Gallery

Project Atalanta — a multi-disciplinary collaboration directed by me (Donna Bilak, Columbia University) and Tara Nummedal (Brown University) that involves scholars and performers in re-imagining 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 (Director, Robin Bier), 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 ways of teaching jewelry history, an inherently practical subject. 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 jewelry 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.