Future Tripping

Event Date: 

Monday, April 23, 2018 to Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Event Location: 

  • Music 1410

April 23-24, 2018 (1410 Music Bldg.)
Wireframe Studio + Digital Arts & Humanities Commons
UC Santa Barbara

 

Join us for a symposium on "Future Tripping".  This symposium is organized by Professors Alenda Chang, Jeremy Douglass, and Laila Shereen Sakr with support from UCSB Co-Sponsors: Dean John Majewski, Humanities and Fine Arts; College of Letters & Sciences; Interdisciplinary Humanities Center; Carsey-Wolf Center; Center for Information Technology & Society; Digital Arts & Humanities Commons; Transcriptions; Media Arts & Technology Program; Orfalea EJ/CJ Hub; Department of Environmental Studies; and the Department of Film and Media.

 

A full schedule is available on the event web page.

The Future Tripping symposium addresses our current climate of extreme uncertainty over economic, political, and environmental futures. Through play with data, games, machines, virtual worlds, living species and landscape, participants will bridge medium and methodology among emerging fields of environmental science, media theory and practice, and the digital humanities. 

Future tripping (any student can tell you) is when you worry so much about the future that you fail to be in the present. To future trip is to fall prey to paralyzing anxiety, which for many millennials is tied to economic and social uncertainty--life after college, and the dreaded “FOMO” (fear of missing out). From our vantage point, the current political instability leads to a different kind of future tripping, the kind we are already accustomed to handling in our various disciplines of environmental criticism, media art and activism, and speculative literature. Yet whether we lose sleep over unemployment, climate change, abuse of state power, or the erosion of humanistic inquiry, what unites us is our heightened sense of missed opportunities, and the temptation to allow brooding over the future to override action in the present moment. Conceptually, then, we are drawn to “future tripping” not only for its playful resonance with the psychedelic art and civil-rights and environmental movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but also for its pithy encapsulation of both temporal and affective registers.

Future Tripping brings together scholarship and stakeholders generally segregated by medium and methodology: the printed word, the moving image, or “new” media; art, or science; and theory, or practice. All of our invited speakers/exhibitors work across these dividing lines. Artist Christina McPhee creates abstract computer-generated visualizations of natural environments (in fact, Punctum Books will release a commonplace book on her work around the time of our launch). Ecologist Danielle Christianson studies red firs in Sequoia National Forest using both traditional fieldwork and virtual-reality models based on terrestrial laser scanning. And Susana Ruiz combines art practice and design, computation, and storytelling to explore emergent forms of social justice, aesthetics, and learning, particularly through games.

Thank you to our UCSB Co-Sponsors: Dean John Majewski, Humanities and Fine Arts; College of Letters & Sciences; Interdisciplinary Humanities Center; Carsey-Wolf Center; Center for Information Tech & Society; Digital Arts & Humanities Commons; Transcriptions; Media Arts & Technology Program; Orfalea EJ/CJ Hub; Department of Environmental Studies; and the Department of Film and Media.