BCNM's Big Wins 2024

20 May, 2024

BCNM's Big Wins 2024

The 2023-2024 academic year has been a blast and we're thrilled to share some of our greatest achievements. Check out the new media impact we made!

Interdisciplinary Research

BCNM champions vanguard interdisciplinary research. We are especially thrilled, as a result, to have Hannah Zeavin join us this year as an Assistant Professor. Her research addresses overlooked narratives to train a historical lens on how technologies can mediate communication and distance. We are also excited to share that Nicole Starosielski has joined BCNM as a Professor of Film & Media and New Media! Nicole conducts research on global internet and media distribution, communications infrastructures ranging from data centers to undersea cables, and media’s environmental and elemental dimensions.

Once more, we were thrilled to support our faculty in doing their amazing new media amazing work through increased research grants. This year, we've been pleased to offer faculty seed grants that have supported work by Luisa Caldas for “Biometric Evaluation of User Physiological Responses in a Social VR Platform,” Asma Kazmi & Jill Miller for “The Missing Objects Library,” Eric Paulos for semi-permanent technological designs, Jacob Gaboury for “Screens Shot: Mediating the Interactive Interface,” Clancy Wilmott & Emma Fraser for “Documenting California Forever,” and Greg Niemeyer for “Predicting the Sacramento River Flow.” Work resulting from BCNM’s seed grant to Wilmott last year is now being deposited into the Library of Congress as part of a Historic American Buildings Survey report.

We also awarded over fifty student awards, including conference grants, summer research awards, and our prestigious Lyman Fellowship. Our students presented at conferences that include: ACM CHI, NACIS, Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, AERA, and the AAG, among others. Our Lyman Fellow Vincente Perez was recognized for his work on S_onic Blackness and our summer research fellows were awarded grants for projects from rural socio-economic political movements in digital spaces to improvised digital music, spatial representation in urbanization to an audiovisual installation on Ottoman marble technique, border discourses and video art practice to Asian American gun enthusiasts on social media, immersive virtual environments in patient centered design to anime fan tourism, the dynamics between instrument makers, musicians, and technicians to the onnagata voice, visualizing crypto-economic/ecological networks to the sociocultural implications of TikTok, mental wellbeing and digital platform use to health information equity.

Our students, faculty, and alumni are making an incredible impact on inclusive new media research. Research highlights include: a faculty book publication (The Oxford Handbook of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Rita Lucarelli), three alumni book publications (Real Life in Real Time: Live Streaming Culture, Bo Ruberg; Depth Effects: Dimensionality from Camera to Computation, Brooke Belisle; Salon des Fantômes, Kyle Booten; Kinethic California: Dancing Funk and Disco Era Kinships, Naomi Bragin). They also include faculty art exhibitions and performances (Sacramento Paradox, Greg Niemeyer; Breathless, Ken Goldberg; Missing Objects Library; Asma Kazmi & Jill Miller; Carbonivore, Asma Kazmi & Jill Miller), and student and alumni art exhibitions and performances (Edgar Fabían Friás, Trevor Paglen, Maija Hynninen).

In addition, we had over 90 faculty, student, and alumni articles published in a range of fields, including Algorithms, Art, Artificial Intelligence, Computer-Human Interaction, Data Science, East Asian Studies, Education, English, Film & Media, Gender and Women’s Studies, History, Machine Learning, Media Studies, Music, Performance Studies, Psychology, Public Policy, Robotics and Automation, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, and User Interfaces.

Moreover, BCNM faculty, alumni, and students have been recognized with numerous awards. Alex Saum-Pascual and Shannon Jackson were both named Townsend Fellows. Alex Saum-Pascual also received a Peder Sather Grant. Asma Kazmi received a 2023 Vagner Mendonça-Whitehead Microgrant and with Jill Miller was awarded a c/Change Grant. Clancy Wilmott received a UCHRI Engaging the Humanities grant. Jaclyn Zhou received a Center for Japanese Studies Fellowship and Vincente Perez received a Dissertation Year Fellowship. Rashad Arman Timmons received a UC Postdoctoral Fellowship and Julia Irwin received a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship.

We continue to support Clancy Wilmott’s studio.geo? work on Rematriating the Map: Alternative Cartographies for Alternative Futures, which focuses on the ever-present question of the colonial legacies in cartographic media, and the impact that this has on Indigenous efforts to decolonize the map, and fight for alternative futures. Wilmott’s team has produced an “uncomputable” anti-colonial and repatriated map that centers Indigenous knowledge structures, showcasing how computation can contribute to erasure and marginalization of non-Western models of cultural thought.

We also are pleased to support Asma Kazmi and Jill Miller's Missing Objects Library, which has been presented at Gray Area in San Francisco as a large scale installation that subverts the parallel and historical western cabinet of curiosities that fetishized the exotic. They continue to build out the online repository to build community through reciprocity.

Curriculum Development

Our goal is always to offer exceptional courses on histories and futures of technology that combine arts, design, humanities, social sciences, data, and engineering approaches and foreground diverse makers and users of new media. The revamped NWMEDIA 201 was a success with a large enrollment and excellent student reviews.

We were thrilled to support our new media courses across campus with small grants. This year, we supported courses on Cinema After Digitization, Electronic Literature, AI and Robotics & the Uncanny Valley, the Politics of Code, and Geo/Graphesis

Our first online summer sessions course was incredibly successful with 200 enrolled and excellent reviews. We are set to have another exceptional year, with the summer course already oversubscribed.

We have also been thrilled to support Emma Fraser, Clancy Wilmott, and Asma Kazmi in their OSKITech project. We received funds to purchase technical equipment and create a mobile tech cart that will enable the revision of NWMEDIA courses to include the learning of technical skills through mobile and collaborative teaching resources, serving underrepresented communities.

The OSKITech team also gathered games and systems to create a growing collection of 'old media.' They launched a pop up arcade that received coverage from the library. Materials from the collection were also used for teaching and student research in the New Media Cities course, and again in Digital Storytelling for Spring 2024, with further events planned in 24/25.

Our aim of accelerating peer learning experiences through our undergraduate research fellowship has once again proven successful, pairing undergraduates with graduates who can mentor them on research practices. This year, we were able to pair undergraduates with graduates working on public health communications, AI image generators, the Media Education Research Lab, mapping Pacific Islander filmmakers, and more!


We had a stellar year for public programs, showcasing an amazing program of diverse speakers including Indigenous speakers Christina Leza, Trevor Reed, and Raven Chacon; LatinX Media speakers Valeria Luiselli, Paloma Duong, micha cardenás, Eduardo Costa, and Martina Broner; as well as Jesse Collins Jackson, Erik Davis, Lauren Klein, Sylvain Parasie, Bernie Geoghegan, Vincente Perez, Clarkisha Kent, Mario Santamaria, Hoyt Long, and Behrooz Ghorbani. While our online audience remains strong, our in-person audience is growing as we returned to primarily live lectures following demand from our community. These events define important and unexpected directions of research for new media scholars, engineers, artists, and policymakers.

We also offered our AAPI Hollywood Internships panel in February, to coincide with the our AAPI Media Creatives Fellowship! Our secnod student, Yeonhee Choi was selected and will be interning and working with mentors Jason Lin, Laura Reddy, and Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright in Summer 2024. You can donate to the program here.

Perhaps most exciting of all, however, is that Raphael Cohen completed his first year as our Events Coordinator! For his excellent work, he was recognized in Spring 2024 with a SPOT award. Congratulations, Raphael, on an amazing program!