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Media Arts and Technology

Graduate Program

University of California Santa Barbara




Sarah Rosalena Brady discusses her research on computational craft in ways that speak to unstable states and binaries between life/nonlife, human/posthuman, ancient/modern, and biological/technological to reauthorize power in materialism. She will be discussing her recent research with the National Museum of the American Indian and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Sarah Rosalena Brady is an interdisciplinary artist and new professor at UC Santa Barbara in Computational Craft and Haptic Media. Her work creates hybrids between binaries and power structures as a multiracial First Nations and Latinx. She is interested in utilizing materials in ways that speak to unstable states and speculate new futures where power is distributed. Her material processes employ machine learning, digital fabrication, ceramics, robotics, creative code, and weaving. She was recently given the LACMA Art + Tech Lab Grant, Steve Wilson Award from Leonardo, International Society for Art, Science, and Technology, and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Nomination with the National Museum of the American Indian.

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.


Director Dr. JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, chief designer of the three-story facility on the UC Santa Barbara campus, says the intersection of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics has facilitated exciting new avenues for scientific discovery.

"But it is their strong desire to welcome research partners and collaborations of all kinds, that leads the AlloSphere to make a real difference in the local community".

Goleta’s Finest is a 70-year old tradition honoring remarkable individuals whose contributions have enhanced the Goleta community.

The 2019 award recipients will be honored with a formal celebration on Nov. 23 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Bacara.

Brand Logo Sonification is an audiovisual installation that exists on the border between old and analog technology and new digital practices. It mainly represents the global top 10 brand ranking data and logos from 2000 to 2018 through an oscilloscope, which is an electronic analog instrument, by the computational digital processes of data visualization and sonification. Based on OpenCV image processing and a vector synthesis technique, it extracts the contours of logos and converts them to audio that can be rendered on a vector display, such as an oscilloscope or laser. While the contours chiefly determine sound textures, the ranking data contributes to the whole composition. Through this process combining analog and digital practices, this work also reveals that our society is getting more affected by digital and IT companies, such as Google, Apple, Amazon, or Facebook, than brands in traditional industries, as their ranking in the data becomes highly positioned over time.


Morphology Synthesis: Exploring sensory wearable design computation

As our generation encounters unprecedented ecological challenges, the need to respond to these circumstances from all disciplines is urgently demanded. Using cutting-edge tools, such as soft robotic fabrication and sensory technologies, researchers can find new methods to face these complex problems. A morphological approach can define new architectural typologies and orchestrate movement through music and sound sensor. In this course, we will explore the concept of morphology in architecture, and study the evolution of forms within nature and building environments. You will learn novel concepts, such as pneumatic architecture, inflatable material, and deployable structure. Through hands-on experiments, you will understand how to fabricate a wearable device with soft materials and how to compute a biomimetic design with digital modeling tools. By the end of the course, you will design wearable technology for the human body, and integrate the multimedia devices with sensors.

(Keywords: multimedia design, biomimetic engineering, morphogenetic computation, pneumatic architecture, human-machine interaction)


Borrowed Scenery is a virtual reality experience that constructs an autobiographical spatial narrative that points to the deconstruction and reconstruction of cultural identity through experimental visualization of image data.

Being exposed to diverse cultures enables us to continuously portray our own cultural identities through collaging our collective memories cross cultural boundaries. In this project, I utilized autobiographical threads to evoke the universal experience of alienation and displacement. Photographs of eastern and western motifs, symbols and landscapes, which are collected as raw source image data, are captured volumetrically mostly in two places - my hometown Suzhou (China) and my current living place Los Angeles (US). Visualizing those two groups of image data in the VR world change the way we percept the scalability of intersections, as we could navigate the space to play with different points of view. A non-linear narrative is created when the intelligent agents ( generated by image data) crossed over dynamically in the virtual world.

The visualization methodology includes photogrammetry, shader programming, and intelligent system development. The pixel coordinates from those sets of image data are reconstructed as 3d coordinates of points on structures through automatic calibration. A customized shader is designed for the textures of those data-driven structures, which displaces and animates processed image pixels on vertices with layers of customized algorithms and 3d Voronoi Tessellation, collectively generates fragmental geometrical forms and fluid chaos. Those forms are programmed as intelligent agents to seek and wander in the environment, collide with others, die and get reborn. The system simulates how our cultural identities are evolved and how the ‘border’ is dynamically disturbed and reformed in the aesthetic and subject matter.


Lavin is a conceptual response to Ground Truth in the modern AI age. From a neural network (NN) trained to recognize thousands of objects to a NN can only generate binary outputs, each NN, like human beings, has its own understanding of the real world, even the inputs are the same. LAVIN provides an immersive responsive experience to visually explore one understanding of a NN in which the real world is mapping to 50 daily objects. LAVIN constantly analyzes the real world via a camera and outputs semantic interpretations, which navigate the audience in a virtual world consisting of all the fluid abstract structures that designed and animated based on the photogrammetry of daily objects that the NN can recognize.

Weidi and Jieliang will also speak at the event.



Photos: George Legrady. James Bay Cree, Fort George, James Bay, 1973, Quebec, Canada.

The award is for an upcoming publication titled "James Bay Cree Culture & Architecture", a monograph of documentary photographs created in four coastal Cree First Nation villages in sub-arctic James Bay in 1973. The publication is to consist of introductory texts, approximately 180 black and white photographs of everyday scenes in the Cree communities just prior to their legal negotiations over infrastructure autonomy and land rights in response to the construction of the James Bay Hydro-electric project on traditional hunting lands.


"System 319" at the Venice Biennale.

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.


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

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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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