Founder + Director
Victoria Vesna, Ph.D., is a media artist and Professor at the UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts and Director of the Art|Sci center at the School of the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI). She is currently a senior researcher at IMéRA – Institut Méditerranéen de Recherches Avancées in Marseille (2011-2013). Her work can be defined as experimental creative research that resides between disciplines and technologies. With her installations she explores how communication technologies affect collective behavior and how perceptions of identity shift in relation to scientific innovation. Victoria has exhibited her work in over twenty solo exhibitions, more than seventy group shows, has been published in excess of twenty papers and gave 100+ invited talks in the last decade. She is the North American editor of AI & Society and in 2007 published an edited volume – Database Aesthetics: Art in the age of Information Overflow, Minnesota Press and most recently an edited volume entitled Context Providers: Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts. (co-edited with Christiane Paul and Margot Lovejoy). Intellect Press, 2011.
James K. Gimzewski
Jim Gimzewski is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles; Director of the Nano & Pico Characterization Core Facility of the California NanoSystems Institute; Scientific Director of the Art|Sci Center and Principal Investigator and Satellites Co-Director of the WPI Center for Materials NanoArchitectonics (MANA) in Japan. Prior to joining the UCLA faculty, he was a group leader at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, where he research in nanoscale science and technology for more than 18 years. Dr. Gimzewski pioneered research on mechanical and electrical contacts with single atoms and molecules using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and was one of the first persons to image molecules with STM. His accomplishments include the first STM-based fabrication of molecular suprastructures at room temperature using mechanical forces to push molecules across surfaces, the discovery of single molecule rotors and the development of new micromechanical sensors based on nanotechnology, which explore ultimate limits of sensitivity and measurement. This approach was recently used to convert biochemical recognition into Nanomechanics. His current interests are in the nanomechanics of cells and bacteria where he collaborates with the UCLA Medical and Dental Schools. He is involved in projects that range from the operation of X-rays, ions and nuclear fusion using pyroelectric crystals, direct deposition of carbon nanotubes and single molecule DNA profiling. Dr. Gimzewski is also involved in numerous art-science collaborative projects that have been exhibited in museums throughout the world.
SciArt Director Emeritus
Adam Stieg serves as Director for the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute. As a scientist and educator at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), his work focuses on developing integrated approaches to study material systems at the interface of traditional boundaries. Through the implementation of original experimental techniques, this research seeks to bridge the gap between our current understanding of nanomaterials and their fundamental properties with how these systems tend toward complexity at increased scales of space and time. Dr. Stieg’s research activities are augmented by active collaboration with artists and designers on various projects, installations, and public exhibitions that directly inform the scientific process and provide motivation to develop new educational content that conveys the need for creativity in innovation.
Ivana Dama studies Design Media Arts at UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture. Born and raised under a post-communist regime in Serbia, Ivana explores the infusion of technology with traditional art practices. While only a young child when the bombings began, images of the destruction still clearly permeate her mind. The memories of living in a small shelter, with the sounds of bombs and vibrations, contributed to her interests in sound and space ranging from microscopic, architectural, and satellite scale. Ivana uses the variety of media including audio visual installations, metal engraving as well as a range of open source software for creative coding.
Alvaro Azcárraga is a Mexican artist and researcher focused on biological networks and their change through time and space. With a background in Molecular and Cellular Biology, he looks at how the microscopic and the macroscopic are connected. His work can be described as the unearthing of complex research that questions the artifice of the Natural. He is currently immersed in Maize (Zea mays) research.
He has a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and Art from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently pursuing an MFA from the Design | Media Arts department at the University of California, Los Angeles.
I am an artist and educator from Northern Patagonia, Argentina. Alternating between collective and personal perspectives, I reflect on privacy, social justice, death, identity, memory and human relationships, and explore these concerns in my work. I create installations and visual art combining custom software, electronics and audiovisual materials, exploring my interest in computation and its coexistence with analog and physical media.
Emma Akmakdjian is an installation artist that collaborates with scientists to translate processes of complex ecosystems, scientific laws, and object personifications in her woven art. Her creative research draws comparisons between systems of the body and the environment to understand how we personify place and develop identity through our interactions with non- human nature.
Before beginning an installation, Emma harvests discarded artifacts of society such as old fishing ropes, nets, tires, and plastics. The waste she collects become the materials for her sculptures that inquire on the sequestration of natural resources and the interwoven dynamics of globalized ocean economies that permeate our daily customs. These projects take shape in videos, performances, and woven installations that re-evaluate our daily habits of fishing, cleaning, cooking, weaving, and the subsequent roles we play inside the ecosystem.
Emma received her Bachelor of Arts from California State University Channel Islands and has studied at L’Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in Florence, Italy. She resides in Southern California where she collaborates with scientists and cross-cultural communities to bridge Science and Art.
Ivy Lovett is an artist, designer, and avid doodler based in Southern California. Her work aims to integrate illustration into a variety of media, playfully weaving together themes of nostalgia, memory, and eclecticism as a way of exploring the relationship between the tangible and the digital. Aside from her main body of work, she is an active freelance graphic artist and multimedia instructor. She received her B.A. in Design | Media Arts from UCLA’s School of Arts & Architecture.
Sunaina Bose is a student at UCLA’s Design Media Arts program. Her work explores the undercurrents of reality and the impact it has on her life and the life of others. She is now focusing on developing skills that will lead her towards the UI/UX and artificial intelligence aspects of design.
Henrik Soederstroem is a multidisciplinary artist from Sweden, currently pursuing a master’s degree in the Media Arts program at UCLA. Henrik’s works employ video, computer graphics, simulation and generativity, immersive installation and experimental sound, and deal with language and systems, media and information, the un-seen and the uncanny.
Jenn is an interdisciplinary research artist working in sound, motion, and the written word. While her research seeks to understand our culture’s systemic failures through the lens of deep ecology, as a practicing artist, she uses the scientific method to experiment with what conditions bring about the most authentic creative expression. Her work has been published in Cancer Cell, Vogue, Public Realm, and most recently shown in London at Iklectik Art Lab.