By John Cerretani
Professor ShanShan Wang was one of the winners of The Kooshk Artist Residency Award (KARA), which recognizes exceptional artists, writers, performers and visual creators.
The Kooshk residency was established in 2014 in Tehran, Iran and works to create a space for talented writers, filmakers, artists, and researchers to collaborate and be recognized for their work.
Wang was one of only four artists internationally chosen for the KARA and will get the chance to produce more virtual content and research in Europe this May.
There were over 375 applications submitted from 90 different countries, according to the Kooshk Residency website.
“My research interests are in the areas of new media arts and I am particularly interested in exploring digital humanities and socio-political interactions,” said Wang.
Wang has taught a wide array of classes at the School of Communication and Media Arts, including Virtual Reality, a new course designed to explore the technological
advancements of virtual reality and interactive computer developments.
Her interests in virtual media and immersive online content provided her with methods of artistic and personal expression.
“My submission for the KARA focuses on virtual reality’s potential as a new artistic form of activism,” said Wang. “The current social situation awakes me to think about the ability and immediacy of cyberspace to perform as an emerging art platform that can comment powerfully on social and political issues.“
In order to be selected for the KARA, applicants had to submit their resume along with various forms of their artwork or other projects, which would be judged by a panel of people from the residency program.
Some of Wang’s students were impressed with her recognition.
“She is always going to be pushing the envelope with being more innovative and helping the students with their learning process,” said junior James Taubl. “I feel that her being young also helps to connect with the students that she is teaching.”
Following her recognition, Wang has been invited to participate in residency programs in both England and Italy where she will showcase her current work in solo exhibitions and further progress her research with virtual reality and online content.
During her residency program, Wang will collaborate with the other three winners of the award and will interact with their art, the environment and society.
“I’m so happy Professor Wang won the award, she has a real passion for virtual reality and the future of communications, so this recognition is well-deserved,” said junior Nina Miglio.
Co-News Editor Alexa Binkowitz contributed to this article.