About

This is the gateway to what’s going on in the Electronic Art and Design (EAD) area in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine. EAD is centered in the Art Department, and the umbrella term we’ve chosen covers a shared emphasis on hybrid methods that integrate computation and custom programming with other media, and that are critically engaged with key cultural issues, especially the space occupied by ideas of technology.

We believe that the principles of both design and computation inform much of the most exciting work being done by today’s culture workers, and that an era of wide-ranging collaborations between artists, scientists, technologists, and thinkers in other fields continues to move the practice of artists beyond the traditional exhibition venues to sites where they can intervene differently and often more directly in the shaping of society.

Student and faculty projects; events of interest; online resources; and information about our faculty, facilities, and curriculum can all be found on this site.

A Little History…

Our department was founded as Studio Art 50 years ago. In the late 1990s,  we started building a Digital Media area, beginning with the arrival of the first two faculty members, video and new media artist Christine Tamblyn (1997) and game designer and theorist  Robert Nideffer (1998). Tamblyn died in 1998, and new media artist and writer Antoinette LaFarge joined the faculty the following year. A shared interest in the emerging areas of game culture, mediated performance, and internet culture shaped the initial digitally oriented curriculum in the department. With the arrival of two subsequent faculty members, Simon Penny (2002), and Beatriz da Costa (2003)—both of whom then held joint appointments in the School of Engineering—the undergraduate curriculum widened to embrace embodied technologies, robotics, information design, tactical media, and hacktivism. With the new scope, we changed the name of our area from Digital Media to Electronic Art and Design. In 2012 we lost Beatriz da Costa to cancer, and in 2013 Robert Nideffer moved across the country to take up a post as chair of the Art Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2013, we welcomed Jesse Colin Jackson on board as our newest EAD faculty member.

From 2003 to 2011, Simon Penny, Beatriz da Costa, and Robert Nideffer also served as core faculty and Antoinette LaFarge as program faculty in a unique graduate program at UC Irvine known as Arts, Computation, Engineering (ACE). Now closed, the ACE program attracted graduate students interested in emerging practices and career paths that combined the skills and sensibilities of technical and scientific disciplines with the arts and humanities.

With its current faculty, the Electronic Art and Design area embraces a broad spectrum of hybrid practices and methodologies. Networked performance, art-science collaborations, computer games, multimedia installation, information design, locative media, and transmedia are all areas in which our faculty and graduate students have done exciting work. Check out our faculty members’ websites from their links on the “Faculty” page.