Creative technologist McMillian to speak at IGNITE March 12

LaJuné McMillian
LaJuné McMillian

New media artist and creative technologist LaJuné McMillian will speak at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts’ IGNITE colloquium on Friday, March 12.

IGNITE begins at 12:30 p.m. CT via Zoom. It is a colloquium for all Carson Center students, which involves guest lectures, workshops and seminars around creative and professional development. The event is free and open to the public and accessible at

McMillian creates art that integrates performance, virtual reality and physical computing to question our current forms of communication. McMillian has had the opportunity to show and speak about their work at Pioneer Works, National Sawdust, Leaders in Software and Art, Creative Tech Week, and Art & Code's Weird Reality.

McMillian was previously the Director of Skating at Figure Skating in Harlem, where they integrated STEAM and Figure Skating to teach girls of color about movement and technology. They have continued their research on Blackness, movement, and technology during residencies at Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, Barbarian Group and Barnard College.

McMillian will also present a workshop titled “Understanding, Transforming and Preserving Movement in Digital Spaces” to students in the Carson Center.

In the past few years, access to motion capture data, 3D base models and software to “make an animation of yourself” has skyrocketed. From MakeHuman to Mixamo to CMU’s motion capture database, the ability to make and finish polished projects has become easier for many. While these resources are extremely helpful to create a range of projects, they lack the tools to create diverse characters and movements unexplored by systems that center assumptions of neutrality.

The workshop will explore issues of cultural representation, erasure and exploitation through readings, discussion and an introduction to motion capture, rigging and 3D environments. Core elements of the class will integrate performance, virtual reality, and physical computing to question access, control and representation inherent in these technologies.

This workshop and visit will be contextualized within Assistant Professor of Practice in Emerging Media Arts Anna Henson’s Emerging Media Arts course Creating Augmented Worlds (EMAR 391) in a unit on Avatars, Performance and Cultural Context.