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Author, musician combines media to create masterpieces

Paul Miller plans to share some of his love for exploring the world and how different media can portray a message when he gives his March 14 presentation as part of the University of Houston-Victoria/American Book Review Reading Series.

Paul Miller

“Everything I do involves exploring and trying to factor in approaches to art, science and data that create new perspectives,” said the composer, musician, author and artist. “I have a passion for looking outside the box and thinking outside of the ‘cognitive biases’ that define so much of our media. We need better tools for thinking.”

Miller, also known as DJ Spooky, will offer a presentation about a variety of his projects at 11 a.m. March 14 in the UHV University West Alcorn Auditorium, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The event is free and open to the public.

“DJ Spooky’s work highlights his rare perspective on the interconnected nature of art, media and our own world,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, ABR editor and publisher, and dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “Whether it is exploring the history of online culture or showcasing the interconnected elements of our world, he is a master at using multiple elements to achieve a result. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing his presentation.”

Jeffrey Di Leo

One of the projects Miller plans to discuss is QUANTOPIA, a multimedia presentation that celebrates and explores the evolution of the Internet. QUANTOPIA premiered in January in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The hourlong performance included performances by string musicians, a youth choir singing lines from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, visual representations of data, and live loops and layers of sound created by Miller using his DJ mixing table.

He also plans to discuss some of his environmental-themed works, including his project, “The Book of Ice.” To develop it, Miller took a trip to Antarctica. The project was a reflection on man’s relationship to nature and the effects of global warming. It included photographs and film stills from Miller’s trip to Antartica, as well as original artwork and archive materials. Miller also used sounds from the continent to create and perform a kind of “natural symphony” as part of a performance presentation with a mixing table.

“I usually do a lot of research, and much of my work process involves travel,” he said. “I’ve been to all seven continents and many countries doing electronic music and art, and my passion for this kind of thing drives my inspirations.”

In each of Miller’s projects, new perspectives are presented through the combination of different types of media and creative elements. As he shares his work with the Victoria community, Miller hopes people will be inspired in their own ways.

“I want people to take away a sense that anything is possible,” he said. “Music is art; art is science; science is music.”

In addition to his performances and books, Miller created the DJ MIXER iPad app, which has seen more than 12 million downloads during the last year. He also has produced and composed work for scores of major artists and award-winning films.

Other writers scheduled for the spring UHV/ABR Reading Series are:

Julie Iromuanya, April 11 – Iromuanya has short stories and novel excerpts appearing or forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, Passages North, Cream City Review and the Tampa Review, among other journals. Her writing has been shortlisted for several awards, including the Glimmer Train Family Matters and Very Short Fiction prizes, and the Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest. She has been awarded scholarships and fellowships for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. She earned her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was the inaugural Herbert W. Martin Post-Graduate Fellow at the University of Dayton. A scholar and writer, Iromuanya teaches for the creative writing Master of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona. “Mr. and Mrs. Doctor” is her first novel.

Joseph Tabbi, May 2 – Tabbi is the author of “Cognitive Fictions” and “Postmodern Sublime: Technology and American Writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk.” His biography of William Gaddis, “Nobody Grew But the Business,” was a runner-up for the biography/memoir award from the Chicago Society of Midland Authors. Most recently, he received the N. Katherine Hayles Award for the “Bloomsbury Handbook of Electronic Literature.”

ABR is a nonprofit, internationally distributed literary journal published six times a year. It began in 1977, moved to UHV in 2006 and has a circulation of about 8,000. The journal specializes in reviews of works published by small presses.

Authors are available after each reading to sign copies of their books. Each author also meets with students and attends a community reception.

For more information about the UHV/ABR Reading Series, call the ABR office at 361-570-4101 or go to www.americanbookreview.org.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.