[iDC] interesting article on new media scene in LA

Beatriz da Costa beatrizdacosta at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 31 11:12:02 EST 2005

hi all,

not sure whom I am talking to but let chime in here:
My talk at Trebor's conference used my current university affiliation  
as an example of the effects the "University, Inc" can have on both  
faculty and student's research agendas. It was mostly a rant out of  
frustration! yes, carnegie mellon has in some way prepared me for this  
difficult tension between industry, the military and higher education,  
but I was still a student then. Suddenly finding myself in a faculty  
position, coming from a very critical perspective vis a vis corporate  
america is whole different ball game. Students WANT (and need) the  
money for their graduate education and who am I telling them that they  
shouldn't become beta-testers for Microsoft? So, looking for  
alternative funding sources, introducing different but still feasible  
ways to engage a professional career in the aftermath of their  
education has suddenly become a larger part of my job and occupation  
than I ever thought. I am hired between engineering and studio art, and  
as you can imagine both political and social value systems differ a lot  
between those areas. (of course, they're always exceptions on both  
sides as well).

in any case, I don't want to be too lengthy here, but just for you  
reassurance: I have absolutely no interest in the industry and even if  
I did... they don't have any interest in me ;).

all the best
Beatriz (with z)

On Oct 31, 2005, at 7:04 AM, Brooke Singer wrote:

> I have forward this email to Beatriz, because I don't think Mark quite  
> captured her sentiments. This conflict for artists and engineers  
> working in the realm of emerging technologies is not anything new nor  
> location specific. This dialogue was hot (and I am sure still is...)  
> at Carnegie Mellon when I was getting my graduate degree in the late  
> 90s and had been ongoing for sometime. If you want a certain level of  
> access and money for tech research/experimentation, it seems like you  
> either play the game and hope to come out on top. Or you try and play  
> outside the system, which of course may be impossible both in terms of  
> getting things done and as a concept in itself.
> Brooke
> On Oct 30, 2005, at 11:51 PM, Mark Shepard wrote:
>> Look...
>> No reason to categorically disparage the SoCal expats. The LA Times  
>> article was written by Holly Willis,"a regular contributor to the  
>> Weekly, who currently teaches video art, new media and digital  
>> culture at USC, Art Center and CalArts". So of course she's  
>> referencing the people she knows and the context within which she is  
>> operating. I don't see anything problematic with regional reportage  
>> of this nature. It gives us a glimpse (however biased) of what is  
>> happening there.
>> Beatrice da Costa commented at Trebor's conference last spring that  
>> SoCal had this wonderful confluence of academic and industrial  
>> interests - almost as if she were speaking about cocktail recipe.  
>> Now, it's not news that the post-critical is the parole du jour there  
>> - and perhaps something valuable will come from it - but the limits  
>> are already being articulated by people like Julian Bleeker in his  
>> response to Mike Liebhold's talk at USC's Annenberg Center for  
>> Communication  (  
>> http://netpublics.annenberg.edu/about_netpublics/ 
>> mike_liebhold_lecture_the_geospatial_web_and_mobile_service_ecologies_ 
>> 10_27_2pm#comment-25 )
>> I'd be interested in hearing more about the opportunities and  
>> dilemmas of research funding schemes based on tight couplings between  
>> academic, industrial, and military interests in new media in southern  
>> California... And particularly what, if anything, this has to do with  
>> art.
>> Mark

Beatriz da Costa

Assistant Professor of Studio Art Electrical Engineering and Computer  
Core Faculty of the Arts Computations Engineering Graduate Program (ACE)
University of California at Irvine

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