work on amazing projects with amazing people.”

A passionate learner, Boris has been studying computer science since high school. “I’ve always loved working with computers and programming. Experimenting and try to solve a problem in the best way you can; it’s just so much fun.” He spends his IRC time darting back and forth between his computer and the whiteboard, constantly adding new scribbles and diagrams as he works on his projects.

Meet the IRC: Jeremy Neal

June 14th, 2014


Jeremy Neal is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science at UMBC. He joined the IRC in May 2014 as a student programmer, working on various web and mobile applications. He enjoys learning new things constantly, rarely for practical reasons, and almost always to the mild annoyance of friends.

When he isn’t doing something computer-realated, Jeremy likes to cook, run, play music, climb trees, and dance terribly.

Meet the IRC: Calvin Kumagai

June 7th, 2014


Calvin Kumagai is a senior studying Interactive Media at UMBC. Growing up, he loved playing video games, and decided that he wanted to graduate from merely exploring other people’s virtual worlds and start creating his own. In his time at UMBC, he has worked as a 3D modeler and animator on independent student games and projects with the GDC, including EMT Merci and Deliverance. He joined the IRC as an intern in order to gain more experience, and is currently working as an artist on the Early Baltimore 3D project.

Dome Explorer Phase 2

May 12th, 2014


Visualizing the Sciences in the the 21st century:

Since completing the first phase of an augmented reality iPad app for visitors to the National Academy of Science’s headquarters on the National Mall in Washington, NAS has contracted the IRC to take the project to the next level. In January 2014, the second phase of the project was begun to explore how the platform could be used to describe the advance of the explosive and complex growth of sciences since the dome was built in 1924. Could it portray science and mathematics as they are now: a dynamic network of constantly changing fields? Such a portrayal is in stark contrast to the 1924 version of the sciences painted on the building’s dome, where the disciplines appear to sit separately in their own neat, concise, and orderly worlds.

Now in the program design phase, this new stage of the project presents significant challenges. How can visitors, with little more than a minute or two to spend, take in the most fundamental characteristics of a subject as vast as science? The iPad has little graphic memory. Videos and text of any length are out due to time constraints. Given the controversial place science continues to hold in the public mind, the stakes are high and the opportunity is great to capture something that might quickly entice users and re-direct that problematic narrative. Success could lead to more collaborations between NAS and the IRC to help define the role of science in our lives in ways that might positively affect discourse about public policy and STEM education.

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Meet the IRC: Deborah Firestone

May 5th, 2014


“If a picture is worth a thousand words,” says senior Animation/Interactive Media major Deborah Firestone, “then an animation is worth a million.” Growing up, like most kids, Deborah loved watching cartoons, but it was the movie Shrek – the first really believable, physical, animated world she remembers seeing on screen –  that made her want to be a 3D animator. A field trip to see Gunther von Hagens’s Body Worlds piqued her interest in anatomical modeling, she says, and got her thinking about using technology to understand the body “as a piece of art and machinery.” In college, she surveyed the state of the entertainment industry and chose to follow this interest and pursue a career in scientific, technical, and medical animation. Looking for experience, Deborah applied for an internship in the IRC, and has spent the last year working with Associate Professor of Visual Arts Cathy Cook on her Cranes in Motion project, modeling and animating a crane skeleton to create a short video where a fossilized bird returns to life.

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KAL Wins the Thomas Nast Award!

April 24th, 2014


Political cartoonist and IRC Visiting Artist Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, is the winner of the 2014 Thomas Nast Award. Presented each year by the Overseas Press Club of America, the Nast Award honors excellence in cartoons on international affairs. You can click here to read more about this year’s 75th-Anniversary OPC awards, and you can click here to find out more about KAL’s current IRC project, USDemocrazy.

Congratulations, KAL!