Transdisciplinary Seminars

The 2017 Transdisciplinary Seminar Series will be announced soon. In the meantime, check out the video of the 2016 series here

About the Transdiscplinary Seminar:

Established in 2016 by alumni David Watson and Vinitha Menon Watson, the Transdisciplinary Fund was created to underwrite short visits by scholars or practitioners working at the intersection of two or more disciplines with the goal of encouraging student discussion across disciplines.  While one discipline must be represented by a major in the College, the other(s) can be within CCS or involve faculty from departments or programs across campus.

To submit a proposal, please visit the apply page.


Sping 2016

The Spring 2016 Transdisciplinary Seminar featured a series of events with ocean engineer and artist Jane Chang Mi.

Please join us for the inaugural College of Creative Studies
Transdisciplinary Seminar Series

with ocean engineer and artist
Jane Chang Mi

Trained as an ocean engineer and an artist, Jane Chang Mi considers land politics and postcolonial ecologies while exploring the traditions and narratives associated with the environment. Mi aims to express our contemporary relationship to nature and each other through her interdisciplinary and research-based work.

Utilizing art, she augments her science and engineering background to work through these multi-layered and complex subjects, finding her work less constrained by linguistic signifiers and enabling communication across cultures and barriers, and therefore, permitting contact with a greater community on a level of global and human experience. She considers our past, present, and future as we journey towards a technologically oriented society.

The College of Creative Studies is proud to welcome Jane Chang Mi to campus for this inaugural Transdiscplinary Seminar Series.


The B-sides: Unseen Footage Tuesday May 17th 12:30-1:45

Plenary Lecture Tuesday May 17th 3:00-4:00

Exploring Bioplastics Workshop Tuesday May 17th 4:00-5:00

3D Digital Modeling Workshop Thursday May 19th 3:00-5:00
 

Details…

 

The B-sides: Unseen footage
Tuesday May 17th 12:30-1:45

Buchanan 1910

Join Professor David Valentine’s Introduction to Oceanography course for a special presentation by Jane Chang Mi. Beyond her training as an ocean engineer and artist, the ocean has always played a large role in Jane Chang Mi’s life. She has been an avid Scuba diver for over 20 years: first certified by the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) in 1995; recently attaining an American Academy Underwater Sciences (AAUS) scientific diver certification; and now working on her Technical Diving International (TDI) Advanced Nitrox and Decompression certification. For her capstone at Harvey Mudd College in 2001, she helped Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute develop the Eye-in-the-Sea, one of the first long term underwater observation systems. This winter she traveled to the Maldives, working on a project that considers how international actions and policies affect local and national environs. She is currently an artist-in-residence at the World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument in Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i.

For this talk, Mi will share some unseen footage of her travels to various environments. As we see major changes on Earth, many of the species and places she has visited are already exhibiting signs of distress and collapse. Which poses the question: What can we do as the next generation to preserve what we have left and build for the future?

Transdisciplinary Plenary Lecture with Jane Chang Mi
Tuesday May 17th 3:00-4:00
CCS Art Gallery, College of Creative Studies, Building 494

Through her interdisciplinary and research-based work, Jane Chang Mi considers land politics and postcolonial ecologies while exploring the traditions and narratives associated with environment. Mi aims to express our contemporary relationship to nature and each other. Utilizing art, she augments her science and engineering background to work through these multi-layered and complex subjects, finding her work less constrained by linguistic signifiers and enabling communication across cultures and barriers, and therefore, permitting contact with a greater community on a level of global and human experience. She considers our past, present, and future as we journey towards a technologically oriented society.

Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, most recently at Contact: Foreign and Familiar at the Honolulu Museum of Art and Adjunct Positions in Los Angeles, Art House SomoS in Berlin, and Satoshi Koyama Gallery in Tokyo. She has been a visiting artist at the National Gallery in Amman, Jordan sponsored by START House and Art Dubai, a scientist on the Arctic Circle Program departing Spitsbergen, Norway, a recipient of the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts grant and a fellow at the East West Center at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa.

She is currently based out of Los Angeles and Honolulu, where she teaches at both Chaminade and Hawai’i Pacific University.
 

Exploring Bioplastics: A Sculpture Workshop
Tuesday May 17th 4:00-5:00

Sculpture Yard, College of Creative Studies, Building 494

Space is limited, RSVP required. To sign up, email matt.fratus@ccs.ucsb.edu

Material exploration is common to both contemporary art practice as well as to marine science.  This workshop focuses on the potential for art and science to re-unite and propose solutions to specific societal problems. 

One of our main issues today is the amount of plastic in our oceans; the amount of plastic thrown away every year could encircle our earth 4 times. Recycling or downcycling is equally as problematic, as most plastic items are not designed to be re-used. In recent years, there has been a movement to create new substrates and materials that are more environmental friendly.

Seaweed-based plastic technologies currently exist, however, they are meant to break down in soil.  How much would marine life benefit if a plastic substitute were made specifically for the ocean that could facilitate the nutrient cycle? How long will it take for these biomaterials to breakdown?

We will experiment by making our own bioplastics in this workshop, using agar, a seaweed based biopolymer as a base.

Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, the Purple Sea Urchin: 3D Digital Modeling Workshop

Thursday May 19th 3:00-5:00
UCSB Library, Instruction & Training Room 1312

Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, the purple sea urchin lives in the Pacific Ocean. In California, the Los Angeles Waterkeepers have been restoring the kelp forest by eradicating sea urchins in Palos Verdes. While in Hawai’i, the Nature Conservancy and the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology have been using the same species of sea urchin to keep invasive algae from overtaking Kaneohe Bay, O’ahu.

For this workshop we will model the purple sea urchin using 3D digital modeling, posing the question as how these different non-profits might use digital modeling software to help assist in their projects and research.

We will use photogrammetric software to create three-dimensional content from still images in three stages.  First, using arbitrary photographs from various positions, the software will reconstruct the object via point cloud, given at least two photographs.  The point cloud represents all the alignments of the camera. Next, a three-dimensional polygon geometry (mesh) is constructed based on camera position. Corrections are made in this stage, including removing photographs that detract from the model. Finally, a texture is rendered onto the mesh and the three-dimensional model is complete. 

We will also be discussing how these images could become artwork and how they can be used in the service of science.

About the CCS Transdisciplinary Fund
With the goal of encouraging student discussion across disciplines, alumni David Watson and Vinitha Menon Watson made a generous donation endowing the Transdisciplinary Fund. The Fund will underwrite short visits by scholars or practitioners working at the intersection of two or more disciplines. While one discipline must be represented by a major in the College, the other(s) can be within CCS or involve faculty from departments or programs across campus.

To submit a proposal, please visit the apply page.