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UCLA Design Media Arts Professor and Art|Sci Center Founder Victoria Vesna co-curates annual campus exhibition for 2017 Ars Electronica Festival with Xin Xin ’16 (M.F.A., Design Media Arts)

The exhibition, “Feminist Climate Change: beyond the binary,” addresses gender and environmental issues.

CNSI | August 31, 2017

Each year in conjunction with the Ars Electronica Festival, Ars Electronica and Linz’s University of Art host an exhibition by artists associated with an international institution of higher learning with a curriculum that takes an innovative approach to teaching media art and media culture.

This year, Ars Electronica tapped Professor Victoria Vesna, former chair of the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts (2000-2007) and founder of the UCLA Art|Sci Center to organize the campus exhibition. With Xin Xin ’16 (M.F.A., UCLA Design Media Arts), Vesna co-curated a thematic exhibition featuring work of UCLA Design Media Arts alumni as well as members of the voidLab and the Art|Sci Center collectives.

“Feminist Climate Change” celebrates the work of young artists, teachers, and scientists whose climate-change- related work holds the potential to shape the future at a time when their work is under threat.

Through the works on view, “Feminist Climate Change” explores the relationship between issues in feminism and those in environmentalism, and reflects the dynamic network of UCLA Design Media Arts, which includes faculty-driven research labs and centers that enable students and faculty to work collaboratively across disciplinary and institutional boundaries. In addition to presenting work of alumni who are now active artists and teachers, the exhibition features the work of female climate change scientists, who are underrepresented in their field and who collaborate with artists including: Art|Sci Center alumni Christina Agapakis, a former postdoc in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at UCLA (2012–14) who is now working in a Biotech company; Olivia Osborne, a current postdoc in the UC Center of Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology; and Rita Blaik, a recent Ph.D. graduate in Material Science who is now the education coordinator at the California nanoSystems Institute at UCLA (UCLA CNSI).

About the Ars Electronica Festival | https://www.aec.at/festival/en/
Ars Electronica Festival – an international Festival for Art, Technology and Society – was initiated in 1979 and focuses on electronic art and media theory. For more than three decades, this world-renowned event has provided an annual setting for artistic and scientific encounters with social and cultural phenomena that are the upshot of technological change. In Ars Electronica’s inimitable fashion, elaborations in the form of symposia, exhibits, performances, and interventions will proliferate beyond the confines of conference halls and exhibition spaces, and take them out into the public sphere and throughout the cityscape. In total, more than 90,000 visitors from around the world congregate in Linz for the world renowned festival featuring artists, scientists, and activists from more than forty countries.

The objective of the campus format is to invite outstanding, international universities working in the academic field of media artsand to present projects representing the nature of the mission and activities of the guest university. This also allows curating quite independently from the general Ars Electronica topic – so, the invited university has a free curatorial decision. Past campuses that participated were: University of Tsukuba (2010); UdK Berlin University of the Arts (2012), IL(L) Machine with 10 campuses from Israel (2013); Arts2, Belgium (2014); Paris 8 (2015); Tsinghua University (2016).