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Berkeley Big Bang 08

New Media Symposium and Art Festival

June 1, 2008 - June 3, 2008

Big Bang Podcasts Now Online!

Join us for Berkeley Big Bang 08, three days of new media and art hosted by BAM/PFA and the Berkeley Center for New Media, timed to link with 01SJ: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge, a new media art biennial taking place June 4–8 in San Jose. Occurring together for the first time, these two events combine to create one of the nation’s largest gatherings of new media art, a virtual “big bang” of innovation and creativity.

The Berkeley Big Bang program will include a two-day symposium on new media, art, science, and the body in partnership with Berkeley Center for New Media and Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology; a campus media lab demonstration and open house; and an alternate reality game. Berkeley Big Bang is presented in tandem with BAM/PFA exhibitions of work by media artists Trevor Paglen, Jim Campbell, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Scott Snibbe.

Check this website regularly for updated program details. We are happy to offer a very low admission fee to encourage students and a broad public audience to participate in the two-day symposium—a nominal $3.00 processing fee per day will be charged when you register online. Please note that you can register for each day of the symposium separately or for the complete two-day package. Space is limited, and registration via this website is required. REGISTER ONLINE NOW.

Special offer: Berkeley Big Bang Symposium registrants qualify for 2-for-1 Museum Pass tickets to 01SJ: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge. Contact doniece@zero1.org to reserve your 01SJ tickets today.

Berkeley Big Bang 08

Sunday, June 1

Media Art at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Note: BAM/PFA galleries are closed on Monday and Tuesday; consequently, Scott Snibbe: Falling Girl is the sole exhibition listed below on view during the Berkeley Big Bang symposium on Monday and Tuesday, June 2–3. Visitors are encouraged to visit BAM/PFA on Sunday, June 1, to experience the full range of screenings and exhibitions.

  • Lynn Hershman Leeson: Virtually Everything, Virtually
    12 noon, Marathon Screening, PFA Theater (PFA ticket purchase required)
    Lynn Hershman Leeson is now best known for her technologically astute feature films and interactive gallery incursions, but her career can be traced back to a substantial body of inventively prophetic video works. This immersive eight-hour extravaganza presents those pieces, with the artist in virtual conversation throughout. A PFA ticket purchased for Lynn Hershman Leeson: Virtually Everything, Virtually will give you free Sunday admission to the BAM galleries to see Berkeley Big Bang artists Scott Snibbe, Jim Campbell, and Trevor Paglen.

  • Trevor Paglen: The Other Night Sky / MATRIX 225
    3 p.m., Artist Talk, Museum Theater, Reception follows (free admission)
    Trained as both an artist and a geographer, Trevor Paglen uses an array of tactics to map the “black world” of U.S. military and intelligence activities. His MATRIX project scans the heavens for signs of covert activity, visualizing “the other night sky.”

  • Jim Campbell: Home Movies
    On view in Gallery 2 (Museum admission required)
    Jim Campbell’s work manifests a poetics of the digital, upsetting common assumptions about the relationship between technology and humanity, “information” and thought. His LED installation Home Movies “brings us emotionally close, without sentimentality, to the unshareable quotient of memories.”—S.F. Chronicle

  • Scott Snibbe: Falling Girl
    On view in the Theater Gallery (free admission)
    Media artist Scott Snibbe animates BAM/PFA’s Durant Avenue entrance, making it the backdrop for a silent, dreamlike narrative of mortality, empathy, and whimsy. Falling Girl is based on a short story by the Surrealist writer Dino Buzzati. The work presents audiences with the story of a young girl falling from a skyscraper, so both the story and the presentation of the work itself take place on the side of a building. During her miraculously slow descent, the girl reacts to the people and events in each window. The daylight fades, night falls and passes, and at dawn when the falling girl finally lands on the sidewalk she is an aged woman who bears no resemblance to the young girl who started her fall a few minutes before.

Monday, June 2

Embodiment: The Body and New Media
The first of a two-part symposium, co-hosted by the Berkeley Art Museum and the Berkeley Center for New Media. In the Museum Theater, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., with a reception in the Museum Theater Gallery and adjacent Garden, 5:00–7:00 p.m. Register now.

8:30–9:00 a.m.

9:00–9:10 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions
  • Richard Rinehart, Digital Media Director and Adjunct Curator, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
  • Ken Goldberg, Director, Berkeley Center for New Media and Professor, College of Engineering and School of Information, UC Berkeley

9:10–9:50 a.m.
Virtual Embodiment and Myths of Meaning in Second Life
Keynote by Hubert Dreyfus, Professor of Philosophy, UC Berkeley
Second Life is a popular networked 3-D virtual environment where millions of online visitors control avatars that interact with each other, build structures, visit shops, and engage in a variety of social and economic activities. Dreyfus analyzes Second Life from a philosophical perspective, exploring how thinkers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger would respond to the virtual embodiment enabled by such systems. Dreyfus argues that the explicit conscious indirectness inherent in how responses and emotions are conveyed in Second Life is distinctly Cartesian, dualistic, and fundamentally limited. Drawing from Existential Phenomenology, Dreyfus suggests that maximally meaningful human experiences require an intuitive shared sense of vulnerability, mood, and emotion that is currently lacking but may be possible with future technological advances that would directly link the bodies or brains of the participants in Second Life with their avatar bodies in the virtual world.

10:00–10:50 a.m.
Plenary Talk
Philip Rosedale, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Linden Lab
Introduced by Jane Metcalfe, Co-Founder of Wired Magazine and BAM/PFA Board Member
Philip Rosedale founded San Francisco-based Linden Lab in 1999, and has led the creation of the virtual world of Second Life from initial concept to a market-leading virtual world, with a robust economy and a global population. As a pioneer in the virtual world industry, Rosedale is actively involved in the strategy, development, and design of Linden Lab’s products, including the world of Second Life and the Second Life Grid platform. Rosedale holds a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of California at San Diego.

11:00–11:50 a.m.
A Body of Film
Berkeley graduate students present the latest research on networked embodiment and digital multitudes in film and discuss how Jim Campbell’s Home Movies require embodied participation.
  • Kris Fallon, Graduate Student, Rhetoric, Film Studies, and New Media, UC Berkeley
  • Brooke Belisle, Graduate Student, Rhetoric, Film Studies, and New Media, UC Berkeley

Black Cloud / Red Eye
Artist Greg Niemeyer will prepare symposium attendees for playing the immersive game Black Cloud / Red Eye.

12:00–1:00 p.m.
Lunch (on your own) + Distributed Campus Activities
After you grab a bite to eat at one of the many nearby restaurants, we invite you to participate in new media demonstrations, lab tours, and other activities taking place across the Berkeley campus on the occasion of Berkeley Big Bang.

  • Black Cloud / Red Eye
    Participate in this immersive alternate reality game that engages players in a mystery solved by monitoring environmental air quality.
    Greg Niemeyer, Artist and Professor, Art Practice, UC Berkeley
  • Tele-Immersive Dance Studio
    Tour this new studio for developing virtual telematic collaborative dance and performance works.
    (Sign up at registration desk.)
    Lisa Wymore, Professor, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Worth Ryder Gallery Media Exhibition
    Experience several media art projects created by pioneering UC Berkeley students.
  • Center for New Music and Audio Technologies
    Tour this center for research and production of cutting-edge music and sound.
    (Sign up at registration desk.)
    Edmund Campion, Associate Professor, Music, UC Berkeley

Sensors and Sensibilities
Panelists respond to the keynote and go beyond, exploring physical computing in an urban environment and how multi-sensory media practices change social connections.
  • Eric Paulos, Senior Research Scientist, Intel Research Berkeley
  • Nancy Van House, Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley

2:00–2:50 p.m.
Body Building
Panelists explore relationships among the body, digital design, smart wool, architecture, and production.
  • Kimiko Ryokai, Professor, School of Information and Berkeley Center for New Media, UC Berkeley
  • Yehuda Kalay, Professor, Architecture, UC Berkeley

3:00–3:50 p.m.
Performing the Body Electric
This panel explores how performance can bridge real and virtual worlds and has the potential to change our sense of place, community, and safe distance.
  • Shannon Jackson, Professor, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Kris Paulsen, Graduate Student, Rhetoric, Film Studies, and New Media, UC Berkeley

Black Cloud / Red Eye
Artist Greg Niemeyer recaps and concludes the immersive game Black Cloud / Red Eye.

4:00–5:00 p.m.
Beyond Ocularism
New media artists exhibited at Berkeley Big Bang 08 and 01SJ: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge present their works and discuss the artistic opportunities afforded by engaging the artist’s and viewer’s bodies in the work.
  • Bruce Charlesworth, Artist
  • Lian Sifuentes, Artist
  • Scott Snibbe, Artist

5:00–7:00 p.m.
Reception, Exhibition Opening, and Musical Performance
Join us in the Museum Theater Gallery and adjacent Garden to celebrate the opening of Scott Snibbe: Falling Girl and to close the first day of the Berkeley Big Bang symposium. Feed your body with light refreshments and move your body to the music of DJ Kid Kameleon.

Tuesday, June 3

Remix: From Science to Art and Back in the Digital Age
The second of a two-part symposium, co-hosted by the Berkeley Art Museum and Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST). In the Museum Theater, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., with a reception in the Museum Theater Gallery, 3:00–4:30 p.m. Register now.

8:30–9:00 a.m.

9:00–9:20 a.m.
Steve Wilson, Leonardo board member since 1983, will speak about forty years of Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology (ISAST).

9:30–11:00 a.m.
“Osmosis”: What Can the Arts Do for the Sciences?
Art-Science interaction is a two-way process. The impact of science and technology on the arts is much discussed and well-documented. This panel seeks to examine the influence of the arts on the sciences, and the benefits that science can derive from the arts.
  • Bronac Ferran, Writer, Researcher, Instructor at Royal College of Art in London and Past Director of Interdisciplinary Arts at Arts Council England
  • Melinda Rackham, Executive Director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology
  • Jim Crutchfield, Director of Complexity Sciences Center, Professor of Physics at UC Davis, and Co-founder and Scientific Director of the Art and Science Laboratory, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Chris Chafe, Composer, Duca Family Professor and Director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University

11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Brilliant Noise: How Data Becomes Experience for Artists and for Scientists
Most information about the world in which we live is now mediated by instruments. This data is often visualized and sonified, both to aid analysis and to communicate with other researchers, but artists, too, can make this data meaningful and “sensual.” The same data sets can lead to very different kinds of work. One person’s noise is another person’s sound.
  • Michael Joaquin Grey, New Media Artist and Inventor
  • Laura Peticolas, Geophysical Researcher at the Space Sciences Lab, UC Berkeley
  • Douglas Kahn, Auditory and Sound Culture Historian, Founding Director and Professor of Technocultural Studies at UC Davis
  • Camille Utterback, Interactive Video Artist, Inventor, and Founder of Creative Nerve

12:45–2:00 p.m.
Lunch (on your own) + free-form meeting of interested participants with Leonardo ISAST board members during the lunch break

2:00–3:30 p.m.
The New Sensuality: Epistemologies of the Very, Very Small
Human cognition is bounded by the inadequacy of human senses to allow us sensory contact with the world on scales larger or smaller than ourselves. To perceive the nano world, one needs extended senses or new senses. The nano world requires a new ontology and a new epistemology.
  • Ruth West, Director of Interactive Technologies at the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, UCLA
  • Wayne Lanier, Microbiologist at the Hidden Ecologies project of the San Francisco Exploratorium
  • Jennifer Frazier, Project Director of the Visualization Laboratory, San Francisco Exploratorium

3:30–5:00 p.m.
Closing Reception
Join us in the Museum Theater Gallery to mingle, meet, discuss, and debate. Winners of the first Leonardo Art/Science Student Contest will also be presented. The Big Bang is over and this is just the beginning.

Contact Richard Rinehart, rinehart@berkeley.edu, with questions.

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