Eastern Michigan University opens Light+Time: Animation and Gaming Technologies exhibit at Ford Hall

A man stands by a projected image of many faces that look similar to his photo compiled by a robot that Yamin Xu created.
Yamin Xu created a robot that takes your picture and uses facial recognition to search for people with similar features. (Photo courtesy of Bonnie Mitchell)

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University’s simulation, animation, and gaming department is hosting a Light+Time: Animation and Gaming Technologies exhibit in the Ford Hall gallery. The EMU community will have the opportunity to experience technology used in an artistic and fun way. The exhibit runs from now through Oct. 27. It will be open for viewing on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This exhibition showcases a collection of professional artists, designers, and animators currently working in simulation, animation, and gaming technologies around the Michigan and greater Midwest area,” said Danny Baskin, EMU’s gallery program director. “Its goal is to give students a small peek into the many possibilities, opportunities, and ideas this field holds.”

The exhibit includes hands-on virtual reality games from creators Huali Fu with Onboarding and Wobbe Koning with It’s No Game, standard video games from Finji with games Tunic and I Was A Teenage Exocolonist, and Dreaming Door Studios with Golden Treasure: The Great Green. Attendees also have the opportunity to view animations, including Stevie Larson with Smush, Steve Leeper with Toast!, Koning with Light Play, Brad Condie with D is for Drama and A Drawing, John Ludwic with Claire and the Keys, Gazelle Dasti with a projection installation, and Tyler Ayres with Pop-Up Stop-Motion. Hobbes, a user experience-focused animation studio located in Detroit is also featured with its animations OP/AL, Aerial, ZapierHigh in Heaven, and Music is Cowboys by Harrison. Pre-production art by Ricardo Guimaraes is displayed and arcade-style Pac-man and Mortal Kombat machines are available to play.

Yamin Xu’s work, Connections, is also featured. Xu created a robot that takes your picture and uses facial recognition technology to search for people with similar features. It uses a database of leaders in the computer graphics field. While the creator is not there to operate the robot, students can go to the exhibit and watch a projected video on how it works and the outcome it produces. 

Ryan English, assistant professor of animation and gaming, is the organizer of this exhibit. He said this idea originated two years ago and came to fruition this year after talking with artists and borrowing technology from the School of Art and Design.

“I really wanted to show the fun and messy side of creating and consuming animation, games, and associated technologies. The technology behind animation and games can be used in different and exciting projects when demystified,” said English. “Entertainment art is fun and it belongs in a gallery that isn't whisper quiet.”

A public reception will be held on Oct. 19 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Ford Gallery. There will be light refreshments with some creators in attendance to answer questions. Xu will be there to run his machine so the public can experience his work. All games and machines will be running during this time so attendees can play the video games and watch the animations featured. 

For more information, contact Baskin at dbaskin1@emich.edu or English at renglis5@emich.edu


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

October 11, 2023

Written by:
Caitlin Michael

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher