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  • Amanda Lewis ’18

  • Sounding the Depths of Interactive Art

    Art, Media, and Technology (BFA)

    Amanda Lewis, BFA Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) ’18, discovered a passion for interactive design that broadened her skills and outlook while anchoring her new creative career.

     

    Amanda Lewis 18

    Lewis came to Parsons Paris with a traditional fine art background and a desire to immerse herself in the city’s rich history of art and culture through an interdisciplinary degree. In the end, her AMT program changed her in ways she’d never thought possible. A turning point came during her sophomore year, when Lewis took a dynamic sound and performance class and developed a project called Tonal Architectures, which was exhibited during the EXIT new media arts festival held at Paris’ La Maison des Arts de Créteil. Using a microphone set up with a live feed, she was able to capture the sounds of the space full of festival attendees and translate them into frequencies that made shapes in a pool of water.  Lewis remembers seeing a little boy, entranced by the waveforms, sticking his hand into the water tank.

    Lewis recalls, “He was like, ‘Oh, what's going on?’ And the boy’s mother said, ‘No, don't touch the art!’ So I came over and said, ‘Hi. How are you? I'm the artist, and if he wants to touch it, he's totally welcome to.’”

    As a practicing artist and designer, Lewis continues to explore how to capture the environment and encode layers of information to create interactive experiences. For her senior thesis, “A Study of Scarred Landscapes,” Lewis began measuring air pollution at wildlife sites near her hometown in St. Louis and turning that data into sound and video installations. 

    “I've never dug so deeply into research practice before,” says Lewis. “It was my first experience organizing a long-term project like that, and then I went to this residency, The Hive, and basically did a collaborative thesis again, but with the team.” At The Hive, Lewis co-founded an ecofeminist artist collective, Telenatura Lab. She now splits her time between Web design work for architecture firms and her own practice. She is about to embark on a six-month project to design ways to spark citizen participation in biodiversity preservation work. The research and advocacy initiative will pair her with other designers and members of the sponsoring organization, Caisse des Dépôts, who share a commitment to promoting awareness of biodiversity through socially responsible action. Lewis hopes to continue “reconnecting people with nature” through the project and her other innovative creative endeavors.

     

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