Greg Niemeyer Thanks You for Three Years at BCNM

05 Jul, 2016

Greg Niemeyer Thanks You for Three Years at BCNM

For the last three years, Greg Niemeyer has skillfully led the BCNM as the Center's Director. This July, he is beginning a well-deserved sabbatical. Below, Greg shares his thoughts as he embarks on his latest research projects.

Dear Friends of BCNM, Dear Colleagues

Three years ago exactly you entrusted me with the BCNM directorship. In the first days, I was fortunate to hire Lara Wolfe, who made these three years exceptionally productive for BCNM through her hard work, vivid engagement, and impeccable judgement. I really can’t think of the three years without gratitude and respect for Lara’s remarkable presence.

Together with the vibrant Executive Committee, we were able to tenure two more faculty members, conduct 7 major conferences, offer 35 public lectures, host one Regents’ Lecturer, conduct two salons, present 3 performances, run 4 hackathons, organize two master classes, grant 26 fellowships and stipends, establish faculty research grants, graduate 43 students, initiate a new certificate program, teach many new courses, welcome countless delegations and support one amazing touring exhibit, “No Legacy” by BCNM member Prof. Alex Saum Pascual.

What I am proudest of is BCNM’s involvement in privacy issues on campus, which resulted in more transparency across the University of California network monitoring landscape. As a result of the concerns raised by UC Berkeley faculty and BCNM, black box monitoring by UCOP of UC Berkeley’s networks has been halted, and staff have refused to turn the equipment on again. A tenured faculty member, Anthony Joseph, is representing UC Berkeley’s cybersecurity interests to UCOP. He is the only faculty member of the UCOP Cyber-Risk Governance Committee committee with technical domain knowledge. All privacy and cybersecurity groups on campus have resumed their work with renewed sense of urgency, and with more cooperation and coordination than ever before.

Yet our work at BCNM has just begun. Media plays a key role in our understanding of our environment, which is changing dramatically across the globe. The Maldives are flooding, the Central Valley is dry, and 8 million square miles of permafrost are melting.

In the face of these circumstances, we need to learn how to collaborate and adapt in unprecedented ways. Add 52 million displaced persons migrating throughout the globe, and it is clear that we have to design for survival. We have to design media, materials and methods to cope with a landscape that is constantly altering, to ensure the success of the greatest possible number of creatures, species and ecosystems. These designs must be responsible, flexible, and inclusive.

BCNM has long been a framework for interdisciplinary work, and finding the media that can help communicate change, response, and hope really matters.

Because I worked with Prof. Nicholas de Monchaux extensively, I know that he, as BCNM’s next director, is up to this task and many others, and I look forward to supporting BCNM’s mission in many forms.

Thank you for your trust over the past three years. Through BCNM we could leverage your contributions for the greater good, and together, we accomplished so much.


Greg Niemeyer
Director, Berkeley Center for New Media
craigslist Chair for New Media
Associate Professor for New Media, Art Practice

Thank you, Greg, for your incredible leadership. The BCNM has flourished under your direction.
Stay tuned for our incoming Director Nicholas De Monchaux's vision for the future!