20th Anniversary of Bad Ju Ju

The songs of Bad Ju Ju were written when I was in mourning. Mourning the death of a close friend who was murdered, the breakup of my first band Zola Turn and the ending of a significant romantic relationship – and trying to make some sense of it all with my 20-something brain. I listened to the album today for the first time in many years. My younger self worked passionately on Bad Ju Ju for three years+ and promptly burned out once it was released in July 2021. A few months later was September 11th and things would never be the same.

I love the unique sound the band accomplished – Shawn Roberts, Aram Bedrosian, Eric Sonoda, Gretchen Leisenring, special guest Nelson Caldwell and sound engineer and producer Peter Engisch. The live band included Marshall Pierce and Sean Altrui. Later, the love of my life Ken Mills accompanied me for local gigs. I still don’t know how to categorize our sound, in SoundCloud I called it “Disco” which it definitely is not but it isn’t any of the other categories either. A special shoutout to Shawn Roberts whose sophisticated sense of percussion provided this album with a sense of timelessness.

Matt Thorsen, Don O’Connell and Michael Sipe contributed photography to the album artwork.

If you’d like a copy of the CD (that includes all album art) I’m giving them away, just send me an email at jennkarson@studiojuju.com with your address and for the cost of postage I’ll send you as many as you want – share them with friends! Better it be with you than in a box in my closet.

Most things in my life are very different from how they were at the time this album was released. However three things have remained the same: my creative work remains central in my life, this website has the same domain name it did back then, and my cat Ava is still with us, she’ll turn 21 in July 2021.

There are too many reasons to list here for why I left the performing arts and put all my energy into the fine arts – but through the production of this album I learned to love the studio far more than smokey bars, it was a quiet place that allowed for devotion to texture and experimentation.

Band photos taken for the album. Ava is pictured here, too.
Shawn Roberts, Aram Bedrosian
Shawn Roberts, Eric Sonoda
Peter Engisch
Aram Bedrosian
Shawn Roberts
Jenn Karson
Jenn Karson, Shawn Roberts, Sean Alrui, Marshall Pierce.

Being Material

I had a great experience working with First Proof Press in Brattleboro, Vermont this summer. It was a thrilling few days of taking images generated from Outbreaks from the Grid and turning them into physical prints. This involved three parts; first a set of generated images were turned into digital line drawings, then the drawings were used to create mylar stencils on a laser cutter, then the stencils were used to create monotypes. I made about 20 prints thanks to Dan’s guidance and teachings.

Exploring Artificial Life at ALife 2020

Category: Artificial Intelligence

We presented the first stage of our research at ALife 2020 this summer. The conference was incredibly well done – exemplary when it comes to organizing an online conference during COVID times. It was an enriching opportunity to share our work and learn from others.

The artificial life scientific community warmly welcomed us. It was a great journey outside of our COVID-19 Virtual-Art-Studio-Pod. It was fascinating to hear about the latest artificial life research. We interviewed some of the artists who presented stay tuned for those video interviews.

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.

Virtual Artist Talk with the Vermont Studio Center

Jenn Karson and UVM Art and AI Research Group will do an artist talk/presentation via zoom.

Thanks again to the Vermont Studio Center for hosting us!

“Just before the pandemic I started the Art + AI Initiative at UVM and I have a team of students working with me. We are using machine learning to generate images; we’re still in the very early stages …” – Jenn Karson

Jenn and her team will present on this AI Initiative! This event is free and open to the public. Please register in advance to secure your spot as a private Zoom link will be provided prior to the start of the event.

Here is a recent story about our project.

Jenn Karson is an artist who works with concepts of mapping—the organization of space—and scoring—the organization of time. Her artworks take the form of intermedia, sculpture, soundworks and installation and this work is exhibited in the United States, Canada and Europe. Additionally she is a curator of exhibitions, programs and curricula that cross the disciplines of the arts, technology, fashion and architecture; she is a lecturer at the University of Vermont’s Department of Art and Art History and the director of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences digital fabrication lab (the UVM CEMS FabLab). She received her MFA in Design + Technology from the San Francisco Art Institute.