MAY 25, 2023 — Mark McCoin, an associate professor of art in the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA), has received a 2023 George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship. The prestigious award recognizes McCoin’s exemplary interdisciplinary work with a focus in sound, which involves 4D performances and installations with integrated technologies.
In 2022, McCoin premiered “Robotic Resonance” (RR), a developing art experiment combining sound performance with gestural robotics. The project was originally funded by a Luminaria Artist Foundation’s Rick Liberto Visual Art Grantee award in 2020. Through its thought-provoking concepts, interdisciplinary approach and meticulous execution, RR exemplifies UTSA's commitment to pushing boundaries, fostering critical thinking and inspiring innovative ideas among its students, faculty and the community.
“The Howard Fellowship will provide me with support for the next phase of research and development into the Robotic Resonance project. This phase will focus on the implementation of a form of AI that will allow Roz to apply recursive machine learning to what it hears and parses in real time,” said McCoin. “The application of this research into edge computing, machine learning and artistic expression seeks to advance a broader understanding and implementation of emerging technologies in music, performance art and the humanities.”
McCoin’s work can be seen across Texas and has been enjoyed internationally. Selected works include the evening length performance “The Feral Piano,” “Uprising,” an interactive sculpture installation for Sculpture Month Houston, and a prize-winning “Piano Car” performance at the Houston Art Car Parade.
The UTSA faculty member has also composed and produced scores for dance, theater, film, radio and for television programs on networks such as Animal Planet and Food Network. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Merce Cunningham Studio, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, at ruin sites in Peru and in villages in Bali, Indonesia.
“Mark’s work on Robotic Resonance is a fabulous testament to the competitive level of research our faculty engage in and to the power of the marriage between art and other disciplines,” said UTSA School of Art Interim Director Libby Rowe. “The Howard Foundation Award is a highly prestigious award and this recognition of Mark and his continued work researching artificial intelligence and robot learning will undoubtedly yield some impressive and engaging artwork into the future.”
Established in 1952, the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation is an independent foundation administered at Brown University. Fellowships awarded are unrestricted and do not require a residency for the sole purpose of aiding the intellectual and artistic development of the recipients. McCoin is the second UTSA faculty member to be award a Howard Foundation Fellowship, following School of Art Senior Lecturer Andrei Renteria, who received a fellowship in 2019.
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