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Upcoming Lectures

May 22 . 1pm . Elings Hall 1605 || John Thompson

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Strategies for combining sonic and visual media in electroacoustic audio-visual music

Monday, May 22nd, 1:00pm

Elings Hall 1605

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This talk will focus on my work in a specific subset of visual music, electroacoustic audio-visual music. I will discuss three of my compositions, “Stream Stone Surface”, “Accretion Flows”, and “Electrotactile Maps”. These compositions exhibit a tight coupling of sonic and visual components. The intended result in an audio-visual alloy, stronger than its individual parts. Each of the compositions employs a different strategy to combine the sonic and visual materials. I will discuss these strategies and speak to the results in practice.

John Thompson is a composer of electroacoustic music and electroacoustic audio-visual music. His recent audio-visual works feature a tight coupling of sonic and visual components. He is an advocate for music that explores otherness, contemplation and alternate paths toward beauty. He co-founded and co-directs the annual Root Signals Festival of Electronic Music and Media Art in 2014. In 2009, he began the Channel Noise concert series, which features an international selection of electroacoustic works.

John directs the Music Technology Program at Georgia Southern University where he is Professor of Music. He teaches courses ranging from audio programming to interactive media. He is currently an At-Large Director for the International Computer Music Association. He received his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied music composition and media arts with JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Curtis Roads, Stephen Travis Pope, William Kraft, and Marcos Novak. As a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar, he investigated interactive systems in the California Nanosystems Institute’s Allosphere, a large space for immersive and interactive data exploration.

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JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Ph.D.

Using the Creative Process as a Computational Framework for Unfolding Complex Systems

Monday, May 4th, 2:00pm

Elings Hall 1601

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In my research one picture is worth approximately 60 million numbers. How can one find patterns in complex information and work with the information creatively and intuitively leading to new and unique innovation? Visualization of a complex system is not the end goal. It is the beginning of the representation of immersive, interactive, data, mathematical information that can then be transformed through experimentation and simulation on the proper computational platform. A mathematical/computational language that can parse a complex system, encompassing the physics, chemistry, and biology of that system, through visual/aural frequency representation and transformation. By applying the creative compositional process of sketching in building our computational language and representing very complex information through our senses, namely visual and audio representations, we are enabling the same right brain/left brain process that artists experience when they create a work of art, for scientists and other researchers. This will facilitate the uncovering of new patterns in complex information, and allow scientists and engineers to work with their information perceptually and intuitively. In working with our instrument and open source software, we do scientific visualization and virtual, interactive experimentation of complex data. We work with real data from instruments, simulations, and mathematical models. The AlloSphere is a large immersive instrument designed for this research by myself, composer, JoAnn Kuchera Morin and constitutes 32 years of my research in media systems design. Our open source software facilitates the combination of diverse types of information in order to conduct holistic virtual experiments. We can incorporate physics, mathematics, chemistry and biological information, both real spatio-temporal data as well as information visualization regarding this data. Currently we have designed and implemented the data discovery-rendering cluster and we are moving toward tying in high performance computing for simulations as well. Our open source software is modular and we are currently nearing full support of Paraview and other standard data visualization tools. Specific areas of research that we focus on but are not limited to: 1) Materials research, 2) Physics research, 3) Bio-generative research. These specific areas above tie directly into the CNSI. We also do research that can include climate change, clean green technology, biological eco-systems.virtual reality, arts and entertainment research are important in pushing the real-time interactive platform. The instrument is particularly suited for simulated instrument design that will facilitate the fabrication of new devices.

Register here: CNSI Registration

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Generative Narrativity

Monday, May 1st, 1:00pm

Elings Hall 1605

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This talk is an overview of my extensive artistic practice from the time I graduated at UCSB in 2004 until today. I will reflect on my experiences and creative methods used in my collaborative projects in a variety of media encompassing: generative art, procedural animation, game art, rapid prototyping data visualizations, code art, new media art installation and performance, as well as in art-house cinema projects. The subjects and themes that prevail in my artistic practice vary widely. They include: environmental visions, class and cultural differences, migrations, intangible heritage, memories, landscapes, nature, and sustainability. I define these projects as sensory and thought-provoking time-based narrative architectures where narrative potential has to be triggered and released by the active participation of the viewer. While designing narrative architectures, I find the process of bricolage defined by Claude Levi-Strauss, also essential in understanding my practice. Working with materials that are available, accumulating and tinkering with accessible technological means have resulted in a body of work that I attempt to understand. What is certain is that these art projects are completed out of the necessity to create and be in a dialogue with the participants of my narrative architectures.

Vladimir Todorovic is a filmmaker, multimedia artist and educator based in Singapore. He is working as an associate professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, NTU. His projects have won several awards and have been shown at hundreds of festivals, exhibitions, museums and galleries including: Visions du Reel, Cinema du Reel, IFFR (42nd, 40th and 39th), Festival du Nouveau Cinema, BIFF, SGIFF, L’Alternativa, YIDFF, Siggraph, ISEA (2016, 2010, 2008, 2006), Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Centre Pompidou, House of World Cultures, The Reina Sofia Museum and Japan Media Art Festival.

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a hollow bone in the datasphere and other desert tales

Monday, April 3rd, 1:00pm

Elings Hall 1605

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Artist and desert dweller Adriene Jenik will discuss the recent transition of her artistic practice leading from 30 years of pioneering experiments with narrative media and computing projects. Reflecting on the importance of place in telematic embodiment, new frameworks for understanding “audience”, and beginning again, the talk will be of interest to those who have been or are currently at a crossroads in their life and art. Newly completed and in-progress projects (including several in-progress) will be presented.

  Adriene Jenik is an artist, educator and arts leader who resides in the southwestern United States. Her computer and media art spans several decades including pioneering work in interactive cinema and live telematic performance. Jenik's artistic projects straddle and trouble the borders between art and popular culture. She was an early member of the Paper Tiger Television collective (1985-91) and a founding member of the Deep Dish TV Alternative Satellite network. Her video productions include the video short, "What's the Difference Between a Yam & a Sweet Potato?" (with J. Evan Dunlap), and the award-winning live satellite TV broadcast, "EL NAFTAZTECA: Cyber-Aztec TV for 2000 A.D." (with Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Roberto Sifuentes). "MAUVE DESERT: A CD-ROM Translation" is Jenik's internationally acclaimed interactive road movie based on the novel Le Désert mauve by French Canadian author Nicole Brossard. Her creative research project, DESKTOP THEATER (1997-2002), was a series of live theatrical interventions and activities in public visual chat rooms developed with multi-media maven Lisa Brenneis. She recently completed a new experimental narrative “SPECFLIC 1.9” (60:00, 2013) at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Her current research work in “data humanization” is in development.

Jenik received her BA in English from Douglass College, Rutgers University and her MFA in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has taught a broad range of electronic media classes at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), UC Irvine, University of Southern California (USC), and UCLA's New Media Lab and UC San Diego where she was a full-time research faculty member in the Visual Arts Department for 11 years. A founding professor of the Interdisciplinary Computer Arts Major at UCSD and the Digital Culture program at ASU, Jenik has taught electronic and digital media to generations of students. She served as the Katherine K. Herberger endowed chair of Fine Arts and Director of the School of Art at Arizona State University, one of 5 schools that make up the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts from 2009-2016, and is currently a professor of Intermedia at ASU.

Keywords: telematics performance, interactive media, media policy, freedom of expression, art.tech

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Cinema As I Fly: J. J. Gibson and the Aviation Psychology Program’s Test Films

Monday, March 13th, 1:00pm

ESB 2001

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World War II saw a massive surge in the use of cinema by the US military, ranging from propaganda films to gun-camera and combat footage to educational and test films. While the first two categories are well known (e.g. Frank Capra’s Why We Fight, the combat documentation of the Signal Corps companies, and William Wyler’s documentaries Memphis Belle and Thunderbolt), the extensive use of film in military education and testing remains largely unknown. This paper will examine and contextualize the films made by the Army Air Force’s Aviation Psychology Program during World War II. A key figure in this program was the perceptual psychologist J. J. Gibson, whose use of film in the evaluation and training of pilot candidates utilized insights from his prior research on perception for the automobile industry, where he established the concept of “optical flow.” Gibson’s model of perception, which would culminate in his later theory of “ecological perception,” provided a more dynamic understanding of how perceptual cues interacted with spatial movement. Film’s ability to simulate aspects of movement made it a crucial component of his wartime endeavors. Indeed, identifying and training potential pilots and gunners required a utilization of film that replicated novel perceptual experiences—film became a test medium that simulated situations of demanding visual performance.

  As Gibson noted, his results were “to some extent relevant not only to aviation but also to general education and to the theory of visual learning.” Beyond providing a notable example of cinema’s participation in what Avital Ronell has termed modernity’s “test drive,” Gibson’s WWII test films provide an extraordinarily fine-grained account about the development of nontheatrical media. The Aviation Psychology Program explicitly built on prior research into the cinema’s efficacy as an educational tool, particularly the study by the University of Chicago’s Frank N. Freeman, Visual Education: A Comparative Study of Motion Pictures and Other Forms of Instruction (1924). But it also introduced new insights into how cinema’s ability to mimic human perception could be fine-tuned, including a particular emphasis on the “showing of situations from a subjective point of view.”

Oliver Gaycken received his BA in English from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He previously has taught at York University (Toronto) and Temple University. His teaching interests include silent-era cinema history, the history of popular science, and the links between scientific and experimental cinema. He has published on the discovery of the ophthalmoscope, the flourishing of the popular science film in France at the turn of the 1910s, the figure of the supercriminal in Louis Feuillade's serial films, and the surrealist fascination with popular scientific images. His book Devices of Curiosity: Early Cinema and Popular Science, appeared with Oxford University Press in the spring of 2015.

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Electronic Disturbances and Other Unpopular Gestures.

Monday, March 6th, 1:00pm

ESB 2001

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What is the relationship between data bodies and real bodies? Electronic Disturbance Theater co-founder Ricardo Dominguez cites this as a fundamental question for the group at the time of its founding in 1997, and even though this was twenty years ago, it still strikes us as pressing and unresolved. It is fundamentally a question of presence, a question of the relationship between the real and the virtual. I will trace out a cognitive map of the question based on a number of key gestures and theories that started in the early 1980's and still create the performative matrix of his collaborative projects now.

 

Ricardo Dominguez is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), a group who developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatistas communities in Chiapas, Mexico, in 1998. His recent Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab project ( with Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cell phone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border) was the winner of “Transnational Communities Award” (2008), an award funded by Cultural Contact, Endowment for Culture Mexico–US and handed out by the US Embassy in Mexico. It also was funded by CALIT2 and the UCSD Center for the Humanities. The Transborder Immigrant Tool has been exhibited at the 2010 California Biennial (OCMA), Toronto Free Gallery, Canada (2011), The Van Abbemuseum, Netherlands (2013), ZKM, Germany (2013), as well as a number of other national and international venues. The project was also under investigation by the US Congress in 2009-2010 and was reviewed by Glenn Beck in 2010 as a gesture that potentially “dissolved” the U.S. border with its poetry. Dominguez is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, in the Visual Arts Department, a Hellman Fellow, and Principal Investigator at CALIT2. UCSD. He also is co-founder of *particle group*, with artists Diane Ludin, Nina Waisman, and Amy Sara Carroll, whose art project about nano-toxicology entitled *Particles of Interest: Tales of the Matter Market* has been presented at the House of World Cultures, Berlin (2007), the San Diego Museum of Art (2008), Oi Futuro, Brazil (2008), CAL NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (2009), Medialab-Prado, Madrid (2009), E-Poetry Festival, Barcelona, Spain (2009), Nanosférica, NYU (2010), SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico (2012): http://hemisphericinstitute.org/hemi/en/particle-group-intro. He is a Hellman Fellow and has received a Society for the Humanities Fellowship at Cornell University (2017-18).

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Visualization in AI & Neural Networks

Tuesday, February 28, 10:30am

Elings Hall 2611

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In the past few years, neural networks, have re-emerged as one of the key technologies in AI related work. Because of their ability to find solutions in complex problem spaces, they are being applied in almost every field at this time. On one hand they are used to recognize and transform information from images, sound, speech, or text applications, and on the other they can generate and modify inputs as well, creating pictures, music, speech, poems, and software. Though the latter is very weak with comparison to the efficacy of the former, the step forward is amazing. In this talk we’ll look a brief technical look at architecture and theory of neural networks to form an intuitive understanding of how they work and the challenges there are in computing them. We’ll pay particular attention to convolutional neural nets in particular. We’ll look at various related visualization techniques for understanding how these conv-nets process information such as direct matrix representations, t-SNE, and see what insights we can gain through generative work, like DeepDream & DeepVis. t-SNE is one visualization that can be easily applied to multi-dimensional data to form insights with low effort. There are others that come from NLP, which is a different AI approach than neural networks, that are used when working with language. Two we’ll look at are based on ‘word embeddings’ : Word2Vec, and network mapping (controversy measures).

 

Jeffrey Greenberg has a degrees in Bioengineering and Performance Art from UCSD. Currently, Vp of Engineering at PeerWell.co, where he is focused on improving outcomes of surgeries and other treatments, he has patents in ultrasound imaging, and voice recognition applications. With a history of product and deep technology innovation in such diverse areas as medicine and diagnostic imaging, social media, telephony, operating systems, and games, he aims to work on technology for doing good. Combining experiences at Bell Labs, working on AI, and edge technology together with an Art and culture focus ( including NEA, NYSCA, and foundation grants) he has a history of finding areas that matter and advancing the state-of-the-art.

http://www.jeffrey-greenberg.com

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Imagination projects reality; reality constrains imagination.

Monday, February 27, 1:00pm

Elings Hall 1601

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I strive to be a generalist; I am an artist who works at the edges of disciplines integrating and challenging knowledge, most recently in cognitive science. I favor a broad and integrative view of knowledge creation that rejects specialism. In the background of my work is an ongoing inquiry into the relation between the world as conceived and the world as independent of cognition. I think of subjects (imagination) and objects (reality) as mutually constructive; as subjects we project and impose categories on objects, while objects’ physical reality as independent of cognition constrains and challenges those categories. I use computational systems to examine the power struggle between subjects and objects. I build machine subjects that manifest categorization processes (unsupervised clustering algorithms) that suppress variation in order to emphasize sameness. My machine subjects categorize, organize and reduce the infinite complexity of sensory reality. In doing so they participate in a process of abstraction that breaks sensed reality into atomic particles that serve as the material from which novel images are constructed. These ‘mental’ images are of the world—their mechanisms uncover underlying statistical truths about reality as independent of cognition, but they are also of us—they are projections of bounded subjective understanding. In this talk I will introduce the conceptual context for my work and present a survey of selected computational works including “Dreaming Machines”, “Self-Organized Landscapes”, “Watching and Dreaming”, “As our gaze peers off into the distance, imagination takes over reality…” and current work in development.

 

Ben Bogart is a Vancouver-based interdisciplinary artist working with generative computational processes (including physical modeling, chaos, feedback systems, evolutionary computation, computer vision and machine learning) and has been inspired by knowledge in the natural sciences (quantum physics and cognitive neuroscience) in the service of an epistemological enquiry. Ben has produced processes, artifacts, texts, images and performances that have been presented at academic conferences and art festivals in Canada, the United States of America, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Turkey, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Brazil, Hong Kong, Norway and Spain. He has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre (Canada), the New Forms Festival (Canada) and at Videotage (Hong Kong). His research and practice have been funded by the Social Science and Research Council of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. Ben holds both master’s and doctorate degrees from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. During his master’s study he developed a site-specific artwork that uses images captured live in the context of installation as raw material in its ‘creative’ process. In is doctoral work he made “a machine that dreams” that is framed as both a model of dreaming and a site-specific artistic work manifesting an Integrative Theory of visual mentation developed during his doctorate. Ben is currently using this model in the appropriation and reconstruction of popular cinematic depictions of artificial intelligence.

http://www.ekran.org/ben/wp/

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On Space Curves as a Substrate for Audiovisual Synthesis and Composition

Tuesday, February 21, 6:00pm

Elings Hall 1601

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In this talk, Lance presents the use of space curves as a fundamental construct for audiovisual composition. Curves provide an attractive starting point for audiovisual synthesis as they are relatively easy to translate into sound and graphics. Systems for producing curves for art and design date back to at least the 18th century and have carried through the technological stages of mechanical, electronic, and digital. Contemporary uses of space curves will be presented through Lance's audiovisual compositions "S Phase" and "Adrift", the hydrogen atom composition "Probably/Possibly?" done in collaboration with Dr. JoAnn Kuchera Morin and Dr. Luca Peliti, and the "Mutator VR" virtual reality experience done in collaboration with Dr. William Latham and Professor Stephen Todd at Goldsmiths college. The talk will be followed by immersive performances of the 3D audiovisual works "Adrift" and "Probably/Possibly?" in the UCSB AlloSphere three-story virtual environment.

 

Lance Putnam is a composer with interest in generative art, audiovisual synthesis, digital sound synthesis, and media signal processing. His work explores questions concerning the relationships between sound and graphics, symmetry in art and science, and motion as a spatiotemporal concept. He holds an M.A. in Electronic Music and Sound Design and a Ph.D. in Media Arts and Technology from the Media Arts and Technology program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation "The Harmonic Pattern Function: A Mathematical Model Integrating Synthesis of Sound Graphical Patterns" was selected for the Leonardo journal LABS 2016 top abstracts. His audiovisual work "S Phase" has been shown at numerous locations including the 2008 International Computer Music Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Traiettorie Festival in Parma, Italy. His work "Adrift", an audiovisual composition designed for virtual environments, is on rotation in the UCSB AlloSphere and was performed live at the 2015 Generative Arts Conference in Venice, Italy. From 2008 to 2012, he conducted research in audio/visual synthesis at the AlloSphere Research Facility and TransLab in Santa Barbara, California. From 2012 to 2015, he was an assistant professor at the University of Aalborg in the Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology where he also taught multimedia programming in the Art and Technology program. He is currently investigating new approaches to procedural art as a research associate in Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London under the Digital Creativity Labs. Here he is developing the virtual reality experience "Mutator VR" which has been shown shown at New Scientist Live, London, at East Gallery, Norwich University of Arts, and at Cyfest 17, St. Petersburg, Russia.

http://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~l.putnam/

http://www.mutatorvr.com/

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Designing for music and VR: Inside the Bohemian Rhapsody VR Experience

Monday, February 13, 1:00pm

ESB 2001

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Virtual Reality has generated a lot of interest in recent years and there is a lot of progress already in formulating its language in both the academia and the industry. Vangelis will talk about the emergence of VR as a new medium and its ability to shape the way we experience musical content. The talk will cover a wide range of topics including best practices for VR, mechanics of engagement, immersive audio production, production design and development pipelines, artistic integrity, systems design and engineering. As a case-study, he’ll discuss his latest production, the Bohemian Rhapsody Experience, an innovative mobile VR application based on Freddy Mercury’s legendary song, which was developed in collaboration with Google Play and Queen. You can download the Bohemian Rhapsody Experience App in advance at www.enosis.io, in order to form your personal opinion, inquiries and discussion points. The App is available for Android and iOS smartphones that are VR compatible. For those who do not have a Google Cardboard or equivalent 3D mobile VR viewer, the app includes a 360 story mode. Related articles:

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/bohemian-rhapsody-vr
http://uploadvr.com/bohemian-rhapsody-google-queen/

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38795190
http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/journey-to-vr/the-bohemian-rhapsody-experience-enosis-vr-on-the-real-life-fantasy-of-working-with-queen

Vangelis Lympouridis is the founder of Enosis VR. After a successful career in academia he founded Enosis, a cutting-edge production company that specializes in immersive virtual reality applications. Before launching his company Vangelis oversaw operations and research at the MxR Studio, the main VR Hub at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he explored Virtual Reality and Whole Body Immersion with an interdisciplinary team of students. While at USC, he produced a series of innovative VR projects including Project Syria: An Immersive Experience, commissioned by the World Economic Forum and exhibited in Davos, the Sundance Film Festival, the Sheffield Doc Fest and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; Use of Force, funded by the Tribeca Film Festival and AP Google; and F1, a cinematic immersive experience presented at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Singapore. Vangelis has a PhD in Whole Body Interaction and an MSc in Sound Design from the University of Edinburgh. He also holds a BFA in Sculpture and Environmental Art from Glasgow School of Art. He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

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"The Great British Recording Studios”

Monday, January 23, 1:00pm

ESB 2001

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Some of the most important and influential recordings of all time were created in British studios during the 1960s and 1970s: iconic facilities like Abbey Road, Decca, Olympic, Trident, and AIR. This presentation will unravel the origins of the so-called “British Sound” and celebrate the people, equipment, and innovative recording techniques that came out of those hallowed halls.

 

Howard Massey, music industry consultant, audio journalist, and author of Behind The Glass, Behind The Glass Volume II, and The Great British Recording Studios.










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"Mathematical transformation of spherical images and video ”

Friday, January 20, 1:00pm

Elings Hall 1601

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Spherical (or "360 degree") still and video cameras capture light from all directions, producing a sphere of image data. What kinds of post-process transformations make sense for spherical photographs and video? We can rotate the sphere, but is there an analogue to zoom in flat video? By viewing the sphere of image data as the Riemann sphere, we can use complex numbers to describe the positions of the pixels. By scaling the complex plane, we get something like a zoom effect, with which we can make a spherical version of the Droste effect. By applying other complex functions, we can "unwrap" the sphere, producing other Escher-like impossible images and video. The code to generate these effects is written in Python, and much of it is available on GitHub.

  http://www.segerman.org/

Henry Segerman is a mathematician, working mostly in three-dimensional geometry and topology, and a mathematical artist, working mostly in 3D printing. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Oklahoma State University, and author of the new book "Visualizing Mathematics with 3D Printing”.




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Re-Wired: Engineering a New Creative Culture in the Long 1960's

Monday, September 26th, 1pm

Engineering Science Building, room 2001

In the mid-1960s, an art and technology movement burst forth across the U.S. and Europe. It was catalyzed by corporate support, media exposure, a curious public, and – most of all – the enthusiastic participation of artists and engineers in formal and institutional collaborations. This talk explores this sudden blossoming of enthusiasm for art and technology and its subsequent and rather sudden retreat. While not ignoring the artists, I wish to restore the engineers and scientists to the foreground. I wish to recover the history of the engineers who contributed time, technical expertise, and aesthetic input to their artist colleagues. Following this thread through to the present day, I argue that today’s proliferation of academic and commercial art/design/technology/innovation centers is a legacy of a foundation set down by artists and engineers in the 1960's.

W. Patrick McCray is a professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Originally trained as a scientist, McCray’s most recent book (2013) is The Visioneers: How an Elite Group of Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future. This won the Watson and Helen Miles Davis Prize from the History of Science Society as the "best book written for a general audience", as well as the Eugene M. Emme Award from the American Astronautical Society. Besides authoring three other books about the history of science and technology, he also recently co-edited a collection of essays called Groovy Science: Knowledge, Innovation, and the American Counterculture which the University of Chicago published in 2016.

In addition to grants from the National Science Foundation – including one to create a center at UCSB looking at the societal implications of new technologies – McCray has held research fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (2010), the California Institute of Technology (2012), and the Smithsonian (2015). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected 2011) and the American Physical Society (elected 2013). Finally, in 2016, McCray was an invited attendee at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

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Collaborating with Electronics

Monday, October 17th, 1pm

Engineering Science Building, room 2001

From circuit bending to modular synthesis, artists and inventors around the world have strived to push beyond the pre-defined roles of modern electronics to find new and inspiring applications for the medium. Edwards will share his experience in the field of creative electronics as an artist and teacher for more than a decade to show how adventurous artists can not only harness the power of electricity but also gain inspiration from its organic behaviour.

Peter Edwards is a american artist, teacher and inventor working in the field of creative electronics. Over the past 15 years Edwards has worked closely with DIY electronics communities through his business casperelectronics and through outreach projects at universities and arts organisations around the world. He studied sculpture at the Rhode Island school of design and developed the creative electronics department at Hampshire College. more recently, he studied electrical engineering and electro acoustics at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague while collaborating with musical electronics pioneers STEIM in Amsterdam. In 2016 Edwards moved to the Czech Republic to join forces with synthesizer producing arts collective Bastl Instruments. He now splits his time between Brno with Bastl Instruments and Brooklyn with arts collective The Silent Barn.

Casper Electronics

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Waste Matters: You Are My Future

Monday, October 24th, 1pm

Engineering Science Building, room 2001

Waste Matters: You Are My Future by Kathy High explores the field of biological arts and High's own projects. Her current research focuses on the immune system — and particulary looks at the interaction of our human gut microbiota as a biological symbiosis, a holobient, collaborative interaction between species – or as Donna Haraway refers to us in this age of the Anthropocene, "we need each other in an oblig­ate sym­bio­sis.” High looks at research in fecal microbial transplants and gut biomes to better understand the important function of bacteria and fungi in our bodies. Using the metaphor of interspecies love, with immunological bacterial players, Waste Matters expands ideas around imbalances of internal biomes as a mirror to the imbalances in our larger ecological sphere, where the gut is a “hackable space.” As a patient with Crohn’s disease, High's knowledge in autoimmune disorders and the body’s ecology is first hand. Recent research into the human body's biomes has lead to better understanding of the various ecological systems we live among. Having dealt with issues around shit all her life, High sees her own attempts to make this material invisible. In this new work she hopes to bring light to ways our culture hides waste. She posits a more holistic view allowing for dialog between ecologists, biologists, activists, and artists to catalyze the imaginary around the abject. “The transformation of waste is perhaps the oldest pre-occupation of man.” - Patti Smith

Kathy High (USA) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator working in the areas of technology, science and art. She works with animals and living systems, and considers the social, political and ethical dilemmas surrounding areas of medicine/bio-science, biotechnology and interspecies collaborations. She has received awards from Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts, among others. Her art works have been shown at documenta 13 (Germany), Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center and Exit Art (NYC), UCLA (Los Angeles), Science Gallery, (Dublin), NGBK, (Berlin), Fesitval Transitio_MX (Mexico), MASS MoCA (North Adams), Videotage Art Space (Hong Kong). High is Professor of Video and New Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

Artist Website || Embracing Animal || Vampire Study Group

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Early Video in the U.S. (1968-75): Considering the Emerging Aesthetics of Time-based Electronic Media & Reflections on Curating this Early Work

Monday, November 17th, 1pm

Engineering Science Building, room 2001

Each of the works to be screened and discussed represent critical contributions to the aesthetics of emerging time-based electronic media during a period that saw radical cultural and social change in the U.S. Discussions of seminal work by Steina & Woody Vasulka, Richard Serra & Nancy Holt, Vito Acconci and the People’s Communication Network will also reflect on curatorial practice at points of major technological shifts, the re-performance of artists’ personal archives, and the process through which cultural practice and the issues that inform that practice are remembered and/or potentially lost.

Chris Hill is a media curator, artist and educator, who is currently teaching in the Film/Video School at California Institute for the Arts (2012-present) where she was recently appointed Associate Dean for Academic & Student Affairs. From 2008-11 she served on the Executive Collective of Nonstop Institute, a faculty/alumni collaborative educational initiative (2008-09) in response to the closure of Antioch College, and subsequently an arts and education non-profit (2009-11) in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She was an Associate Professor of Media Arts at Antioch College (1997-2008) where she co-directed four Summer Documentary Institutes (1998-2001) and has also taught in the Video/Performance Studio at the Technical University in Brno, Czech Republic (1997). Hill received an MFA in Media Study and Photography from SUNY Buffalo (1984), and from 1984-96 was Video Curator at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo. Hill curated a 17-hour collection Surveying the First Decade: Video Art & Alternative Media in the U.S., 1968-1980 (1996) that has been distributed to over 450 museums and universities internationally by the Video Data Bank (School of the Art Institute of Chicago). Her recent publications and media work have investigated documentary media on the U.S. incarceration crisis, contemporary artists’ work that re-embodies experimental film and grassroots video projects of the early 1970s, tactical media initiatives in response to a community emergency, and beekeeping.

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Since 1998, the Media Arts and Technology graduate program hosts a periodic seminar series. The transdisciplinary nature of our program is also reflected in the diverse range of fields our speakers come from: engineering, electronic music, art and science.

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The MAT Seminar Series takes place in the Engineering Science Building (ESB), room 2001 or in Elings Hall 1601/1605.