Lee Ann Pomplas-Breuning / Art History

Graduate Student Researcher
1997 – 2003

Project: Roots

Lee Ann Pomplas-Breuning

My association with the New Media Lab began through my affiliation with the Graduate School, where I am a student in the Ph.D. program in Art History with a specialization in contemporary art. My involvement with the Lab has begun to underscore my academic work as my recent projects have included critical investigations into the convergence of art and technology.

As an undergraduate at Barnard College, I received a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Because of this background in the visual arts, there seemed to be something lacking in my foray into graduate academia. I met Steve Brier and Brian Schwartz in May of 1997 as they were assembling the New Media Lab. Enthusiastic about the prospect of a multi-disciplinary group focused on technology, I joined the Lab and have remained ever since. Thankfully, through my work at the NML, I have been able to temper my academic life with some much-needed creativity.

During the past two years, I have focused on learning Softimage, a complex 3D modeling and animation software program. My first project was in collaboration with Professor Brian Schwartz and concentrated on the depiction of a rainbow. In the spirit of the multi-disciplinary aspect of the Lab, the Rainbow Project combined both physics and art. Our purpose was to create an animation that was visually engaging but would also convey specific information about the phenomenological experience of a rainbow. I am currently working on the Lost Museumproject, where I have constructed and animated a 3D model of P. T. Barnum’s Feejee Mermaid. In addition, I have also mapped the many textures that populate the project and make it appear realistic.