Center for Arts and Entertainment Technology hosts launch event

Jasleen Shokar

Live sound mixing, video game displays and a whizzing 3-D printer accompanies finger food and a dark room illuminated by streaks of fuchsia stage lights. 

Students from the Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies classes in the College of Fine Arts, showcased their final projects Thursday during the center’s launch event. 

CAET’s multi-tiered initiative begins with launching a new degree program in arts and entertainment technologies in the fall of 2016.

“Many of the courses have been running for the last three years,” CAET director Bruce Pennycook said. “But a degree for students officially begins this fall and we’re anticipating a big group, maybe over 100, so it’s really exciting for us.”

Undergraduate studies freshman Christian Woolen said he felt the atmosphere in the classes was very nurturing. 

“You learn, but you don’t know you are learning,” Woolen said. “The professors have such passion and before, I wasn’t confident in my art. Everyone has an ego, and getting over my ego and embracing myself was important.” 

UT alumna Cindy To, lead designer for her team on a video game called “Colorless,” said the skills she gained in the class sparked her interest in gaming as a career. 

“Having an entire studio set up with other teams provided healthy competition and helped build knowledge,” To said. “It became the whole class helping each other with tips, what works, what doesn’t and it was like a real-life industry experience.”

Another aspect of the initiative is the opening of a creative “makerspace,” built in partnership with the University’s library system. The Foundry, which will open in the Fine Arts Library this fall, will feature facilities and technology for students and faculty to develop their ideas. 

“This will be open to every UT card-holding member of our community and will include a video and game making space with IM game stations, 3-D printing, laser-cut fabric design and a voiceover studio for people who want to make sound effects for the movies they are making,” Pennycook said. 

Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said we forget the arts and technology are already related. 

“The arts and technology have always been in constant conversation with each other,” Dempster said. “Just consider that the Greek amphitheater, piano and electric lamp were all technological advances that affected art. Art is constantly testing the boundaries of technology.”