Building Interdisciplinary Stories with the Integrated Arts Research Initiative at the Spencer Museum of Art

University of Kansas
  • Joey Orr, The Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas
  • Ryan Waggoner, Director of Creative Services, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas

Project Description

Each academic year, the Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI) at the Spencer Museum of Art organizes an inquiry that encompasses a large spectrum of practitioners across the arts, sciences, and humanities. Our new digital storytelling web pages give inquiry participants a more robust level of engagement and enable broader publics to explore emergent connections throughout the academic year. The digital form of our inquiries began in 2020-2021 with “Tending to the Body,” which addressed how we tend to our bodies during a time of civil unrest and a global pandemic. Contributors included artists exhibiting in the Spencer Museum’s 2021 exhibition, Healing, Knowing, Seeing the Body, as well as MacArthur Fellows Janine Antoni (sculptor) and John Rich (physician) and others. Forthcoming digital spaces support inquiries into high energy physics for 2021-2022 with Janet Biggs (New York, artist), Agnieszka Międlar (KU, Mathematics), and Daniel Tapia Takaki (KU, Physics) and an innovative exploration of blockchain technology with artists Simon Denny (Berlin) and Stephanie Dinkins (New York) and Distinguished Professor Perry Alexander (KU, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). These pages also serve as a digital exploration for new forms of Museum archiving and publishing.

Partner Details

  • Joey Orr

    The Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas

    Bio

    Joey Orr is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas where he directs the Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI). He was previously the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the MCA Chicago, associate editor for the Journal for Artistic Research, and has edited special issues of the Journal of American Studies (Cambridge) and Visual Methodologies. He is a contributing editor for Art Papers.

  • Ryan Waggoner

    Director of Creative Services, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas

    Bio

    Ryan Waggoner is Director of Creative Services at the Spencer Museum of Art. His work includes digitizing the collection, producing documentary-style videos, and providing direction for digital platforms. Waggoner is passionate about using visual storytelling to make art more accessible, and regularly contributes to the museum technology sector through communities of practice and professional organizations. He received his BFA in photography from the University of Kansas, and is a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute.