WORKING TITLE: “From Networking to NanoSystems: A Series of Digitally Mediated Dialogues Exploring the Cultures of Art and Science”




North: TBD, November 5-9

South: UCLA, November 11-14





This Fall, 2001, the UC Digital Arts Research Network (UC DARNet), funded as a Multi-Campus Research Group by the UCOP, will be convening an international conference and series of exploratory workshops over a 10 day period. These events will take place in several physical locations throughout the state of California. The organizing committee is also planning to incorporate a variety of strategies that will facilitate remote participation of UC faculty and students, in collaboration with the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in Interactive Arts, University of Wales, and the the centre for Science, Technology and Art Research, in the School of Computing, University of Plymouth (CAiiA-STAR), the Banff Centre for the Arts, and several other institutions during this time. The goal is to structure a set of innovative methods for information sharing and dialogue between communities of interest, extending the way conferences and workshops have traditionally functioned across time and space.


We are interested in having the Networking to NanoSystems conference activities directly interface with the recently funded California Institutes for Science and Innovation, and possibly the newly proposed Silicon Valley Regional Center. Participation will focus around thematic issues raised in connection to the establishment of these major new centers. The research and development activities of these centers will ideally serve to catalyze structured conversation in relation to participants prior and current work, and serve as a framework for establishing collaborative ties between the arts and sciences on both a local and on a more international context.


We do not want to replicate common conference and workshop models. We want to avoid the standard presentation mode by having general information sharing occur prior to the actual events in order to familiarize participants with each others work, and then have workshop session leaders employ an interview schedule, getting participants to respond to each other in a dialogic fashion oriented around specifically themed topics. Session leaders will be responsible for writing “position statements” about their panel topic prior to the event. Selected panel participants will also be asked to write responses to these statements. These materials will then form the basis of conversations during the actual conference. Ideally we will facilitate conversations between individuals in the arts and sciences that would not likely happen without such a context. We also plan to have all pre-conference materials, as well as all materials generated during the event be documented, archived, and made available through a variety of private and public interfaces via the Internet.




California Institutes for Science and Innovation

The California Institutes for Science and Innovation will be funded by a four-year, $100-million state allocation matched by more than $200 million expected from industry, federal, private, and university resources annually. This initiative will combine cutting-edge research with training for new scientists and technological leaders. Two of the recently funded institutes will be the focus of the Networking and NanoSystems conference dialogues: Cal-(IT)2, a joint effort between UCSD and UCI, and the NanoSystems Center, a joint effort between UCLA and UCSB.


Cal-(IT)2 (UCSD, UCI)

Cal-(IT)2 partners some 220 UCSD and UCI faculty with research professionals from more than 40 leading California telecommunications, computer, and software companies. Cal-(IT)2 researchers will guide innovation in Internet telecommunications and information technology, which is intended to revolutionize how we live, work, and communicate.


California NanoSystems Institute (UCLA, UCSB)

The California NanoSystems Institute will explore the power and potential of manipulating structures atom-by-atom to engineer new materials, devices and systems that will revolutionize virtually every aspect of our quality of life, including medical delivery and health care, information technologies, and innovations for the environment.


Silicon Valley Regional Center

UC Santa Cruz is establishing the Silicon Valley Center to enhance the impact of UC research, improve access to UC education, and provide new educational opportunities for Silicon Valley residents. The center will be a conduit for the state's research university system to contribute further to the economic growth and intellectual vitality of the Silicon Valley region. UC and NASA scientists will work together on advances in science and technology that will drive new industries and provide new products benefiting California's economy. Through the center, UC Santa Cruz will serve as a portal to the UC system for Silicon Valley to connect UC's intellectual resources with the specific interests and needs of Silicon Valley, NASA, the state and the nation. The goal is to develop a world-class, shared-use R&D campus by partnering with industry, academia, and nonprofits in the NASA Research Park. The collaborative research with UC will include information technology, biotechnology, planetary sciences, nanotechnology, astrobiology and education.


UC DARNet (Sponsor)

The UC Digital Arts Research Network (UC DARNet) is an interdisciplinary multi-campus group of UC faculty who utilize digital media in their creative production. As an ad-hoc planning group, UC DARNet has been meeting since 1997 to lay the foundation for an UC-wide program to facilitate collaborative research and teaching within a distributed digital arts community. Through a mix of theory and practice, UC DARNet will: 1) serve to bridge counterproductive gaps between the arts, humanities, and sciences; 2) enhance student's educational experience by providing access to faculty across the entire UC system through workshop and conference events; and 3) help to establish the University of California as a leading institution for developing the new modalities of digital culture within an art and technology context.



CAiiA-STAR is a research platform that integrates two centres of doctoral research: CAiiA, the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts, at the University of Wales College, Newport, and STAR, the centre for Science, Technology and Art Research, in the School of Computing, University of Plymouth. CAiiA was established in 1994 as an outgrowth of the success of the country's first Interactive Arts degree. STAR was formed in 1997, building on the School of Computing's research achievements in the domain of Interactive Multimedia and the associated fields of Artificial Life, Robotics and Cognitive Science. Together CAiiA+STAR provide a powerful base for research in practice based theory and application emerging from the creative convergence of art, science, technology and consciousness studies.


Banff Centre for the Arts

The Banff Centre is a unique institution in the field of media and visual arts. Artists from Canada and throughout the world have access to first-rate facilities and a wide range of creative, professional development and research opportunities. Media and Visual Arts encompasses creative residencies, television co-production opportunities, new media and television think tanks, and research, symposia and workshops as well as work study and fellowship opportunities in computer arts, producing, curatorial practice and arts administration.




Roughly ~100 people (having a rotating presence during the events):

-DARNet (~10)

-Digital Cultures (~20)

-CAiiA-STAR (~20)

-local campus nodes (~20)

-grads (~20)

2-3 main events during the 10 day stay of the CAiiA group in CA

2 physical locations (NoCAL, SoCAL)

7+ virtual locations (UCB, UCSC, UCD, UCLA, UCI, UCSD, UCSB): remote participation

innovative approach: dialogic pairings; artists, scientists, humanists

intensive workshop sessions w/ all campuses

primarily tightly controlled non-public events, with some portion including a general public




Conference Organizers

Victoria Vesna (UCLA), Sharon Daniel (UCSC), Robert Nideffer (UCI), Roy Ascott (CAiiA), Sara Diamond (Banff Centre)


UC DARNet Core Member Participants


Shawn Brixey, Assistant Professor (

UC Berkeley Digital Media/Department of Art Practice


Shawn Brixey directs both the Digital Media/New Genre Program and the new "Center for Digital Art and New Media Research. " His research interests lie at the emerging interface of art, science and technology.  He is currently developing art forms which present important evolutionary transformations in digital media by synthesizing these technologies with space time and biology as a hybrid strategies for future computational based expression.  A graduate of MIT's CAVS/Media Lab, he has exhibited art and technology works internationally. He has received all levels of major grants and awards to support his research.


Lynn Hershman-Leeson, Professor (

UC Davis Department of Art


Lynn Hershman-Leeson has worked for the past 30 years in photography, site- specific public art, and video. She is credited as the first artist to create an interactive art videodisk, entitled LORNA, (1979-83). Her 51 videotapes and 4 interactive installations have received many international awards. In 1994, she was the first woman to receive a tribute and retrospective at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Lynn's work is in numerous collections, including: The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The University Art Museum, Berkeley, and The Hess Collection in Sonoma County, CA. She is currently a Professor of Electronic Art at the University of California, Davis.


Robert F. Nideffer (

UC Irvine Studio Art & Information and Computer Science


Robert F. Nideffer researches, teaches, and publishes in the areas of virtual environments and behavior, interface theory and design, technology and culture, and contemporary social theory. He holds an MFA in Computer Arts, and a Ph. D. in Sociology. He is an Assistant Professor in Studio Art and Information and Computer Science at UC Irvine, where he also serves as an Associate Director of the Center for Virtual Reality, and as an Affiliated Faculty in the Visual Studies Program. Currently he is hard at play initiating an Interdisciplinary Gaming Studies Program (IGaSP).


Victoria Vesna, Chair

UCLA Department of Design

phone: 310.206.5185, fax: 310.206.5165


Focused on exploring possibilities of online networks for creative expression, she has exhibited her work internationally at a number of important venues such as the Venice Biennale (86); the P.S.1 Museum (89); the Long Beach Museum (93)and the Ernst Museum of Art in Budapest (94). Vesna’s work has moved from performance and video installations to experimental research that connects networked environments to physical public spaces. She explores how physical and ephemeral spaces affect collective behavior. Currently she is developing a project involving design of an online environment utilizing agent technology, AI and information visualization. Diploma, Academy of Fine Arts, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia; PhD fellow, Centre for Advanced Inquiry in Interactive Arts (CaiiA), University of Wales, UK.


Fabian Wagmister (

UCLA ssistant Professor of Film and TV


Fabian is an audiovisual communicator particularly interested in the expressive specificity of digital media. He was the driving force behind the Laboratory For New Media at UCLA and is the principal investigator for the HyperMedia Studio research project. He recently developed a database driven installation call "... two, three, many Guevaras. "Fabian is also concerned with the absorbtion, uses, and impact that digital technology will have in the Third World. He works with groups throughout Latin America and writes about culturally empowering technological strategies.


Sharon Daniel, Assistant Professor (

UC Santa Cruz Department of Film and Digital Media


Sharon Daniel works in interactive electronic art, mixing computers with video and kinetic sculpture. Recent projects include "Brain Opera, "an interactive sound-and-image installation that has appeared in New York, Tokyo, Austria, and Denmark, and "Narrative Contingencies, "a Web project presented by Boston's Decordova Museum and Daniel earned a B. A. in music at Baylor University, masters' degrees in opera performance and production from the University of Texas, Austin, and an M. F. A. in visual arts from the University of Tennessee. Daniel's media work can be found on the following Web pages: Brain Opera:; and Narrative Contingencies:


Sheldon Brown, Director (

Center for Research in Computing and the Arts

UCSD Associate Professor, Visual Arts Dept.


Sheldon Brown is the Director of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at UCSD. In the Visual Arts Department most of his teaching is in the Computing in the Arts area and with the Interdisciplinary Computing in the Arts major. His courses focus on the engagement of real-time computer graphics, media and electronic controls for installation works.  His artwork examines relationships between information and space, which manifest as public artworks, and installations that combine architectural settings with mediated and computer controlled elements. Brown has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Hellman Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, AT&T Foundation, Intel Corporation, Silicon Graphics Inc., Sony Corporation, and others. He has previously been on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Kansas City Art Institute.


Louis Hock, Professor (

UCSD Department of Visual Arts


Louis Hock began making films when he was studying psychology and poetry at the University of Arizona, graduating with a BA in Psychology in 1970. In 1973 he received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before joining the Visual Arts Department in 1977, he established the film program at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Since 1976, Hock's films, videotapes, and media installations have been exhibited in one-person shows at numerous U. S. art institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cinematheque in San Francisco, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York, and various international institutions. Hock has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Film Institute, and the Rockefeller Foundation.


UC DARNet Management Support and Contact Information

Carol J. Hobson (

CRCA Administrative Director

Center for Research in Computing &the Arts (CRCA)

9500 Gilman Drive, 0037

La Jolla, CA 92093-0037

Ph: 858.534.4383, fax: 858.534.7944


Carol Hobson has worked in cultural planning and consultation, and arts management for nearly 20 years.  She is the Administrative Director for the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at the University of California San Diego, and provides management support to the UC Digital Arts Research Network (UC DARNet). During her time at CRCA she has been deeply involved in the evolution and appropriation of new media technologies in the arts.  She was instrumental in revitalizing an international artists residency and exchange program at CRCA, and continues to build a global network for the digital arts through participation in symposia and new media art festivals.


CaiiA/STAR Core Member Participants


Roy Ascott, UK

Director, CaiiA-STAR


Roy Ascott has been working with issues of art, technology and consciousness since the 1960s. Recognised as a pioneer of cybernetics and telematics in art, his seminal projects have been presented at the Venice Biennale, Electra Paris, Ars Electronica Linz, V2, Milan Triennale, and most recently at the Biennale de Mercosul, Brazil, and gr2000az at Graz. He is Professor and Director of CAiiA-STAR, which combines the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts, University of Wales College, Newport and the Science & Technology and Art Research Centre, University of Plymouth. (www. caiia-star. net).  He convenes the annual international conference Consciousness Reframed: art and consciousness in the post-biological era. He was formerly Dean of the San Francisco Art Institute, California, Professor for Communications Theory at the Hochschule fuer angewandte Kunst in Wien, and Principal of the Ontario College of Art in Toronto.  He is on the editorial board of Leonardo, Convergence, and Digital Creativity, and advises new media centres, festivals and juries in Japan, Korea, Brazil, North America and Europe. His papers and articles are widely published; his books include: Art & Telematics: Toward the Construction of New Aesthetics. (Japanese trans. E. Fujihara). Tokyo: NTT, 1998; Reframing Consciousness, 1999, and   Art Technology Consciousness, 2000, both published by Intellect Books in the UK. His collected writings, edited by Edward A. Shanken, will be published by the University of California Press later this year. 


Eduardo Kac

Chicago Art Institute


Eduardo Kac is an artist and writer who investigates the philosophical and political dimensions of communication processes. Equally concerned with the aesthetic and the social aspects of verbal and non-verbal interaction, in his work Kac examines linguistic systems, dialogic exchanges, and interspecies communication. Kac's pieces, which often link virtual and physical spaces, propose alternative ways of understanding the role of communication phenomena in shaping consensual realities. Internationally known in the '80s as a pioneer of Telepresence Art (the merger of telecommunications and telerobotics), in the '90s Kac created the new categories of Biotelematics (art in which a biological process is intrinsically connected to digital networks) and Transgenic Art (new art form based on the use of genetic engineering techniques to create unique living beings). Kac merges multiple media and biological processes to create hybrids from the conventional operations of existing communications systems. Kac first employed telerobotics motivated by a desire to convert electronic space from a medium of representation to a medium for remote agency. He creates pieces in which actions carried out by Internet participants have direct physical manifestation in a remote gallery space. Often relying on the indefinite suspension of closure and the intervention of the participant, his work encourages dialogical interaction and confronts complex issues concerning identity, agency, responsibility, and the very possibility of communication. In his work Kac deals with issues that range from the mythopoetics of online experience (Uirapuru) to the cultural impact of biotechnology (Genesis); from the changing condition of memory in the digital age (Time Capsule) to distributed collective agency (Teleporting an Unknown State); from the problematic notion of the "exotic" (Rara Avis) to the creation of life and evolution (GFP Bunny).


Diane Gromala

Need info…

Georgia Tech


Diane Gromala explores how notions of our bodies change over time, as do our relationships to and understandings of technology change. Her work explores how technology may reconfigure attention, experience, and sensory awareness in culturally situated artistic contexts. Through virtual and biofeedback technologies, she explores how crucial changes in the nature of how we make sense of sensory response and how we attend to it are the result of the interplay of contemporary technological and cultural changes.


Peter Anders

Need info…


Ander’s research focuses on the creation of hybrids between physical and cyberspaces.

He looks at cyberspace as an electronic extension of cognitive space. Ander’s research defines cybrids, hybrids of material and cyberspaces, and their underlying philosophy. Cybrids extend beyond built spaces to include their contents and occupants. This extends the applicability of cybrids beyond architecture to applied industrial design and the fine arts as well.


Niranjan Rajah

Tech BC, Vancouver, CANADA


Raja’s current research aims to develop the theoretical basis for the remediation of Sacred Art in the new modes of representation and communication enabled by digital media;  if and how digital technologies of immersion and interactivity might be applied within the parameters of particular traditional world views


Chris Speed, UK

University of Plymouth


Need stuff…


Gretchen Schiller,

Université de Paul Valéry,  Montpellier


Sciller’s research is based on extending our "body's bubble" or  kinespheres's  range of perception. It focuses on mapping specific movement impulses and patterns with image and time-space/force technologies. A current project involves spatial trajectory mapping in an inanimate and animate movement-based environment.


Elisa Giaccardi

Need info…



Giaccardi’s research aims to produce a new approach to design that focuses on dynamics of empathy, intersubjectivity, and ‘relational embodiment’ (scientific term addressing our being and acting – at the same time physical, biological, and socio-cultural – into the world). This research intends to contribute to the corpus of studies directed to the identification and definition of a ‘science of relationships’ or ‘science of interbeing’ in the field of interaction design. She is interested in metadesign and relational strategies for collaborative architectures and connected communities.


Jim Laukes,

Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona


Lauke’s work investigates contemporary schemes of collective or distributed intelligence, in relation to prior approaches that have addressed similar problems.


Donna J. Cox

National Center for Supercomputing Applications


Donna Cox is a pioneering artist in scientific visualization and information design.  She formulated "Renaissance Team" collaborations to develop new technologies and techniques for virtual interfaces and information management.  She was Associate Producer for Scientific Visualization and Art Director for NCSA/PIXAR segment of "Cosmic Voyage" IMAX movie that received an Academy Award nomination. Her collaborative visualizations and animations have been featured on major broadcast television programs and in planetarium exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History. Cox's CAIIA research extends the concepts and processes of scientific visualization to include conceptual and metaphorical relationships with "historical-to-present-day" mythologies. She is developing a novel argument to demonstrate correspondence among mythological concepts and computational models in science.


Kieran Lyons, UK

University of Wales College


Lyon’s work is a critical investigation into Marcel Duchamp’s visit to Étival in 1912, the year, the Pompidou Centre celebrated the arrival into its collection of Duchamp’s Green Box.


Michael Punt, UK

Deputy Director of CaiiA

University of Amsterdam, University of Wales College


Punt is a member of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam where he obtained his doctorate. He teaches Film Studies and Information Design in the School of Art Media and Design at the University of Wales College, Newport. He has made 15 films and published over fifty articles on cinema and digital media in the last decade. His recent publications include a book-length study on early cinema, (Early Cinema and the Technological Imaginary to be published later this year by Intelect) and articles on cinema history and digital technology for Leonardo, Design Issues and Convergence, which have been translated into five languages. He is Editor in Chief of Leonardo Digital Reviews (MIT Press), a member of the Leonardo/ISATS board, and the MIT/Leonardo book publishing committee. Since 1996 he has been a regular contributor to Skrien, a Dutch journal of film and television criticism, where he has written a monthly column on cinema, art and the Internet. His most recent book, in collaboration with Robert Pepperell, The Post- Digital Membrane:  imagination, technology and desire, was published by Intellect Press in 2000, and its supporting web environment is due to be launched in 2001.


Pamela Jennings

Stanford University


Pamela Jennings' new media arts projects include the CD-ROMs “Solitaire: dream journal, ” and “Narrative Structures for New Media, ” and the ArTronic™ sculpture "the book of ruins and desire." Her writings have appeared in Felix: a Journal of Media Arts and Communication, and Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. The newly published book, “Struggles for Representation: African American Film/Video/New Media Makers,” includes descriptions of Pamela’s work in the historical canon of African American media makers.  Her recently completed report, "New Media Arts | New Funding Models, " for the Creativity and Culture division of the Rockefeller Foundation is available on her web site. Pamela is the recipient of several Media Arts grants from the New York State Council on the Arts; Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts; and a MacDowell Artists' Colony Fellow. Her commercial clients have included IBM Almaden Research Center, NBC Interactive and currently the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International.


Christa Sommerer

Need info…


Sommerer’s work looks at the question of how life has emerged on earth and how it could have developed from simpler units or particles into increasingly complex structures or whole systems of structures that seem to follow a certain inner rule of organization. The goal of her work is to apply some features of Complex Systems to the creation of interactive artworks that can constantly change, adapt and evolve as users interact with these systems.


Laurent Mignonneau

Need info…


Mignonneau’s work explores the question of how to create an artificial life artwork that can ultimately evolve by itself. Artificial Life as a field of research attempts to synthesize life in silico by using computers to create virtual life. By definition life and artificial life should display the following characteristics: self-organization, metabolization, self-reproduction, and adaptive evolution. The modeling of artificial evolution is a major challenge in Artificial Life research. The objective of my thesis is to create an artwork that could be called 'alive' as it evolves, self-produces, self-organizes and metabolizes.


Digital Cultures

(need bios…)


Geof Bowker Communication, UC San Diego

Sue-Ellen Case Theater and Dance, UC Davis

Sharon Daniel Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz and UCDarnet

Robert Essick English, UC Riverside

Anne Friedberg Visual Studies, UC Irvine

Katherine Hayles English, UC Los Angeles

Earl Jackson Literature, UC Santa Cruz

George Legrady Department of Art Studio and MAT, UC Santa Barbara

Alan Liu English, UC Santa Barbara

Mark Meadow Department of Art History, UC Santa Barbara

Peter Lyman School of Information Management and Systems, UC Berkeley

J. Hillis Miller English and Comparative Literature, UC Irvine

Robert Nideffer Studio Art Studio, ICS, UC Irvine and UCDarnet

Mark Poster History and Visual Studies, UC Irvine

Rita Raley English, UC Santa Barbara

Bruce Robertson Department of Art History, UC Santa Barbara

Mark Rose English, UC Santa Barbara

Warren Sack School of Information Management and Systems, UC Berkeley

Leigh Star Communication, UC San Diego

William Warner English, UC Santa Barbara


Initial list of miscellaneous others who should participate


UCLA: Bill Seaman, Marcos Novak, Charles Taylor, Biology; David Wilson, Philosophy; Susanne Lohmann, Political Science; Michael Dyer, Computer Science; Bill McKelvey, Management Science; Dario Nardi, Math, PIC program; Eugene Yates, Medicine.


UCI: Lisa Naugle (Dance), Chris Dobrian (Music), Antoinette LaFarge (Studio Art), David Trend (Studio Art), Alan Tereciano (Dance) Doug Goheen (Drama), Paul Dourish (ICS)


UCB: Ken Goldberg