Influential Women

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Seeking to explore and illustrate how the innovative works of women in media arts, science and technology influence the community, the UC Santa Barbara-based Alliance of Women in Media Arts and Technology (AWMAT) will hold its second annual conference.

AWMAT 2019: Impact! will take place Feb. 7–9 in multiple venues across the campus, featuring dozens of talks, presentations, workshops and performances — many of which are free and open to the public — by women technologists, engineers, artists and musicians. Emphasizing how emerging art forms work in conjunction with technology to shape culture, artistic representation in multimedia will be highlighted through interactive installations, virtual reality and sonic arts.

“After our successful inaugural conference last year there were interest and calls for another one,” said AWMAT founder Lena Mathew, a doctoral student in UCSB’s Media Arts & Technology graduate program. “This year as part of our theme we have decided to concentrate on the importance of the work in media arts, science and technology and its impact on the general community. Many women are doing important work and we wanted to highlight some of that in this conference.”

Artist and educator Branda Miller, a professor of media arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an Emmy award-winning editor, will give the keynote talk “Art, Science and Media: Roots for Resilience” at 11:35 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8 in Elings Hall 1601. Later on Friday, a keynote performance will feature acclaimed composer and media artist Pamela Z, at 8 p.m. in Music 1145; tickets are $15 general admission and $7 for students.

Additional invited presenters hail from UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego, UCLA, Louisiana State University and New York University, as well as UC Santa Barbara itself. Faculty members Chandra Krintz (computer science), Alenda Chang (film and media studies), Kim Yasuda (art) and Debra Lieberman (Center for Digital Games Research) are all slated to speak.

On public exhibition throughout the conference, art installations will be held in the main lobby of Elings Hall, in the Santa Barbara Mission Room at University Center and in the UCSB Library’s Interdisciplinary Research Collaboratory (room 2322). The conference will close with a free electro-acoustic concert, also open to the public, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, in Karl Geiringer Hall.

“AWMAT conferences bring together female media artists, educators, engineers and scientists in the diverse and growing field of new media, science, technology and engineering,” noted Mathew. “They include elements of academic and professional conferences, including presentation of research, workshops, art installations, demonstrations and concerts. They also attract participation from all over the world.”