Outbreaks from the Grid

Outbreaks from the Grid

Outbreaks from the Grid is a project by the Art and AI Initiative at UVM.
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The original dataset for Outbreaks from the Grid is Dancing Stars and you can view this collection here.

If you have questions feel free to contact Jenn directly at jennkarson-at-studiojuju-dot-com.

The Art and AI Initiative at the University of Vermont

Jenn Karson, lecturer Department of Art and Art History, University of Vermont
Kerime Toksu, Vermont Advanced Computing Core

Syd Culbert. BA ’23
Anna Hulse, BA ’22
Ethan Davis, M.S. Data Science ‘21
Sarah Pell, M.S. Data Science ‘20
Fred Sanford, B.S. Mechanical Engineering ‘20
Yifeng Wei, B.A. Studio Art ’19,  M.F.A Parsons School of Design ’21

CatCoders funding from Department of Computer Science, UVM Spring 2020
Northeast Cyberteam/NSF funding, Summer 2020

This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under award No. OAC-1659377.
Computations were performed on the Vermont Advanced Computing Core supported in part by NSF award No. OAC-1827314.

Original Collection/Data Set
Dancing Stars


Heard Over the Bell

In the United States civic bell towers remain iconic landmarks in large cities and small towns. There was a time when these were the tallest architectural structures – high in the air their artisan-made bells chimed to unify a community around a singular message to gather, heed warning, or celebrate. While these landmarks continue to shape the contemporary cityscape, many of their bells are gone or remain though no longer ring. If the towers do sound it may be through speakers and digital recordings. The messages that scaffold our lives today in the U.S. are scattered bell sounds and personal notifications from our cell phones, not a singular authoritative bell.

The bell tower architecture narrows before it points to the sky, a singular path to the heavens that assimilates and homogenizes; it suggests an individual and hierarchical journey. These towers strike a nostalgic hold while they inflame instincts to unfix and break them apart at the seams; to reveal and be transparent; to explore reconfigurations and flatten hierarchical structures; to serve social justice and community; to reinvent, recreate, ideate, and disrupt; to make room in the soundscape for the many voices that previously could not be heard over the bell.