BCNM New Media Graduate Students Present Their Research

10 Dec, 2012

BCNM New Media Graduate Students Present Their Research

UC Berkeley graduate students with a Designated Emphasis in New Media, Naomi Bragin (Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies), Andrew Godbehere (Computer Science) and Bonnie Ruberg (Comparative Literature) presented their most recent research on November 14, 2012 in the BCNM Commons to an audience of students, faculty, and members of the public. Their presentations spanned a wide range of study including street dance, machine learning and cyber-communication.

Naomi Bragin's “Black Street Movement: Turf Dance, YAK Films and Politics of Sitation in Oakland, California” examined Turfing, an improvisation-based dance originating in local street culture of black Oakland youth. Through her research, she is giving attention to how hip-hop dance theorizes space through movement aesthetics, to better understand how public space can serve as an arena for struggle and difference.

Andrew Godbehere's presented his research on machine learning and how to craft more "intelligible" computational learning systems. Godbehere presented his work, titled "On What Machines Can Learn," on a computer vision tracking system and a Twitter message analysis system to explore investigate shortcomings, and propose future research directions for intelligent machine learning.

Finally, Bonnie Ruberg, examined text-based cybersex in her research, “Writing the Virtual Body: Kafka’s Love Letters and Text-Based Cybersex.” She connects the new technology of Cybersex chat with the Kafka's love letters and posits a literary approach to analyzing chat-based cybersex and how language works to form the virtual body.

The presentations were followed by a conversation with the audience about the future developments and possibilities of their research. Special thanks to students Margaret Rhee (Ethnic Studies, DE New Media) and Christopher Goetz (Film Studies, DE New Media) for organizing the event.

Naomi Bragin is a PhD student in Performance Studies with a DE in New Media at UC Berkeley. She researches black street dance and political aesthetics, drawing from her work as a dancer, choreographer and educator. She is the founding Artistic Director of Oakland-based DREAM Dance Company (2002-2008), she has received support from the Creative Work Fund, Ford Foundation, Zellerbach Foundation and California Arts Council.

Andrew Godbehere is an Electrical Engineering PhD, DE in New Media, and student of Professor Laurent El Ghaoui. Andrew deals theoretically with questions of what is knowable digitally and scientifically, and works directly on engineering applications. His work includes a computer vision system for an interactive audio installation and a statistical text-analysis tool for analyzing conversations on Twitter.

Bonnie Ruberg is a fourth-year in the Comparative Literature department with a DE in New Media. She specializes in the intersection of new media, old media, and the perverse. Her research spans French surrealism, Sade, queer theory, video game studies, and cyberculture. As a tech journalist, she has also reported widely on sex online.