The Department of Digital Arts Lecture Series is a seasonal series organized by the Department of Digital Arts in the School of Art at Pratt Institute. The series features critics, artists, and curators of digital art. The guests include both emerging talent and established pioneers in the fields of digital animation, motion arts, interactive artwork, and digital imaging. Please see below for this semester's full line-up, followed by more information on each of these acclaimed guests:  

September 19, 2018  - Ariel Noltimier Strauss
October 3, 2018 - Willa Koerner
October 24, 2018 - George Griffin
October 31, 2018 - Faiyaz Jafri
November 7, 2018 - Michael Rees

Pratt Institute's Department of Digital Arts will present lectures by five guests as part of its Fall 2018 lecture series, Wednesdays from 12:45 PM to 1:45 PM in Myrtle Hall, Lecture Room 4E-3, on Pratt's Brooklyn campus.

This lecture series is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited.


Linda Lauro-Lazin
Digital Art Lecture Series Coordinator, Pratt Institute  


Wednesday, September 19, 2018
12:45 PM
Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Ariel Noltimier Strauss is a multi-disciplinary artist and freelancer based in NYC. She specializes in art direction, pre-production & production on animated, video, film, and print media. Her passion lies in creating visually compelling and artfully executed content. In practice this includes creating original content as well as assisting in more specific rolls on large scale commercial productions.

Ariel got her BFA from RISD in Film/Video/Animation. She recently held a fellowship though the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY (Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow) and participated in their Creative Culture program. Her film The Emily & Ariel Show has been shown internationally in film festivals and was awarded Best Experimental Animation at Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival in Mallorca, Spain. It's also featured on multiple online platforms such as Vimeo Staff Picks & Booooooom, and is distributed though Fandor.


Wednesday, October 3
12:45 PM
Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Willa Köerner is an arts-focused strategist, writer, and editor putting the internet to work for creative culture. Before moving to NYC to lead Kickstarter's Curation & Content team, she managed digital engagement at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, was a founding member of Gray Area Art & Tech's Cultural Incubator, and worked as a strategist, writer, and editor for numerous organizations and publications. She is currently working with The Creative Independent, a growing resource of emotional and practical guidance for working artists. She is in the process of making plans to open an internet-infused creative space in the woods of Upstate NY.


Wednesday, October 24
12:45 PM
Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Animator, independent filmmaker, writer, flipbook artist, film producer, George Griffin studied political science at Dartmouth, came to New York City in 1967, and began working in commercial cartoon studios. He built his own camera stand and, inspired by the work of Robert Breer, Stan Vanderbeek, and John Hubley, began to experiment in various media and techniques. In 1969 he completed his first film. Griffin has made over 30 personal films, from 1 to 30 minutes long, which have been seen on television, in theaters, at festivals and museums worldwide.

He produced and directed commercials at Colossal Pictures, line-produced R.O. Blechman's The Soldier's Tale for PBS/Great Performances, and continues to make commissioned films and public service spots at his studio, Metropolis Graphics. He has juried international film festivals, and has written numerous articles and reviews. Griffin published Frames: Drawings and Statements by Independent Animators, Flip-Pack (a boxed set of flipbooks by six animators), and numerous  editions of his own flipbooks. Griffin's interest in pre-cinema animation has led him to make interactive machines for viewing moving pictures and objects. "Concrete Animation," delivered as a lecture at the Tate Modern (2007), formed the basis for his essay "Take the B Train," (Pervasive Animation, Routledge, 2013). His digital mutoscope, Viewmaster, was exhibited at the 2010 Site Santa Fe Biennial. Griffin has received a Guggenheim fellowship, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council for the Arts; his films and drawings are archived in the Museum of Modern Art. He is a member of ASIFA International and AMPAS.


Wednesday, October 31
12:45 PM
Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Faiyaz Jafri was born and raised in rural Holland of Dutch and Pakistani descent. He studied at the Technical University of Delft (MSc) and is self-taught as an animation artist and music composer. His work has been exhibited in the form of print, paintings, video installations, animations and life-size sculptures all over the world. Jafri’s award-winning films have screened at prestigious festivals and museums, and he has worked for commercial clients including, IBM, Coca-Cola, and Ford. He is a part-time professor at Parsons School of Design and Queens College in New York.

Jafri’s art explores Jungian archetypes in the modern world, distilling the pop references of mass media and global popular culture into a visual shorthand of neo-archetypes. Realizing early on that a computer could draw a straighter line than he ever could, Jafri started using computers as soon as the technology became more readily available. In 1987 he began making his first illustrations on an Apple computer using basic vector imaging software. Cumbersome and limited as these programs may seem now, they were perfect for Jafri’s already pictographic style. As the technology evolved, his work developed from flat line art into a stripped-down 3D computer graphics style he calls hyper-unrealism. In 2016 Jafri co-founded the Third Culture Film Festival, the first truly independent film festival in Hong Kong. He is also the curator and creative director of the festival.


Wednesday, November 14
12:45 PM

Myrtle Hall 4E-3

Michael Rees is an artist working in themes of figuration, language, technology, and the social to weave a sculptural mélange. He has shown his work widely including the Whitney Museum in the 1995 Biennial and again in “Bitstreams” in 2001, the MARTa Museum in Germany, Art Omi, The Pera Museum in Istanbul, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and in private galleries such as 303, Bitforms, Basilico Fine Art, Pablo’s Birthday, Favorite Goods and elsewhere.

His works are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, and numerous private collections. Rees has received grants from Creative Capital, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from Yale University. He also won a Deutscher Akademischer Austaushdienst for undergraduate study at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf, Germany, with Joseph Beuys.  Rees is currently professor of sculpture and digital media at William Paterson University, and Director of the Center for New Art there.