Department of
Communication & Media Arts

Edrex Fontanilla

Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Arts

Professor Edrex Fontanilla is a new media artist whose creative practice fuses sculptural and computational methods to explore perception, materiality, and temporality.  He researches how the study of human psychology and cognition can inform approaches in experimental media.    With an orientation towards socially responsible expression, Fontanilla is committed to a reflective teaching practice that enables young minds to develop their voice.

Fontanilla completed his M.F.A. in Literary Arts, M.A. in Computer Music, and B.A. in Visual Arts with Honors at Brown University.  He has exhibited his creative work in a number of venues including Boston CyberArts, SIGGRAPH, and the Tampa Museum of Art.  He recently participated in the Al-Saad Foundation’s “Social Life of Dignity” Symposium in Kuwait, and is an invited artist in the upcoming TechFest 2014 exhibition in India.

Title/Position

Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Arts

Department

Communication Arts

Email

efontanilla@mmm.edu

Phone/Ext

(212) 774-4864

Degree(s)

B.A., Brown University

M.A., Brown University

MFA, Brown University

Recent Work

His most recent work is the invention of a new form of text delivery that uses sculpture, custom software, laser projection and photoluminescent pigment to combine systems of conventional and asemic writing.  By morphing ideograms and text, he strives to shift meaning more fluidly and with finer granularity than that afforded by the word, the letter, the stroke – the archetypal or conventional atoms of expressivity in language.  He investigates questions such as, “How does meaning shift as graphemes slip between random mark, to patterned image, to letter and word, and back again? How does a reader’s expectation of lasting permanence affect the reading of word and image when its state of being is made transient instead?”

Fontanilla is invested in revealing the affordances of emergent methods of textual delivery – tablets, e-ink, augmented reality, and more – and the potential impact on the way we read and write literature delivered with new media systems.

Research

Through the presentation of the falsely real, Fontanilla explores the various unstable ontological states between video, sculpture, and installation. He has presented papers and exhibited art demonstrating mutable sculpture, creative work which experiments with the intersection of digital video projections and sculptural surfaces.  Because of the role of the mind in resolving the perception of reality, concepts from cognitive science drive these creative experiments. A viewer of mutable sculpture observes unique visual and aural stimuli – in many cases, dissonant sensory cues – that compel the viewer to reevaluate what they believe they are seeing. A mutable sculpture is defined by its ability to adopt the characteristics of virtual objects through the layering of virtual and physical space.   The layering of virtual and physical objects presents new and unique perceptual moments, where viewing experiences can at any one time be augmented and extended, or disrupted and fractured.

Teaching

Fontanilla teaches interdisciplinary courses in creative media within Communication Arts.  These courses include the study and production of physical computing, interactive and real-time technologies for performance, experience design, authoring for the web, and digital media.

Office Hours

M/W- 5:30pm-6:30pm, by appointment