Panel Examines Artistic, Scientific, and Political Impact of Drone Technology at The Wond’ry on March 22

The “Artistic, Scientific, and Political Impact of Drone Technology” is the focus of a panel discussion featuring visiting artist Tivon Rice, University of Washington, with professors Lutz Koepnick, moderator(Department of German, Russian and East European Studies); Vesna Pavlović (Department of Art), and Steven Wernke (Department of Anthropology). The event will be held Wednesday, March 22, from 5 to 6:30 pm at The Vanderbilt University Wond’ry, 2414 Highland Avenue, Suite 102.

In his artistic practice, Rice uses new technologies to explore the visual, virtual, and physical dimensions of our built environment. Recently, this has included drone photography and photogrammetry, a process that creates digital three-dimensional models of objects and spaces by analyzing hundreds of two-dimensional images. During his visit to Vanderbilt campus, Rice will conduct a site-specific workshop entitled “Mapping the Visual Layer: Drones and Urban Photogrammetry,” with students from the Department of Art’s Digital Imaging class and the Department of Anthropology’s Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing course. He will present his site-research evolving around these technologies, and discuss their relationships with memory, media, and the mapping of contemporary urban space.

Rice’s “Mapping the Visual Layer: Drones and Urban Photogrammetry” workshop coincides with the North Nashville Photography Workshop, organized with the McGruder Creative University. The North Nashville Photography Workshop will explore changes that the building of Interstate 40 in 1968 brought to the historic African-American Jefferson Street neighborhood in Nashville. This highway separated the neighborhood during the turbulent Civil Rights era, effectively disabling communal gatherings. Using archival and original imagery, sound and video, this project will bring a number of constituencies together to recollect, reexamine, and contribute to the ongoing discussion about urbanization processes evolving in many American cities. Department of Art professor John Warren and his Video Art class students will participate in the workshop, along with artists Courtney Adair Johnson, Arjae Tomsun, and Keep.

Rice’s work critically explores representation and communication in the context of digital technologies. His projects incorporate a variety of materials—both real and virtual—and examine the ways physical environments and mass media create images, and in turn, build histories around sites and communities. With recent projects in Taipei, Seoul, The Hague, and Seattle, Rice has focused on urban development, architecture, and preservation as key factors in determining how a city sees itself.

Both fascinated with and wary of the speed of televisual media, Rice creates systems that pair immediate materials such as light, space, and tangible forms with live and recorded sound and video. With these installations, he engages spectators and participants with direct physical situations, as well as processes that unfold over longer durations. By activating one’s awareness of color, time and space Rice creates opportunities for dynamic, active viewing.

Rice holds a PhD from the University of Washington’s Center for Digital Art and Experimental Media, where he is currently a visiting artist and instructor. He received a Fulbright Scholarship for research in South Korea, and has exhibited extensively with solo shows throughout the Northwest and group shows in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, and Miami.

Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the Department of Art, Department of Athropology, and Department of German, Russian and East European Studies in collaboration with Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibition, North Nashville Photography WOrkshop and McGruder Creative University.

For additional information, contact Celia Walker at or Vesna Pavlović at

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