The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 17, 1994 - 3
From paint brushes
to cyberspace: Art
School eyes future
By FRANK C. LEE
Daily Staff Reporter
The School of Art is investigating
the use of computer technology in the
artistic, creative process. Jamie
Sheridan, a graduate research fellow
at the school, is one of a handful of
researchers brought in to examine the
The days have long since passed
when artists used only a paint palette or
A city recycling worker deposits a plastic bottle into one of the city's many recycling bins. Leaving the cap on the jug can cost recyclers time and money.
Northwood poses recycling challenge
sculpting clay to
are being taught
by the school and
stuff - tradi-
Editors' note: This is the first in a
series on recycling in Ann Arbor.
By JOHN LOMBARD
For the Daily
Ask Andy Davis where your stuff
goes once you put it in the recycle bin
and he will give you a big grin. He
says that all depends on what you put
in the bin to start with.
Davis works for Recycling Ann
Arbor (RAA), the city's private, non-
profit recycling service. A veteran
'Ourbside pick-up driver, Davis col-
-lects recycling items from North
Campus's Northwood complex ev-
"Most people have their hearts in
the right place when it comes down to
it, but some don't seem to have it
(recycling) figured out," Davis says.
One ounce of recycler careless-
ness equals a pound of gooey mess in
*Davis's bin. If each person leaves a
top on a jug, the time lost in worker
hours, wasted resources and damage
to the environment is significant.
Davis, along with many University
and city recycling drivers, emphasize
how important it is to educate people
in proper recycling techniques.
Northwood presents a particular
challenge to Davis because many of
the residents are foreign families.
He points to a bin full of refund-
able containers. "That's a sure sign
that people do not understand the sys-
tem." Overflowing bins are another
problem for the system.
Drivers are given evaluation sheets
to describe how full the bins are at
If a driver describes a bin as over-
flowing, then more bins will be added
to that location. More bins mean more
work for each driver and a longer day.
Erica Spigal, coordinator of Uni-
versity Waste Management Services
Recycling, said, "We pay them (RAA)
per cart per month. If I'm a resident
and I come to the bins and see that
they're overflowing, then I will prob-
ably throw the recyclable item in the
dumpster," she explained. Spigal also
serves on the RAA board of directors.
Spigal views recycling from a
Davis, as he places the bins on the
mechanical loading device, sees re-
cycling from a more basic level. His
vehicle's hydraulic arms swing the
bins up above the truck and turn the
containers upside down and dumps
their contents into the truck's holding
As the bins go up, a yellowish
ooze seeps out of the container bin
that smells of rotten vegetables and
Davis said he heard that three dead
raccoons were left in one of the bins
and were not spotted by the driver.
"They actually went through the can
crusher," Davis marvels.
For the most part, drivers are not
given any incentive to keep contami-
nants out of the recycling bins. If
Davis leaves waste in one of the bins,
he probably will not receive any feed-
back from the sorters at the plant.
RAA gives employees a $125 bo-
nus after six months if they do not hit
anything with the trucks, but this in-
centive plan may discourage drivers
to report any mishaps.
"Most drivers are an independent
bunch," said the 38-year-old driver.
"You don't need to use your mind for
this sort of work."
Being a driver also can be danger-
ous. Davis said that 30 cents of every
dollar RAA takes in goes to workers'
compensation. Once, when trying to
retrieve some cardboard boxes from
the truck, Davis was hit by part of the
truck and fell to the ground.
In winter, Davis said it can get
slippery going onto the top of the
truck to clean up waste that falls out
of the bins. "The trucks are pigs in
snow," he said, gesturing to the ve-
hicle. "The only way to stop them
sometimes in the winter is to rub the
wheel against the curb."
Drivers start out at $8 an hour and
get a 20-cent increase every six
months. The employees work four
10-hour days, but drivers are paid the
same if they can get their loads in
seven and one-half hours.
After three years, Davis earns
$10.10 an hour.
A few years ago, the drivers, all
United Auto Workers members, made
news in Ann Arbor when they learned
RAA had not been putting any money
into their workers' compensation
The drivers went on strike, and the
city found RAA had been misman-
aged. After the city bailed out RAA, a
new management team was brought
in. Davis said his paychecks have not
erated merge together.
"In order to communicate to people
what the world may be like - what's
ahuman life going to feel like-what
we do is try to 'melt' the computer
screen," Sheridan said. "The impact
of cyberspace on human life is that
it's going to change the dimensional
structure of human life. It's realistic
to think of (computer programs) as
living entities - as alter egos of
people. They are the 'cybernetic shad-
ows' of people - like a credit card
rating is cybernetic profile of you."
Exploration into this new frontier,
however, is not without risks. Man's
technological prowess, historically,
has accelerated at a rate faster than his
ability to grasp the social and ethical
implications of the things he creates.
"Lots and lots of people think
they'll be able to control this technol-
ogy," Sheridan said. "Excuse me.
Wake up. Get a clue. Not true. One
never controls it."
Sheridan cites the invention of the
printing press as an example. The press
was conceived to reproduce religious,
literary works like the Bible, yet it soon
included uses ranging from the spread-
ing of political theories to pulp fiction.
"People are not viewing comput-
ers in the right way," Sheridan said.
"They are viewing them as passive
tools, as just a natural extension of the
existing mechanical technology. The
idea that you can't do art on comput-
ers is foolish. There is no aspect of
human life that will not support the
The School of Art is currently
reviewing aspects of its curricula to
incorporate this new "art-think" and
its effect-on future art students.
"To what extent is man aco-exister
with the systems he creates," Sheridan
said. "And to what extent is man a
component subsumed in the systems
he creates. That is the fundamental
tional by computer standards- paint-
ing, illustrating, 3-D modeling, ani-
mation," Sheridan said. "Simulta-
neously, we're bringing in people like
me -'off-the-screen people'--who
are challenging the basic ideas of what
you can use a computer for - to
create expressive work and how to
distribute the work."
Cyberspace, or virtual reality, is
an interactive, computer-generated
environment with sensory data. Al-
though it is in our near future, artists
have already begun working in aquasi-
For instance, synthesized sounds
and laser-like lighting can be pro-
jected with the use of computers onto
a sandy canvas while the artist inter-
acts with the work.
By using sound and visual projec-
tions involving computer technology,
a setting is created where the natural,
the man-made and the computer-gen-
Dems fear loss of top congressional seats
LANSING (AP) -More than 150
people marched to the Capitol yester-
day evening in a candle light vigil
against a planned rally by the Ku
The march, organized by the Mid-
Michigan Unity Coalition, came six
days before scheduled Klan rallies in
Howell and Lansing on Saturday.
Organizers said they wanted to
how that not all Michigan residents
elieve in the Klan's message, but
didn't want to draw attention to the
"It's a countermarch to show that
there are some people who believe in
unity and togetherness of all people
and that all of Lansing doesn't em-
brace the beliefs and ideas of the
Klan," said Ralph Sims, a march par-
ticipant from Lansing.
The Klan is scheduled to rally at
9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Law Center
im Howell and-on the Capitol steps at
Many of the marchers yesterday
said they want the Klan to know their
message isn't welcome in Michigan.
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The possibil-
ity of angry voters sweeping out big-
name incumbents like House Speaker
Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) and Sen.
Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) has
captivated the political establishment
and compounded Democratic fears
about losing congressional seats next
But the biggest stakes in the mid-
term election - which political party
controls Congress next year - could
be decided in about 60 races, mostly
between little-name candidates like
Republican Zach Wamp and Demo-
crat Randy Button in a House district
around Chattanooga, Tenn. Similarly
obscure candidates are vying for a
total of 52 open seats in the House and
the nine open seats in the Senate.
It is these largely unglamorous
contests for the open seats being va-
cated by retirees, losers in primaries
or aspirants for higher office that could
provide most of the anticipated Re-
publican gains in the House and form
the foundation for a GOP takeover of
the Senate. Both parties say they have
invested heavily in these races.
Republicans are on the offensive
in the contests for open seats. Demo-
crats have more to defend: six out of
nine in the Senate and 31 of 52 in the
House, because of near-record num-
bers of retirements. Democrats an-
ticipate a hard time retaining most of
their open House seats because many
are swing districts, particularly in the
"Most of the losses we're going to
take are going to come in these open
seats," predicted David Dixonpoliti-
cal director of the Democratic Con-
gressional Campaign Committee.
The National Republican Congres-
sional Committee has officially pre-
dicted a GOP gain of at least 22 House
seats, but other Republicans speak
about gaining as many as 70 seats:
Democrats lately have estimated theit
losses at around 26. Historical aver-
ages for midterm gains by the party
that does not occupy the White House
range from 13 to 26.
Republicans need a net gain of 40-
seats to control the House for the first;
time since 1954 and seven to recap-
ture the Senate, which the GOP last:
held in 1986. To pick up that many
seats, Republicans would have to de-
feat a number of Democratic incum-
bents who appear to be in political
trouble because of the double-bar-
reled unpopularity of President
Clinton and Congress.
protest of a planned Ku Klux Klan rally.
Marchers carry signs yesterday in
"You cannot have a world-class
city like London or Toronto or Chi-
cago without celebrating the diver-
sity," Lansing Mayor David Hollister
said during the march. "Those cities
that thrive are those cities that find
ways to work together, to build on the
diversity and find ways to show cel-
ebrate the culture.
"There's just got to be a much
more enlightened approach than what
the Klan brings. The Klan brings a
mentality that is just outdated."
Hollister said the march marks a
week of events on Lansing's diversity.
Saturday's Capitol rally will be
the second in Lansing this year. In
April, Michigan Klan leader David
Neumann and national Klan leader
Thomas Robb led a group of some 30
Klan members in a rally that drew
about 800 protestors.
State police expect fewer Klan
supporters at Saturday's planned event
because Neumann and several other
state Klan leaders have severed ties
Neumann said the Howell rally
could be postponed because the Law
Center, on the skirts of Howell, is not
where his group wants to rally. He
said the group asked to rally on the
downtown courthouse steps and won't
accept any other site.
he telephone number for flu shots is 764-8304. This was incorrectly reported in Friday's Daily.
304 S. Stats Street " 4 doors South of 6iberty. 98-3480
Q Public Relations Club meeting,
761-5679, Modern Languages
Building, Room B 122, 5 p.m.
Q Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do Club,
men and women, beginners
welcome, 994-3620, CCRB,
Room 2275, 7-8 p.m.
U Society for Creative Anachro-
seminar, Dr. Paul Rasmussen,
Chemistry Building, Room
Q Handleman Company, infor-
mation session, Business
School, Room K1320, 5-6:45
U Lehman Brothers, information
session, Michigan Union,
Ti. tn ,.,PI Dna.. '7_0l n m-
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