Gallery

Project Atalanta — A multi-disciplinary collaboration between scholars and performers that re-imagines a multimedia alchemical emblem book printed 400 years ago, Atalanta fugiens. This team emerged over the past few years, stemming from my 2013-14 fellowship at the Chemical Heritage Foundation (Philadelphia).

We are producing a digital edition of Atalanta fugiens, Alchemy In Code, which is co-edited by me, Donna Bilak (Columbia University) and Tara Nummedal (Brown University) … which we talk more about here in Tear the Books Apart: Atalanta fugiens in a Digital Age.

But how does one actually read a musical alchemical emblem book?

This is explained in “The Art of Encryption, Music-Image-Text in Michael Maier’s Alchemical Emblem Book, Atalanta fugiens (1618)” — a Lecture-Performance by Donna Bilak in collaboration with Les Canards Chantants, and special guest speaker musicologist Loren Ludwig (Director, LeStrange Viols).
Bard Graduate Center, 15 April 2015

… Maier’s music is featured in “Songs from Hesperides, Michael Maier’s 1618 Musical Alchemical Emblem Book Atalanta fugiens.” Performance-Lecture by Les Canards Chantants and Donna Bilak, with Latin recitations by special guest Ridge Montes.
Brown University, 5 February 2016

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Material World of Jewelry — I designed and taught this undergraduate lecture course at Columbia during the Summer 2016 session to assess how to teach jewelry history, which is a practical subject by nature. We examined Western jewelry genres and technologies as a primary source for studying interrelationships between decorative arts, scientific and technological innovations, mercantile commerce, and society across the last five hundred years.

…and we also had hands-on experience with actual pieces and tools. This more than anything demystified jewelry as an artifact of adornment for my students. I blended assigned readings and class discussion with a three-part field trip — first to see jewelry on exhibit at the Met Museum, then to a handling session of rings from 100 BCE to 1700 CE at the New York gallery Les Enluminures (co-taught with goldsmith Jeanette Caines), culminating with hands-on bench work at the Jewelry Arts Institute under the guidance of Ms. Caines, JAI Director.

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Making & Knowing — When I was learning how to study history during graduate school, I had no idea that I would end up teaching it in a laboratory for three years… I cordially invite you to check out The Making and Knowing Project “Pedagogy-driven interdisciplinary research to study the nexus of historical craft making and scientific knowing” (Columbia University).

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© Donna Bilak and dbilakpraxis.com (2012-2017). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Bilak and dbilakpraxis.com (2012-2017) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.