UCSB’s Media Arts and Technology Program Hosts Annual Year-End Show | Press Releases

Posted May 25, 2016
| 1:30 p.m.

MAT graduate student Kon Hyong “Kenny” Kim stands in the AlloSphere. He is among those who featured work on the program’s 2016 end-of-year show, “White Noise.” (Courtesy picture)

A first for a department known for pushing the boundaries in the name of innovation, UC Santa Barbarait’s Media Arts and Technology (MAT) hits the road with its annual year-end show. More or less.

In addition to its usual one-night on-campus event, MAT, with the 2016 offering “White Noise,” will kick off a very public expansion of the storefront by mounting it twice more in downtown Santa Barbara.

The show is scheduled for Friday, May 27, from 5 to 9 p.m. at UCSB’s Elings Hall, as well as Saturday, May 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science and Technology (SBCAST).

SBCAST will once again host MAT from 5:30-10 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, in conjunction with the first Thursday community-wide art event. All events are free and open to the public.

“The first of what we now call our ‘end of year show’, I don’t think we knew that was what it was, as it was informal and mostly impromptu,” said said MAT founding faculty member JoAnn Kuchera. Morin, who created the AlloSphere, UCSB’s one-of-a-kind immersive research facility.

“After a while, as the students started to understand the whole aspect of exhibiting and curating – that process is a very important part of how we do research on the arts side – it really caught fire,” she said. “Now it’s gotten really big and it’s been especially big this year.”

Also new to the 2016 iteration is an outreach component with local high schools, which will bring teenage engineering students to the AlloSphere for an educational session with MAT researchers before the public portions of “White Noise” begin. begin.

The entire four-day event speaks to the spirit at the very heart of MAT: engaging the community and “educating the future,” as Kuchera-Morin puts it.

“It’s the great vision that was founded here,” she said. “It’s the high-level arts that inform science at a very high level of research, make it known to the community, do citizen science, lectures, up to education reform and introduce the A into STEMs.”

Among the main architects of the show’s amplified focus is doctoral student Gustavo Rincon, who, along with a colleague at MAT, is the mentor of two local engineering programs. Their philosophical charge to engage the community at large – young artists, academics and aspiring technicians in particular – is what inspired his efforts.

Another MAT project with the 360 ​​degree AlloSphere.
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Another MAT project with the 360 ​​degree AlloSphere. (Courtesy picture)

“I strongly believe in the importance of our educational and community work, and this show will celebrate that mission,” Rincon said. “We have a lot of firsts this year, and all in an effort to engage the community in a deeper discussion of why we at MAT are here, both conceptually and how we can change the future through our research.”

Indeed, the show’s theme, “White Noise”, is meant to represent the belief in infinite possibilities – in technology and art – that are central to the program.

Located in the California Institute of NanosystemsMAT is a transdisciplinary graduate program that merges emerging media, computer science, engineering, research, practice, production, and theory in electronic music and digital art.

“At MAT, research is like white noise in that it contains ‘signals’ from all areas,” Rincon said. “As technologists and artists, they weave through this diverse research in innovative ways, creating new works that transcend our way of seeing the world. The show is a product of this process.

The showcase will feature demonstrations, installations, performances and concerts by more than 50 students and faculty, covering areas ranging from computational perception, digital humanities and experimental music to virtual reality, data visualization and remote sensing.

Remarks from MAT Program Chair and 2016 Guggenheim Fellow George Legrady will open the show at 1 p.m. Friday in Room 2016, Elings Hall.

Next, a launch lecture will feature curator and media artist Zhang Ga, from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and The New School‘s Parsons School of Art, Media and Technology.

Immediately following this lecture, Ga, Legrady, Kuchera-Morin, guest artist Andreas Schlegel and other MAT professors will participate in a panel discussion.

More information is available at show.mat.ucsb.edu.

Shelly Leachman writes for the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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