TEDxSantaCruz Activate

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 8.33.37 AMWe are pleased to announce our next full-day TEDxSantaCruz conference on Saturday, March 8, 2014. From the spark of inspiration to the act of realization, we will feature speakers and performers whose ideas sparked experiences, projects, work, or creativity that is setting in motion a new reality, igniting new connections, or energizing communities. Join the TEDx SantaCruz community on March 8th for a full day of exhilarating live talks, TED videos, and delicious lunch served poolside at the fabulous Paradox Hotel. If you or someone you know about can activate our community with a unique idea worth spreading, we invite you to apply to be part of this exciting event. Delight us, inspire us, educate us, challenge us: ACTIVATE US! »

Here’s a video from the last TEDxSantaCruz.

Learn more and submit a nomination at tedxsantacruz.org!

Kate Compton

June 5th,  PhD student (completing her second year at UCSC), game maker and crafter, Kate Compton came on the radio to talk about her research and practice.

LaserValentine-YouAreMyFreedomKate was in the game industry for five years working on such games as Spore and SimCity, gaining mastery of procedural content generation and simulation techniques, before returning to school.  She is also an enthusiastic game jammer, prototyper, and inventor of novel physical interfaces for computing. She does a lot of crafting, sewing, art, and baking, traditionally women’s activities, as well as a bit of carpentry.  A lot of her research at UCSC is driven by synthesizing crafting with game technologies. She does a lot of work with the laser cutter and 3D printing. For instance, Kate made this pendant-maker iApp.

To hear our interview, please click on the grey button below:

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MIke Treanor

2013 PhD graduates Mike Treanor and Chris Lewis

2013 PhD graduates Mike Treanor and Chris Lewis

On June 3, 2013, brand spanking new PhD graduate at UCSC’s Games and Playable Media Center, Mike Treanor came into the KZSC studio to talk with Nada Miljkovic on Artist on Art.

Mike will begin his teaching this fall at the American University in Washington DC and developing a game department.

Mike is a developer and theorist.  He was researching in the Expressive Intelligence Studio which is dedicated to exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence, art and design.  A major thrust of this work is advanced AI for video games.

To hear our interview, please click on the grey button below:

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Jacob Garbe

Graduating DANMite, Digital Artist, augmented reality app developer and story-teller, Jacob Garbe came onto Artist on Art, April 22, 2013 to talk about his work, XMPLAR, a mobile app and data visualizations for Integrated Security Automation.

Jacob’s thesis work has two main components. First is XMPLAR, a mobile app that you can download for your smartphone that allows people to sign up as “field agents” who are directed by artificial intelligences to take pictures of things around them. The second aspect is the data visualizations, which take the data from the AIs on the company mainframe and map it.

The data visualizations generated by XMPLAR players will be on display at the 2013 Digital Arts and New Media MFA exhibition, ground(cntrl) at the Digital Arts Research Center, UCSC, April 27-28 + May 2-5, 2013.

To hear our interview, please click on the grey button below:

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Phoenix Toews

On March 25th, DANMite Alumnus, Artist and Augmented Reality Guru, Phoenix Toews came onto the radio show to talk about his current work developing open source programming for location aware augmented reality for art generation, virtual gallery spaces and games applications.

Since graduating, along with fellow DANMite Meredith Drum and Mitch Miller, Phoenix , the three began the company Augmented Mountain. They are currently in the throes of a kickstarter campaign, Open Source Palimpsest: Your Imagination, Any Place. They are looking for help to improve user interface, test and finish for use the open source program, Palimpsest.

For two years, Augmented Mountain has been developing Augmented Reality (AR) apps. The team does this using a powerful and unique programming language called Palimpsest, developed by Phoenix. The name pays homage to Archimedes’ manuscript which contains hundreds of pages of math and theories explaining and questioning reality. Palimpsest enables the building of dynamic interactive computer generated environments which transform real world geographies.

Augmented Reality is a new frontier in digital media. With your help, Palimpsest can lead the way.

To hear Phoenix and Nada’s interview, click the gray ‘play’ button below. 

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Steve Whittaker

On March 11, 2013, UCSC Professor, Steve Whittaker spoke with Nada Miljkovic about his work and collaborations at the cross-section between psychology & computer science.

Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 5.16.51 PMWe talked about the concept of Technology Meditated Reflection, and how digital tools may be used for psychological well-being by helping us understand ourselves and change our emotions. Steve c0-created an android app entitled Echo: a mobile system that helps you remember and record your past to regulate your emotions.

Steve discussed negotiating/managing our online personality and personal information, the challenges of online platforms that allow us to document our lives online, and the digital breakup. For instance, Steve explained that studies show that many people make multiple mistakes when they dispose of digital possessions: some immediately delete too impulsively but later regret not keeping stuff. What are the ethics of trolling?

To hear our Artist on Art broadcast in entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below. 
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Kathleen Kralowec on Gamers on Game

Dance Trapeze

Tonight, this week’s Gamers on Game will feature Lisa Christensen of Santa Cruz Aerial Playground to talk about Dance Trapeze Workshops with Elizabeth Ng happening Saturday and Sunday, Oct 20 and 21 3-5pm at the Aerial Playground in the Ow Building on Mission Extension on the Westside formerly known as  “Wrigley Building”.

The low-flying trapeze is a very mobile trapeze hung from a single point so that the bar and ropes form a triangle. A swivel at the point allows a person to spin, spiral, sail and fly in circles or straight lines. Beginners can enjoy the sensation of flying right away. As dancers gain skills and strength they learn to interchange tone and tricks with flow and release while moving between the bar, ropes and floor allowing for a dynamic dance-flying experience.

Saturday workshop is an introduction to single-point low-flying trapeze. Open to all experience levels. $30

Sunday workshop is a lab to expand on material from Saturday workshop and to explore the dynamic movement of the low-flying trapeze through short dance sequences. Open to those with some aerial experience and anyone who took the Saturday workshop. $30

To register or for more information contact [email protected] Elizabeth thought quite a bit about maximum of pleasure for the least amount of pain.

To hear our Gamers on Game broadcast, please click the gray ‘play’ button below:

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Wes Modes on Gamers on Game 10/11/12

Tonight on Gamers on Game will be a talk w/ local game provocateur, thinker and educator, Wes Modes, about Games as a Strategy for Living & Liberation.

Wes Modes is an artist activist who cofounded FreeSkool Santa Cruz, SubRosa, Guerilla Drive-In, & founded The Spoon, an international storyteller’s group. Wes is a radio star and writer among many other accomplishments.

Wes has been thinking about the question, what is games, for a long time.

In a couple of weeks, through Free Skool Santa Cruz , Wes will be teaching a class at UCSC’s Stevenson Cafe, entitled, “Games as a Strategy for Living (and Liberation)” from 4:45-6pm for four Wednesdays in row. The class begins November 14th and continues November 21st, 28th, and December 5th.

This is your antidote to the winter blahs. A class for people who take serious matters lightly and for people who take their play seriously. We create games to help us play the bigger game of life which is itself a playful dance. This is an intellectual & philosophical exploration of games. We’ll talk about games and play, learn game theory, share DIY games, and design our own. Requirements: Bring your playful spirit and intellectual curiosity. This class will build on each session, so try to commit to all of them.

You can hear his radio show,  Night Ride, at his Archives.

If you missed any part of our Gamers on Game broadcast, please click the gray ‘play’ button below:

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Chris Lewis on Gamers on Game

On May 14, 2012, PhD candidate in Computer Science at UCSC, database developer and gamification expert, Chris Lewis came onto Gamers on Game to talk about his studies in the Software Introspection Group and his thesis on “Retention Engineering”.

“Retention Engineering” the software designs that motivate users to return to software again and again. This is a concept invented by Chris and his PhD adviser, Jim Whitehead. Chris researches what it is about certain pieces of software that cause you to return to them over and over, using video games as the prototypical example. Why is it so easy to put off work — which pays you real, tangible money — to head off to a virtual world and spend hours making fake money, instead? Why can we not avoid checking our email incessantly, or popping on to Facebook “just for five minutes”, instead of writing that essay due tomorrow? Why do we keep playing Farmville, even though it doesn’t seem all that fun?

Chris’ research delves into the psychology literature of motivation theory, to try and find the answers to these questions, and help software designers to make more engaging software. In the process, he’s learning about when “gamification” works and when it doesn’t, and what it means to create software where getting a task done is less important than ensuring that the user comes back tomorrow.

Previously, Chris has interned at Google, and worked as a database developer in New Zealand.

If you missed any part of our Gamers on Game broadcast, please click the gray ‘play’ button below:

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