Media Arts and Technology

Graduate Program

University of California Santa Barbara


The concert will feature the CREATE Ensemble, three works by UCSB students, and a solo performance by our featured guest, Oregon composer and Buchla synthesis maven Todd Barton. Mr. Barton will perform on a Buchla Music Easel, no digital electronics involved. The concert will be spatialized in eight channels.


Why, in this digital age, perform on analog technology from the 1970’s? Why improvise when there is so much great electronic and digital tools available? Why do I always say, "you’re only as expressive as your control voltages." What does, "do the opposite" mean in my world? A free-wheeling talk about my compositional and performance process.


LoVid will discuss their process of working with handmade analog audiovisual synthesizers and producing textile and other tactile objects based on their media works. The presentation will include images, videos, and a conversation on DIY culture.

LoVid (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus), have been collaborating since 2001. LoVid's practice includes immersive multimedia performances and installations, textile works, participatory projects, and videos. Their projects have been exhibited at Real Art Ways (CT), Moving Image Art Fair (NY), Daejeon Museum (Korea), Everson Museum (NY), Smack Mellon (NY), CAM Raleigh (NC), Netherland Media Art Institute (Netherlands), The Jewish Museum (NY), The Neuberger Museum (NY), The New Museum (NY), and ICA (London), among many others. LoVid has performed and presented works at: Issue Project Room (NY), Museum of Moving Image (NY), Lampo (Chicago), International Film Festival Rotterdam (Netherlands), MoMA (NY), PS1 (NY), River to River Festival (NY), The Kitchen (NY), and FACT (Liverpool) among many others. LoVid’s projects have received support, awards, grants, and residencies from organizations including: NY Hall of Science, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Cue Art Foundation, Eyebeam, Harvestworks, Wave Farm, Rhizome, Franklin Furnace, NYFA, LMCC, NYSCA, and Greenwall Foundation.

For more information about the MAT Seminar Series, go to:



Audio-visual performances and installations by the MAT community in downtown Santa Barbara, on the first Thursday of every month.



The X-43A Hypersonic Experimental (Hyper-X) Vehicle in Benefield Aenechoic Facility at Edwards Air Force Base radio January 2000. Photo: Tom Tschida. Image is free of Copyright / courtesy of NASA.

Marko Peljhan’s work revolves around two fundamental aspects of the world today: the technological developments in communication, transport, and surveillance; and the highly complex systems of political, economic, and military power driving such developments and employing them in administration, control, production or military applications. The potentials of technology are introduced into art as a way of confronting the systems of governance and their strategies. Peljhan’s art has thus evolved into a process involving a cartography of "signal territories," an analysis of the role of technology in society, particularly as it relates to power structures, a reflection on the possibilities of a different, creative and resistant use of technological means, and, ultimately, the creation of socially useful models of resistant behaviors in the contemporary social system. The theatrical dimension of Peljhan’s art plays a crucial role in this; his best-known project Makrolab can in this sense be interpreted as a technological laboratory and a social stage based on the concept of micro-performance.

At the Venice Biennale, Peljhan will present a work from his Resolution series. This series, which has evolved over some 20 years, proposes some specific material and applicable solutions to certain problems in society. It is the artist’s response to the state in which the world finds itself today, calling for a rediscovery of space and a utopian response to the rapid changes in the environment. In this sense, the autonomous vessel produced as part of the "Here we go again… SYSTEM 317" project is a colonizing, apocalyptic and pirating tool of sorts. In it, Peljhan brings together his vision, the potential for and the impossibility of a final exit from our rapidly deteriorating planetary conditions in a process he calls “reverse conversion.” He first employed this methodology in his "TRUST-SYSTEM" series, which focused on the conversion of cruise missile technology and later, unmanned systems for civil counter-reconnaissance. The artist proposes the construction of a counter-privateering machine intended for the days when the world’s great empires find themselves, once again, in confrontation—and one characterized by a grave lack of responsibility together with great destructive potential.


Reincarnation is a virtual reality art experience, based on French surrealist painter Yves Tanguy's paintings in combination with my creation of pseudo-natural beings. Reincarnation intends to amplify the experience of original artworks by creating an agent-based spatial narrative and a surreal aesthetic for visual, audio, motion, and interaction. Reincarnation is also an artistic search of animism in various matters, and it challenges the anthropocentric worldview in an artificial intelligence era. By providing a multi-perspective experience, it calls for people's empathy for human beings as well as other organic creations, artifacts, places, and abstract entities.



"BeHave" by Sihwa Park


This paper presents BeHAVE, a web-based audiovisual piece that explores a way to reveal the author’s mobile phone use behavior through multimodal data representation, considering the concept of indexicality in data visualization and sonification. It visualizes the spatiality and overall trend of mobile phone use data as a geographical heatmap visualization and a heatmap chart. On top of that, BeHAVE presents a mode for temporal data exploration to make a year of data perceivable in a short period and represent the temporality of data. Based on a microsound synthesis technique, it also sonifies data to simultaneously evoke visual and auditory perception in this mode. As a way of indexical visualization, BeHAVE also suggests an approach that represents data through mobile phones simultaneously by using WebSocket. Ultimately, BeHAVE attempts to not only improve the perception of self-tracking data but also arouse aesthetic enjoyment through a multimodal data portrait as a means of self-representation.

This VR project is a conceptual response to "Ground Truth" in the modern AI age. From a neural network (NN) that is trained to recognize thousands of objects, to a NN that can only generate binary outputs, each NN, like human beings, has its own understanding of the real world, even when the inputs are the same. LAVIN provides an immersive responsive experience, that allows you to visually explore one understanding of a NN in which the real world is mapping to less than a hundred daily objects. LAVIN constantly analyzes the real world via a camera, and outputs semantic interpretations in which the audience navigates, in a virtual world that consists of all of the fluid abstract structures that are designed and animated based on the photogrammetry of daily objects that the NN can recognize.

In the Digital Age​ - ​Experiencing Architecture and Music Through STEM - Course Description

In this course, we will challenge what you think architecture and music are by examining how the intersection of these topics evolved over time through the lens of human experience and the digital age. For example, the way in which theme parks are intentionally designed or the role that a musical score plays in movies to enhance or manipulate the audience's experience. You will learn the basic concepts of digital architecture and computer music through exercises using physical and digital modeling, 3D fabrication, haptics (touch sound), and interactive design highlighting how new media technologies and fabrication tools have allowed for the integration of STEM and the fine arts. Students will attend a field recording workshop and develop a hands-on studio project to learn creative techniques in music composition and sound making. In addition, students will develop oral communication and formal presentation skills through a series of workshop project presentations. By the end of the course, you will develop the methodologies for an interdisciplinary research project. This is an excellent opportunity for participants interested in both science and art, to increase their skills and knowledge towards their college education.

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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.

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