Inside Rensselaer

iEAR Presents Hosts “Linear and Aerial Perspectives”

iEAR Presents!, a series of public performances, exhibitions, screenings, and lectures presented by the arts department, will host “Linear and Aerial Perspectives” by Clara Tomaz on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in Rensselaer’s Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Studio 2. The show will include video screenings and a live musical score by Clara Tomaz featuring the Tintinnabulate Music Ensemble—Pauline Oliveros, Doug Van
Nort, Jonas Braasch, Julia Alsarraf, and Sam Clapp — followed by a reception.

The Tintinnabulate Ensemble is an improvisation ensemble that is part of the Creative Interdisciplinary Collaborations Seminar directed and taught by Pauline Oliveros, a professor of practice in the arts department. The Ensemble will provide live soundtracks for three of Tomaz’s videos with Tomaz performing her own part for the live soundtrack.

Members of the Tintinnabulate Ensemble are Jonas Braasch, assistant professor of architecture, who will be playing clarinet; Julia Alsarraf, a senior in electronic arts, who will be improvising on the viola; Sam Clapp, a graduate student in architectural sciences; and Doug Van Nort, who will be playing an instrument made up of iPad synthesizers and a mixer. Van Nort is the Ensemble’s co-adviser alongside Pauline Oliveros and Jonas Braasch and a post-doc research associate for architecture. Van Nort has assisted Tomaz in providing feedback on the sound design aspect of her videos and her live sound set up.

“Clara has instructed us on how to play in reaction to different scenes and sections of her videos,” said Van Nort. “And in the end, we have ended up with a final sound and video piece wherein the two elements inspire one another.”

In Tomaz’s videos, she experiments with different perspectives on subjects such as diversity, disability, diseases, and handicaps, which put meanings and social assumptions into question. In some pieces, the author performs live transforming speech into a musical instrument or work of art. Other videos include animations directed in hospitals and schools displaying the children’s viewpoint on diversity and disability.

Tomaz is an Italian new media artist producing videos based on themes of perspective. Her work has been shown at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, the Martinez Gallery, Rensselaer’s West Hall, and other locations. She is currently preparing her work for national and international exhibitions.

In 2004, Tomaz moved to the United States and studied digital imaging, 2-D animation, painting, and design at Rensselaer. She is now in the MFA program for integrated electronic arts. The “Linear and Aerial Perspectives” performance will serve as her MFA thesis show.

To see more creations by Tomaz, visit her website at

The event is free and open to the public. For directions or more information, visit or call 276-4829.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 17, November 4, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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