Jaron Lanier, New Media Guru, Presents Cornerstone Keynote Lecture at CC - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038



 Lanier credited with coining phrase ‘virtual reality’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jan. 18, 2012 – Jaron Lanier, the man credited with coining the phrase “virtual reality” and the author of “You Are Not a Gadget,” will deliver the 2012 Cornerstone Keynote Lecture at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Richard F. Celeste Theatre in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., on the Colorado College campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Lanier will discuss the possibilities, pitfalls and potential of New Media in a presentation titled “You Are Not a Gadget: The Undiscovered Continents of Human Potential.” His lecture, part of Colorado College’s 2012 Cornerstone Arts Initiative, will combine, among other things, elements of cognition, Microsoft's XBOX, chemistry and musical improvisation.

Lanier’s 2010 bestseller “You Are Not a Gadget”has been described by The New York Times as “necessary reading for anyone interested in how the Web and the software we use every day are reshaping culture and the marketplace.” In his book, Lanier, a scientist, author, musician and artist, criticizes the open source and open content expropriation of intellectual production as a form of “Digital Maoism.” He argues that Web 2.0 developments have retarded progress and innovation and glorified the collective at the expense of the individual.

As a musician, Lanier has been active in the world of new classical music since the late 1970s. He is a pianist and a specialist in many unusual musical instruments, particularly Asian wind and string instruments. His work with those instruments can be heard extensively on the soundtrack of “Three Seasons,” which was the first film ever to win both the Audience and Grand Jury awards at the Sundance Film Festival. He maintains one of the largest and most varied collections of actively played rare instruments in the world, and recording projects include his acoustic techno duet with Sean Lennon and an album of duets with flautist Robert Dick.

Lanier also pioneered the use of virtual reality in musical stage performance with his band Chromatophoria, which has toured around the world as a headline act. He plays virtual instruments and uses real instruments to guide events in virtual worlds. He writes and edits numerous journals, appears regularly on "The News Hour," "Nightline," and "Charlie Rose," and has been profiled in a variety of national publications. In 2010 Lanier was nominated for the TIME 100 list of most influential people.

This is the 11th year Colorado College has hosted the Cornerstone Arts Initiative, a program that stresses interdisciplinary teaching of the arts, using technology to facilitate collaboration between departments. Cornerstone Arts events spotlight a question chosen by arts faculty and students, and the question is reinforced by special guests, performances and interdisciplinary courses. This year’s theme question is “What is the Virtue of Virtual Reality?”

A variety of Colorado College courses offered this block tie in with this year’s theme question. Among those classes are “Anthropology and the History of Ideas,” “Computer Science,” “Introduction to Robotics,” “Introduction to Media Studies” and “Experimental and Expanded Cinema.”

Previous Cornerstone Keynote Lecturers include Camille Paglia, Sandra Bernhard, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks and last year, Amy Tan.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its approximately 2,000 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week segments. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>.