This year the Berkeley Center for New Media was thrilled to support four junior faculty in their scholarship through seed grants that will help catalyze their research in new media. From practices as diverse as Art Practice, Architecture, and Film and Media, we are excited to congratulate these amazing scholars!
New Apps for New Audiences will further Andrew’s previous work and research on interactive app designs as way to engage and attract new audiences to architecture. Within the spirit of this accessibility and freedom, this research grant would support the development of an app that builds on my ongoing research into Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) design. This grant will aid the production of an interactive mobile tool that enables people to consider the possibilities of adding housing to their existing home, like a traditional ADU, but additionally will allow people to speculate on small scale housing solutions in other open spaces that have not yet been considered by planning institutions or developers. In this way, the app enables everyone, practitioners and the public alike, to rethink our preconceived notions about zoning and challenge us to think small on a big scale.
Cranes and Cube: Architecture, built and unbuilt is a multifaceted new media art/architecture project. The aim of this project is to map the radically changing sites and topographies of Saudi Arabia. It surveys the political force fields of idealism and grandeur of the real estate boom in the region, which is in dialogue with cycles of change and transformation of preexisting structures and localities. This project aims to analyze the interminable currents of buildings–built and unbuilt–and the histories, desires, and concurrent contexts that inform this process. Asma will lead a research trip, along with 2 graduate students, to film, document, and re/present the current state of the sites and locations that Al-Hariri-Rifai, a Syrian American artist, traveler, architect, teacher, and writer, drew. The final outcome of this investigation will be an art exhibit which will interweave Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai’s drawings with a critical juxtaposition of new media objects and documents collected and made during this trip, particularly through immersive technologies such as AR/VR.
New Cadaver Exquis: Matter, Debris, and Ruins aims to build unconventional linkages between architecture, digital media, and geology. It positions certain problems brought by climate change and the Anthropocene, such as materiality, obsolescence, and waste in architectural terms. Inherent in the premise of the project is the proposition of a new conception of architecture’s engagement with the wider world through a specific focus on design’s capacity to impact planetary imagination. This is an extension of Neyran’s previous project on architectural materiality, which from the recalcitrance of a particular raw matter and its extraction from a specific geographic location, to its processing, transportation, and construction into a desired finished effect in a building, to its maintenance, demolition and waste, aims to open future dialogues in relation to the spatial and temporal long-span of architectural materiality.
After the Private Self asks the question: is the self of Rousseau’s Confessions the same as the self of the twenty-first century digital selfie? To what extent is subjectivity bound up in the apparatuses of its technical mediation? In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a “modern individual” took shape through the relatively new forms of the novel and the autobiography. That modern individual, writes Dipesh Chakrabarty in Provincializing Europe, is “supposed to have an interiorized ‘private’ self that pours out incessantly in diaries, letters, autobiographies, novels, and, of course, in what we say to our analysts.” In this project, I ask in what way this “private self” survives into the twenty-first century, when novels and autobiographies have ceded their position as “cultural dominant” to new media modes and platforms, and when psychoanalysis has ceded its own position of cultural dominance to cognitive behavioral therapy and other data-based and empirical methods.