Q&A: Aaron Shackelford, new director of Arts@Tech, arrives with high ambitions

Aaron Shackelford, the new director of Georgia Tech’s Arts@Tech program, wants to reinvigorate the way arts and technology collide. 

A literature and performance nerd with a somewhat childlike wonder for the arts, Shackelford comes to Atlanta from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he was director of programming for the Fine Arts Center. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of North Carolina, where he was recognized for his studies on poet Emily Dickinson.

This season’s artist programming kicked off with a powerful work by the Italian digital design house fuse called “Dökk” (Icelandic for dark), which combines dance with software that reflects the dancer’s heartbeat and the response of social media. More recently, Kinetic Light, the first professional artistic collective in the United States comprising only disabled artists, mesmerized audiences with the beauty of the disabled body in “Descent”.

Riding the high of the institution’s recently renovated Ferst Center for the Arts, Shackelford spoke with ArtsATL about making the arts more inclusive and accessible, academic integration of the arts, and making Georgia Tech’s campus a “wonderland of experience.”

Read the full Q&A on ArtsATL.

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