Media art showcases student work; Open-call for art generates ‘huge’ student response

An overhead view of the 2014 Media Arts Spring Student Show. The 15th Annual Media Arts Spring Student Show will feature the best works in media arts for the 2014/15 school year. The show will put on display media arts work in animation, audio, photography, film, web and design. A reception for the show will be held on Wednesday, June 10 in the first and second floor of Building 17 from 6-8 pm.Image courtesy of Pivot in association with Perkins & Will

An overhead view of the 2014 Media Arts Spring Student Show. The 15th Annual Media Arts Spring Student Show will feature the best works in media arts for the 2014/15 school year. The show will put on display media arts work in animation, audio, photography, film, web and design. A reception for the show will be held on Wednesday, June 10 in the first and second floor of Building 17 from 6-8 pm.
Image courtesy of Pivot in association with Perkins & Will

“Media Arts is about sharing ideas and stories with others, it is a very public art form,” said Art and Applied Design Instructor Jan Halvorsen. The fifteenth annual Spring Show exemplifies this kind of sharing, and it is all student work.

The receptions, complete with music and food, will be hosted on Lane’s Media Day, Wednesday, June 10. This year’s Spring Show is going to be bigger than ever.

Normally, the bulk of the art is curated from classes by instructors who chose the best representations of student art made at Lane over the entire school-year. The show also hosted an open-call for art. This year’s open-call was juried June 2 by an outside panel of professionals.

“There was a huge response,” Halvorsen said. “This year, open call surpassed my expectations, it was great.” A bulk of the show this year will be from open call submissions.

The event will kick off with a small reception in the galleries. It is a closing reception to acknowledge graduates of the Graphic Design and Media Arts program from 4-5:45 p.m. in Building 11. Then, the spotlight will move to the big show in Building 17 starting at 6 p.m.

“The show focuses on a year’s worth of excellent work that represents what students are studying in our program,” Halvorsen said. “It’s all the type of work media students create — photography, video, audio, graphic design, animation and digital art in general.”

Halvorsen said that the variety of work on display is going to be impressive. “It will surprise people to see the quality and range that students do. Many people think of media art as just web design, and we are so much more than that.”

There will be a variety of awards presented for various categories including best photos, best photojournalism and more.

“We have had generous donations from local businesses. It’s been amazing how responsive people have been to giving us awards,” Halvorsen said.

A volunteer team of students, faculty and staff are working collectively to host the event. They have been working since September to ensure that the show is a huge success.

“We have a fabulous student graphic designer, Jessica Beaudet, who has been doing excellent work.” She did the poster design, ads and has been the main designer for all marketing.

“We pushed to make it big,” Halvorsen said. “This is a great opportunity to see what our students do. Anyone who is interested in Media Arts, this is the ideal time to come check out what we do, see work, meet faculty and talk to students.”

The Torch will be showcasing a large display at the event.

Are cell phones harmful?; Film supports legislation

In addition to many other Lane students on campus, freshman economics major Nabiela Ismail uses her cell phone outside Bristow Square.Photo: August Frank

In addition to many other Lane students on campus, freshman economics major Nabiela Ismail uses her cell phone outside Bristow Square.
Photo: August Frank

The documentary “Mobilize” warns about cell phone radiation and supports legislation for labeling cell phones as potentially dangerous. The film, shown at Lane on Wednesday, May 27, was followed by a question and answer Skype session with director Kevin Kunze.

Approximately 25 people gathered for the event, the third in a series of events aimed to educate people about health and social justice regarding technology.

“Cell phone companies are telling customers in fine print how to use their cell phones in a safer way,” said film director Kevin Kunze, “yet they sued cities like San Francisco for wanting to make that safety information more accessible.”

The city of San Francisco dropped their ordinance mandating the labeling of cell phones, voted into law in Feb. 2010, when threatened by a $500,000 lawsuit from Cellular Telephone Industries Association in May of 2013.

Recently the Berkeley, Calif. city council ignored the San Francisco lawsuit and voted to enact a “Right to Know” ordinance on May 12 this year — forcing cell phone retailers to provide information about cell phone safety on packaging and with a separate flyer included with every cell phone purchase. The ordinance aims to highlight the fine print that is already written into the language of cell phone contracts.

“… Nearly every cell phone manual includes fine-print information about radiation exposure, and the safer ways in which people can use their phones,” Kunze says in “Mobilize.”

Oregon currently has two similar bills proposed, House Bill 3351 which requires specific labeling on cell phone packages, and House Bill 3350 forcing the Department of Education to issue a formal statement which discloses the potential health risks of cell phones.

Electromagnetic fields are everywhere in the environment. They contain both an electrical and magnetic component. EMFs are present naturally from atmospheric changes, the earth’s magnetic field and the sun. In general, humans cannot detect EMF with the exception of visible light, which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

EMF outside of the visible spectrum has been utilized for X-rays, military weapons, radio, microwaves, cell phones, and more.

Cell phones use the existing radio frequency spectrum at relatively low levels to transmit and receive data to and from cell towers, bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi hotspots and GPS satellites. Data is layered through the manipulation of the frequency and amplitude of waves.

The Federal Communication Commission’s current safety guidelines for safe radio frequency energy levels, established in 1996, are based on a measurement called the Specific Absorption Rate. SAR is the highest measurement of the energy absorbed by a human-like dummy from cell phone emissions. In order for a cell phone to pass FCC standards and be sold in the U.S., it must have a measurable SAR below a safe level.

According to the FCC this does not take into account the rate at which data is transmitted over time, power fluctuations within cell phones nor different positions in which a particular device may be held to the head.

Debate revolves around whether or not the SAR standard is an adequate measure of the potential danger of routine, continual cell phone usage.

“It is not disputed that electromagnetic fields above certain levels can trigger biological effects …” states the World Health Organization’s web page on EMF, “ … The current debate is centered on whether long-term low level exposure can evoke biological responses and influence people’s well being.”

It is commonly accepted that high energy EMF, such as X-rays and gamma rays damage DNA. The issue with the radiation from cell phones is that the energy released is so small that measuring the effects has produced varying results in the scientific community. Many researchers claim that cell phone EMF is not powerful enough to directly damage DNA, therefore it cannot be carcinogenic.

“Mobilize” claims the opposite. Sources quoted in the movie say that over time, low-level EMF exposure may create biological effects. Even mundane things like eating a spicy chili-pepper create slight, but measurable biological effects in the body.

In the movie CTIA representative Gerard Keegan says, “It puts cell phones on par with coffee and pickled vegetables.” Kunze commented that statements like Keegan’s made by lobbyists for the cell phone industry are misleading.

The film claims that the burden is on cell phone companies to prove that their product is safe.

“It should be, but it’s not,” said Lane Instructor Karin Almquist, who helped organize the event. “It’s the other way around.” Science is tasked to show that there is a link between the measurable biological effects from EMF and actual harm to people.

“There’s a handful of studies that have looked at ten years or more of cell phone use,” says David Servan-Schreiber, Ph.D., M.D. in the film, “… these studies all find roughly a doubling of the risk of brain tumors, on the side in which people have been using their phones.” The movie also presents research that suggests that long term exposure to low-level EMF from cell phones can reduce fertility in males.

These claims are not conclusively backed by the scientific community at large.

“Mobilize” claims that media reporting and scientific reports on the potential risks of low-level EMF is biased because of advertising revenue and funding by cell phone companies, which comprise an almost $200 billion-a-year business.

In 2011 the WHO officially classified EMF from cell phones as a “class 2B possible carcinogen.” Other countries, including Israel, Canada and Russia already warn against cell phone use, especially by children who studies show are more susceptible to radiation. In January of this year, the French government passed legislation regulating EMF that, among other things, prohibits Wi-Fi in day care centers.

“Mobilize” proposes that citizens minimize the potential dangers of EMF by supporting legislation requiring warning labels, such as the House Bills currently proposed in Oregon.

People can take precautionary steps, such as turning off cell phones at night, not carrying phones on the body but in holsters or bags, limiting children’s cell phone usage, using headsets or speakerphones and holding phones further from the head.

Vince Chhabria, J.D., one of the speakers in the movie said “if they [people] receive this information, of course they are still going to use their cell phones … but they are going to use their cell phones in a different and safer way.”

Elaine Weiss, retired Lane instructor, said that the showing was great. “It should be shown more widely,” Weiss said.

The event was co-sponsored by the Lane Peace Center and the UO Cultural Forum.

http://www.ibtimes.com/international-scientists-warn-against-em-radiation-emitted-electronic-gadgets-1920862

https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/specific-absorption-rate-sar-cellular-telephones

http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf

http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/

ACRONYM LEGEND
EMF — Electromagnetic field
SAR — Specific Absorption Rate
FCC — Federal Communications Commission
CTIA — Cellular Telephone Industries Association
WHO — World Health Organization

International students trip the light fantastic

International students from “Team Indonesia” perform during the 2015 International Night in the Center for Meeting and Learning Banquet Hall at Lane’s Downtown Campus on Friday, May 15.Photo: Justin Cox

International students from “Team Indonesia” perform during the 2015 International Night in the Center for Meeting and Learning Banquet Hall at Lane’s Downtown Campus on Friday, May 15.
Photo: Justin Cox

The room was sold out. Every seat was filled and people lined the walls to join in the celebration. Friday, May 15, Lane’s International Student Association featured performances, a fashion show and cuisine. International Night was a hit. Lane student Daniel Game said, “It was an excellent event!”
Hosted at the Lane Downtown Campus Center for Meeting and Learning, the event was a blend of culture and style. Everything from modern dance and instrumentals to traditional chanting and poetry were presented by students from more than 15 countries.
Sat Bhajan Kaur, who led the Hula Kahiko performed by Asian & Pacific Islander Student Union, said that the event’s purpose was to raise awareness and understanding of cultural differences. “We celebrate together in sharing our common humanity,” she said.
Costumes ranged from the simple to elaborate, containing vivid and striking colors from across the spectrum. The fashion show emblazoned the varied and beautiful contemporary and traditional dress of 13 countries — from Mexico to Saudi Arabia.
The event kicked off with Korean students dancing to “Gangnam Style” by Psy. Most of the audience clapped and danced along. The energy remained palpable until the end. People lined up afterward for plates full of satays, sushi, tacos and a wide sampling of other foods from around the globe.
Family and friends of Lane students also attended. “I was surprised to see so many countries and cultures represented,” said UO student Shawn Ohki. “I was impressed by the diverse group of people.”
This was the first time that the event has been held indoors. There were some technical issues with lighting and sound that needed to be addressed. Beth Schenderlein, who runs the International Student Program, said that the room was designed for lectures, not music, and that the sound would be better if the event were hosted at the Performing Arts Center.
The turnout was much higher than expected. “We were only expecting 150 people, but there were almost 300 people at the event last night,” Arunima Bhattacharjee student worker for International Programs and former Torch reporter, said.
“Everyone put a lot of effort in making this event a success, some of them have been practicing for months.” Bhattacharjee said. Proceeds from the event went towards the International Student Emergency Fund.

Compassion’s in fashion; The Dalai Lama’s translator speaks at Lane

Dr. Geshe Thupten Jinpa Langri drinks tea with Lane Peace Center Chair Stan Taylor and others in the Blue Door Theatre before speaking to over 500 people in the Ragozzino Performance Hall on Sunday, May 10.Photo: Justin Cox

Dr. Geshe Thupten Jinpa Langri drinks tea with Lane Peace Center Chair Stan Taylor and guests in the Blue Door Theatre before speaking to over 500 people in the Ragozzino Performance Hall on Sunday, May 10.
Photo: Justin Cox

It was standing room only as more than 500 people filled Lane’s Ragozzino Performance Hall on May 10, but it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop. The speaker, Geshe Thupten Jinpa Langri, started his presentation by leading the audience through a brief, silent meditative breathing exercise.

The presentation was about his new book, “Fearless Heart,” which focuses on the power of compassion. Jinpa said he feels that this book is especially important, because it is the first he has written for the general public, rather than for Buddhists or academics.

It is also the first book for which he has toured. Jinpa’s background is truly a blend of Eastern and Western culture. He has travelled alongside the Dalai Lama for decades, and also studied at Stanford. He earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge. This book, he says, represents this blend.

Jinpa quoted famous Western scientists and philosophers, including Franz de Waal and Bill Harper. He said that Western culture is just now exploring compassion; not only in psychology and sociology, but in unexpected fields, such as economics.

As an example, he described a psychological study on infants as young as four months old performed by researchers at the University of British Columbia. Researchers had the children watch toys with faces on them interacting with each other, some being helped up an incline and others being knocked down and stopped by other toys. When the toys were given to the children to play with, the infants showed a statistically significant higher preference for the friendly, cooperative toys than for the violent ones.

“There is a natural sense of concern that we feel in the face of someone else’s suffering or need,” he said. “All of us know that we have this capacity.” Until now, science has had trouble explaining compassion because, for years, the social story of Western culture has been based on selfishness and survival of the fittest. This underlying official story is supported by our institutions and repeated, he said.

“I think the ideas about compassion and courage are very important for the Western world,” said Oshrit Livne, Lane student.

In addition to recognizing compassion, Jinpa wants us to embrace it, intentionally making it a more powerful and dominant force — an active part of our operating principle in life. He described this as both attention and intention: the observance of compassion with its underlying motivations and the purposeful use of compassion.

He said it is all about mindset, we can make compassion a part of daily life — not just situationally applicable when it presents itself. He quoted the Buddha saying, “we are what we think, with our mind we create our own world.”

Jinpa said that we all hold the key to compassion within ourselves — our ability to feel connected; the trick is to embrace it and overcome our fears. “An element of courage is necessary,” he said. “We have to open our heart.” He went on to explain that allowing courage to be expressed in turn leads to more courage. “Compassion is innate,” he said, “we just need an environment where we can express it.”

Compassion is not just about caring for others, but caring about oneself. He explained how one can embrace compassion to understand the tough times within one’s own life, and to learn and grow from it.

His message was well received by the audience. “He was a miracle to come and see today,” said Ellie Markelle, while waiting in line for her book to be signed.

The event was hosted by the Palmo Center for Peace and Education and the LCC Peace Center.

Dr. Geshe Thupten Jinpa Langri signs copies of his book, “Fearless Heart,” outside the Ragozzino Performance Hall after speaking to a sold out crowdPhoto: Justin Cox

Dr. Geshe Thupten Jinpa Langri signs copies of his book, “Fearless Heart,” outside the Ragozzino Performance Hall after speaking to a sold out crowd
Photo: Justin Cox

Words matter; Responding to allegations about racism

At the ASLCC meeting on May 6 allegations were made by several members of the gallery regarding racism on campus. Lane student Rudwan Dawod named student Brittany Healy, Student Resource Director, ASLCC, as one of the people responsible.

Healy has responded by saying that the allegations are false. “I felt bullied,” Healy said. It all started when Healy had asked Mariana Paredones, who was running for ASLCC President, to stop using computers at a promotional booth to garner students’ votes, Healy said.

Computers were being used by some of the candidates to record student’s votes at the same place where they were campaigning, and this represented a conflict of interest. Healy said that the decision to disallow the use of computers at booths was decided unanimously at an earlier Elections Committee meeting, to help keep the election fair and balanced.

When Healy asked Paredones and her team to stop using computers Dawod was offended, Healy said. The allegation against Healy was made by Dawod at the Senate meeting directly after the promotional booth incident.

“I think it was a misunderstanding,” Christian Mello, ALSCC Gender and Sexual Diversity Advocate, said. “Passions were so high during election time.”

“Tensions were high,” Seth Joyce, ALSCC State Affairs Director, said. “Miscommunication was a huge thing.”

Healy said that cultural competency is important. “Everyone has their own beliefs and opinions that separate us,” Healy said. “We just have to work on bridging the gap.

Accessibility for all; Disability exhibit comes to Lane

The exhibit on disability in Building 10 was created by Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, and shows the history of disability through the ages.Photo: August Frank

The exhibit on disability in Building 10 was created by Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, and shows the history of disability through the ages.
Photo: August Frank

On May 4, The Center for Accessibility Resources, formerly known as Disability Resources, hosted a reception for an exhibit on the history of disability.

The exhibit, created by Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, shows the history of disability through the ages. Beginning with ancient times, the panels of the exhibit portray the varying moral, medical and social viewpoints on disability, replete with commentary, images and famous quotes.

Early Greek and Roman philosophers, quoted in the first panel, viewed bodily perfection as a human ideal. As proponents of infanticide for those born with any visible defect, they stand in stark contrast to modern viewpoints. The exhibit explores everything from the words of Jesus and the impact of religion on disabled people, to eugenics and Nazi experiments during World War II.

The exhibit also explores the roles that modern activism, such as the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethons and the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University, have played in creating a more accepting modern world.

One of the slides captures a key to the issue of accessibility, stating that 80 percent of people will be disabled at some point in their lives.

Understanding and acknowledging that disabled people are a majority, not a minority, is a major shift in modern public perception.

Terrie Minner, director of CAR, hosted the exhibit along with Cathie Reschke, a CAR accommodation specialist.

“It’s the perfect timing to host this display,” Minner said, explaining that modern philosophical changes towards disability have encouraged schools to make education more accessible than ever before.

She said that LCC is moving toward a “universal design in the classroom” through education. Reschke agreed.

After closing at Lane on May 6, the display moved to the University of Oregon Willamette Hall Atrium on Thursday, May 7.

The complete exhibit is available to view online at the Alaska state government’s Disability and Special Education webpage at:

http://dhss.alaska.gov/gcdse/Pages/history/html_maincontent_overview.aspx

Native people remembered and respected

President of the Morningstar Institute Suzan Shown Harjo speaks with Peace Symposium attendees at the Lane Longhouse after Harjo’s speech.Photo: August Frank

President of the Morningstar Institute Suzan Shown Harjo (right) speaks with Peace Symposium attendees at the Lane Longhouse after Harjo’s speech.
Photo: August Frank
Founder and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Restoration Network Dennis Martinez (left) speaks Thursday, April 30, at the Lane Longhouse.Photo: August Frank

Founder and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Restoration Network Dennis Martinez (left) speaks Thursday, April 30, at the Lane Longhouse.
Photo: August Frank

“This building has a story. If you listen close enough you will hear it.” Educator and peace advocate David West was talking about the Longhouse as he kicked off of the annual Lane Peace symposium on April 30 with a prayer.

More than 250 people gathered to hear keynote speakers Suzan Harjo and Dennis Martinez talk about justice through repatriation and ecological sustainability.

Harjo, a Cheyenne/Muscogee, spoke about the return of ancestral remains and sacred lands, highlighting the ongoing struggles of American Indians.

American Indians are being denied constitutional rights she said, adding that they have been battling for years trying to repatriate land, sacred religious sites and even human remains.

Harjo talked about roadside attractions where people show off the mummies of her people’s ancestors. This isn’t a new fad she said.

In fact, Harjo claimed, that there have been reports for hundreds of years about post-burial exhumations, sometimes explicitly carried out by the United States government right after a burial ceremony.

American Indians have recovered over one-million acres of land with her help she said. “It sounds simple and doable and it is, if only [our opponents] didn’t come from the same educational system as the rest of America,” Harjo said.

She went on to explain how general misinformation taught to people about American Indians seriously hurts and dampens repatriation efforts.

Harjo spoke about the establishment of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. She loves that the museum can teach people about American Indians. A smile crossed her face as she remembered the opening ceremony — an eagle soaring overhead and a pond full of ducks.

“How wonderful, something in Washington that wasn’t planned,” she said, closing with an appeal to end racial stereotyping in athletics.

Writer and advocate for American Indians Dennis Martinez continued the theme of repatriation, extending it to include not just objects, but nature. He mentioned the various plants and trees of the Willamette Valley that are not protected, including “the oak tree [that] is the tree of life.”

Martinez called for a better understanding of language, to bridge communication between Traditional Environmental Knowledge and western science. He said that humans are the “apex-omnivore,” the keystone species of earth. Our influence, therefore, is not only top-down, but bottom-up as well, he said.

“It isn’t just a social justice issue, it is an environmental issue,” Martinez said. He talked about how people with TEK see nature differently than western scientists. “It is a landscape of stories,” he said.

Indigenous people shape an American landscape that includes greater biodiversity and surplus he said. One of the methods he supports is prescribed fires combined with the planting of dry, native grasses in forests. This, and other methods, lead to abundance in nature, he said.

Martinez finished by outlining land ethics, which he said includes regulation, taking minimum sustainable yields, creating greater biodiversity and respecting natural law. He emphasized the importance of communication in reaching these goals.