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Are you ready for PULSE?
Annual art and technology festival set for Jan. 17-21

NOW THAT the holiday season is winding down, it’s time to get excited about 2018.

From Jan. 17 to 21, Telfair Museums hosts the PULSE Art + Technology Festival, celebrating the intersection of art and technology with world-renowned exhibitions and performances.

Now in its twelfth year, PULSE will feature several virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) installations.

“Radiance” by Teri Yarbrow, Max Almy and Josephine Leong is a series of three mixed media and video projection installations. Viewers put on a VR headset and step into the installation, a light field that moves around the viewer and puts them in iconography-based particle animation.

Another standout VR/AR installation includes “AQUAPHOBIA” by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen. During the installation, the viewer travels around an aquatic landscape, followed by an alien entity who tells a story about a breakup. Steensen based the location on Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier in Brooklyn, which has been damaged by hurricanes and climate change, in an effort to strengthen our relationship with our future climate.

A VR/AR exhibition, “Choose Your Reality,” includes two installations. “Dream of Wings” by Wangshu Sun gives viewers the opportunity to feel like they’re flying by flapping their wings. “Stuck with the Beast” by Yan Hong allows viewers to bring comic strips to life.

The opening night of the festival features a lecture by Almy, Yarbrow, Leong, and Steensen and a performance by festival favorites the Medeology Collective.

PULSE also focuses on the students involved in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematic (STEAM) with a student panel and Q&A with Almy, Yarbrow and Leong and a panel with Steensen and Sun, both on Jan. 18. On Jan. 19, the Lightning Tech Talks for Students will feature speakers from Tour Buddy, Project MQ, codebase, and Open Savannah.

There will also be a free, all-ages screening of “Dream Big,” a documentary featuring engineers who are using their skills to better the world. One of the featured engineers, Avery Bang, will host a Q&A session after the screening.

PULSE offers a Free Family Day on Jan. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m., where museum admission is waived. During that time, there will be a virtual reality performance by the Glad Scientist, Puerto Rican artist Daniel Eric Carlos Hector Alberto Sabio. His work is informed by a mixture of cultures, from Ghana to Brazil.

The festival concludes with a screening of “Metropolis-Synthesis” and a performance with live visual effects by Alexandro Imperato and scored by David Spencer and Jason Butcher.

PULSE’s magic lies in its accessibility to world-renowned artists and performers. All events, except the opening night lecture and performance, are free to students with valid student IDs and Chatham County residents with proof of residency. Tickets for opening night cost $8 for non-members.

Even regular museum admission, required for anyone without a valid student or Chatham County ID, is $20, making amazing acts accessible to all.

PULSE schedule (All events at Jepson Center for the Arts)

January 17, 6pm: PULSE opening lecture by Max Almy, Teri Yarbrow, Josephine Leong and Jacob Kudsk Steensen / 7pm Performance, "Media Ex Machina" by the Medeology Collective. Free members / $8 non-members.

January 18, 11am: Student Panel and Q&A with PULSE artists Max Almy, Teri Yarbrow, Josephine Leong (grades 4-12, college).

January 18, 2pm: VR/AR Artists Panel with Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Wangshu Sun.

January 18, 6pm: Screening and lecture: Dream Big: Engineering Our World and panel discussion with Avery Bang, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers and Tharpe Engineering Group. Free admission.

January 19, 11am: Lightning Tech Talks for Students (grades 4–12). Speakers: Yvonne Jouffrault (Tour Buddy), Malcolm Howard (Project MQ), Aleshia Howell (codebase) and Carl V. Lewis (Open Savannah).

January 19, 2 pm: PULSE Curators' Tour.

January 20, 1–4pm: Chatham County Free Family Day/STEAM Expo/2pm Virtual Reality Performance by The Glad Scientist.

January 21, 2pm: Metropolis-Synthesis: screening and performance with live visual effects by Alexandro Imperato and score by David Spencer and Jason Butcher.

For more information, go here.