Media Arts and Technology

Graduate Program

University of California Santa Barbara

Events

Black Fictions and Speculative Ecologies

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Abstract

In the context of the American landscape, the black body has historically been viewed as an “earth machine”. A technology used to lift the soil, root the flora, sow the seeds, break the stone, and pump the water. Before John Deers and Bob Cats, there were Black slaves. The till, plow, jackhammer, excavator, piston, and axe condensed into a single metric. In addition to an exploitative capitalistic enterprise, slavery was also a cruel geoengineering project.

This talk reframes the historic narrative of the Black identity as a landscape technology through the exploration of a fictional world entitled Mojo. Distinctions between blackness, landscape, and technology, are blurred allowing black creativity, expression, and spirituality to materialize on an ecological scale. What would our landscapes look like if shaped by the values of a different culture? We unpack this question through a collection of CGI Afrofuturist vignettes that engage storytelling and science fiction as critical means to envision new trajectories of black identity.

Bio

Visual artist Jeremy Kamal engages CGI storytelling to explore relationships between Blackness, technology, and ecology. He is a design faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He studied Landscape Architecture at Harvard GSD and received a Master of Arts in SCI-Arc’s postgraduate Fiction and Entertainment program. His work uses themes of landscape and fiction to envision speculative environments in which Black life is at the center of geological phenomena. Through fiction, Kamal is interested in making explicit the connection between cultural abstractions and ecological realities. His focus on landscape-centric narratives is the driving force behind the worlds he brings to life through animation, game engine technology, music, and storytelling. Kamal's work offers another perspective on the way we think about space and the cultural behaviors that shape it.

jeremykamal.com

For more information about the MAT Seminar Series, go to:
seminar.mat.ucsb.edu.

Reconsidering Technolgy Through the Lens of Weaving

Abstract

This talk will present a speculation rooted in my experience weaving electronics and developing software for weaving electronics. I will introduce the basics of woven structure in terms of its mechanical properties as well as methods by which it is designed and manipulated. I will also present some of the exciting opportunities for design and interaction when we consider weaving as a method of electronics production: such as the ability for textile structures to unravel, mended, and to be continually modified. Each of these underlying discussions will frame a provocation about alternative ways we might build, use, and unbuild our electronic products.

Bio

Laura Devendorf, assistant professor of information science with the ATLAS Institute, is an artist and technologist working predominantly in human-computer interaction and design research. She designs and develops systems that embody alternative visions for human-machine relations within creative practice. Her recent work focuses on smart textiles—a project that interweaves the production of computational design tools with cultural reflections on gendered forms of labor and visions for how wearable technology could shape how we perceive lived environments. Laura directs the Unstable Design Lab. She earned bachelors' degrees in studio art and computer science from the University of California Santa Barbara before earning her PhD at UC Berkeley School of Information. She has worked in the fields of sustainable fashion, design and engineering. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, has been featured on National Public Radio, and has received multiple best paper awards at top conferences in the field of human-computer interaction.

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www.colorado.edu/atlas/laura-devendorf

For more information about the MAT Seminar Series, go to:
seminar.mat.ucsb.edu.

Past Events  

News

The MAT alumni that were selected to participate are:

Yoon Chung Han
Solen KIratli
Hannen E. Wolfe
Yin Yu
Weidi Zhang
Rodger (Jieliang) Luo

The International Symposium on Electronic Art is one of the world’s most prominent international arts and technology events, bringing together scholarly, artistic, and scientific domains in an interdisciplinary discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in art, interactivity, and electronic and digital media.

www.isea2023-proposals.org

Burbano is a native of Pasto, Colombia and an associate professor in Universidad de los Andes’s School of Architecture and Design. As a contributor to the conference, Burbano has presented research within the Art Papers program (in 2017), and as a volunteer, has served on the SIGGRAPH 2018, 2020, and 2021 conference committees. Most recently, Burbano served as the first-ever chair of the Retrospective Program in 2021, which honored the history of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Andres received his PhD from Media Arts and Technology in 2013.

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For more information, please read this article on the ACMSIGGRAPH Blog.

The next SIGGRAPH conference is in August 2023 and will be held in Los Angeles, California s2023.siggraph.org.

Space Control is a multitrack workstation dedicated to the design, realization, and mixture of spatial gestures for electroacoustic music composition. With its simple interface and minimal learning curve, it makes quick and powerful spatialization available to users of all experience levels.

Released in June 2022, Space Control was created by the team of Professor João Pedro Oliveira, acting as project manager, and software developer Raphael Radna. Radna is a PhD candidate in Music Composition at UC Santa Barbara, and is also pursuing a Masters of Science degree from the Media Arts and Technology Graduate Program at UCSB.

Space Control runs on Apple Computers, and is available on GitHub. Use this link for direct access to the software download.

There is also a Quick Start video available on YouTube:

For more information, please see the article on the UCSB News website https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2022/020785/space-control.

The project was supported by a Faculty Research Grant from the UCSB Academic Senate.

Parasitic Signals - Coexistence with SARS-CoV-2

This project is to transform a nano-scale of a striking biological phenomenon, the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 (Corona) virus and human molecules into an interactive audiovisual simulation. Especially, in this pandemic situation, the SARS-CoV-2 (Corona) virus is a key interest in all fields of science. By collaborating with scientists at Johannes Kepler University (JKU) in Linz, Austria, we are going to simulate the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 virus and human lectin proteins by using Atomic Microscopy (AFM), which can touch a single molecule to measure binding force between SARS-CoV-2 virus and human lectin protein. We are creating an interactive audiovisual installation and performance from an interaction data set of corona virus and human protein. The audience will be invited to an immersive space where they can control the two biomolecule’s behavior so that they can intuitively recognize the biological characteristics of Corona virus and human protein.

This project is not only a demonstration of scientific data and the development of a sonification tool, but also it tries to look at the interspecies relationship in parasitism, as a mutualistic and long-term relationship. Especially, in this pandemic situation, coronavirus brought huge impacts socially, as well as individually. Through this collaboration, this project is a continuous series of parasitism in humans that in particular deals with our current and future life with coronavirus, with various perspectives of social, political and cultural levels. Especially, as the corona virus is being extensively researched due to the pandemic circumstance all over the world, this project will be meaningful to demonstrate how we can possibly control our coexistence in virtual space.

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Ars Electronica Center, Linz Austria.

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Kepler’s Gardens at JKU Campus, Linz, Austria.

ars.electronica.art/planetb/en

EmissionControl2 is a granular sound synthesizer. The theory of granular synthesis is described in the book Microsound (Curtis Roads, 2001, MIT Press).

Released in October 2020, the new app was developed by a team consisting of Professor Curtis Roads acting as project manager, with software developers Jack Kilgore and Rodney Duplessis. Kilgore is a computer science major at UCSB. Duplessis is a PhD student in music composition at UCSB and is also pursuing a Masters degree in the Media Arts and Technology graduate program.

EmissionControl2 is free and open-source software available at: github.com/jackkilgore/EmissionControl2/releases/latest

The project was supported by a Faculty Research Grant from the UCSB Academic Senate.

Past News  

Showcase

Exhibition Catalogs

End of Year Show

About MAT

Media Arts and Technology (MAT) at UCSB is a transdisciplinary graduate program that fuses emergent media, computer science, engineering, electronic music and digital art research, practice, production, and theory. Created by faculty in both the College of Engineering and the College of Letters and Science, MAT offers an unparalleled opportunity for working at the frontiers of art, science, and technology, where new art forms are born and new expressive media are invented.

In MAT, we seek to define and to create the future of media art and media technology. Our research explores the limits of what is possible in technologically sophisticated art and media, both from an artistic and an engineering viewpoint. Combining art, science, engineering, and theory, MAT graduate studies provide students with a combination of critical and technical tools that prepare them for leadership roles in artistic, engineering, production/direction, educational, and research contexts.

The program offers Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Media Arts and Technology. MAT students may focus on an area of emphasis (multimedia engineering, electronic music and sound design, or visual and spatial arts), but all students should strive to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and work with other students and faculty in collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects and courses.

Alumni Testimonials