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The Hummingbird Whisperer - YouTube
"Near the UCLA Court of Sciences, there is a wing-flapping, darting, squeaking colony of 200-plus birds that make their home around the campus office of the “hummingbird whisperer,” as Melanie Barboni is sometimes called."

[See also: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/researcher-s-200-plus-fairy-birds-make-their-home-at-ucla ]
hummingbirds  birds  animals  nature  melaniebarboni  ucla  wildlife 
december 2016 by robertogreco
UCLA Game Lab UCLA Game Lab
"THE UCLA GAME LAB MISSION ~

We are an experimental research and development lab that fosters the production of computer games and game-related research. The lab supports exploration of these areas of focus: Game Aesthetics through experimentation in the look, sound, language and tactility of games; Game Context through development of games that involve the body, new interfaces, physical space and performance in new ways; and Game Genres through examination of the socio-historic-political discourse around games and the development of new game genres that challenge the presently accepted boundaries of what games are about.

The UCLA Game Lab differs from more traditional game development contexts through an emphasis on conceptual risk-taking and development of new modes of expression and form through gaming. The lab supports projects that will establish new paradigms for gaming that emphasize the self-reliance and personal expression of the gaming artist.

The UCLA Game Lab’s primary function is as a research and production space for collaborative teams to pursue focused work on gaming projects, while benefiting from the technological infrastructure and expertise provided by the lab staff and faculty. This type of incubation space creates a context of community, interdisciplinary exchange, privacy, focus and continuity that is vitally conducive toward the completion of ambitious game projects.

In addition to producing games and research the lab also functions as a center that develops public programing around critical issues in gaming. Including: public lectures, workshops, exhibitions, a visiting artist program, and an annual public festival at the Hammer Museum.

At UCLA, the Game Lab encourages the development of organic relationships across a multitude of disciplines. Game production and research brings together individuals from diverse disciplines such as visual art, design, media art, animation, music, theater, film, dance, creative writing, architecture, sociology, philosophy, psychology, history, computer science, and engineering; the possibilities for synergy between these disciplines and gaming at UCLA are tremendous.

The Game Lab is housed within the Design Media Arts department at UCLA. For more information about the DMA program, visit the website here. We are supported by the School of Arts and Architecture and the School of Theater, Film, and Television."
games  gaming  play  ucla  videogames  research  edg  srg 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Staring in the Age of Distraction: 49 Artists and Designers in L.A.
"Staring in the Age of Distraction (S.A.D.) addresses thematically the acts of viewing and creating artwork within today’s often over-stimulating life of constant noise, fused tastes and aromas beyond recognition, endless visual feeds, and desensitized touch. Naturally, living in an urban environment like Los Angeles demands a great deal from our senses on a daily basis. This demand takes a toll on the minds and bodies of this city’s inhabitants, resulting in a growing popularity of trends like meditation practice and solitary retreats. As a generation of rising artists and designers categorized as Millennials, we find ourselves creating work in a chaotic, digital age while facing both the stigmas and benefits of this demographic cohort. S.A.D. exhibits the culmination of all of these influences through the perspectives of 49 individuals born just after the Internet and have collectively come of age as active consumers of art, design, and technology. This central theme not only applies to the exhibitionists, but crosses over to the viewers as well. S.A.D. questions the role of the viewer within an exhibition space by imposing the same influences of distraction onto the experience of interacting with artwork. The opportunity to exhibit new works in an institution is both a hard-earned privilege and a social responsibility these Millennial artists and designers seek to acknowledge. With change as the only constant in life, we embrace this age of distraction and simply hope to remain in touch.

Special thanks to: Noa Kaplan, Chandler McWilliams, Nova Jiang, and Jonathan Cecil.

Curated by: Ariana Govan, Lauren Nipper, Caroline Park, Elena Cullen, Nicholas Tasato, Christian Gimber, Bijun Liang, Charu Chaudhary, Giancarlos Campos, and Jason Lee"

[See also: https://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/ucla-design-media-arts-showcase-amidst-campus-shooting ]
oliverleighton  formerstudents  art  design  losangeles  ucla  mediation  overstimulation  infooverload 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Los Angeles' Moral Failing | California Planning & Development Report
"Whereas a Berkeley resident can cross from exuberance of Telegraph Avenue into the heart of the Cal campus in a few steps, UCLA is an auto-oriented campus surrounded by a moat of driveways, green space, and city streets. Its neighbors are some of the wealthiest and orneriest an institution could ever have the misfortune to live next to. The university, for all its academic heft, retreats from the city, and the city from it.

UCLA was an ironically illustrative venue for a talk by Michael Storper, lead author of "The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies," that I attended recently. Contrary to its expansive title, Storper’s study concerns only Los Angeles and San Francisco. Given that both are booming Pacific Rim metropolises, it may be hard to figure out which is the “rise” and which is the “fall.”

Until you consider this: In 1970, the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas ranked, respectively, numbers three and one in per capita income in the United States. In 2009, after both areas grew by more than 50 percent in population, they were, respectively, numbers 1 and 25.

You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to wonder: What happened?

Some of the reasons for the divergence of Los Angeles and San Francisco, which he defines by their multi-county metro regions, are obvious. L.A.’s aerospace industry crumbled along with the Berlin Wall. Steve Jobs happened to grow up in Cupertino. Et cetera. Hollywood is Los Angeles’ superstar, except that it represents only 2.6 percent of the area’s economy, compared with tech’s 11 percent in the Bay Area

Those factors are just the start. For virtually any given job function, and controlling for all sorts of variables, Storper, who teaches at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, finds that a worker in the Bay Area makes more money and does more complex work than her counterpart in Los Angeles does. In other words, they’re not just making more in the Bay Area. They’re making better. This patterns holds for educated and uneducated, immigrants and non-immigrants, and it trickles down even to unskilled workers.

These are the statistics that back up San Francisco’s smugness. Riveting as they are, they describe the only effect but not the cause.

The Intangibles

L.A.’s and the Bay Area’s divergence depends largely on what Storper referred to as the “dark matter” of public policy. Lurking behind every data point and every policy are forces like curiosity, relationships, open-ness, diversity, civic self-image, and values. These factors are often disregarded by short-sighted wonks and bureaucrats not because they’re not crucial but because they aren’t easily quantified.

Storper argues that people in Los Angeles are lousy collaborators. Scholars in L.A. cite each other less often. Patents made in L.A. refer less frequently to other L.A.-based innovations. Los Angeles’ great universities – UCLA, USC, and Caltech – are not nearly as entrepreneurial as Stanford, Berkeley, and UCSF. He cites L.A.’s Amgen as a successful, once-innovative biotech company but says that it’s nothing compared to the Bay Area’s biotech cluster. And it's in Thousand Oaks -- nowhere near a major university.

Storper’s analysis indicates that networks of civic leaders in Los Angeles are often mutually ignorant of each other. The Bay Area Council, the region’s preeminent civic organization, is three times more “connected” than its closest equivalent in Southern California, the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. I know what Storper means. I’ve been to events at the Chamber, presided over by civic leaders of a certain generation.

Storper said the phrase “new economy” appears in none of L.A.’s economic development literature in the 1980s. At the same time, San Franciscans were shouting it from the rooftops.

Poverty & Pavement

These attitudes are fatal in an era when ideas, and not Fordist production, are the order of the day.

Echoing Enrico Moretti’s theories about innovation economies, high-wage jobs generate a multiplier that tends to take care of the workers at the bottom. "If you play to weakness (i.e. poverty) you get a weak economy,” Storper said. Interestingly, he said that there’s essentially zero good data on the efficacy of any public-sector economic development programs of the last 45 years. He chided Los Angeles’ leadership for its obsession with the low-paying logistics industry. A rising tide lifts all boats. Unless the boat is a container ship.

If an individual, firm, or government doesn’t have the knowledge or the capital to realize their dreams, so be it. But if they fail because they’re not open to the wisdom, energy, diversity, ambition, and creativity of other human beings, well, that’s something else.

Los Angeles’ economic failing is not just a business failing or a policy failing. It is a moral failing.

What else do you call it when 25.7 percent of residents in the biggest county in the richest state in the richest country in the world live in poverty?

Storper didn’t say so explicitly, but L.A.’s economics sins arise, in part, from our built environment. The two regions have plenty in common, especially in their outlying counties. But insofar as the center cities set the tone for their regions, the differences are striking. We have dingbats, setbacks, curb cuts, mini-malls, chain stores, McMansions, Pershing Square, streets like freeways, freeways like parking lots, and other elements of our landscape that push Angelenos away from each other.

How can you collaborate with someone when they’re in your way, making your drive longer, pouring pollution into your face? How can you feel as optimistic atop an asphalt sheet as you can strolling down a sidewalk lined with Victorians? How can you make friends when you can’t walk to a watering hole? Los Angeles is like a party full of beautiful people who have nothing interesting to say to each other.

Atonement

Atoning for our economic sins must include being a better Los Angeles.

We might not be able to trade Facebook (headquartered in Menlo Park, with 10,000 employees) for Snapchat (headquartered in Venice, with 200 employees). Nor can we can we trade Google for Disney, or the Transbay Tube for the Sepulveda Pass. But we can emulate some of the Bay Area’s urban sensibilities. We can use transit more often. We can build more mixed-use projects. We can embrace public space. We can build to the property line. We can plant trees. We can take advantage of our space rather than squander it. As our city changes, so can its culture.

The great news is that improvement is afoot, with downtown development, new transit, new types of development, and an optimistic corps of young planners. By the time Los Angeles comes into its own, today’s tech titans might be old news, just as Northrup Grumman and McDonnell Douglas are today. Something will have to replace them, and maybe they’ll reside in Los Angeles. We just need to give them a better home.

Postscript: Fortress Westwood

UCLA being what it is, many people who should have attended Storper’s talk – captains of industry, thought leaders, and everyday citizens interested in L.A.’s prosperity – are the ones who are least likely to actually have made the trip. Storper was preaching to a choir, mostly of fellow academics and urban nerds.

After the talk there was a reception. Hors d’oeuvres, wine, the usual. It provided a chance to do some of that mixing and mingling that elude us in L.A.

I would love to have stayed. Maybe I’d have developed new ideas or made new connections. But I had to go. My meter was running out."
losangeles  sanfrancisco  bayarea  ucla  ucberkeley  isolation  collaboration  urban  urbanism  2016  economics  poverty  wealth  janejacobs  cities  accessibilty  caltech  usc  policy  diversity  openness  values  relationships  westwood  california  publicspace  urbanplanning  enricomoretti  michaelstorper  joshstephens 
february 2016 by robertogreco
If you want to produce drones, teach kids nothing but STEM |
"The problem is, if we want people to be creative as scientists and engineers, discouraging them from taking arts classes (or for that matter discouraging them from playing rugby or football** or whatever) is exactly the wrong way to do it.

While I was writing REST, some of the most interesting studies I read compared the hobbies of high-achieving and low-achieving scientists. In particular, there was a study started in the late 1950s by UCLA sociologist Bernice Eiduson to understand what separated great scientists from their less accomplished colleagues.

Lots of psychologists had tried to figure out what marked some people for greatness, but no one had found the thing— the single personality trait, the “genius gene,” the cognitive edge— that all successful scientists share. Eiduson thought that by watching their careers unfold over several decades, and talking to and testing them at regular intervals, she might see things in successful lives that one-off interviews and short studies couldn’t.

Eiduson found forty young and mid-career scientists who agreed to be interviewed about their life and work, sit for psychological tests, and most crucially, keep doing so. All of them were products of top graduate programs, promising researchers, and young enough to have long, productive careers. Eiduson would follow this group for more than twenty years, and in that time the lives of the forty diverged. Some were elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Others received promotions and prestigious chairs at their universities. One became a presidential science advisor. Four won the Nobel Prize; one, Linus Pauling, won it twice. Others settled into less distinguished careers. Some continued to struggle to do serious science, but couldn’t keep up. They became administrators, or focused on teaching.

From a sociological standpoint, it was an ideal outcome. A group that looked roughly the same decades earlier had split into two parts. The challenge now was to figure out why.

So what did she find that separated the top performers from the rest?

It wasn’t performance on intelligence tests— there didn’t seem to be a genius gene— nor were there personality traits that were really unusual. (The high performer were ambitious and competitive, but so are lots of people.) No, what separated the great from the good were— as Eiduson’s collaborators would discover after she died in 1985— other factors.

• It turned out that the best scientists showed “an unusual urge to experiment athletically as well as scientifically,” and selected “athletic activities that could be carried from youth into old age.” (These quotes are from an article by Maurine Bernstein, Robert Scott Root-Bernstein, and Helen Garnier, who continued and extended Eiduson’s work.) The top scientists took full advantage of the region’s geography: they played tennis, went swimming, hiking, and skiing. This being southern California, there was also an over-representation of surfers and sailors. Their less distinguished colleagues, in contrast, reported low rates of participation in sports.

• They saw rest and recreation as connected. As Robert Scott Root-Bernstein put it, elite scientists shared the belief that “time relaxing or engaging in their hobbies could be valuable” to “their scientific efficiency and thus to their careers.” For them, playing the piano or painting was just another “expression of a general aesthetic sensibility about nature.” What they did in the lab, the court, the climbing wall, and the lecture hall were woven together, different activities linked by common interests and shared passions. Low achievers, in contrast, said nothing about serious hobbies. They “had none or found them irrelevant to their work.”

• They expressed fewer anxieties about time pressure. For the Nobel laureates and world leaders, swimming or hiking didn’t compete with their time in their laboratory, and they didn’t feel that the time they spent on deliberate rest was stolen from more productive things. Because they practiced deliberate rest, seeking out activities that gave their conscious minds a break and provided a mental and psychological boost, but left their subconscious minds free (free to run through ideas, test and reject possibilities, and hone in on a solution), their sense of how much time they worked, and how much time they had at their disposal, differed from their less successful colleagues. In contrast, less well-cited, well-known scientists saw themselves as too time-pressed for hiking or surfing or playing the piano: they had too many commitments, too many obligations, too many demands on their time.

There are tons of examples I could give— and do give in the book— of world-class minds who are also great athletes, serious painters, musicians, even pool players (Albert Michelson, who measured the speed of light, was a master billiards player). And there’s good evidence that being good at these different activities strengthens creative ability, and provides much-needed deliberate rest for busy, hard-charging people.

So extrapolating from Eiduson’s work, if you want to produce people who have technical skills, but never will be able to do anything more imaginative than quality control for LG, then teach them lots of science and math, and nothing else. In contrast, if you want to produce people who’ll create category-defining products, overturn paradigms, and make scientific breakthroughs, by all means offer the physics and chemistry— but also encourage them to play sports, learn to paint, and play music.

Or as Vogt-Vincent put it,
Stopping young people from expressing themselves at such a young age is not doing them any favours…. To study arts subjects, you have to take risks, push yourself emotionally, expressively and creatively in every lesson, you have to persevere and be interpretive, passionate and collaborative. I’ve worked harder in these subjects than I’ve ever worked in my life.
"
education  stem  steam  unschooling  lcproject  openstudioproject  time  anxiety  science  engineering  innovation  creativity  2016  alexsoojungkimpang  schools  parenting  scientists  ucla  orlivogt-vincent  rest  idelenss  linuspauling  berniceeiduson  life  happiness  balance  well-being 
february 2016 by robertogreco
David Geffen's $100 million gift to UCLA is philanthropy at its absolute worst - Vox
"Music mogul David Geffen is very, very bad at being a philanthropist. His past donations have mostly taken the form of massive gifts to prominent universities and cultural institutions, rather than to poor people or important research or even less famous, more financially desperate universities and arts centers. And his charitable giving usually comes with a major branding component. This past March, he committed $100 million to renovate a concert hall at Lincoln Center — but only after the center paid $15 million to the family of Avery Fisher, the hall's former namesake, so that Geffen could have his name plastered on it. It's like renaming a sports stadium, except that Geffen gets a massive tax write-off for it.

But his latest gift really takes the cake. Geffen is giving $100 million to UCLA to set up a private middle and high school on its campus. You see, the UCLA Lab School only serves students — many of them faculty brats — up to the sixth grade, and poor old UCLA has "not been able to attract certain talent because of the costs of educating their children." In particular, Geffen worries that UCLA's medical school — excuse me, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA — isn't able to compete with Harvard and Johns Hopkins because of the lack of a nearby private high school.

The LA Times's Larry Gordon adds that Geffen "declined to discuss his views on public education in Los Angeles." You don't say.

Geffen might as well have just set $100 million on fire

It's hard to know where to start in explaining why this gift is such a grotesque waste. For one thing, it genuinely doesn't matter to anyone without a sentimental attachment to UCLA whether its medical school is competitive with Harvard and Johns Hopkins. The faculty members that Geffen is trying to recruit away are certainly doing important research that will save lives — but they're doing it wherever they teach. Why should anyone care whether that happens at UCLA or at Johns Hopkins? Unless one genuinely believes that the climate of southern California can effect a meaningful boost in the productivity of biomedical researchers, relative to Baltimore or Cambridge, improved recruitment for UCLA accomplishes precisely nothing for the world at large.

But at least the faculty brats will get a free education, right? Other than the existing free education they could get by enrolling their children in the LA public school system? Nope! The education won't be free. "Many details about the school remain to be decided, including tuition and admissions criteria," Gordon reports, but half of the school's 600 students will be children of UCLA employees, and about 40 percent of students will get financial aid. So even if nobody gets tuition assistance except UCLA faculty, a fifth of the faculty kids who get educated at the school will pay full freight. Their parents will benefit not in financial terms but through improved convenience. The problem being solved isn't that other private schools are too expensive; it's that they make it too hard to pick up and drop off kids.

It's worse than that, though. Gordon writes that UCLA employees already have a convenient, free option: "A special agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District allows children of UCLA professors and other employees to attend several well-regarded public schools in and near Westwood, no matter where they live." The city government has gone out of its way to give UCLA faculty access to good, conveniently located public schools. But that's not enough for David Geffen, for some reason.

The only rationale for the school that has even the patina of plausibility is the claim by UCLA chancellor Gene Block to Gordon that it will provide a place for UCLA's education school to test different learning and teaching methods. That indeed sounds admirable. But you know where else UCLA education researchers can do that? The UCLA Community School, a public school that, unlike the Lab School or the new Geffen Academy, is able to test learning methods on children of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. And while the Lab School can only test on students up to sixth grade, the Community School is K-12.

If David Geffen had a sincere interest in improving the quality of research on K-12 pedagogy, he would've given to the Community School, or perhaps paid for the establishment of a new school like that for UCLA or another school with top-tier education researchers. But Geffen does not, obviously, have any kind of sincere interest in improving research. He just wants to help a school with his name on it win a pissing match with Harvard and Johns Hopkins.

This is worse than not giving at all

That said, it doesn't seem particularly likely that investing in pedagogical research is the most cost-effective donation Geffen could make. Instead, he could give $100 million to distribute bednets in sub-Saharan Africa, a highly cost-effective way to save lives. He could give $100 million directly to poor people in Kenya and Uganda through GiveDirectly. He could give $100 million to deworming efforts that spare children ailments that can cause immense pain and poverty. He could give $100 million to the Open Philanthropy Project or the Gates Foundation or another group doing careful, rigorous work to determine the best ways to use charitable resources to make the world a better place. He could, in fact, do all of the above, because he's crazy stupid rich.

Instead he decided that what LA really needed was a new private school. "Yes, charity is better than no charity," Gawker's Hamilton Nolan writes in an excellent post on the Geffen gift. "But no, all charitable giving is not created equal." I'd go further than Nolan. This gift is actually worse than no charity. No charity at least doesn't actively undermine the LA public school system by encouraging affluent parents to defect from it — in particular affluent parents who are already being specially induced to put their kids in public school. Geffen is actively making education in Los Angeles worse because he wants the medical school named after him to rise in the US News rankings. It's indefensible.

VIDEO: Helping poverty is a better use of $100 million"
philanthropy  nonprofits  charitableindustrialcomplex  2015  davidgeffen  dylanmatthews  losangeles  schools  education  gatesfoundation  charity  us  money  ucla  uclalabschool  larrygordon  provateschools  independentschools  inequality  uclacommunityschool  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofit  capitalism  power  control 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Museum admission should be free: The state of art in 2014 - LA Times
"Recently I visited six prominent art museums in two states (Texas and Ohio) and saw a wide variety of rewarding special exhibitions and exceptional permanent collections. Aside from individual works of art, which included some of the most important paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, illustrated books and decorative objects made in the entire history of world civilization, I was struck by something else: Admission to five of the six art museums was free.

That is as it should be.

Yes, every art museum needs multiple sources of revenue. It does cost money to run the place.

However, because they are tax exempt, art museums already count the public as a major, indirect source of revenue. Required admission fees add a second hit — a kind of "double jeopardy" — and it is one that falls harder on those who can least afford it.

The simple fact that I was struck by not having to pay for the privilege of entering tax-exempt, not-for-profit art institutions on my recent journeys suggests how unusual the experience is. That's because most of my museum time is spent in Los Angeles. Until this year, only one of the city's six most important art museums hasn't had a tariff for the public to see its art — even though the public at least nominally supports or owns it.

In February L.A. got its second free museum. UCLA's Hammer Museum joined the J. Paul Getty Museum (and the Getty Villa) in having no entry cost. The Hammer raised funds to bridge the immediate funding gap, and it has been working toward expanding memberships for added revenue. But here's the true measure of success: In the 10 months since dropping admission fees, the museum reports a hefty attendance jump of 25%.

Museums like to say that they are eager to engage new audiences, and no doubt they are. Growing attendance by a quarter without tinkering with the program is a pretty good working definition of new audience engagement.

Admission policies often have an unacknowledged influence on museum programs too, and it isn't always healthy. Admission fees turn visitors into customers, and relying on customers turns an educational enterprise — which is what a museum is — into a public entertainment. Quantity of response trumps quality of response, and in the short run the surest way to juice quantity is to popularize the program.

For example: It probably isn't an accident that each of the last three directors at the Museum of Contemporary Art (general admission $12) has chosen to host an exhibition revolving around Andy Warhol. Contemporary art is not popular with the public, but Warhol is a household name — a celebrity. What Monet or Picasso is for Modern art, Warhol is to contemporary art.

The most famous artist of the last half-century is presumably a popular draw. Here's the catch: None of MOCA's three Warhol shows added much of any significance to our already established understanding of a major artist's work. And each exhibition was less interesting than the one before it. The slide was palpable.

Museums might say they're interested in engaging new audiences, but sometimes it seems they're actually eager to engage more paying customers. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, mostly free since 1941, just announced it would zoom from zero to $18 a head.

Ironically, when it comes to admissions we're not even talking about a huge revenue generator. Nationally, the portion of an art museum's annual operating budget that is covered by visitors pushing cash across the counter at the admissions desk hovers in the vicinity of 5%. That's beyond modest, relatively speaking.

Free admission is already the norm at several smaller, more specialized institutions around the city, including the California African American Museum, the Annenberg Space for Photography, the UCLA Fowler Museum and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Save for the Getty, however, the most imposing art museums in town swing far in the other direction.

In addition to MOCA, there's the Huntington (general admission $20 to $23), Los Angeles County Museum of Art ($15 to $25) and Norton Simon Museum ($12). You could certainly get free entry at any of them if you were a member, but I doubt many people sign up at all four: Together, the lowest individual rate for that would be $340.

One comparative test of the admission practice will come next fall, when the Broad Collection opens downtown on Grand Avenue. Happily, the Broad administration announced this year that, like the Getty and the Hammer, its collection of blue-chip contemporary art will be open free to the public.

It has been hoped that the splashy new attraction will also benefit MOCA, the Broad's edgier neighbor across the street. Interest in one might generate interest in the other. Soon we'll know whether MOCA's admission fee is a barrier — and if so, how much."
museums  2014  admissions  funding  cost  money  revenue  nonprofits  free  getty  hammermuseum  moca  ucla  christopherknight  art  losangeles  accessibility  access  nonprofit 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Ursula K. Heise
"Ursula K. Heise is a Professor of English at UCLA and a faculty member of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES). She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and was President of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) in 2011. Her research and teaching focus on contemporary environmental culture, literature and art in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan; theories of globalization; literature and science; and the digital humanities. Her books include Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (Oxford University Press, 2008), and Nach der Natur: Das Artensterben und die moderne Kultur [After Nature: Species Extinction and Modern Culture] (Suhrkamp, 2010). She is currently working on a book entitled Where the Wild Things Used To Be: Narrative, Database, and Endangered Species."
ursulakheise  california  ucla  environment  anthropocene  climatechange 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Persistence of the Old Regime
"This afternoon I ended up reading this Vox story about an effort to rank US Universities and Colleges carried out in 1911 by a man named Kendric Charles Babcock. On Twitter, Robert Kelchen remarks that the report was “squashed by Taft” (an unpleasant fate), and he links to the report itself, which is terrific. "



"University reputations are extremely sticky, the conventional wisdom goes. I was interested to see whether Babcock’s report bore that out. I grabbed the US News and World Report National University Rankings and National Liberal Arts College Rankings and made a quick pass through them, coding their 1911 Babcock Class. The question is whether Mr Babcock, should he return to us from the grave, would be satisfied with how his rankings had held up—more than a century of massive educational expansion and alleged disruption notwithstanding.

It turns out that he would be quite pleased with himself."



"As you can see, for private universities, especially, the 1911 Babcock Classification tracks prestige in 2014 very well indeed. The top fifteen or so USNWR Universities that were around in 1911 were regarded as Class 1 by Babcock. Class 2 Privates and a few Class 1 stragglers make up the next chunk of the list. The only serious outliers are the Stevens Institute of Technology and the Catholic University of America.

The situation for public universities is also interesting. The Babcock Class 1 Public Schools have not done as well as their private peers. Berkeley (or “The University of California” as was) is the highest-ranked Class I public in 2014, with UVa and Michigan close behind. Babcock sniffily rated UNC a Class II school. I have no comment about that, other than to say he was obviously right. Other great state flagships like Madison, Urbana, Washington, Ohio State, Austin, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, Kansas, and Iowa are much lower-ranked today than their Class I designation by Babcock in 1911 would have led you to believe. Conversely, one or two Class 4 publics—notably Georgia Tech—are much higher ranked today than Babcock would have guessed. So rankings are sticky, but only as long as you’re not public.

I also did the same figure for Liberal Arts Colleges, almost all of which are private, so this time there’s just the one panel:"



"The UC System is an astonishing achievement, when you look at it, as it propelled five of its campuses into the upper third of the table to join Berkeley."
rankings  colleges  universities  2014  1911  uc  universityofcalifornia  ucsb  ucla  ucsd  uci  ucd  ucr  ucberkeley  riceuniversity  duke  highereducation  highered  kieranhealey  kendriccharlesbabcock  via:audrewatters  usnewsandworldreport 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Art | Sci Center + Lab | UCLA Art | Sci Center + Lab
"The Art|Sci Center is dedicated to pursuing and promoting the evolving “Third Culture” by facilitating the infinite potential of collaborations between (media) arts and (bio/nano) sciences. The center’s affiliation with the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) offers access to cutting edge researchers and their laboratories and a dedicated gallery for exhibitions. Here too the center hosts the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute for high school students by introducing them to the vast possibilities in the quantum field of art|science for the present and future generations. In cooperation with CNSI, the UCLA School of the Arts and the Department of Design | Media Arts, the Art|Sci Center supports visiting research scholars and artists in residency from around the world. The center presents lectures, mixers, and symposia to bring artists and scientists together in order to mesh these cultures and inspire individuals to think about art and science as already interrelated and relevant to our society."
ucla  art  science  thirdculture  openstudioproject  education  interdisciplinary  nanotechnology  biology  mediaarts 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Jim SKULDT / skuldt.com
"Jim SKULDT (b. 1970) is an American Visual Artist.

Skuldt received an MFA from Caliornia Institute of the Arts in 2005
and is based in Los Angeles where he is a professor of Skulpture at UCLA..

He is the recipient of grants by the Creative Capital Foundation (Muriel Pollia Awardee),
the Harpo Foundation, the California Community Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, and
the Center for Cultural Innovation.

His work has appeared in venues including Marlborough Chelsea (NY), Sculpture Center (NY),
LTD Los Angeles (LA), LACE (LA), MOCA (LA), Armory Center for the Arts (LA),, High Desert Test Sites (Joshua Tree, CA), Friche la Belle de Mai (Marseille, FR), Temporare Kunsthalle (Berlin, DE) and is part of the Skadden LA25 collection.

He has been awarded residencies by the Rauschenberg Foundation (Captiva, FL),
the Center for Art and Performance UCLA (Los Angeles), the Banff Centre (Alberta, CN),
AIR Antwerpen (Antwerp, BE) and the Tringle France (Marseille, FR), which he reached
via containership.

He is currently attempting to modify a standard shipping container in order to ship himself internationally via cargo ship, train, truck, or any other conceivable method of transport."

[See

Island Effects
http://www.skuldt.com/work/island_effects.htm

Iceland
http://www.skuldt.com/work/iceland.htm

CROP CIRCLE (Int'l) CAKE PLUG and COLOR FIELD REEF
http://www.skuldt.com/work/crop_circle.htm

NY as LA / LA as NY as LA
http://www.skuldt.com/work/swapping_NYasLA.htm

Wild Blue
http://www.skuldt.com/work/wild_blue.htm

In the Round (Cyclically Active & Dormant)
http://www.skuldt.com/work/in_the_round.htm ]
artists  jimskuldt  maps  mapping  shipping  california  losangeles  ucla  skulpture  sculpture  nyc  stealth  camouflage  visibility  via:lizettegreco 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Hypercities
"Built on the idea that every past is a place, HyperCities is a digital research and educational platform for exploring, learning about, & interacting with the layered histories of city and global spaces. Developed though collaboration between UCLA & USC, the fundamental idea behind HyperCities is that all stories take place somewhere and sometime; they become meaningful when they interact and intersect with other stories. Using Google Maps & Google Earth, HyperCities essentially allows users to go back in time to create and explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive, hypermedia environment.

A HyperCity is a real city overlaid with a rich array of geo-temporal information, ranging from urban cartographies and media representations to family genealogies and the stories of the people and diverse communities who live and lived there. We are currently developing content for: Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, Rome, Lima, Ollantaytambo, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Tehran, Saigon, Toyko…"
seoul  shanghai  tokyo  saigon  telaviv  berlin  ollantaytambo  lima  rome  chicago  nyc  losangeles  storytelling  googleearth  googlemaps  usc  ucla  atemporality  timetravel  hypercities  visualization  research  history  geography  maps  mapping  cities  urban 
april 2012 by robertogreco
A Field Guide to the Middle-Class U.S. Family - WSJ.com
"Anthropologist Elinor Ochs and her colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles have studied family life as far away as Samoa and the Peruvian Amazon region, but for the last decade they have focused on a society closer to home: the American middle class.

Why do American children depend on their parents to do things for them that they are capable of doing for themselves? How do U.S. working parents' views of "family time" affect their stress levels? These are just two of the questions that researchers at UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives of Families, or CELF, are trying to answer in their work."

"Among the findings: The families had very a child-centered focus, which may help explain the "dependency dilemma" seen among American middle-class families, says Dr. Ochs. Parents intend to develop their children's independence, yet raise them to be relatively dependent, even when the kids have the skills to act on their own, she says."

[Bane of my existence]
via:lauralavoie  counterproductivepractices  research  2012  society  trends  anthropology  elinorochs  familytime  child-centered  ucla  helicopterparents  helicopterparenting  independence  children  parenting  us  families 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Playtime (Spielzeit) by Lucas Mireles — Kickstarter
"Inspired by Billy Wilder’s People On Sunday (1930), Playtime is a seamless journey through the lives of German youth on a Sunday afternoon. Jan (Jan Müller) awaits his date with the sexy Matilda (Marylu Poolman). But when Matilda shows up with Andy (Markus Klauk), Jan realizes she has more in mind for their afternoon together. Not interested in this ménage à trois, Jan leaves Matilda and Andy to their own fun. But their rendezvous is quickly interrupted by a group of children at play. The boys poke fun at Andy’s shortcomings, until he finally chases them away to a mysterious graveyard. There, one of the boys (Tim Lingens) gets lost in his imagination as the sun sets on this ordinary Sunday experienced through extraordinary lives."

[See also http://www.playtimemovie.com ]
ryanslattery  uclafilm  ucla  cologne  germany  2012  innocence  youth  playtime  1930  billywilder  filmmaking  lucasmireles  play  children  film  kickstarter 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Nick Cave Lecture at Fowler Museum, Jan. 9, 2010 on Vimeo
"A lecture presentation by Nick Cave about his signature Soundsuits is followed by a conversation between Nick Cave and the Fowler Museum's director Marla C. Berns about the global resonances in the artist's work.

This event was organized in conjunction with the exhibition "Nick Cave: Meet Me At The Center Of The Earth" which is on view at the Fowler Museum at UCLA January 10 - May 30, 2010."
costumes  music  masks  nickcave  art  performance  fowlermuseum  ucla  lectures  conversations  2010  textiles  wearable  performanceart  sewing  sound  soundsuits  glvo  classideas  tcsnmy  artists  expression  design  dance  sculpture  fabric  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  wearables 
may 2011 by robertogreco
The Soundsuits of Nick Cave: Contemporary Art or Material Culture? : Bad at Sports
"My own lack of familiarity  with Cave’s work makes me wonder, though: Why is Cave’s show traveling to the Fowler Museum, which is a museum of cultural history, and not an art museum that has an equally strong ability to support and exhibit interdisciplinary art of this nature, like, say, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) or even UCLA’s “other” arts institution, the white-hot Hammer Museum*?"
art  fashion  costumes  design  sound  nickcave  fowlermuseum  ucla  2009  classification  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  glvo  classideas  tcsnmy  wearable  performanceart  performance  sewing  soundsuits  dance  sculpture  fabric  wearables 
may 2011 by robertogreco
College Applications Continue to Increase. When Is Enough Enough? - NYTimes.com
[Lots here, but I'm particularly interested in UChicago's *old* approach.] "For years, Chicago’s admissions office emphasized the university’s distinctiveness: one offbeat mailing was a postcard ringed with a coffee stain. Its application has long included imaginative essay prompts, like “If you could balance on a tightrope, over what landscape would you walk? (No net).” This became known as the “Uncommon Application,” in contrast to the Common Application, the standardized form that allows students to apply to any of hundreds of participating colleges.

That some students wouldn’t like Chicago’s quirky questions was the point. “If understood properly, no given college will appeal to everyone — that wouldn’t be possible,” says Theodore A. O’Neill, the university’s dean of college admissions from 1989 to 2009. “It’s important to signal something true and meaningful about yourself. The more signals, the more honest you’re being, and doing that does limit the applications.”"
universityofchicago  admissions  essays  applications  insanity  highereducation  highered  parenting  schools  colleges  universities  education  tcsnmy  identity  distinctiveness  standingout  standingapart  standardization  blandness  trends  competition  ivyleague  harvard  princeton  ucla  lcproject 
november 2010 by robertogreco
ball nogues studio: tablecloth
"the table cloth is comprised of 268 tables and stools linked together collectively to create a 'fabric' that hangs from a steel beam on the east wall of the courtyard. when the table cloth meets the ground, it unrolls to form an intimate 'in the round' performance area. visitors can sit on the tables and stools within this area. because of the work's size and the materials used, its presence within the space will help reduce reverberation and alter acoustical phenomena within the space."
ball-nogues  art  design  furniture  installation  space  tables  architecture  losangeles  ucla 
may 2010 by robertogreco

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