ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

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Sang Um Nam is an artist, scholar, and inventor who lives in Madison, WI and teaches Imaging Media (New Media Concentration) in the Department of Communication Technologies at University of Wisconsin, Platteville.  He received his B.S. in Molecular Biology and B.A. in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts from University of California, San Diego in 2001 and his M.F.A. in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred University in 2004.

Nam has a background in both art and science and possesses a unique ability to synthesize original projects and theoretical constructs that are both challenging and engaging.  Examples of this kind of approach can be seen in Silent Scream (2004, single channel video) where he utilizes complex mathematical formulas in the generation of “processing scores” and his unique approach to sound composition where geometric patterns are mapped across performance interfaces.

Nam has been able to synthesize the knowledge of digital technology and incorporate it into his work in ways that have been able to extend his ideas.  His sensibility to sound/image and his deep understanding of digital technology have allowed him to take advantage of working both traditionally and not traditionally.  In Fluxion (2004, video installation), he achieved to make a digital representation of natural event in mathematically calculated space with his unique ability of computer programming and he clearly showed what could happen when technology and art merges.

Nam is a serious inventor and artist who is making formidable work and an exciting artist with fantasy and vision in searching unconventional integration of art and science.  He invented many audio mixers and channel controllers, including Quadraphonic and Octaphonic Sound Perspective Generator, which users can move sound stream with a joystick or a control board he made in 3-dimensional space.  In 2003, he invented Sensor Board: Sensor Board is a modified keyboard that allows users to interface with computer with sensors instead of pushing buttons, and it opens many possibilities for artists, who want to explore more in interactive aspects.

Also, Nam pursues his career as an international educator.  Especially, he tries to be connected with other cultures and help bring more diversity into the community he belongs to.  His research and practicum on international education have been acknowledged to many conferences including Global Education 2007: Best Practices in International Education, which will be held at Green Lake, WI from October, 2007.  He proposed a new model for international student services on campus, and many campuses are interested in adapting his model.  Recently, he spoke on “Cultural Influences on Communication in Business” as a guest speaker at University of Wisconsin, Platteville on September 2007.  As part of his research, he traveled to many Southeast Asian countries such as South Korea, Thailand, Nepal, and Myanmar, and shared his teaching philosophy.  In 2006, he traveled to South Korea and had two Artist Talk presentations and two Image-Manipulation workshops.

As a researcher, Nam is interested in Semiotics and Communication Theory applications in mass media and various art disciplines, and he often travels around the nation to present his research.  His presentation proposal on “Concord Sonata by Charles Ives: Performance Manual & Reception for Experimental Music” has been selected and will be presented at the Pacific Central/Pacific Southern SuperRegional Conference of The College Music Society, March 14 through 16, 2008 (Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA) and at the Rocky Mountain/Pacific Northwest Super Regional Conference of The College Music Society, April 10-13, 2008 (The University of Montana in Missoula, Missoula, MT).   Recently, he appeared for the presentation at the College Music Society’s 2007 Regional Conference (Pacific Central Chapter) – he shared his insights about how beginner piano student develops one’s decoding system of music notation at San Francisco State University on March 2007.  Also, he shared his insights about “Mass Media and Mass Production” at Marymount Manhattan College, New York, NY on March 2007.

Updated December 2007

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