Undergraduate Project Wins Special Jury Award At SXSW

"Body of Mine," an immersive piece by Cameron Kostopoulos, premiered at SXSW 2023 and won the Special Jury Award in the XR Experience category. The festival jurors called the project "a beautifully crafted virtual reality experience that shows how VR can provide a safe space for understanding, reflection, and connection when a safe space in the real world is hard to find."

Cameron, a 2022 graduate of the Film and Television Production major and the Future Cinema Minor, worked on this project as part of his IML 481: Mixed Realities course, taught by Professor Scott Fisher. Fellow MA+P students Nali Mandi (MA+P '22) and Luke Greenwood (MA+P '23) are credited as 3D artists for the project.

Read the announcement here.

PhD Student Publishes Essay in e-flux

Kumi James writes about living out Black queer collective fantasies and inventing a collective path and space. (Photo by Sam Hood)

Read the article here.

PhD Student Presents "Origins of Somu" at CultureHub

In this artist talk, PhD student Andrea Kim will present "Origin of Somu," a chapter of an ongoing transmedia series. Kim will read "Origin of Somu" in webXR and discuss how digital tools interface with creativity, techno-culture, and the human-machine relationship.

Learn more about the event here.

PhD Student Exhibition at Human Resources LA

Human Resources LA will host an exhibition of work from PhD student Fidelia Lam on July 23-31, 2022.

New seed. XXXXXX. New seed. XXXXXX. grapples with the affective and aesthetic legacies of empire and colonialism as they continue to shape the racial architectures of Asian diasporic femme subjectivities. The exhibition features new multimedia works that speak to, with, and nearby speculative ancestral figures, drawing on Anne Anlin Cheng’s theory of ornamentalism to create sites for grieving, honoring, and queering modes of synthetic personhood. Playing with recursive processes and speculative rituals, the pieces arrive in formations of plastics, light, and digital technologies to meditate on the racializations of matter and inter-textual modes of being.

Opening: July 23, 2022, 7-10pm
On View: Wed-Sun 12-6pm, July 23-31
Exhibition walkthroughs available by appointment.

View gallery announcement here.

PhD Alum Joins University of Michigan Faculty

PhD alum Emilia Yang will be joining the faculty in Fall 2022 at the University of Michigan's Stamps School of Art and Design. Yang will focus on Anti-Racism by Design as a central area for research/​creative work, and will join colleagues at the U‑M School of Information and the Ford School of Public Policy to form the Racial Justice & Technology cluster.

Read the story here.

Punctorium: Media Arts + Practice Undergraduate Thesis Exhibition

USC Media Arts + Practice invites you to join us on the evening of May 6 for PUNCTORIUM, an exhibition of thesis projects created by senior undergraduate students in the BA in Media Arts + Practice and the Honors in Multimedia Scholarship program. These projects integrate research across multiple fields and together represent a holistic view of the emerging media landscape.

Open to the public. No RSVP required.

Opening Event:
May 6, 2022
4​:00 pm: Screenings in SCI 106
5:00 pm: Exhibition in Stages 3 + 4

Gallery Hours:
May 9-10, 2022
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Stages 3 + 4

USC School of Cinematic Arts
3470 McClintock Avenue (SCI 106)
900 West 34th Street (Stages 3 + 4)
Los Angeles, CA 90089

PhD Alum is Awarded Field Builder Peabody Award

Peabody Awards honors excellence in storytelling that reflects the social issues and the emerging voices of our day. The Board of Jurors recently announced PhD Alum Nonny de la Peña as one of four Special Awardees that have achieved outstanding feats in storytelling across interactive, immersive and new media categories. The distinguished “Legacy class” of winners whose mediums altogether span Virtual and Augmented Reality, Gaming, Interactive Journalism, Social Video, Interactive Documentary, Transmedia Storytelling, and more, demonstrate the depth of these digital formats and emphasize the foundational standards for future award recipients.

Read more here.

Faculty and PhD Alum Publish Paper in Structure Magazine

MA+P faculty member Alex McDowell and PhD alumnus Brian Cantrell have co-authored a paper on the new design language they are developing as part of their collaborative project "World in a Cell."

Read the paper here.

Alumni Spotlight: David Viramontes
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '18

An interview with Media Arts and Practice alumnus, David Viramontes.

Read the full interview here.

Alumni Spotlight: Carolyn Diloreto
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '18

An interview with Media Arts and Practice alumna, Carolyn Diloreto.

Read the full interview here.

MA+P Faculty Member Talks About Joyful Subversiveness of Lil Nas X

Virginia Kuhn talked with the LA Times about the Lil Nax X’s new video “That’s What I Want” and radical queerness.

Read the story here.

PhD Student Performance Featured in Hollywood Fringe Festival

PhD student Benjamin Nicholson's performance, "Deathless and Taxless: A Corporate Exorcism," was featured in the 2021 Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Learn more here.

MA+P Faculty Member Selected for Smithsonian "Futures We Dream" Community Filmmaking Showcase

MA+P adjunct faculty member Ashley York is one of nine filmmakers selected by the Smithsonian for the "Futures We Dream" film showcase. This showcase, part of the upcoming "FUTURES" exhibition, will present uplifting visions of communities across the U.S. from award-winning independent filmmakers.

Read the full announcement here.

PhD alums awarded ACLS Digital Extension Grant

Laila Shareen Sakr (PhD '15) and Susana Ruiz (PhD '15) received an extension grant from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) for their project "Arab Data Bodies: Social Media in Mixed Reality." The ACLS Digital Extension Grant program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences.

Read the grant announcement here.

USC’s Interactive Media Building Rewrites the Future of Storytelling

USC students create the digital future in a new interactive building.

Read the full story here.

Museum of Memory dedicated to victims of state violence wins prize in Nicaragua

While its physical location was closed by the combined impact of government reprisals and the global pandemic, museum director Emilia Yang Rappaccioli (PhD '21) discusses how the museum lives on as a digital space.

Read the full story here.

Three Scholars Champion the "Civic Imagination”

In the summer of 2016, three USC scholars gathered at an 18th-century castle in Austria to teach 70 college students from around the globe how to dream about the future. The Salzburg Global Seminar likely qualifies as the most glamorous venue to host workshop leaders Henry Jenkins, Sangita Shresthova and Gabriel Peters-Lazaro, but it's only one of many places where the trio has championed the practice of "civic imagination" through world-building exercises. Additional to the workshops they've run over the past eight years, Jenkins, Shresthova and Peter-Lazaro have produced two recent books filled with fresh thinking about media activism.

Read the full story here.

PhD Student publishes Critical Field Guide

PhD student Sarah Ciston recently published A Critical Field Guide for Working with Machine Learning Datasets, a public resource that "offers questions, suggestions, strategies, and resources to help people work with existing machine learning datasets at every phase of their lifecycle."

Read the field guide here.

Undergraduate Students Host 24-Hour Media Festival

This November, students in the ZAP student organization hosted a 24-hour media making festival called Zapathon. Open to all Media Arts + Practice students, the festival was an opportunity for collective artmaking and community building amongst the undergraduate population. Students worked individually and in groups to create videos, sound pieces, graphics, and experimental media.

Student Organization Publishes BONDS Zine

BONDS, a zine published by MA+P's undergraduate student organization (ZAP), collects wildly varied pieces of media including poems, photographs, fashion spreads, illustrations, links to short films and hard-to-classify fare.

Read more here.

Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Cenicola
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '19

An interview with Media Arts and Practice alumna, Ryan Cenicola.

Read the full interview here.

Faculty Member Joins Music Center as Senior Director of Digital Innovation

The Music Center in Los Angeles recently announced the appointment of Kamal Sinclair as senior director of the performing arts center’s Digital Innovation Initiative (DII), a 10-year pilot program designed to explore and create digital and virtual reality experiences throughout Los Angeles.

Read the announcement here.

iMappening 2022

USC Media Arts + Practice invites you to join us on the evening of April 29th for the opening reception of iMAPPENING 2022.

iMAPPENING is the year-end showcase of media art projects created by students in the interdisciplinary Media Arts + Practice PhD program in the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. Featuring more than a dozen pieces that exemplify a surprising spectrum of arts-based research, this year's show imagines the near future, remembers the ancestral past, critiques ongoing violence, considers care alongside crisis, and invites, as possible antidotes, non-lexical conversation, hand-weaving, and zine-making. The showcase includes performances, screenings, projection pieces, and interactive media, and in its cheerful eclecticism, invites visitors to reflect on the often profound ways in which concepts and ideas may take shape in and through media and performance.

Open to the public. No RSVP required.

Opening Event:
April 29, 2022
5:00 pm: Screenings in SCI 106
Exhibition in SCI 206 + SCA Stage 4 immediately following the screenings.

Gallery Hours:
April 30-May 3
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
SCA Stage 4

USC School of Cinematic Arts
900 West 34th Street (SCA Stage 4)
3470 McClintock Avenue (SCI 106+206)
Los Angeles, CA 90089

IML 475 Students Present Work at GSCA Conference

Three students from the Fall 2021 IML 475 class (The Art and Practice of Giant Screen Cinema) were selected to present their work to the Giant Screen Cinema Association conference at Universal City Walk in March 2022.

PhD Student Publishes Dissertation Article in iJoC

Emilia Yang has published an article in the International Journal of Communication (iJoC) entitled "AMA y No Olvida Collectivizing Memory Against Impunity: Transmedia Memory Practices, Modular Visibility, and Activist Participatory Design in Nicaragua." This article presents the first chapter of Yang's upcoming dissertation.

Read more here.

IML 475 IMAX Students Go Camping

Students enrolled in this semester's IML 475 class (IMAX: The Art and Practice of Giant Screen Cinema) traveled to Red Rock Canyon State Park on a practical field trip to capture landscape footage. The students completed photography workshops throughout the park, including the Old Dutch Cleanser Mines and Fossil Falls.

PhD Alum Publishes Book on Trans of Color Media Practices

Congratulations to PhD alum micha cárdenas on the upcoming publication of her book "Poetic Operations: Trans of Color Art in Digital Media." In her analyses of Giuseppe Campuzano’s holographic art, Esdras Parra’s and Kai Cheng Thom’s poetry, Mattie Brice’s digital games, Janelle Monáe’s music videos, and her own artistic practice, cárdenas shows how algorithmic analysis provides new modes of understanding the complex processes of identity and oppression and the intersection of gender, sexuality, and race.

The book will be released in January 2022.

Read more, from Duke University Press

Professor Alex McDowell's Planet Junk featured in Dezeen

Professor Alex McDowell's Planet Junk project, a student collaboration across 12 universities, was featured in Dezeen magazine. McDowell challenged students to use the worldbuilding methodology to imagine and evolve a 300-year future society that is built on the detritus of a ruined civilization. The USC contributors to the project were students enrolled in McDowell's course, IML 475: World Building, Narrative Design and Design Visualization.

Read the story here.

Student Spotlight: Luke Greenwood
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '22

An interview with Media Arts and Practice student, Luke Greenwood.

Read the full interview here.

Alumni Spotlight: Vanessa Monterosa
Graduate Certificate, Digital Media and Culture, '14

An interview with MA+P graduate certificate alumnus, Vanessa Monterosa.

Read the full interview here.

Alumni Spotlight: Eric Liu
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '17

An interview with Media Arts and Practice alumnus, Eric Liu.

Read the full interview here.

TED Talk: PhD alum Nonny de la Peña

As the CEO of Emblematic Group, Nonny de la Peña (PhD '19) uses cutting-edge technologies to tell stories — both fictional and news-based — that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers. She has been called “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by Engadget, while Fast Company named her “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative” for her pioneering work in immersive journalism.

Watch her TED talk here.

Alumni Spotlight: Chandler Zausner
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '20

An interview with a Media Arts and Practice undergraduate alumnus, Chandler Zausner.

Read the full interview here.

Student helps teens build relationships with their grandparents — by documenting them on film

After seeing the distance between kids and their elders in his own Jewish community, Ethan Kurzrock (BA '21) developed the Haggadah Project for L.A. middle schoolers.

Read the full story here.

Faculty Member will co-direct new Center for Generative AI and Society

MA+P faculty member and co-chair, Holly Willis, will co-direct the new USC Center for Generative AI and Society. This center will explore the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on culture, education, media and society.

Learn more here.

Touching Theory (at a distance) Workshops

MA+P PhD student Selwa Sweidan and her collaborator Nina Sarnelle will be facilitating a 4-part online workshop through the School of Making Thinking, hosted by Abrons Art Center. This workshop series is a part of larger ongoing collaborative research process called Touch Praxis exploring touch as a time-based medium and a form of co-creative knowledge.

Learn more here.

Faculty Member Wins Propelle Award

Ashley York has been selected as a 2022 awardee for the Propelle program, a female-focused accelerator initiative from partners Everywoman Studios, Endemol Shine North America and Realscreen. Ashley was selected in the Documentary category for her project (em)Dear Appalachia.

Read the announcement here.

PhD Students Host Decolonialathon

The DECOLONIALATHON was a 2-day community design event held on May 14-15, 2022 in Los Angeles that co-creatively explored decolonization and augmented reality (AR) from an anti-oppressive, anti-racist, and intersectional feminist lens.

Learn more here.

Undergraduates Competing in National Biodesign Challenge

MA+P undergraduates Dani Takahashi ('23) and Summer Xiang ('23), along with teammate Bradley Manucha (BS Architecture, '22), have been named finalists for the Biodesign Challenge, a national competition that encourages students to explore biotech’s entanglements within society—in the way it empowers people, contributes to structural inequities, and creates opportunities for change.

Their project, “Prosthetic B-Habitat: growing food networks in communities," was chosen from several projects created as part of a graduate-level Biodesign course offered by the School of Architecture. Dani, Summer and Bradley will be presenting their project at the Biodesign Summit on June 20-24, where they will be competing against 54 other universities.

Learn more about the competition here.

PhD Alum is Published in Digital Futures Book

PhD alum Triton Mobley's essay "Volumetric Black: Post-Cinematic Blackness" was published as a part of Materializing Digital Futures: Touch, Movement, Sound and Vision, a new volume edited by Toija Cinque and Jordan Beth Vincent.

View the book here.

PhD Alum Featured in Fast Company

PhD Alum Behnaz Farahi's new piece "Returning the Gaze" was recently featured in an article in Fast Company. Created for fashion brand ANNAKIKI's recent Milan runway show, the piece considers the male gaze and surveillance culture, themes that are present in much of Farahi's work.

Read the story here.

Student Spotlight: Kyle Ang
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '22

An interview with Media Arts and Practice student, Kyle Ang.

Read the full interview here.

Student Award Fund Established in Honor of MA+P Faculty Member

Filmmaker and media scholar Gabriel Peters-Lazaro (better known as Gabe) brought his love of creative media practice to the USC Media Arts and Practice community, where he served as a beloved professor and mentor until his passing in 2021. In his honor, his family and professional community have launched a memorial fund to provide much-needed scholarships and financial support to students whose work shares Gabe's commitment to mediamaking, critical scholarship, civic engagement and technological innovation.

Learn more about the fund and how to contribute.

PhD Alum Wins Cooper Hewitt 2021 National Design Award

Congratulations to alum Behnaz Farahi, who won the prestigious Cooper Hewitt 2021 National Design Award for Digital Design.

Read more here.

Alumni Spotlight: Georgina Chiou
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '20

An interview with Media Arts and Practice alumna, Georgina Chiou.

Read the full interview here.

PhD Alum Joins ASU to Lead New Emerging Media and Narrative Center

MA+P PhD alumna Nonny de la Peña, dubbed the "Godmother of Virtual Reality” by Forbes and the Guardian, is joining Arizona State University to design and lead a new graduate program and center in emerging media and narrative based in Los Angeles.

Read the story here.

MA+P Faculty Member Appointed Co-Lead of p5.js Project

MA+P adjunct faculty member Qianqian Ye has just been appointed as the new co-lead of the p5.js project, with evelyn masso. Congratulations to Qianqian and evelyn!

Read the full announcement here.

PhD Alum Work is Highlighted in Creative Capital's On Our Radar 2021

On Our Radar 2021 features noteworthy projects in all disciplines that advanced to the final round in the competitive selection process for the Creative Capital Award. This year, micha cárdenas (PhD '15) and Susana Ruiz (PhD '15) and their project Oceanic is one of the many incredible projects highlighted.

Read about the project here.

Alumni Spotlight: Jordan Fowler
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '17

An interview with Media Arts and Practice alumna, Jordan Fowler.

Read the full interview here.

The Mind-Bending Works of Behnaz Farahi Give Tech New Life

Behnaz Farahi, a Media Arts and Practice PhD student, redraws the boundaries between humans and technology.

Read the full story here.

PhD Project Receives Third-Round Funding

PhD candidate Juri Hwang has received a third round of funding from Arts in Action for Here, My Voice, an arts-based intervention project that provides experimental voice lessons hard-of-hearing persons.

Read more about the project here.

PhD Doctoral Candidate Mounts Exhibition at Soloway Gallery

PhD doctoral candidate Triton Mobley will present "Keloid Archives" at Soloway Gallery this fall. The work for this gallery show is a culmination of 18 months of studio research that engages with our relationship to the technologies we depend on to document and archive our digital selves. The collection of works distills lived experiences of Blackness—aiming to retrieve the digitized fragments that are inconvenient to the systems of capture—assembled and staged for reexamination.

See Triton's portfolio here.

Undergrad Wins Hedy Lamarr Achievement Award

MA+P undergraduate student Dani Takahashi was selected as the recipient of the 2022 Hedy Lamarr Achievement Award for Emerging Leaders in Entertainment Technology.

Read the story here.

Faculty Member Exhibits Films at Southern Utah Museum of Art

What Am I Doing Here?, a collection of 17 short films from MA+P faculty member Jeanne Jo, is currently on view at the Southern Utah Museum of Art.

Read more here.

Faculty Mounts Sound Installation in LA State Historic Park

Score for Here, a new artist commission from Jimena Sarno which will be activated at Los Angeles State Historic Park from May 7 – August 31, 2022, is a site-specific sonic experience using modified field recordings and samples composed through geolocation. The piece invites Los Angeles State Historic Park visitors to compose sound in real time as they navigate the park, and will be available through a free downloadable phone app.

Learn more here.

Student Spotlight: Katie Luo
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '25

An interview with Media Arts and Practice student, Katie Luo.

Read the full interview here.

Student Spotlight: Mo Chuang
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '25

An interview with Media Arts and Practice student, Mo Chuang.

Read the full interview here.

PhD Student Discusses His Work and the ACE-Nikaido Fellowship

Curtis Tamm was recipient of the ACE-Nikaido fellowship in Summer 2021. He discussed his research and experience with the fellowship.

Read the full interview here.

MA+P Alum Publishes Book of Poetry

Congratulations to Jyn Arro (BA '20) on the publication of her first volume of poetry, "Book of Mirrors."

Arro writes, "Book of Mirrors is a collection of poetry and prose about pain and sorrow; change and healing; love and sensuality; pride and femininity; resilience and power. Through four parts it is my wish that you see yourself reflected in these words, and know that the person in the mirror is not so wrong or hideous as distortions would have us believe."

Arro's works often explore themes of spirituality, beauty, femininity, queerness, and the nuances and complexities of her mixed-indigenous, Xicana ancestry. When she is not exploring expression and entertaining her curiosity, she is recording the A Poetic Mess podcast, playing video games, or growing her divination deck collection.

Find more of Arro's work here.

Student Spotlight: Ethan Kurzrock
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '21

An interview with Media Arts and Practice student, Ethan Kurzrock.

Read the full interview here.

PhD Student Projects Selected for Human Rights Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival

PhD student Emilia Yang will showcase her project AMA Constructing Memory at the Human Rights Film Festival in Berlin as part of their curated exhibition "The Art of Change." The project is an Interactive Art Book about the memories of the victims of state violence in Nicaragua. Learn more here.

Yang's project Love and Remembrance, a VR experience about the affective landscapes of the protests and the right to memory, was also selected for the Vancouver International Film Festival's Immersed XR Market. Learn more here.

MA+P Undergraduates Selected for Google Summer of Code

Projects by MA+P undergraduates Katie Chan and Katie Liu were selected by the Processing Foundation as part of the 2021 Google Summer of Code initiative.

Read the announcement here.

MA+P Faculty Member Publishes Book on Digital Dissertations

We are pleased to announce that MA+P faculty member Dr. Virginia Kuhn has just published a new book entitled "Shaping the Digital Dissertation: Knowledge Production in the Arts and Humanities." Dr. Kuhn serves as both a contributor to the volume, and co-editor with Dr. Anke Finger of the University of Connecticut.

Read more, from Open Book Publishers

Alumni Spotlight: Michael Kozlowski
BA, Media Arts and Practice, '18

An interview with Media Arts and Practice alumnus, Michael Kozlowski.

Read the full interview here.

These haunting masks speak their own silent, feminist language

Created by Behnaz Farahi (PhD '20), these masks are meant to empower women to communicate on their own terms by sidestepping the male gaze.

Read the full story here.

Alumni Spotlight: Karl Baumann
PhD, iMAP, '18

Media is just for consumption, right? But what if we told you that media can be used to envision a better future for humanity? This is what is on the agenda of Karl Baumann (PhD ’18).

Read the full interview here.

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