MAT 595M Seminar Series

A Research Project in the Arts: The New Dunites

February 28, 2012
5:30 pm  to  7:00 pm

Speakers: Andres Burbano, Danny Bazo, Solen Kiratli DiCicco, University of California, Santa Barbara

Abstract

“The New Dunites” is a site-specific research project in the arts investigating a culturally unique and biologically diverse geographic site located on California’s Central Coast. The site and its history have many interesting components, such as a unique coastal dune ecology and biodiversity, and having been a communal home to a group of intellectuals in the 40s who called themselves “the Dunites”. However, the most prominent of these components from a point of view of media archaeology is the site’s role in director Cecil B. Demille’s 1923 silent film The Ten Commandments. Buried under these dunes are the dynamited remains of the set of this epic biblical spectacle. We are fascinated by the research possibilities that the site embodies: a unique combination of cinema and archaeology.

Throughout our process of research and implementation we have employed many tools and methodologies of the arts and sciences to investigate this land. In an attempt to articulate and mediate the interaction between humans and this special environment, our end product is the construction of an ecology of interfaces (from mobile device apps to gallery installations) which uses the data gathered by our explorations as their primary input. Our goal, as media artists and researchers, has been to create an alternative narrative of this wonderfully complex site through the usage of scientific data, historical facts, and artistic practice.

The New Dunites is funded by UCIRA (University of California Institute for Research in the Arts), and Fundación Telefónica (Spain).

Please join the opening of our exhibition at CNSI second floor, right after this seminar at 7:00 pm.

Bios

Andres Burbano, PhD Candidate, Media Arts and Technology, UCSB

Burbano, originally from Colombia, explores the interactions of science, art and technology in various capacities: as a researcher, as an individual artist and in collaborations with other artists and designers. Burbano’s work ranges from documentary video (in both science and art), sound and telecommunication art to the exploration of algorithmic cinematic narratives. The broad spectrum of his work illustrates the importance, indeed, the prevalence, of interdisciplinary collaborative work in the field of digital art.

Andres Burbano is currently a PhD candidate of Media Arts and Technology at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Solen Kiratli DiCicco, PhD Student, Media Arts and Technology, UCSB
Solen is an architect, researcher and media artist. Her work is primarily concerned with the intersections of computational media processes and spatial practices. She holds a BSc in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University and an MArch from USC (University of Southern California). She has worked on several architectural projects in Los Angeles area. She is also the recipient of UCIRA Social Ecologies Grant, VIDA 13.0 Artistic Production Incentives, and IHC (Interdisciplinary Humanities Center) Media Arts Award.

Danny Bazo, PhD Candidate, Media Arts and Technology, UCSB
Danny’s research interests lie at the intersection of robotics and media arts, and are strongly informed by cybernetics, systems theory, and biologically-inspired engineering. Through the creation of robotic systems and environments, and through the analysis of historical and current representations of robotic beings in popular media such as cinema, television, and games, he aims to explore and illuminate the relationships between intelligence, physical embodiment, perception, awareness, and emotion. He has designed robotics and digital systems for arts and engineering projects in California, the United Kingdom, and Japan, and is currently a fellow of the Robert W. Deutsch foundation.