Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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Jennifer Parker

Digital Art and New Media

Jennifer Parker is an artist and Professor of Art. She is the founding Director of UCSC OpenLab Research Center and serves as principle faculty for the Digital Arts & New Media (DANM) MFA program where she directed the Mechatronics collaborative research cohort from 2009-2015 developing research projects that combine art, design, science and technology. She has served as department chair for five years and is currently helping to spearhead the IDEA Hub, a new campus-wide initiative that facilitates hands-on learning for social and creative entrepreneurship through a network of incubation hubs, student fellowships, workshops, and community mentorships.

Parker maintains a multifaceted art practice at the intersection of art and science. The conceptual framework of her research includes a literal, formal, and idiomatic approach to materials and a political, private, and metaphorically abstract attitude toward expression as it relates to information and creativity. This research approach animates a space of possibility by asking the viewer to pay attention to the overlooked details, juxtapositions and interdependencies of our physical and sensory experience in the world around us. To pull information out of pie charts and graphs, to look at, feel and explore ideas as new and innovative forms of expression. 

For Parker, being an artist means being an activist, thinker, historian, and teacher who creates deployable art platforms for creating sound, and digital media with organic materials and traditional sculpture fabrication techniques to ask questions and to tell stories.


Jennifer Parker 




Education and Training: 
M.F.A. Rutgers University
B.A. College of Creative Studies, University of California Santa Barbara
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
Selected Publications: 

Parker’s work has been exhibited, performed and presented in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area in places such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF Camerawork, The LAB, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Bay Area Science Festival, SFMOMA, Southern Exposure, California Academy of Science,ZER01, Biennial, Tech Museum; Montalvo Art Center, Bay Area Maker Fair, and Kala Art Institute. Nationally, Parker has exhibited at ISEA12 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kantor Gallery in Los Angeles, CA; Contemporary Arts Forum in Santa Barbara, CA;  the Bessie Schöenberg Theater in New York; and the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington. Internationally, Parker has shown at the de Baile in Amsterdam, Holland; The War Memorial Museum in Seoul, Korea; the World Trade Center in Osaka, Japan; the Iskra History Museum in Kazanlak, Bulgaria; Califia Galerie and Školská 28 Galerie in the Czech Republic; and the Sala de exposiciones Parque García Sanabria Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

She is the recipient of several grants, awards, and fellowships including Artworks NEA, NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Art Matters, New Forms Regional Grant administered by the Inter-Arts Program of the NEA, Epsilon/Alliance Environmental Art and Education, American Psychoanalytic Foundation Award, The New Jersey State Council of the Arts, and the Kate Neal Kinely Memorial Fellowship Award.


Contributions to books:


Book Chapter: Parker, J. Slow FAST Forward: Enacting Digital Art and Civic Opportunities. In Elliott, D. J., Silverman, M., & Bowman, W. (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Artistic Citizenship. New York: Oxford University Press. (Oct 2016) 


Ebook: Roger F. Malina, Carol Strohecker, and Carol LaFayette, on behalf of SEAD network contributors, Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation: Enabling New Forms of Collaboration among Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design. MIT Press Journals (Parker, J., is a SEAD network member and white paper author sited on pages 3,60-62,79)

Teaching Interests: 

Old and new Media, Interactive Art, the Body, Sound, Sculpture, Interactive Art, Performance, and Kinetic Work

Office Location: 
Elena Baskin Visual Arts E-106
Office Hours: 
Wednesdays 12-2pm and by appointment
Mailing Address: 

Art Department

Baskin Visual Arts

UC Santa Cruz

1156 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95064