Innovative Technology/Lab Support Proposal Online Form

Proposal Title RESUBMISSION: Alaska Media Arts Center Refresh and Upgrade   Contact Name Maya Salganek
Proposal Author Maya Salganek, Miho Aoki, Vincent Cee, Da-ka-xeen Mehner   Contact Email
Area Department/Specific Use Lab Support   Contact Phone +1 907 474 5950
Amount Reqested 31,111   Group/Department Art/Music/Theatre/Film Lab
Year Spring 2011   College CLA
Proposal Summary
This is a re-re-submission of a TAB proposal originally submitted in Spring 2010, and again in Fall 2010. In Fall 2010, $26,827 were reserved for this proposal pending an updated budget. That was informally submitted and is now being formally resubmitted. This is the third request for lab refresh.

The Alaska Media Arts Center was established with the new renovations of the Fine Arts Music wing in 2004. With this renovation a space was created for Art, Music, and Theatre/Film students to have a creative computer media lab for our unique disciplines. The computers are regularly used by students in all of the Fine Arts for electronic arts applications, including music composition, audio mixing, electronic music creation, 3D animations, photo scanning, 2D design, and video editing. For the past several years students in the music department have primarily utilized the lab as most of the computers are connected directly to piano keyboards and specifically arranged for music creation.

Over the past 3 years computer arts students in art as well as film students in theatre have made extensive use of the lab. Each department has purchased, installed, and maintained their own computers specifically for their program as no University maintained lab has been provided. Currently there are seven (7) working iMacs purchased from the music renovation funds in 2004, four (4) MacPros purchased from TAB funds previously awarded to the Theatre/Film program in 2008, and (2) PCs used by the Art department for animation with MAYA and large format printing. Aside from the 4 MacPros, the lab is in desperate need for new machines.

Included in this proposal are requests for new computers, a media server, and a scanner. A previous version of this submission included software, which is now absent from this proposal. Salganek been actively working with OIT, Apple, and the Provost to secure site licensing for Final Cut Pro studio for the University. Previous requests for funding were refused based on our request for software. While the software is critical for the use of the machines in a lab, alternate sources for software funding will need to be sought by each department utilizing the lab.

Currently, the computer lab is divided into "sections" according to each department. It is now our hope to provide computers with general multi-media capacity to encourage artistic collaboration, making the lab relevant to more students in more departments. As faculty, we all serve together on the Collaborative Arts Council. Our mission to enhance the collaborative engagement in the arts across disciplines is something we would like to help foster and support. Should TAB funding be made available for this essential lab upgrade, we will solicit the Collaborative Arts Council for additional funding to help maintain some of the lab costs in the future.

Budget detail: Requested from TAB Provided by Unit Total Cost
Personnel $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Contractual Services (Installation/Training) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
(Hardware & software)
$30,961 $0.00 $0.00
Shipping Costs $150 $0.00 $0.00
TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED $31,111 $0.00 $0.00

Justification for any personnel or supplies requested:
Describe who will benefit in terms of numbers of students and classes:
Currently, the Alaska Media Arts Center is extremely limited as a computer lab as there are not enough machines to use the lab as a classroom.  As a result, students are required to access the labs outside of class time, and computer skills training are either offered as a lecture, or not at all. As many class sizes are thus limited to the capacity of the teaching space, the number of classes that could potentially be impacted is significant should we have enough seats in the lab.

The lab was designed as a teaching classroom with a projector and laptop connection. A tech refresh of the lab would enable all three departments to collaboratively schedule the lab as an additional classroom space for technical/computer based classes (such as ART 490 Pixel Painting, and FLM 271 Let's Make a Movie, MUS 433 Composition, or THR 348 Sound Design for the Entertainment Industry,).

In analyzing the impact, we can look at it in terms of a department-by-department basis.

Digital Photo & Pixel Painting (ART F371) with an average student enrollment of 14, Visualization and Animation (ART F472) with an average student enrollment of 12, Digital Video Compositing (ART F475) with an average student enrollment of 10, and Adv Computer Visualization in Art (ART F672) are classes are currently offered and would benefit from the upgrade of the lab.

The core requirement of ART 161: Two-Dimensional Design will soon become Two-Dimensional Digital Design.  This change is being implemented as student review of art majors has revealed that many students are graduating without digital imaging skills. It will also fill the need for the Computer Art program where the lowest level course is ART/JRN/FLM 371 with no previous computer training required.  This class would see approximately 24 students enrolled a year.

Beginning Drawing (ART F105) with an average enrollment of 18-20 students  will have a section of computer-aided drawing built into the class.  Currently the Art Department’s classes are taught in a number of locations around campus and a centralized location in the Fine Arts Complex will increase the awareness of computer offerings. Just for the art offering an average of 80 students per semester will benefit from this upgrade.

The growth of the Film minor degree program and the concentration of Digital cinema under Theater has led to an increase in the need of a digital classroom. At the time of this writing, we are currently under review to offer a Film Major B.A degree program, which would radically shift the need of the lab as a request to fill the needs of three departments to now four. The four computers currently "owned" by Theatre/Film and installed in the Media Arts Center Lab have been utilized by approximately 100 students in the past two years
Within a two-year cycle, the following classes were offered that required the use of this lab outside of classtime. This list  excludes courses which utilize the current lab in Bunnell as the main teaching lab:

THR/ANS 161- Alaska Native Performance (annual enrollment 10)
FLM F271 F01 Let's Make a Movie! (annual enrollment 30)
THR/FLM 325  Acting for the Camera (annual enrollment 6)
THR/FLM 331  Directing Film/Video (annual enrollment 15)
THR/FLM 348 – Sound design for the Entertainment Industry (annual enrollment 10)
THR/FLM 470  Advanced Film and Video Directing (annual enrollment 6)
JRN/FLM/ANTH/NORS 495/695 – Visual Anthropology and Scientific Research with Digital Video. (annual enrollment 10)
FLM 295 – Cinematography (annual enrollment 10)

New courses have been submitted to curriculum council which will also utilize lab space. These include:
FLM/THR 131- Previzuilization and Preproduction for Digital Cinema
ART/ANTH/FLM 481- Cross-Cultural Filmmaking

We have also maintained a healthy number of thesis/grant funded research students through EPSCoR, undergraduate student research grants, or independent studies. These advanced students also utilize the lab, with an average impact of six additional students a year.

Students of music are currently using the lab for music composition, audio mixing, and long-distance musical collaborations, and musical education courses in electronic music. In Spring 2010 Vincent Cee taught MUS 332 Intro to Electronic Music and the class was overenrolled. The course was taught in the Alaska Media Arts Center, and not enough computers were available for all of the students enrolled in the course. The class is being taught again this semester, but now, a year later, we have one less computer functioning in the lab than we did the prior time the course was offered.

In total, approximately 90 music students a year currently have access to this lab, 50 Film/Theatre Students, and currently very few art students are using the lab.

As a shared arts lab, we figure nearly 200 total students a year would gain access to the equipment in the lab. This varies based on the cycle of course offerings for any given year, and the ultimate ability of courses to be taught in this space. Linda Harriger in Music already schedules the use of the shared smart classroom, Music 301, so a similar approach would be taken to scheduling the use of the computer lab.
How does your proposal fit into UAF strategic goals and objectives?:
One clear goal of the 2010 Strategic Plan is to "Increase student participation in and opportunities for experiential learning". By allowing students a professional environment by which they earn credit while "working" in the field making commercial, educational, or creative film work would expand and enhance this goal of UAF. Recently, UAF Theatre student, Kaleb Yates, showcased his film "Letters from Santa" on KUAC-TV. This film was edited in the Alaska Media Arts Center for the past year as part of his own creative and independent study research.

Another goal of UAF's Strategic Plan is to "Enhance technology, support services and facilities for instruction and learning". Currently UAF offers many creative computer application classes in the Fine Arts complex, but does not have an OIT supported computer lab to serve these students in this area. While many students do use the Bunnell multi-media lab, these machines are limited and accessible to all UAF students. The Alaska Media Arts Center is limited to authorized users via PolarExpress and is available 24 hours a day to students enrolled in particular multi-media arts courses. The lab is maintained by faculty in the Fine Arts building.

"Increase research programs that address the Arctic and its indigenous people" is another stated goal. Work so far completed from the Theatre department's Video Workshop includes a collaboration with the Yup'ik Math Program in which we recorded and edited Yup'ik elders teaching mathematical techniques used in traditional activities. The DVDs from this work are currently being used as a teacher's resource for teaching this curriculum in  K-8 classrooms statewide. We have also assisted in teaching equipment setups with the Alaska Native Studies program, and have worked with Inupiaq elders and whaling captains in research about sea-ice. Currently the “Digital Tuma” course is also using the lab to create original film and performance using music, dance, story, and images from Alaska Native history. This course was supported by the Collaboration in the Arts to showcase the potential of creative art synergy on the UAF campus.

Research Goal: "Focus on participation and outcomes associated with the International Polar Year". Theatre/Film UAF went to Barrow for the past two summers with the research team led by the Geophysical Institute's Dr. Hajo Eicken and the Sea-Ice Field Research course to film research techniques and methods on the polar sea ice. This lab is currently the center of editing research being conducted.

"Expand and improve both applied and collaborative research ventures" Along these lines, Dr. Eicken and Maya Salganek  each created courses to collaborate while in Barrow. The sea-ice students studying research methods, and the film students studying Documentary film and Visual Anthropology. While students of science learned about ice, students of film learned about field production in adverse conditions, while documenting and producing the footage of the ice research. These collaborations benefit both programs, and continue to enhance the diversity of research and it's outcomes. The projects are funded under EPSCoR and NSF funding. Currently Music and Theatre department students are collaborating in mainstage productions on the Salisbury theatre, film students are incorporating musicians as composers, and art students are designing animations and graphics for scientific applications.

Other goals these projects reflect:
Increase the proportion of students and faculty engaged in research and scholarly activities.
Document and disseminate indigenous knowledge.
Increase, promote and monitor undergraduate research opportunities, activities and accomplishments.
Promote creative collaboration opportunities in the arts.
Outline the implementation schedule and staff responsible for the implementation and oversight:
This proposal will not directly affect sustainability, though many of the art projects we have worked on are about environmental science and contribute to the understanding of the world's ecosystems, or interpretation there of. Film research work on sea ice, ANWR, and climate change have all been done previously in this media lab.

Purchasing will be coordinated by the staff in Art, Music, and Theatre with assistance and purchase installation conducted by faculty of the three departments (Vincent Cree, Miho Aoki/Da-ka-xeen Mehner, Maya Salganek) will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of equipment. Classroom schedules will be maintained by Linda Harriger in music.
Please specify the building (with room numbers, if appropriate) where the technology will be stored, installed or used:
FA/T Music 305 is the location of the Alaska Media Center.
In the detailed "rejection" letter received in Spring 2010 from TAB and Chancellor Rodgers, several questions were raised as to the type of equipment being requested. The committee has since decided not to have drawing pads, or PC computers in the lab. Instead the focus has been to simply and streamline the lab so as to make the application on the equipment useful to students in all disciplines. We have also done way with the request for software. The flaw of the Alaska Media Center lab is the design of few t1 ports available. Currently, computers must split the bandwidth. This is the main reason a media server has been added to help assist in the speed of the machines accessing shared files. We are happy to discuss recommendations as needed with TAB should there be any questions.

-Apple iMac 21"  $1,499.00 -each.  x 12 = $17,998 (for use by all Art/Music/Theate/Film students with lab access).
-Media Server: to streamline all content storage of faculty assignments and student submissions. Includes RAID and server software - $66730.00
-Epson Expression 10000XL- Graphic Arts Scanner = $2,499.99 (for use specifically by Art students).

Items Description
# of Units Unit Price Total Price
Apple iMac 21" dual core 1TB 12 1899 22,788
Epson Expression 10000XL Graphic Arts Scanner 1 2499 2499
Apple MacPro Media Server - 2 TB RAID 1 5674 5,674
Shipping 1 150 150
Total     $31,111

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