Innovative composer and performer Mikel Rouse has been named the first ever Visiting Research Artist for the eDream (Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media) Institute. Mikel and innovative composer and trumpeter Ben Neill will be in residence Jan 13-27 at both NCSA and the Studio Theater at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

From Melissa Merli’s Art Beat:
eDream Institute

I received a news release in October from the eDream Institute. It said eDream had named composer-performer Mikel Rouse its first visiting research artist.

The somewhat unusual “research artist” title was chosen to reflect eDream’s interest in discovering new ways to harness digital technologies to push the boundaries of creative practice and performance.

“Mikel experiments with technology that is highly relevant to the University of Illinois,” eDream director Donna Cox said in the release. “We know he will synergize and really innovate with this opportunity.”

During this academic year, Rouse, eDream (Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media) and Krannert) will work together on “The Demo,” a work inspired by a 90-minute demonstration of computing technology performed by Stanford researcher Douglas C. Engelbart on Dec. 9, 1968.

The demo was the first public appearance of the computer mouse, as well as hypertext, dynamic file linking and shared-screen collaboration.

“These demos are the precursors to things that change the world,” Cox said in the release. She recalled a 1989 demo in which she and colleagues at the UI’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications demonstrated high-speed communication networks that connected scientists with one another and with geographically distant resources like supercomputers.

eDream first worked with Rouse on his opera, “The End of Cinematics,” which debuted at Krannert in 2005, and then on his song cycle “Gravity Radio,” performed there in 2010.