ASU presents 'Security System' and companion piece 'Room 1'

February 22, 2007

Arizona State University’s department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance presents “Security System,” an inflatable performance installation. The portable sculpture performance investigates fear and the illusion of safety. “Room 1,” Security System’s partner piece, looks at the bedroom as a site of intimacy, illness and vulnerability.

A large inflatable sculpture, Security System is an ongoing conversation between performance, sculpture and architecture within the concept of invisible borders. The installation is a collaborative between ASU’s Marianne M. Kim and Chicago artist Joseph Ravens. Kim is an assistant professor in the department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at ASU’s West campus. Download Full Image

Security System will be displayed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, and then from 12 to 3 p.m., Thursday, March 8, on the Fletcher Lawn at ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road, Phoenix. On Wednesday, March 7, Security System will be displayed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the Student Services Lawn at ASU’s Tempe campus. Partner piece, Room 1, will be displayed beginning at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, at an opening reception in the IAP Art Gallery, University Center Building, at ASU’s West campus.

Performers are located within the sculpture and are displayed and examined for approximately three to four hours each day. Security System performers’ actions blur the line between task-oriented functionality and invented ritual. Visitors are invited to examine the idea of safety and the systems we develop in an effort to feel security. Performers play the role of inventor, victim, witness and perpetrator. The evolving collaboration has been presented in the United States, Canada and Romania. After its Arizona premiere, the project moves to Slovenia in 2008.

Security System and Room 1 are Kim and Ravens’ latest collaboration. Kim is an interdisciplinary arts and educator working in dance, theatre and video art. Her most recent works have been presented by Collision Symposium at the University of Victoria, International Experimental Theatre Festival in Romania, DeBalie Center for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam, and Kinesthetic Kino in San Francisco.

For the past decade, Ravens has been creating performances that encompass text, movement, film, video, new media, installation, costume and object. He is the founder and artistic director of Ravenous Production, and a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Performance Art. Part of the spring 2007 arts and performance season, Security System and Room 1 are produced by the department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. The season includes visual arts exhibits and installations, theatrical and musical performances typically highlighting the research and creative work of faculty and students in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. For additional information visit">">, or call (602) 543-ARTS (2787).

Expert says unstructured play essential to children's growth, well-being

February 23, 2007

With pressure for children to excel in school and on the playing fields, their days can be crammed with academic schedules, music lessons, sports and homework. Experts say that over-scheduling kids is becoming more and more common today. With such a non-stop lifestyle, how can parents find a happy and healthy balance for their kids?

Arizona State University early childhood expert Sascha Mitchell-Kay will show parents how to find that happy, healthy balance while still providing children with an enriching environment. Download Full Image

On Wednesday, March 21, ASU’s Lifelong Learning presents “Children, throw away your day planners: The case against over-scheduling your child.” Mitchell-Kay will lead the discussion, addressing short- and long-term consequences of scheduling too many structured activities for children. The program begins at 12 p.m., in the Raven Golf Club conference room. The fee is $5 per person.

“Parents worry about kids’ boredom, so they schedule their lives to keep them busy,” said Mitchell-Kay, assistant professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at ASU’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership. “Despite parents’ good intentions to create a perfect life for their children, maintaining a rigorous schedule of music lessons and soccer practice is neither healthy nor realistic.”

Finding time for unstructured play may not be easy, but Mitchell-Kay will discuss the benefits of giving children a break from organized activities and electronic baby-sitters. She will also explore healthy ways to rebalance family life while still providing children with an enriching environment.

“Giving children regular opportunities for unscheduled imaginative play is excellent preparation for academic and social success. Through unstructured play, children socialize, create, and make and break rules. They learn how to handle their mistakes and to persist through challenges,” said Mitchell-Kay.

ASU’s Lifelong Learning program creates learning connections between residents and ASU faculty, and residents of all ages are invited to participate in a variety of leraning formats. “Children, Throw away your day planners” is the second of a three part ASU’s Lifelong Learning Child Development Brown Bag Series in Verrado. The final series, “How Childcare and/or preschool affects child development, will be presented at 12 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, in Verrado’s Raven Golf Club conference room.