Modeling Connections


About a year ago, two of my colleagues (Bonnie Pitman and Cassini Nazir) and I got together and decided to connect.  The idea was to connect ideas using Liz Larner's sculpture, appropriately entitled "X". Larner's sculpture was first modeled in wood (above) and then resculpted in steel. The sculpture was on loan to us in the Art & Technology (ATEC) building, and is now heading back to its home at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. The three of us imagined a web presence and asked everyone to make connections to "X". Making these connections creates bridges across the university, poking holes into the vertical silos defined by colleges, schools, and departments. These connections are part of an online exhibit of perspectives on, and views of, the object. The ideas of modeling, found within the simulation and modeling field, are found in these perspectives. Models are perspectives on a thing: abstracting out space and time. These ideas were brought home for me yesterday when visiting the Brooklyn Museum where they have an exhibit Connecting Cultures. Museums are places where we are encouraged to make connections among people, places, and things. Models are language-based artifacts that assist us with forging new cultures around ways of modeling. So, the worlds of museums, sculptures, and scientific models may have stronger connections than we might think.

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