See It Here First: CalArts Expo Presents the Latest Developments in Arts-Fueled Technology

CalArts Digital Arts Expo
Digital Arts Expo. Photo: Rafael Hernandez

LOS ANGELES— An essential source for future trends in entertainment and digital culture, The CalArts Expo returns to showcase radical new directions in digital arts and technology.  Taking place throughout the California Institute of the Arts campus in Valencia, the Expo offers more than 400 future-forward entries. This year’s highlights offer new directions in technology-fueled dance and performance, participatory environments and the latest additions to CalArts’s legendary robotic orchestra. This all day event on Thursday, May 3 is free and open to the public.

New works by faculty and students across disciplines pave the way for possibilities in art, design and tech media. The work is insane,” comments Associate Dean for Research and Development in Digital Arts, Ajay Kapur. “You can see how boundaries between artists and engineers are breaking down—with students originating new approaches to human-computer interaction, wearable technology, augmented reality and virtual reality, robotics, gaming, machine learning and more.”

Events new to the expo include the Santa Clarita Valley Technology Awards at 6:00 pm. After the awards presentation, Pitch Globally Media, one of the largest networks of investors and entrepreneurs in the country, will host a live, Shark Tank-style pitch event beginning at 6:30 pm. Topping off the evening is the Expo Keynote Speech at 8:30 pm, featuring Keynote Speakers Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video ’97, ’00), Shannon Tindle (Film/Video ’99), and Theresa Latzko(Film/Video ’14). The Keynote Speech will focus on immersive storytelling for mobile 360 technology, mobile VR, and room-scale VR headsets. Find more information about the Keynote Speakers below.

Visitors to the Expo are welcomed to explore “Islands/Seom,” an AR role-playing experience catalyzing collaboration against the odds of distance, personality, and culture. “Vibrating Electric” sets original video and life effects by Mallory Fabian‘s dance company “Fabe” to music by Dylan Alexander Freeman and Henry Webster; attraction between lovers becomes obstructed by the impositions of gender identity in “Lavender,” a video made in collaboration with director Matthew Kaundart and creative producers Daniel Crook and Luka Fisher.

From the 1970s, CalArts has been renowned for its prescient experiments with digital arts, and electronic and computer-generated music. Currently, CalArts’s Digital Arts Minor teaches students to build, engineer and design innovative custom systems and broaden their understanding of how technology can be used in the arts and beyond. The Music Technology curriculum is unique in the world, engaging students in custom software design, circuit design for human-computer interfacing, and the use of robotic mechanical systems and artificial intelligence in musical and artistic practice. CalArts houses the one-of-a-kind N2N (many-to-many) digital classroom and offers a groundbreaking arts-based curriculum for computer science novices. The Institute’s School of Film/Video, with its renowned animation programs, is a global leader in computer graphics and advanced digital media technologies. The School of Theater’s Experience Design specialization leads the way in Themed Entertainment. And for fans of vintage technology, students, and visiting artists have recently composed new work on the Institute’s 1970s Serge analog modular synthesizers.

What: The CalArts Expo

When: Thursday, May 3, 2 pm-midnight

Where: California Institute of the Arts

24700 McBean Parkway

Valencia, California 91355

Admission: Free


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