Dr. Lori Landay, Professor of Cultural Studies at Berklee College of Music, is an interdisciplinary scholar and new media artist exploring the making of visual meaning in twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture. She is the author of two books, I Love Lucy and Madcaps, Screwballs, and Con Women: The Female Trickster in American Culture, and numerous articles on virtual worlds, digital narrative, silent film, television culture, and other topics. Her creative work includes animation, graphic design, creative documentary, machinima, interactive virtual art installations, and music video. See her digital films on vimeo.com and YouTube. Her current project combines critical and creative work to explore subjectivity, presence, and the “virtual kino-eye” in interactive media, continuing the inquiry begun during her NEH Enduring Questions Grant for “What is Being?” in 2010-2012. One aspect of that larger project is the interactive art installation, "ShadowPlay," for which she was awarded a Berklee Faculty Fellowship for 2013-14.
Professor Landay directs the Minor in Visual Culture and Interactive Media, and teaches interdisciplinary courses including "What Is Being?" "Approaches to Visual Culture," "Digital Narrative," "Technology, Society, and Self," "Artistry, Creativity, and Inquiry," "The Jazz Age" and "The Nature of Technology" in the Liberal Arts Department, and "The Language of Film" in the Film Scoring Department. She also teaches "The Language of Film and Television" for BerkleeOnline.
Lori's recent focus is on what she calls "The New Realities" of virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and social media reality. Work she began in her 2015-16 sabbatical project on animation and automation, "The Animated Self" expanded her previous work on virtual worlds, avatars, interactive media experiences that loop actual and digital (ShadowLoop interactive art installation mixed reality video and virtual art), and scholarship on contemporary culture (LEGO, Minecraft, gender and comedy).
For her imaginative and innovative teaching, and dedicated and passionate work, Professor Lori Landay was selected as the Chief Marshal for the Berklee College of Music 2006 Commencement. In 2007, she was awarded the Professional Education Division's prize for Excellence in Teaching. In 2008, she was selected as one of the two inaugural recipients of the Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship for her innovative project, "Virtual Worlds." For the academic year 2008-09, she was on sabbatical, engaged in her project, "Sharpening the Cutting Edge: What's New in New Media?" In 2013-14, she was honored to receive a Berklee Faculty Fellowship to support “ShadowPlay,” an Interactive Art Installation. Her work was further supported with a Berklee Faculty Development Grant for “Interactive Media” in 2014-15. Most recently, she was recognized with the 2017 Dean's Award for for Innovation and Service, Professional Education Division, along with four other women faculty who organized the (first annual) International Women's Day Teach-In.
Lori likes to experiment and play with the theoretical ideas which fascinate her through creative work, using humor and often surprising tactics to question the relationships between the virtual and the actual in our increasingly technological world. For example, watch part of Dr. Landay's welcome address to incoming students at Berklee's 2010 Spring Convocation.