Written by: Jared Ragland
Media contact: Shannon Thomason, email@example.com
Books from CAMERA-less students, collected in the BirminghamMuseum of Art’s Clarence B. Hanson, Jr. Library.Works by photography students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham have been added into the artist book collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art’sClarence B. Hanson Jr. Library.
Throughout the second summer 2016 session, students from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Art and Art History course “CAMERA-less” studied historical references and contemporary trends in photography and lens-based art.
The students investigated methods of image sequencing, editing and presentation of photographic and lens-based media across print, exhibition and online outlets. Class assignments challenged students to create artworks from social media content, image-based internet memes, surveillance footage and vernacular photographs.
Taught by DAAH Visual Media and Outreach CoordinatorJared Ragland, the class found support and inspiration for their research through contemporary artist books published by independent presses, including Horses Think, Empty Stretch and TIS Books.
“Photography is in the midst of an uncertain, yet exciting, present,” Ragland said. “Through the shaping of found and constructed images, compressing histories of both canonical and commonplace photographs, and engaging with emergent technologies and social media applications, contemporary artists are critically engaging with the dilating character of globalized visual culture and expanding the possibilities for what a photograph might be. An ideal way for our students to participate in this unique moment is through the study of current trends in photographic publication and in the production of their own experimental works through bookmaking.”
Daniel Senko, Untitled (Sally Mann), 2016 from the artistbook “Taking Portraits.”As part of their studies, BMA Librarian Lindsey Reynolds invited the class to use the Clarence B. Hanson Jr. Library as both a studio space and primary source for image-making. Students used the books, objects and records within the library to create content, and by the end of the semester, each student had produced a limited-edition artist book or zine. A zine is a small-circulation, self-published work with roots in punk rock subculture and a do-it-yourself ethos that often employs photocopier printing and simple, handmade binding techniques.
“The Hanson Library at the BMA began an initiative to collect artists’ books and zines in 2014,” Reynolds said. “The zine collection in particular is focused on local makers. The library is very excited to be adding a copy of each of the zines created by the CAMERA-less students to the collection.”
Some of the artist books and zines made by the class include: “NAP” by Terrence Wimberly, which combines collaged images of traditional African hair with illustrations of flora and is packaged with an accompanying hip-hop/instrumental soundtrack; “Taking Portraits” by Daniel Senko, a collection of photographs made from dust jacket author portraits where glints of reflected light obscure the subject’s face; “…disorder” by Anne Marie Cartwright, which pairs psychological disorders with monochromatic reproductions of classical paintings; and “Wedgwood Digest” by Rachel Hendrix, in which Hendrix created and photographed Wedgwood-inspired recipes and paired the food with a Wedgwood piece from the BMA collection (example: a photograph of Hendrix’s spiced and gilded marble cheesecake sits across a book fold from an archive image of a group of marbled agate underglazed urns). Other books include Kerrie Allred-Pirkle’s “Kudzu,” Jonathan Givan’s “Life?” an untitled book by Jonah Grice, Peyton Hollis’ “Eye Contact,” “Anima Mundi” by Jacob Lawley, “Original Sin” by Meredith Martin and Augusta McKewen’s “Papercut.”
“The department is thrilled that the students’ work is a part of the Birmingham Museum of Art library’s permanent collection – not only as resource but as representation of the strong and meaningful connection between our institutions,” said Lauren Lake, chair of the UAB Department of Art and Art History.
The books from the CAMERA-less course, along with the other artist books in the BMA collection, can be viewed at the Clarence B. Hanson Jr. Library by appointment. To schedule a visit, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Jared Ragland at email@example.com or visit the Birmingham Museum of Art’s website atwww.artsbma.org.
Books, objects and records within the Birmingham Museum of Art’s library inspired the content of the works, created by 11 Department of Art and Art History students.
Researchers have developed a mechanism that emits sound to thwart eavesdroppers from detecting passwords entered with computer keyboards.Between email, social media accounts, utilities, and banking and credit card accounts, the average person has 27 discrete online logins used to log into personal and professional computers, and security experts spend countless hours researching and recreating every potential strategy attackers could use to gain access to personal information.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have developed a solution to combat acoustic side channel attacks on computer keyboards by using active sounds.
Acoustic side channel attacks record the sounds that come from computer keyboards by using covertly placed microphones. Each key pressed emits a unique sound that makes it possible for an attacker to identify what is being typed by using frequency features.
In a paper presented at the 2016 Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference, led by the International Financial Cryptography Association, Associate Professor Nitesh Saxena, Ph.D., and doctoral student S Abhishek Anand propose using various background sounds to mask audio leakage from keyboards as a practical defense to prevent acoustic side channel attacks.
“While an acoustic side channel attack may not fully recover the keystroke information, various statistical methods make it possible to reconstruct the information typed by a user,” Saxena said. “Given the prevalence of low-cost microphones and the potential for invisible audio monitoring, keyboard acoustic attacks present a valid threat to user security and privacy. While research toward creating this type of attack is still ongoing, work to build a defense against such an attack has been lacking.”
The accuracy of this type of side channel attack is generally high. While recreating an acoustic side channel attack, Anand and Saxena found the average accuracy rate of detecting correct characters in a random six-character password was 66 percent.
Previous solutions proposed by researchers include sound-free keyboards, homophonic mechanical keyboards that produce similar clicks for each key pressed, and soundproof rooms to protect highly sensitive information.
However, the authors argue that these solutions are not feasible due to the cost of producing such keyboards and how they will hold up over time, as well as the existence of high-power microphones that can overcome soundproofing. Anand and Saxena’s solution consists of a software-based mechanism that can be incorporated into a user’s personal computer and emits a masking signal at the same time a user types in their password. The mechanism can be turned on and off automatically or by the user.
“We found that fake keystrokes performed better at masking acoustic leakage than white noise; however, white noise provided the least distraction for users while they entered their passwords. The combination of noises proved to be the most effective and the least distractive for the users.”
“We found that fake keystrokes performed better at masking acoustic leakage than white noise; however, white noise provided the least distraction for users while they entered their passwords,” Saxena said. “The combination of noises proved to be the most effective and the least distractive for the users.”
While the current built-in mechanism is designed to emit sound when the first key is pressed for password entry, it can also be connected to the URLs of websites that require a login. This solution could also be deployed via smartphones by downloading an application that emits noise and placing the device next to your keyboard while entering a password.
Saxena is an associate professor in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Computer and Information Sciencesand the director of the Security and Privacy In Emerging computing and networking Systems (SPIES) lab.
The UAB African American Studies Program presents poet, musician, activist, and arts educator Sharrif Simmons on October 4, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the Alumni Theater of the Hill Student Center.The UAB African American Studies Program presents Sharrif Simmons on October 4, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the Alumni Theater of the Hill Student Center. His lecture, "The Social and Political Evolution of Hip Hop: A Personal Journey "will highlight his political insights and personal experiences through a unique blend of music, poetry, and spoken-word. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Sharrif Simmons is a poet, musician, activist, and arts educator who uses his music and spoken-word poetry to speak to the social and political issues of our time. He has travelled extensively throughout Europe and the United States sharing his poetry and music on college campuses and art festivals. Simmons has performed with such artists as the late Gil Scott-Heron, rapper Mos Def, actor Wood Harris, Talib Kweli, and many others. His poetry is featured in a collection of poems entitled "Fast Cities and Objects That Burn" published by Moore Black Publishing Company in 1999.
His film credits include appearances in the movies "Panther," "Slam," and the full-length documentary "Hughes" shown on the Bravo and Black Starz Networks. He has also been recognized for his musical contributions to the soundtrack of the four-time Emmy winning documentary, “Thornton Dial Has Something to Say."
Since relocating from New York to Birmingham in 2004, Simmons has become a symbol of and advocate for the arts. He has been an invited guest curator for the Birmingham Civil Right Institute’s Human Rights Exhibit where he helped design and program a permanent exhibit featuring a video performance of his human rights poem “Walk with Me.” He was instrumental in the creation of the children’s arts education programs at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Those efforts led to the creation of ArtPlay, for which he currently serves an outreach educator.
Simmons is also an arts educator, teaching poetry to Birmingham-area middle school students through a grant provided by the Alys Stephens Center. In 2010 he co-founded the Birmingham Arts and Music festival (BAAMFEST).