Chris Osborn

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Halloween 2011, Santa Cruz local multi-media digital artist, musician, techno DJ/producer, experimental game developer, Chris Osborn was the guest for the Gamers on Game radio show.

Chris came into the KZSC station to talk about his recent presentation on the History of Games in Santa Cruz that he produced for the monthly E-Games Gathering at NextSpace and his new company and adventure, TRΛCER Vision and TRΛCER Games, that he created this past February 2011.

TRΛCER is the alias of Chris Osborn. His work is equally suited for the dancefloor, headphones, or interactive experiences. TRΛCER echoes lo-fi cyberpunk fantasies and jacking paranoid surrealism. He is available to be booked for DJ gigs as well as contracted for programming on creative art, music, and game projects.

Exploring the intersections of psychedelic dubstep, dark techno, and experimental video games, TRΛCER draws inspiration from Richie Hawtin, Trentemøller, Deadbeat, Scuba/SCB, Kryptic Minds, Burial, and Mark Essen. This project is the evolution of Chris’ previous work as the programmer for Gaijin Games’ critically-acclaimed synesthetic music game series BIT.TRIP (Wii, PC/Mac, iOS).

Chris has over 10 years experience DJing around the SF Bay Area and Philadelphia plus countless years spent coding games for various companies. Currently, he is working on a mixtape series called echo.x as well as several unannounced art/game projects.
You can hear his music at Soundcloud/Tracergames.

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Here’s the video of our show.

Ira Liss

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Game creator Ira Liss of AOK was the guest for Gamers on Game On October 24, 2011, to talk about his company AOK that came together to create the AOK game and iPhone/Mobile App.

AOK is a “social game for good,” recognizing and inspiring a new kind of kind, where players share, and become aware of, Acts and Observations of Kindness (or, “AOKs”). Players can then donate their points to real world causes, while also leveling up within the AOK community. It’s a game for the whole family that is helping create a better world.

My family and I, highly recommend this game. It took us minutes to register, download the app and start capturing acts of kindness. My son was helping my daughter with her math homework. She immediately put up his act of kindess, along with my husband’s and my acts of kindness. Immediately, it was a competition as to who had the most acts of kindness points. All this happened within ten minutes of me explaining the game at the dinner table. It is that easy and fun to play AOK.

Ira and I had a great conversation about how AOK came into being through founders Ludlow Kingsley, Natron Baxter Applied Gaming and Gameful.org. We spoke about the number of people playing the game, changing people’s perspectives through playing the game, and how much real money, Cause Currency, AOK has given out and to what end.

For instance, every AOK Point earned in October to mid-November is a penny of Cause Currency donated to the Global Green I AM campaign to combat climate change. Global Green is a leader in the fight against some of the greatest ecological challenges we face today, such as the climate change threatening our world’s beloved coastal cities. Through your Acts and Observations, AOK is pleased to support their efforts toward greener cities, greener schools, and a sustainable future for all.

Beginning November 16th and running through the year end, AOK will be funneling the AOK Cause Currency funds to the Anti-Bullying movement.

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Their blog is super fun. This is where you get to witness and comment on acts of kindness. Here’s a video about AOK.tv.

Miki Vuckovich

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Artist, photographer, musician, journalist, writer, editor, Executive Director of the Tony Hawk Foundation,, and skateboarder, Miki Vuckovich was the guest for Artist on Art, October 24, 2011. It was a great pleasure having Miki on show because I have been a longtime admirer of his art and the he exemplifies the idea of living your art and passion. Coincidently, Miki’s” art as life” has Santa Cruz roots.

 As an 8 year old and living in Silicon Valley, Miki got his first skateboard at the Santa Cruz Flea Market. After what he refers to as, “the day of infamy,” July 31, 81, when the Winchester Skatepark in Campbell was closed and demolished, Miki had to come to the nearest sanctioned skateboarding park, Derby Park. As a tender pre-teen, he had to take a two hour bus ride from Cupertino to Santa Cruz to be able to skate. This may have been the seeds that sowed his lifelong work of helping bring skateboarding to kids. This desire is in direct alignment with the Tony Hawk Foundation’s mission and dedication to fostering lasting improvements in society by supporting and empowering youth through public skateboard parks all over the worlds.

After Miki moved with his family to San Diego and settled in at the Del Mar Skateboard Ranch—one of the few remaining skateparks in the world, he met many of his future colleagues and lifelong friends including Tony Hawk. He also began working at TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine.

Along with skateboarding at the age of 8, Miki began his other passion, photography. He shot photos and edited at href=”http://skateboarding.transworld.net/” target=”_blank”>TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine for 15 years. Most recently, Miki has been working and sharing his images with an iPhone App called Instagrams. This is a social photo sharing application connecting people all over the world. He came to the app through the developer and fellow Director on Tony Hawk Foundation Board, Chris Sacca.

We also talked about upcoming an event, Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks Benefit, happening Saturday, November 5th from 12:30pm to 4:30pm at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. This family-centric action-sports carnival brings Tony’s ramp for an intimate Vert Demo with Tony and a Who’s Who of pro skateboarding and BMX! Featuring great activities, interactive games, food, and a special musical guest, Ben Harper. Purchase tickets at standupforskateparks.org

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To see pictures and read more about Miki’s career, click on the “Read More” below.

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Geoffrey Dunn

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Geoffrey Dunn is a local award-winning writer,  filmmaker, former UCSC Professor in the Film and Digital Department. and blogger for the Huffington Post. His newest short, Aloha Spirit: James D. Houston & the Music of Hawaii, will premiere at the Closing Night Benefit of the Pacific Rim Film Festival.

On October 23, 2011 at 2:30 at the Cabrillo College Music Recital Hall in Aptos, a celebration of James D. Houston’s last work of fiction “A Queen’s Journey” is happening. Geoffrey will be one of many famous authors coming together to do short readings.

Dunn has produced and directed more than a dozen award-winning documentary films, including Dollar a Day, 10¢ a Dance: A Historic Portrait of Filipino Farm Workers in AmericaMiss…or Myth?; and the recently completed Calypso Dreams.

His book The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power was a national bestseller. Dunn is the author of Santa Cruz Is in the Heart and Chinatown Dreams: The Life and Photographs of George Lee. He also wrote the original screenplay for the feature film Maddalena Z.

Born and raised between the two Santa Cruz wharfs, Geoffrey earned his undergraduate, Masters of Arts and Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he was the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching award in 2001.

Here’s a video taken during our radio show:

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Peter Hunter and John Peters of Team Krinoid

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Recent UCSC graduates Peter Hunter and John Peters came into KZSC to talk about their new company Team Krinoid.

Team Krinoid was founded by Max Weinberg, Peter Hunter, and John Peters after their success with the iPad game, Syz: EG by winning the Game of the Year and Grand Prize at the first ever Games and Playable Media’s SAMMY’s.

Syz E.G. is a galactic adventure game that brings innovation to the space shooter genre with multi-touch controls, various weapons and abilities, a unique story, and a mixture of tactical top-down gameplay and fast-paced side-view action. The game is available in the Apple App Store and looks like a lot of fun.

We talked about transitioning from Games Academia, school, to Indie Games, company, and some the details involved. One challenge involved the Intellectual Property for a game that was created by a ten person collaboration. That team consisted of: John Peters, Jonathan Fotland, Lindsey Freeman, Lakota Lefler, Kevin Murphy, Alex Portnoy, Hosh Tachmuradov, Lucas Thornsberry, Max Weinberg(artist), Peter Hunter (story/music).

Team Krinoid is working on a new game entitle Bunny Run where the player takes th perspective of a bunny running from trouble .This game is developing faster due to experience and the Team’s responsibilities are divided between the three partner. Max does the artwork. Peter writes the story and music. John does the programming.

Here’s a little video we took right before the show:

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Aleksandra Wolska & Eric Thiermann

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Local Filmmakers and Directors, Aleksandra Wolska, and  founder of the Impact Media Group, Eric Thiermann, came into the KZSC Radio Station to talk about their new documentary, It Tolls For Thee: Bells and Their Stories. This latest rendition premieres at the Pacific Rim Film Festival,  at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Rio Theatre.

We began the show with an excerpt of John Donne’s poem “For Whom the Bell Tolls” that Aleksandra explained is the crux of the idea behind the movie:

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

With the movie, It Tolls For Thee: Bells and Their Stories, wiewers will be taken on a poetic journey exploring the unique role of bells in various cultures around the world. Eric and Aleksandra visit a remote Greek Island invaded by bell-carrying animal spirits, record the exorcizing of evil forces from the painted monasteries in Romania and witness the liberation of ancestral ghosts in Japanese Shinto Shrines achieved by the cleansing power of sound.  A 30-ton bell in Poland peals from a king’s tower on All Saints Day and LA inner city children come together as a family through the healing power of bells.

The film’s exquisite soundtrack highlights music of the acclaimed Sonos Handbell Ensemble of Oakland, appearing live in a quartet before the film.

Eric is  the founder and director the Impact Media Group beginning in the early 70s and has produced, directed and been the director of photography on many movies over the years such as Calypso Dreams, The Last Epidemic and Deflating the Elephant.  IMPACT is a full-service creative media agency partnering with corporations, brands, and independent film producers.

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Amy Boewer on Gamers on Game

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Local installation artist, Amy Boewer was the guest on Gamers on Game for October 10, 2011. Amy is Research Assistant and one of the student Founders of OPenLab at UCSC, and the Resident Artist for UCSC’s Astrophysics Department. She recently graduated from UCSC in the Art and History of Art and Visual Culture Programs.

Amy came into the KZSC radio station to talk about the current !The Exhibition Art + Astrophysics which features four exhibits illustrating astrophysical phenomena: an interactive Black Hole/Star Bowling Game; a Kepler App for iPad/iPhone; a 3D Zoetrope of Moon-Splat; and an interactive sculpture of Spectral Shifts in the Milky Way. This exhibit will be up on the 3rd floor in the DARC LightLab until the end of October. The  LightLab Gallery Hours are Mondays & Wednesdays at 10-2pm, Tues/Thurs/Fridays by appt.([email protected])

We also talked about Amy’s work with recent UCSC Business graduate and the other student founder of OPenLab, Jack O’Neil, creating the prototype of the Nomad Pad.  The Nomad Pad is a shelter and protection tool for urban explorers. The prototype is currently being tested by San Francisco.  It also is a great example of Amy and Jack’s art philosophies.

Amy is deeply absorbed by the psychological and physical ways our bodies interact with environment. Her primary focus is to create installations and tools that users/viewers’ can enter and experience. Jack explores art for solutions through the business and economoic lens.

Here’s a little video we took right after the Gamers on Game interview with Open Lab’s Amy Boewer & Jack O’Neill talking about the exhibit @ the DARC till end of October 2011.

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DANM @ the Museum of Art and History Santa Cruz 10/21/11

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Interactive Digital Arts & New Media artists take over the museum for one night only!

Come experience and participate in the museum’s transformation into an innovative hub of new interactive digital art and technology by UCSC’s Digital Arts & New Media students and alumni artists.

Showcasing the development of a broad range of research including: mobile technology, interactive design, animation, performance, video mixing, participatory play, audio installation, and web based applications.

Live demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the evening by 20 DANM artists exhibiting a range of DANM’s skills and new technological developments. For example, Tyler Freeman will perform with his VJacket, a wearable jacket with built in touch sensors that produce live video effects. Artwork from the MAH’s collection will be reinterpreted through Levi Goldman and Jesse Fulton’s drawing machine. Daniel Christopher, Lyes Belhocine and Drew Detweiler’s Data Surf is an interactive surfboard interface that rewards participants with their own mirrored image in a barrel of colorful swirling visuals when they achieve balance and equilibrium on the surfboard. Nada Miljkovic’s The Sad Song Project invites participants to come and share their sad songs through her video and social networking piece that aims to help the community release its emotions through song. These are just a few amongst many exciting cutting edge projects the event will feature.

Artist, Jolie Ruelle will hold a collage animation workshop from 6-8pm. The final collaborative visitor made film will be shown at 8:50pm. Two members of the Guerilla Grafters, a group of artists grafting fruit bearing branches on urban trees as a statement about food accessibility, will demonstrate urban grafting at 6 & 8pm.

The Sad Song Project

Participating artists include: Lyes Belhocine, Lea Cox, Daniel Christopher, Drew Detweiler, Miki Foster, Tyler Freeman, Jesse Fulton, Levi Goldman, Jessica Faith Hayden, Margaretha Haughwout, Lindsay Kelley, Nick Lally, Natalie McKeever, Kyle Forrest McKinley, Nada Miljkovic, Chris Molla, Helen Hyun-Kyung Park, Andrew Pascoe, Dustin Raphael and Jolie Ruelle.

Please see the DANM website for more information on these artists and their featured works.

I dug into the Artist on Art vaults and found an interview back from March of 2009 featuring the newly “minted” PhD graduate Lindsay Kelley talking about her art.

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