Saturday, January 24, 2009

Elena Bertozzi of Ardea Arts

Amos Kennedy's friend and lover Elena Bertozzi plays a large role in the film Proceed and Be Bold!, discussing his work, their relationship, and showing a bathroom in her house where the walls are covered with his posters. She opens a wooden trunk of handwritten letters she's received from Kennedy, talking about the anomaly and value of that form of communication (and later, in another context, she answers him with a digital love letter.)

Bertozzi completed a Ph.D. in media and communications in at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, with a dissertation called "At Stake: Play, Pleasure, and Power in Cyberspace." Before that, she earned her M.S. in immersive mediated environments and telecommunications at IU in Bloomington. Now she is an assistant professor of multimedia arts and digital communication at the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater.

Bertozzi is also director of Ardea Arts, "a bridge between the print and digital worlds." The group defines itself as "artists, designers, writers, musicians, educators and information professionals. Some of us are on the cutting edge of new technologies while others of us are in the Luddite camp, but all of our work is firmly grounded in craft. We aim to create products which simply and elegantly fulfill their function."

I find it fascinating that these artists have a connection to IU, and I'm enthralled by their mission – it unites creatives and enables them to collaborate without defining and delimiting them on the basis of "new technology" fault lines.

And I must say: I do like Elena's name! Come to think of it, I like Kennedy's, too. The "play of the signifier" leads me to more "living ghost" members of my artistic family.


Michael Wilkerson said...

Amid the blizzard of papers that went to the recycling when we left Bloomington, I held tightly to my Nappygrams, which arrived when I worked in both the Chancellor's and VP for Diversity's offices at IU. Amos Kennedy was a favorite of VP Gros Louis, which drove all the other administrators crazy. I'm glad he's flourishing in his refuge in Alabama.

All the best artists struggle with fitting in at universities. Someone should look into that...

elena said...

!!! enjoyed your comment, Mike, if not the implications...Amos seems to have gotten the last word on this one.