2011 MFA Exhibition :: Permutations

          

Click photo to view slideshow. Most photos by Jim MacKenzie.

download Press Release (PDF)

 

The Digital Arts and New Media MFA program at UC Santa Cruz presents an exhibition of ten graduate students whose works employ advanced technologies for creative potential and social impact.

Entitled Permutations, this year's UCSC DANM MFA exhibition is the culmination of two years of research and artistic exploration, and will include new media works that explore performativity, interactivity and participation. Through storytelling about places, times and players, these artists experiment with digital media to produce unforeseen outcomes and permutations. Their works probe fundamental questions and explore controlled and random mediated experience. They interrogate the borderlands, edges, and contested territories of contemporary new media art practice. 

    Exhibition Dates: April 30 – May 1 & May 5 – 8

    Gallery Hours: 10AM – 4PM

    Talk: Friday May 6 at 4PM by Steve Dietz

    Reception: Friday May 6, 5:30 – 7:30PM, immediately followed by
    a free performance of a newly composed opera

    Location: The Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) located off Meyer
    Drive near the Music Recital Hall and Theater Arts on the west side
    of campus.

A talk by serial platform creator Steve Dietz, entitled "Between Media and Architecture", will be given on site at 4PM on May 6, the day of the reception, as part of DANM’s Art Technology & Culture Colloquium at UCSC. Dietz has organized and curated numerous contemporary and new media art
exhibitions including 01SJ Biennial, speaks and writes extensively
about new media, and teaches about curating and digital art. He is the Founder, President, and Artistic Director of Northern Lights.mn, and currently serving as artistic director for the 2011 inaugural Twin Cities Northern Spark nuit blanche, and for ReGeneration, to be presented by the New York Hall of Science in the summer of 2012.

 

descriptions of works

Joe Cantrell

Shift Register

Shift Register is a performative sound installation by Joe Cantrell that utilizes hyper-directional speaker and cognitive brainwave recognition technologies to explore the body as a filter for data. This work explores how this biological filter can be used to complicate traditional performance and experiential modalities.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

Shift Register is a sound installation by Joe Cantrell that utilizes hyper-directional speaker and brainwave recognition technologies to explore the body as a filter for data. This work explores how this biological filter can be used to complicate traditional performance and experiential modalities.

A performer wears an EEG unit that recognizes brainwave activity and translates this data to sound, which is directed around the performance space. This performer also wears a video viewing apparatus that obliges the performer to watch videos chosen by the audience. The reactions to these videos can be heard aurally by the audience. In this way, a system is created in which the intentional creative choices of neither the performer nor the audience are ever clearly defined.

MEDIA: Custom electronics, hyper-directional speakers, servo actuated directional system, EEG headset, video viewing system.   

Shift Register by Joe Cantrell

Joe Cantrell - Shift Register

 

Meredith Drum

Louisiana Re-Storied

If plastics could speak, what would they say? Tracing plastics to their birthplace, Louisiana Re-Storied is an interactive documentary examining the massive petrochemical plants along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, home to communities that suffer disproportionately from this weakly regulated industry.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

If plastics could speak, what would they say? Tracing plastic products to their birthplace, the massive petrochemical factories that create plastic feedstocks, Louisiana Re-Storied is an interactive documentary regarding the impact of this industry on the health of specific human communities and ecosystems. The work focuses on the stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Here, small communities and wetlands are sandwiched between petrochemical plants whose significant toxic releases are weakly regulated by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, an agency famous for its industrial nepotism. 

MAX / MSP assistance by Lyés Belhocine.

Carpentry assistance by Mitch Miller.

MEDIA: Touch screen with graphical interface, wooden kiosk, video projection, sound library.

Video Still: Sugar Plantation

Sugar Plantation, 1787; purchased by Mexican Petroleum Company, 1914; then Amoco, 1958; unused and dilapidated, 1958 – 1970; restored by The River Road Historic Society, 1971.

 

Elaine Gan

Rice Child (Stirrings)

Other worlds are possible. They are, in fact, already here. Rice Child (Stirrings) is an installation that combines image, text, and software to imagine and mobilize fragments of these worlds. It maps rice seeds embedded within political ecologies, bio-cultural entanglements, and webs of resistance/emergence.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

Rice Child (Stirrings) asks: what is the work of art in an unprecedented age of violent dispossessions and mass extinctions? Solutions to environmental and socioeconomic crises propose more management, faster development. This installation is part of ongoing research that attempts to mix visual and cognitive tools to articulate different kinds of materialisms, and thus, different sets of questions. It speculatively maps specific varieties of rice circulating as technologies that scaffold/unfold multilayered and downright messy webs of local-global, historic-contemporary, human-nonhuman co-patternings. By focusing on entanglements that emerge from small grains of rice, this proposes a tool for navigating worlds otherwise.

MEDIUM: mixed technologies

Rice Child (Stirrings) by Elaine Gan

 

Levi Goldman

Completion Inc.

Completion Inc. is a blend of formal sculpture, robotics, and interactive programming. Viewers are invited to navigate a landscape of kinetic artworks commodity objects, and prosthetic devices. These art works sense and interpret viewers' bodies and make corresponding movements throughout the space.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

Completion Inc. is a blend of formal sculpture, robotics, and interactive programming. Viewers are invited to navigate a landscape of kinetic artworks, commodity objects, and prosthetic devices. These art works sense and interpret viewers' bodies and make corresponding movements throughout the space. The project considers identity formation with regard to body extension, commodity culture and objects of desire, urging the viewer to consider different ways people extend and/or fragment the body.

MEDIA: Plastic, Servo Motors, Aluminum, Rubber.

Self III by Levi Goldman

Completion Inc. (Photo by Eric Harrod)

 

Fabiola Hanna

We Are History: A People’s History of Lebanon

History textbooks in Lebanon only cover Lebanese history until 1946, so modern Lebanese history remains unknown to this day. We Are History: A People’s History of Lebanon is a new media project that gathers oral histories, knits them together depending on content and perspective, and presents a possible version of history.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

In 1997, the Lebanese government released new books and curriculum for all school subjects except one: History. In 1997, like all previous years, Lebanese students struggled to make copies of the old and only textbook available, last published in 1969. That history textbook only covers Lebanese history until 1946, so modern Lebanese history remains unknown, even to its own children. We Are History: A People’s History of Lebanon gathers oral histories from the Lebanese who lived through these times, and knits together complimentary or contradicting stories, depending on content and perspective, and presents them as a possible version of history.

MEDIA: video interviews, code, wood, metal, curiosity and love

We Are History: A People's History of Lebanon

We Are History: A People's History of Lebanon, by Fabiola Hanna

 

Dustin O’Hara

The Circulation of Knowledge Archive 

As a form of collaborative portraiture, The Circulation of Knowledge Archive examines the Public Library's Bookmobile as a cultural and civic institution by listening and engaging with the citizens it serves.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

As a form of collaborative portraiture, The Circulation of Knowledge Archive examines the Public Library's Bookmobile as a cultural and civic institution by listening and engaging with the citizens it serves.
As a form of socially engaged production, the project aims to realize its own moment of expression/knowledge and to establish a directory of relationships for connecting artists with local spaces interested in collaborating.

MEDIA: The Public Library System, Bookmobile, two 5th Grade Classes, Video, and Print Material    

Garfield Park Public Library Project

Garfield Park Public Library Project

 

Andrew Pascoe

God: The Opera

 

Composer: Andrew Pascoe  Librettist: Jacob Cribbs  

God: The Opera is an opera based on the Book of Job, exploring the meaning of music as a parallel to the meaning of suffering. Decontextualization and confusion abound as Job navigates a disrupted moral landscape.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

Composer: Andrew Pascoe Librettist: Jacob Cribbs

God: The Opera is a chamber opera based on the Book of Job. It is comprised of a variety of musical styles and tonal practices, ranging from sixteenth century practice to algorithmic computer music. Exploring the meaning of music as a parallel to the meaning of suffering, the opera is replete with musical and literary allusions. Decontextualization and confusion abound as Job navigates a disrupted moral landscape. Performed as a reading, the score calls for:

• Soprano • Alto • Baritone • Bass
• Oboe • String Quartet • Piano • Electronics

God: The Opera by Andrew Pascoe

 

Dustin Raphael

Sight:::Sound:::Touch

Sight:::Sound:::Touch is an immersive interactive visual music piece in which participants are encouraged to perform together. This experience offers interactants a glimpse into the gestures relevant to both composers and performers. Abstract imagery and Indie Electronica propel the participants into a collective cathartic synesthetic experience.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

Sight:::Sound:::Touch is an immersive interactive visual music piece in which participants are encouraged to perform together. This experience offers interactants a glimpse into the gestures relevant to both composers and performers. Abstract imagery and Indie Electronica propel the participants into a collective cathartic synesthetic experience. Immersed in sound, light and each other, the participants will collectively control the outcome of the experience, ideally being sensitive to each other's actions while jamming together.

Multiple interfaces allow for independent control of motion, color, size, timbre, loop, and intensity, allowing participants to have a collaborative musical experience.

MEDIA: Processing, Arduino, Max, Ableton Live, Immersive Sound and Projection Environment.

Sight:::Sound:::Touch by Dustin Raphael

Sight:::Sound:::Touch by Dustin Raphael

 

Aaron A. Reed

what if im the bad guy? and other stories

This collection of interactive stories explores how narrative can be made tactile, tangible, and sculptural. Walk through a meadow to find the perspective from which an accused soldier's story makes sense; navigate the history of a house to construct a perfect vignette.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

Aaron A. Reed's what if im the bad guy? and other stories presents four experimental narratives exploring ways that stories can become tactile, sculptural, and participatory. The title work invites participants to explore the true story of an accused Marine through both an augmented reality excursion where different perspectives on the truth collide in real-world spaces, and an interactive fiction replaying a frozen battlefield moment through the words of six different narrators with violently conflicting goals and ideologies. All four pieces explore how narratives can be atomized and reconstituted to create meaningful and moving collaboration between authors and participants.

MEDIA: Software installations using iOS/Palimpsest, JavaScript, Inform 7, and Processing to manipulate video, audio, 3D objects, digital photography, and text.

what if im the bad guy? and other stories

Fragmentary views of four interactive stories, including what if im the bad guy? and 18 Cadence.

 

Phoenix Toews

Palimpsest: Augmented Reality Theater

Palimpsest: Augmented Reality Theater is an open-source augmented reality browser that is capable of layering media over specific landscapes. It enables the creation of socially mediated narratives and experiences contextualized by geographic location and the physical environment, using a simple yet powerful scripting engine.

DETAILED INFORMATION AND IMAGE

Palimpsest: Augmented Reality Theater is an open-source augmented-reality browser capable of layering media over specific landscapes viewed through the iPhone. By employing a simple, yet powerful, scripting engine, the browser enables the creation of socially mediated narratives contextualized by geographic location, games that interact with the physical environment, and artistic performances and installations that are virtually attached to a real-world physical space. A participant may explore one of several experiences and narratives, and may navigate and interact with virtual objects such as images, 3D models, and sounds which are located at physical gps coordinates.

MEDIA: Augmented Reality, custom software, hand-held computing devices, C/C++, Cocoa, Objective-C, Lua, luabind, boost, OpenGLES, OpenAL, UIKit, your imagination

Palimpsest: Augmented Reality Theater

Palimpsest: Augmented Reality Theater (Photo by leaf tine.)

 

Thank you to our sponsors:

UCSC Arts logo   Bonny Doon Vineyard logo    Center for Cultural Studies logo

When: 
Saturday, April 30, 2011 (All day) - Thursday, May 5, 2011 (All day)