Anne Balsamo

University of Texas at Dallas

Digital Memorials: The AIDS Quilt Touch


This presentation describes a public interactive called “AIDS Quilt Touch.”  The mixed media experience couples screen-based interaction with textile display to stage a poetic encounter with the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The digital experience is designed to expand and enhance public awareness of an important work of material culture.  It is an exploration of the genre of digital memorials.


Anne Balsamo serves as the Dean of the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas.  Prior to her appointment at University of Texas Dallas, she was the Dean of the School of Media Studies at The New School.  She held tenured faculty positions at the University of Southern California in the Annenberg School of Communication and the School of Cinematic Art, and at The Georgia Institute of Technology.  For several years she was engaged in research and design on emerging technologies, first as a member of RED at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and then as a co-founder of Onomy Labs, a Silicon Valley design and fabrication company that built cultural technologies and new storytelling platforms.  Her book, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work (Duke, 2011) examines the relationship between culture and technological innovation, with a particular focus on the role of the humanities in cultural innovation.