By Audrey Ward
Each year, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage awards grants to individual Philadelphia-based artists of all disciplines. This year, notable Temple alum, Lisa Marie Patzer (FMA MFA ‘13) is one of the 2019 Pew Fellowship recipients.
Patzer’s most recent media installation at Philadelphia’s Icebox Project Space: “A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy”, examines the interpretation of privacy laws in the digital age and invites viewers into an immersive video surveillance environment. In doing so, it interrogates how emerging technologies (and the ideologies that inform their production) shape our lives and influence visual culture.
When it comes to her approach and techniques when creating her work, Patzer claims that she views her artistic practice as a form of research. Through this, she says, she tries to “take out and make visible to others ideas that are significant to different spheres of understanding such as cultural, institutional, and social influence.” Patzer finds that, in doing so, she is often looking at the technology and techniques of these different spheres of influence.
Patzer considers her work highly “interdisciplinary” as it traverses many different academic areas, such as social sciences, communications, history, and technological development. Currently, she is working on a project that has to do with machine learning and artificial intelligence. Heavily interested in the influence of machine learning, Patzer is struck by advancements in computer capabilities that allow computers to actually recognize aspects of images and how this will impact different areas such as digital humanities. Currently, she is collaborating with two computer science artists on this project, whom she met through Temple’s program.
She is grateful to the Pew Fellowships program and its investment in the potential of Philadelphian artists and is hoping to use her award to deepen her research in the fields of artificial intelligence and computer machine learning. Also, Patzer is looking forward to the fact that the Fellowship will help her to connect to a network of committed artists in the Philadelphia region.
Temple is greatly credited for her success. Says Patzer, “I had the pleasure of working with a lot of great faculty as a student.” She believes that Temple’s program finds its strength in its interdisciplinary approach to its curriculum. “As a grad student, I had support and flexibility in terms of pursuing very specific areas…the faculty were incredibly supportive in me pursuing the curriculum that I wanted, and I am just very grateful to the program for that.”
We’re so excited for Patzer and looking forward to seeing what she does next!
For more info on the Pew Fellowship check here: pewcenterarts.org/people/lisa-marie-patzer
And check out this WHYY article on Patzer's recent work: whyy.org/segments/philly-art-exhibit-examines-what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-privacy/