New Media Research Fellowship

New Media Research Fellowship

Applications for Summer 2025 are due March 13, 2025.

The Berkeley Center for New Media offers a variety of fellowships for its doctoral and certificate students. The Summer Research fellowship is awarded annually to five candidates.

Summer Research Fellowship

Applications for Summer 2024 are now closed. To apply, please fill in this form. Applications are next due March 13, 2025.

This year projects that focus on women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Global South, ability diverse, and socioeconomically disadvantaged peoples as makers and users of new media will be prioritized. If relevant, please explain how your project foregrounds one or more of these communities.

Interested in other BCNM resources? Check out all the graduate opportunities here!


View the recipients here.

Adrian Montufar

Adrian will be conducting a research stay at McGill University in Montreal during the Fall semester. Hosted by McGill's Graduate Research Trainee program, Adrian will explore music composition by connecting improvisation with digital instrument design. Inspired by musicians like Derek Bailey, Adrian aims to create a handheld, self-powered, wireless device for sound input/output and physical touch. This device will serve both performers and audience interaction during live shows. At McGill's Input Devices and Music Interaction Lab, Adrian will collaborate with Director Marcelo Wanderley to prototype the instrument. Beyond the lab, Adrian will engage with Montreal's improvised music scene for insights. While preparing in the Bay Area over the summer, Adrian will also teach a BCNM R1B class.

Alexis Wood

The fracturing of the American state is intrinsic to its history, gaining significance amid contemporary socio-political tensions. Alexis' dissertation explores rural socio-political movements, digital spaces, and climate change, focusing on state secessionist movements in the United States. Alexis is developing State of Mind, State of Mine (SoMSoM), a qualitative database documenting these movements over time. Seeking funding from the Berkeley Center for New Media's Summer Research Grant, Alexis aims to organize, host, and publish SoMSoM as a user-friendly website database. Highlighting ongoing movements often overlooked, such as the State of Jefferson's role in the 2021 Newsom Recall, this project offers crucial insights for policymakers and researchers, especially amidst the 2024 election cycle. Notably, SoMSoM analyzes how modern movements utilize social media, engaging undergraduate researchers to profile movements and track their online presence. By providing accessible historical and current data, this project enhances understanding of lesser-studied regions and their digital socio-political dynamics.

Caleb Murray-Bozeman

This summer, Caleb will travel to Boston, MA, to further his independent documentary on maps and neighborhood transformation in Union Square, Somerville. Started in fall 2022, the film explores the broader relationship between maps and place, and specifically, how differing representations of Union Square influence ongoing debates over its development. It delves into historical maps of the area, from colonial times to modern renderings by real estate firms and activists. Caleb's research will focus on two key areas: the Indigenous history of the region and digital spatial representations of Union Square. Caleb will continue investigating real estate development, tenant rights movements, and transit expansion while conducting interviews and gathering footage. Additionally, Caleb will explore aesthetic strategies to convey the complexity of Union Square's mapping, particularly navigating the digital processes underlying digital maps.

Eda Er

Eda is in the process of creating an installation project that incorporates the traditional Ottoman marble art technique from Turkey. Eda's goal is to develop this into an interactive audiovisual installation that could potentially become the focus of a dissertation. To achieve this, it's essential to construct the system and conduct a test as part of a performance this coming fall. In preparation, Eda plans to delve into the historical connections of this art form, seek learning opportunities with an expert during the summer, and secure the necessary equipment for the project while documenting the journey. The equipment list includes specialized paints, a container for painting, lighting, motion sensors, and thermal cameras. Eda's research will cover the art's history and its potential projection into new media art. Additionally, Eda intends to create a custom patch to integrate into this system.

Elizabeth Sun

This summer, Elizabeth will develop her research on border discourses and feminist video art practices through a visit to the Video Data Bank at the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the largest distributors of video art and experimental media. In her dissertation, she focuses on German and Dutch artists including Ursula Biemann, Hito Steyerl, and Fiona Tan, who reflect on issues of race and its intersections with environmental crises. At the Video Bank, Elizabeth will organize a series of screenings which will include sessions on Ursula Biemann, Border Practices (Lonnie van Brummelen, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Colectivo Los Angrávidos) and Race and/as Technology (Tiffany Sia, Shu Lea Chang Peng Zuqiang).

Evan Sakuma

Evan's BCNM-funded summer research contributes to a broader investigation titled, "Triggered Aiiieeeeedentities: Unpacking the Online Persona of Asian American Gun Enthusiasts on Social Media.” This work delves into the online behaviors of Asian American Social Media personalities who prominently feature firearms or identify with the category of incel. Another potential texture of this work will be immersive field research at influencer gun shows like the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Dallas, Texas, or The Original Fort Worth Gun Show, which would aim to reveal insights into how online personas translate into offline experiences. While interview participation is uncertain, informal conversations and on-site observations will provide valuable insights into the cultural influences and motivations behind the calcification of these more jarring forms of Asian American being. It's crucial to emphasize that this research is not akin to 'gotcha journalism'; rather, it seeks to engage authentically with the community, avoiding sensationalism in favor of genuine understanding and connection. Drawing from a background in feminist, queer, and disability studies, the project champions relationality between circulating dominant aesthetics of these marginalized Asian American communities.

Haripriya Sathyanarayanan

In Haripriya's doctoral research, she investigate "Immersive Virtual Environments and Patient-Centered Design in Pediatric Healthcare Built Environments." With millions of children spending considerable time in hospitals annually, creating age-appropriate healing spaces is crucial. Pediatric healthcare facilities face the challenge of meeting clinical needs while addressing children's unique concerns during hospitalization. As a Ph.D. candidate in Architecture at UC Berkeley, Haripriya explores the intersection of technology, patient-centered design, and healthcare accessibility, focusing on families and children in pediatric healthcare, particularly in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Collaborating with hospitals like Oakland Children's, Haripriya prioritizes the needs of diverse populations. This summer, she aims to complete her dissertation, emphasizing VR's role in involving patients and families in design processes. She plans to publish three journal papers and explore grant opportunities for future research in this area.

Jaclyn Zhou

Jaclyn will travel to Japan for two weeks this summer to conduct research for her dissertation, which investigates the visual and material culture of anime fan tourism: a variety of activities undertaken by Japanese and international anime fans whose touristic practices are shaped by their attachments to certain anime texts, characters, and settings. Her project asks how the transnational circulation of Japanese media and subsequent media-induced leisure travel have become sites for the affective, embodied, and place-based negotiation with complex histories of race, migration, imperialism, war, and gender in Japan and the Transpacific. By attending to the affective hermeneutics of fandom – “a set of ways of gaining knowledge through feeling” (Wilson 2016) – the project focuses on how race and nation in particular become felt and sensible through the ostensibly non-political activities of fan tourists.

Jon Turner

Jon's research investigates the complex dynamics among musicians, instrument makers, and technicians in California, USA, and São Paulo, Brazil, focusing on underrepresented communities. Jon explores how economic shifts, climate change, and new media affect guitar making in these regions. Key questions include the intertwining and divergence of guitar-making histories, responses to material scarcity for sustainability, and the impact of automation like the Plek machine on craftsmanship and economics. Jon also examines the role of peripheral devices and their influence on guitar culture and economics. In São Paulo, Jon conducts ethnographic research, particularly engaging with marginalized luthiers, to highlight their unique challenges and opportunities compared to California. Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Jon has practical experience in guitar building and repair, informing his academic journey. The grant will support completing his dissertation, focusing on new materials for environmental responsibility and online marketing strategies among diverse luthiers. Through interviews and observation, Jon aims to amplify marginalized voices in guitar making, especially in the Global South.

Lani Alden

Over the Summer, Lani will digitize a series of vinyl records recorded by early 20th century onnagata in order to interrogate the idea of the onnagata voice. She will read these recordings alongside research on trans voices by contemporary media studies scholars. This will be done in support of her dissertation project, one chapter of which foregrounds the development of the onnagata 'voice' in Japan and how new media forms like the vinyl record which presented this in a disembodied way commodified the gender non-conforming voice and made it ownable (and imitable) by gender conforming audiences.

Lee Crandall

Visualizing Crypto-Economic/Ecologic Networks

In my dissertation research, I examine the role of cryptocurrency and blockchain in the reproduction of racial capitalism – from prospecting to property – as evidenced by material-economic-environmental extractions in digital-physical space. Not unlike the Argonauts hoping to strike gold in 1849, today’s Cryptonauts argue for a “return to the gold standard” while those early to the blockchain scene hope for better odds of generating wealth, much of which depends on introducing disproportionate risk to the poor, and marginalized communities of color. This summer research project seeks to document and connect grounded material traces of extraction on the basis of race/gender/class with narratives of prospecting and inclusion in Northern California. At this stage of the project I will visit historical archives; conduct fieldwork at former mining sites; and collect visual and audio documentation of current crypto development sites and social networks both in-person and online. Additional new media methods include geolocative photography, photogrammetry, digital modeling, and animation/rendering. From a critical cartographic approach, this project is meant to help make transparent the often opaque environmental, economic, and social costs to crypto mining, while moving away from universalizing claims towards conveying grounded specificities.

Meg Everett

Dominated by youth and focused on short-form, user-generated content that prizes virality, TikTok has become a potent symbol of social media's penetration into school environments. My research aims to explore the concerns and possibilities that arise from this entangled web of social interactions and their significant overlap with formal schooling environments. In particular, my summer project poses the following question: How do students utilize unofficial TikTok accounts associated with the hashtags #schoolaccount and #schoolaccounts to represent and shape their lived experiences in schools? Through the identification of the themes that emerge from “unofficial” school accounts, this study illustrates some ways in which “what ‘happens’ online…imminently alters the course of lived reality (Wright, 2021, p. 63). Drawing from theories on digital affect cultures (Wright, 2021; Döveling, Harju, & Sommer, 2018), context collapse (boyd & Marwick, 2014), and the attention economy and the net (Goldhaber, 1997), the study will explore how students use of social media shapes discourses around schooling and school environments.

Meghana Ammula

This summer, I am hoping to utilize my foundation in public health and my interdisciplinary New Media studies certificate to carry out a research project gauging perceptions on digital platform usage, mental wellbeing, and social connection among youth who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Currently, there is a huge emphasis, from academia to public policy, on the linkages between digital platform usage and mental wellbeing among youth; however, there remain wide gaps in the literature for assessing this impact on youth who live in neighborhoods that face higher negative public health burdens and higher environmental toxins and who are from families of lower socioeconomic status. . I am hoping to fill this gap in the literature by carrying out a research study to gain understanding on the relationship between digital platform usage, mental health, and social connectivity specifically among youth ages 13-18 who live in East Oakland - is there a relation between the built environment and digital environment for these youth? My goal here is not to publish a report, but to gain a better understanding of youth’s perceptions around digital media and their needs for better wellbeing, to build community partnerships in East Oakland, and to lastly amplify the voices of youth who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods who are oftentimes left out of academic research and policy making.

Wan Nurul Naszeerah

Global health equity hinges on health information equity, a challenge in Malay-speaking Southeast Asian communities. Despite being spoken by over 290 million people, Malay is considered a "low-resource" language, lacking AI-assisted social media content moderation. This, coupled with prolonged social media use, exacerbates the health infodemic, impeding well-informed health decisions. Vaccine misinformation in Malay persists, fueled by narratives against former colonizers and non-Islamic entities, impacting vaccine confidence and leading to rising preventable diseases. To address this, Wan proposes co-creating a culturally sensitive intervention video targeting Malay-speaking communities. Through human-centered design workshops and community feedback sessions in Southeast Asia, we aim to counter vaccine misinformation. Applying psychological inoculation theory, the video will expose and debunk misinformation. Testing its efficacy via randomized controlled trials in Fall 2024 across Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore will provide insights for policy changes to mitigate health information disparities in low-resource language communities.


View the recipients here.

Elnaz Bailey

Unprecedented times such as the COVID-19 pandemic increased the demand for remote collaboration, altering the way we practice architectural design. With the increased prevalence of remote collaboration technology comes an opportunity to include the community in the design process. This growth in the remote design collaboration technology space for architecture combined with the perennial problem of exclusion of community voices was the motivation behind the design of Elnaz's PhD research project, InsightXR. InsightXR is a platform that allows remote participation of users while exploring novel uses of interactive genetic algorithms (IGAs) to modify 3D designs. InsightXR enables expert and non-expert users to visualize 3D designs and guide the optimization process using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology. InsightXR is focused on early stage architectural design, and specifically focuses on early stage massing for 3D design optimizations. Users’ feedback in this process is collected using two methods: direct feedback as markups on the 3D model and the user’s eye tracking data which can be visualized as attention maps on 3D geometries. In Elnaz's proposed workflow, a designer’s initial parametric designs are used as seeds in the first genetic population presented to the users. At each generation, users are presented with the 3 most distinct massing options based on shape similarity by calculating mesh similarities, and are asked to provide markups and a qualitative fitness value to be used in the IGA. In the end, the designer will have access to a database of best option results, guided by interactive feedback from users with different expertise, backgrounds and expectations. This research tries to answer the question: how can we propose a new method for interactive architectural design optimization in AR and VR where users’ feedback are included to improve the design optimization process in remote conditions?

Weiying Li

Weiying Li is designing an online science inquiry curriculum for a rural middle school in China, focusing on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), in partnership with local rural community leaders, local TCM doctors, and science teachers in rural Wuhan, China. TCM has its own cultural characteristics such as the balance of Yin and Yang (a human body ecosystem) and strengthening the body resistance to epidemic diseases. TCM also has significant contributions to science and medicine. But in Chinese school science classrooms where western science dominate (Medin & Bang, 2014), science education is seldom recognized as a set of cultural practices, there's a huge gap between everyday practices and what takes place in school. The gap is due to the tensions of epistemology of TCM and western science and the epistemological orientations of science education in China. School science has traditionally been socially and culturally constructed as inequitable and oppressive, especially for minority groups. The needs of rural students and the rich natural and cultural resources of rural contexts are often neglected. By using an online platform, in partnership with the local community leaders, TCM doctors, and teachers, Weiying aims to develop a TCM related science online inquiry curriculum for rural middle school students.

Haripriya Sathyanarayanan

Haripriya is working on her dissertation project titled, "Immersive Virtual Environments and Patient-Centered Design in the Pediatric Healthcare Built Environment."

About 1.3 million children and adolescents are hospitalized yearly in the US and the design of supportive healthcare environments is critical for better health outcomes. This summer, Priya will focus on the data analysis from two ongoing experimental design studies at the XRLab on immersive virtual environments and patient-centered design in the pediatric healthcare built environment. The studies use immersive virtual technology to assess patient room design, gathering data on the physiological and emotional responses of hospitalized children and their parents to spatial and environmental design. The mixed-methods study will involve a population of hospitalized children aged 8-17, with clusters of subjects experiencing different patient room designs through virtual reality.

The expected outcomes of the study include deeper knowledge on the preferences and perspectives of hospitalized children and their parents on design, as well as the impact of spatial design on patient experience and health outcomes. The research aims to fill critical gaps in understanding the emotional responses of hospitalized children and their parents to design through objective measurements and harnessing children's potential to serve as agents of architectural knowledge. The research aims to empower patients, including those from underrepresented communities, to have a voice in the design process and improve health and well-being outcomes for all individuals and communities.

Sophia Perez

In February of 2023, Sophia Perez received notice from Pacific Islanders in Communication (a PBS-affiliate) that her documentary was chosen for a $25,000 grant to support the creation of a short film on the impact on the Marianas Islands of colonialism through the US Departemnt of Defense's military installations and the tourism industry. As a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Geography with an emphasis in New Media, Sophia's research encompasses not only the topic of this film, but the process of indigenous filmmaking itself. She seeks to explore production methodologies that not only tell indigenous stories but are themselves active examples of traditional indigenous storytelling and cultural perpetuation, while being located within a digital realm and created with a global audience in mind. With this in mind, she plans to return to Saipan, capitol of the Northern Mariana Islands, this summer to complete production and post-production of this project.

Her slated activities for the summer include the following: 1) Assemble a team of indigenous filmmakers and curate mentorships between those who are more and less experienced to foster the growth of digital storytelling in the Mariana Islands; 2) Collect and curate archival material relevant to the story including photos, documents, and films relevant to the history of colonialism in the Marianas and greater Pacific; 3) Perform additional research about US military presence in the Marianas, including the creation of a timeline of infrastructure development and environmental findings spanning back to the Spanish-American War; 4) Plan and execute interviews; 5) Collect b-roll and cinema vérité-style footage that provides context and character to people and place; 6) Maintain detailed notes about the processes through which production and post-production occur, with special attention to the collision between Western and traditional cultures - how does Indigenous become digital? What obstacles block that pathway, and how can they be navigated? What cannot or should not be translated? What must be achieved, and what must be avoided?

Elena (Ellie) Hoshizaki

Elena Hoshizaki is researching vibes, specifically how vibes can be measured using context-aware sensors and transmitted into outputs of New Media. Vibes are defined as a person's emotional state or the atmosphere of a place as communicated to and felt by others. Her research uses context-aware sensors, AI/ML, and LED art to create a device that can sense and transmit vibes. Context-aware sensors including EMF and user-sourced data will measure basic human emotions. Data snapshots will be collected and sent to a cloud database where AI/ML will be trained to detect patterns in the data that could help us research how vibes can be measured. Elena is interested in using New Media to visualize vibe data once measured. She is currently exploring New Media in the form of a series of personal LED artifacts that can be chained and synchronized by infrared or radio frequency technology.

Dongho Shin

As an artist and researcher, my focus is on creating tools and experiences that empower underrepresented communities in the art world. Through Dongho's research project, Dongho will explore how to expand oil and watercolor painting through new media to meet the needs of women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists. By collaborating with artists and organizations that represent these communities and showcasing their work, Dongho aims to promote greater equity and inclusivity in the world of painting in fine art and new media.

Julia Irwin

Julia Irwin will be traveling to Berlin, Germany to present a chapter of her dissertation Patterning Recognition: A History of Automated Visual Perception as part of a summer academy on the subject of media and cultural change.

Julia's dissertation, Patterning Recognition: A History of Automated Visual Perception, is a prehistory of contemporary artificial intelligence and global-scale surveillance practices. She examines how researchers and practitioners in United States military, industrial, and academic institutions in the twentieth century began to conceive of embodied perception as an automatable act, a time-based program that could be interchangeably performed by a human or a machine. She analyzes how specific forms of visual mediation—film, photography, and text—were employed both to study human (and nonhuman animal) sensory-motor activity as a basis for computer-simulated models and to directly address and reorganize individuals’ visual sensing to be machine-readable, replicable, and militarily useful. These materials reveal institutions’ deep-seated ambivalence about the definitional distinctions between “human” and “machine.” She shows how such ambivalence corresponded with moves to artificially modulate the conceptual distance between the two—and therefore the perceptual possibilities—in the pursuit to automate the administration of social and political life.

Vincente Perez

Sonic Blackness: Hip-Hop Poetics traces the way that western modernity has attempted to categorize, order, and control the meaning of Blackness to prop up its rhetoric of human differentiation that it then saturates along the senses. Vincente turns to Black feminist theory, Hip-Hop studies, and afropessimism to explore how Black poets carry on a rich tradition of refusing and interrupting the terms of whiteness’s ontological order. He argues poets produce Sonic Blackness to preempt and disturb the temporal logic of whiteness and code different meanings by working within an alternative register that is both turned away from whiteness and a turn inwards, into Blackness. This summer he will access key poetry archives in Chicago, IL to provide a brief genealogy of spoken word poetry, slam poetry, and the local Hip-Hop scene.

Valencia James

Landship Valiant Star is a multimodal research project that explores the history of the Barbados Landship, a socio-cultural movement established by the Black working class for collective survival in the harsh racial and economic climate before and after the abolition of slavery. By asking the question, “How can Landship be reimagined for today?”, the project seeks to find new ways of preserving this tradition. The first phase of the research resulted in an art installation and dance performance that explored the creation of a historical fiction that brings Landship into a new relationship with the artist and the viewer. The next phase will take place in Barbados, where Valencia will interview members of the Barbados Landship Association, cultural scholars and community organizers to understand the needs of the local community. Valencia also plans to conduct archival research as well as record the Landship performances. Through these conversations and full immersion in the specifics of the geography, Valencia would like to investigate the ways in which both ancestral and emerging technologies are already being harnessed by Barbadian communities and identify the benefits and risks of employing emerging technologies in efforts to preserve and imagine new futures for the Landship.

Alexis Wood

Alexis Wood is working on Disorienting the Map: Alternative Cartographies for Alternative Futures. This project explores the possibilities of reimagining a user-focused geographic information system based on principles of anticolonialism, anti-racism, accessibility, localization, and sovereignty. As she has worked on this reimagined map for the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, reorienting and reprojecting the world via Ohlone values, Alexis has been exploring the question: can a redeemed cartography, reimagined via principles of anticolonialism, antiracism, accessibility, and localization, be used to redeem a condemned community?

Alexis's broader PhD work focuses on understanding the relationship between right-wing socio political movements, acute effects of climate change (e.g., fire, flooding), and social media, specifically within the context of rural state secessionist movements. In remaking the map, Alexis hopes to retell the story of her fieldsite, the right-wing, rural Northern California.

Alexis will spend a week at Mt. Shasta in Northern California, conducting informal interviews, observing how people interact with the mountain and its surrounding area, drawing and mapping burn scars from recent fires, mapping hiking trails, monuments to indigenous populations, nods to the State of Jefferson (the region’s state secessionist movement) - all through the lens of developing erosion as method. This remapping has to occur from the geomorphology up, starting from the movements of the tectonic plates to the mountain’s potential volcanic activity. Then, laying on and cutting through the geomorphology, are indigenous stories of how Mt. Shasta came to be, John Muir’s prose which inspired generations of mountaineers and naturalists, its symbolism of Northern California's natural majesty and unforgivingness. Its surrounding poverty and climate anxiety, juxtaposed with summer vacation goers and Bay Area winter skiers. All within and (co)producing, as Raymond Williams would say, the larger “narrative structures of the age” - stories and feelings and the literal rock of the mountain eroding and depositing somewhere else. How might we capture the essence of it all, and what might it tell us about the larger socio political state this region found itself in? In this way, Alexis's work develops erosion as method.


View the recipients here.

William Morgan

William Morgan's research deploys the framework of cybernetics in order to highlight how these hidden aspects of digital capitalism function in a global system. Understanding cybernetics as a “reconfiguration of metaphysics on behalf of technics” per Luciana Parisi, William examines in his dissertation three scenes of this cybernetic reconfiguration of sense: e-waste, epigenetics, and geopolitics. This summer, he will be working particularly on the third chapter, visiting archives at Harvard University, traveling to Chile to research Cybersyn, and presenting a paper on the topic at the University of Indiana.

Lani Alden

Lani Alden studies transgender subjects on stage in kabuki and will be purchasing fan magazines of kabuki to support their research. Lani's research questions what happens when the transgender body moves from being portrayed through artistic portrayals (primarily via ukiyo-e print) to a quasi-representational form like the photograph. Lani intends to destructively scan these magazines and then use optical character recognition to place the information in a database. This will enable Lani to dynamically find and locate passages related to the transgender subjects on the kabuki stage (the onnagata) and perform natural language processing techniques to see how they are discussed in relation to photography in comparison to older forms of media representation.

Haripriya Sathyanarayanan

Immersive Virtual Environments for Co-Designing Supportive Pediatric Healthcare Spaces: The research uses New Media (Virtual Reality integrated with biosensors) as a tool for collaboration and engagement with the vulnerable pediatric hospitalized population with very specific needs. The patients’ voice is much needed in design mock-ups, simulation, and feedback to meet functional and emotional affordances, and address diversity and equity. The expected outcomes of the research are knowledge on perspectives of hospitalized children to capture their uniquely different perspectives and preferences on design, physiological response to stimuli from room design elements in real-time, and opportunity to create solutions that resonate equitably with children of all age groups. This research engages directly with children on spatial design and a supportive hospital environment filling critical gaps on children’s potential to serve as agents of architectural knowledge.

Fei Pan

Pan will revisit their research and previous work done in sculptural form in 2021, where she did document studies and on-site field research about the historical process of landmarking and shifting sand in south-east Asia. The purpose of the project is to bring awareness to the post-colonial and socioeconomic sides of natural and biological elements. It also further questions how we think of landscape as constructed, artificial geographic regions. She will extend the study and explore new methods of making art through new media and archival documents. In this way, she hopes to overcome physical obstacles and keep telling forgotten stories.

Rebecca Levitan

Rebecca's digital project fits into her larger study of ancient sculpture, bringing methodologies into the 21st century through the application of New Media. Artists on the Cycladic island of Naxos were the pioneers of monumental stone sculpture in Archaic Greece. Naxos is also home to several rich deposits of a coarse-grained sparkling marble and is the only source of the abrasive emery in the Aegean. Despite being one of the most renowned centers of sculptural production and marble extraction in the Greek world, the landscapes and archaeology of Archaic Naxos are comparatively unstudied, with many questions about the quarrying and sculpting industry on the island and its socio-political implications unanswered. Rebecca's project seeks to redress this imbalance by revisiting the island’s sites of Archaic marble extraction and their remarkable output, situating quarries and kouroi within the broader context of the Archaic Naxian landscape, economy, and artistic production. Her project combines two methodologies: traditional sculptural examination (including close observation, analog drawing and comparison) with the newest techniques in landscape survey and digital recording (including precision 3D modeling, high resolution topographic survey, and geological modeling).

Kevin Lo

Kevin Lo will be performing on a platform that enables integration of audience GPS and phone data (accelerometer, touch data) into performative and installation-based projects. This data will be maximally customizable and scalable for implementation in various projects, particularly those which emphasize participation. Given the persistent necessity of networked virtual events, his project will also benefit remote collaboration across time zones. This method of data integration had an opening salvo of tests via the integration of phone data for DROUGHT SPA's telematic work, Return the Eye (2020-2021). The coding of this was specific to that project, and cannot be extended to future works. Work on this platform over the summer will include a full reworking of that code, adding GPS; it would be organized in a mode that exposes data not only to the central server, but to participants as well. Building in a way for individual participants to see the data will allow for more flexibility and further potentials for projects, as this will enable folks to gain immediate feedback of the experience as a whole, as well as an awareness of others around them. In the context of locative media, this presents the phone or device as an extension of the body and its orientations. By moving the phone in XYZ space, participants interact touchlessly with the work, engaging their bodily autonomy. Aims of this are to be able to map infrastructural objects to virtual space, or engage in a purely virtual mapping, similar to how VR decouples virtual objects from reality.

Irma Barbosa

Irma and their sister Celeste are collaborating on a video/ experimental film project inspired by their grandmother's goat farm and home in the San Fernando Valley called "A recipe for remembering." Drawn by the processes of preservation, invisible labor, and the resilience it takes to prepare her delicious birria dish, as well as the consumption of it, they have been documenting and learning from her process. Birria immigrated with their family to the states and has been made to celebrate their culture and family for decades. In the first half of this project, Irma and her sister have closely documented their grandmother's caring gestures as well as her instruction on how to make her birria. Now they will visit their grandmother's home in Mexico and continue the documentation process. Through photography, experimental video, sculpture, performance, and installation they are exploring the animal-human interdependent connection as well as the poetic nature of recipes and their appeal to be remembered and passed down from generation to generation, across borders.

Amanda Barnett

Water resource management and environmental conservation are modes of asserting authority in the political ecology of settler-colonial ownership over Native lands. This study asks how watershed planning documents betray the unpolitical nature of environmental sciences. Amanda aims to explore ways to build on existing research this summer using community-based participatory research (CBPR) to develop a more inclusive approach to knowledge creation. In particular, framing communication in terms of accessibility using new media to co-create new knowledge will restructure normative power dynamics between the actors involved (myself included). Participatory research that subverts extractive relationships and paternalistic research practices needs to use new media to be both adaptive and to builds trust, ownership of data, and social justice actions. The next phase of study involves CBPR that works with community on the ground to develop a braided understanding of both the theoretical and academic with the lived expertise. Development of such CBPR practices will be first co-written with, by, and for community, and research design in the forms of representational new media will be developed collaboratively. Works might include podcasts, online tools for defining, deciding, and owning data, or public works and exhibits, just to name a few. Comics and graphically illustrated online and analog works are also potentially part of the process, depending on how communication and knowledge creation and dissemination is identified.


View the recipients here.

Rachel Chen

This summer Rachel will be conducting a design-based research (DBR) study with an embodied design technological platform being developed for non-speaking students in Special Education. Although participation in social interaction is possible for many people, it is not readily accessible to students who do not use conventional speech. Autistic learners, especially those who are non-speaking, often realize their desire to communicate through non-dominant sensory modalities, attunements, and practices. How then can we design for inclusive social participation of students with diverse interactional modalities? By using the body as a conduit through which interaction can happen, we can reclaim one of the basic modalities of communication: touch. The platform at the center of her project—the Magical Musical Mat (MMM)—amplifies physical touch between people through sound. When participants step onto their respective floormats and then establish skin contact with one another, they close and thus activate an electronic circuit that triggers musical sounds. As participants co-produce different types of touch-based gestures, such as holding hands, striking “high fives,” or performing gentle taps, capacitive sensors on the mat detect resistance changes between their bodies.

Erica Deeman

As a queer British-Jamaican, Erica asks: is there space where they can be their authentic self on this land, in mind and body? Is their hesitation to visit Jamaica owing to their queer status itself a form of colonial legacy? Erica's work will focus on their growing practice in their garden in Washington, growing fruit and vegetables that connect to their ancestral homes, diasporic and indigenous peoples. Erica will also create hybrid physical spaces that connect land, spiritual practices, and culture to their current place. This hybrid place will incorporate tests in painting, ceramics, 3D printing, and virtual space. Erica will also learn how to create virtual worlds that can transcend physical boundaries.

Edgar Fabián Frias

Edgar is creating a new media project that incorporates a billboard and video that honors our queer ancestors. For this project, Edgar will imbue their work with our ancestor’s energies of resistance, liberation, illumination, and radical change. To support this work, their research will center on the resistance strategies of the Wixáritari people in Mexico, who have successfully challenged the mining of sacred lands by both national and international corporations using ritual, ceremony, and creative practice. Edgar will also be reaching out to one or two LGBTQ+ Wixáritari YouTubers for informal dialogues and conversations around these themes. In addition to this, Edgar is hoping to also interview one or two LGBTQ+ creatives who are also working with queer ancestors as a part of this project. Their hope is that this research and these conversations will help inspire and expand upon the artwork created for the billboard to exist virtually via documentation of its existence.

Julia Irwin

This summer, Julia will conduct research on the work of industrial psychologist and writer Dr. Lillian Moller Gilbreth who with her husband, Frank B. Gilbreth, produced hundreds of industrial films and advanced experimental film exhibition practices to train factory laborers in the 1910s. Lillian Gilbreth is recognized in the field of industrial psychology as a seminal figure in the subdiscipline of ergonomics—design practices that consider physiological and psychological needs in order to improve productivity in workspaces. What remains unstudied, however, is how Lillian Gilbreth translated ideas from philosophy and the burgeoning field of psychology into an empirical, new media program for industrialists to engineer factory-compatible behavior among laborers. Central to this prescribed methodology was the exploitation of cinema’s unique relationship to sensory stimulation and the imagination. By reorganizing a worker’s visual and haptic sensorial experience, it was thought that his or her individuated cognitive processing could be reduced, nervous system steadied, and motor activity automated. Julia's project seeks to canonize Lillian Gilbreth as an early theorist of interactive media spectatorship.

Halal Kaddoura

On Her Soil: I Breathe, Weep and Fall In Love All Over Again With Her is a sequel to Searching for Her, which was exhibited remotely in Spring 20201 as part of the First Year MFA show in Art Practice. From searching for the love of her life along the coastlines of Lebanon, the artist crosses borders and exiles in the hope to physically feel the love of her life. Along the coastline of Jaffa, the artist continues to search for her lover’s soul—sensing, touching, and feeling with the hope to gently kiss her lips. Guided by her sounds, her waters, her soil, the artist lingers, weeps, and falls in love all over again with her. The original project Searching for Her is comprised of video, poetry, film photographs, and virtual space.

Tonya Nguyen

Mutual aid groups increasingly rely on online infrastructure to carry out their operations. However, mutual aid groups suffer from burnout, dominance behaviors, and failures to address intersectional power structures. To address these problems, past groups have customized their own networked infrastructures as a form of political participation. This includes an array of innovative structures including Zoom calls, ICE-raid hotlines, and automated systems for volunteer reimbursements. However, the best strategies and design implications for mutual aid and other systems of care remain unclear and understudied. Tonya plans to explore how mutual aid technologies and infrastructures are designed, built, and maintained.

Rashad Timmons

Rashad's research interrogates the role of infrastructure in the production of racial blackness and enforcement of black suffering. Tracing the reconfiguration of chattel slavery’s imperative to enumerate, displace, and constrain the captive body, Rashad examines how the state works through infrastructure to develop ideas about, devalue, and discipline black life in postbellum and contemporary urban landscapes. Rashad's work contends that infrastructures visibly organize the felt intensities of racial experience and are palpable features of black ordinary and spectacular suffering. Furthermore, as modes of statecraft, infrastructures routinely dispense regulatory power that concretizes race’s lived materiality and produces black life as violable. Rashad's dissertation project asks then: what might we uncover by taking infrastructure seriously as an element of everyday black suffering? Further, how might this attention to infrastructure broaden our understanding of the quotidian dimensions of state power and black political practice? Using “traffic” as an expansive analytic to connote the complex systems undergirding urban life and the mediation of racial discourse, Rashad investigate how these variable infrastructures (e.g., roads and railways: vehicular traffic; pipelines: waste management and energy traffic; cables: telecommunications and data traffic) are complicit in discursive and corporeal antiblack injury.


View the recipients here.


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View the recipients here.


View the recipients here.


View the recipients here.


View the recipients here.

Technology Services and Training Fellowship

This is a historical award, last given in 2014. View the recipients here.

Data Literacy Fellowship

This is a historical award, last given in 2014. Please see here.