The Seton Hall Digital Humanities Committee has crafted a partnership between Seton Hall University, the Village of South Orange, the Pierro Gallery, and South Orange Public Library. "South Orange/Seton Hall Connected" will explore citizen engagement in our increasingly digital, technology driven society. During March, April, and May of this year, a series of events at the University and throughout the Village will be hosted by this collaborative partnership and explore topics such as art in a digital world; stories, technology and preservation; technology and engagement; and citizenship and activism in a digital world.
"South Orange/Seton Hall Connected" will kick off with "Preserving Personal and Community History in a Digital World" at the South Orange Public Library on March 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This half-day event, sponsored by the South Orange Historical & Preservation Society, in partnership with Seton Hall and SOPL, will include talks and hands-on workshops on such topics as "Searching & Researching your Family History" with Dustin Dumas, "Conserving Family History" with Alan Delozier of Seton Hall University, and "Your South Orange House/Your Village" with Lindita Cani and Ellen Columbus of SOPL. There will also be hands-on activities, where participants are able to make a family tree and record their oral histories for podcasting.
In addition, on March 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. is Maker's Mayhem at South Orange Public Library. Titled "Creativity, Technology and Engagement," this day-long event will feature intergenerational creations, collaborations and explorations that include a curiosity tent, 3D print/scan/design, Experience Light and Shadow, robots, origami and kites, podcasting, a community Lego wall, and Make a Statement: Word Art.
Opening on April 19 and running until May 19, "tech (in)dependent" is an exhibit at the Pierro Gallery, second floor of the Baird Community Center, that features artists who have been inspired by and/or use technology in their art. Tech culture has inspired new visions for artists as well as new ways art can be made. Tech (in)dependent explores the developments in modern culture that are the result of the digital age from the perspective of five contemporary artists. Exploring our personal attachment to devices and an almost universal dependency on them to carry out tasks both ordinary and extraordinary, tech (in)dependent poses the question: obsession or progress? The exhibit explores human issues that have evolved through the ubiquity of social media, mapping, and surveillance and its effect on citizenship and technology in the digital age.
Programs at the Pierro Gallery are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Village of South Orange. The artists exhibiting are A.J. Bocchino, Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern, Rachel Knoll, Lauren McCarthy, and Jeremiah Teipen. The co-curators of this exhibit are Emily Brostek and Claudia Preza, students in Seton Hall’s Museum Professions Program. The Pierro Gallery is located in the Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ 07079. The exhibit opening will be on Thursday, April 19, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
"South Orange/Seton Hall Connected" will continue in May with a two-hour symposium, "Citizenship in the Digital Age," hosted by Seton Hall University's Digital Humanities Committee and featuring speakers from both the University and the Village, including Sheena Collum, South Orange Village President and Seton Hall alumna. The panel will consider the challenges and opportunities for digital citizenship and engagement, both now and moving forward. An essay contest open to middle and high school students in South Orange will ask students to address the same topic, as well as what it means to them to be a "digital citizen."
Finally, this three-month series of events will close with a celebration at the South Orange Public Library.
All events are free and open to all members of the Seton Hall University community and the public.