Participants


Emiliya “Myles” Al Yafei is a current senior in Digital Media Design at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been working as a research assistant in the Center for Digital Visualization (ViDi Center) since the Summer of her freshman year, assisting with archeological visualization and re-synthesis under Dr. Norman Badler. She is currently a teaching assistant for “CIS106: Visualizing the Past” and “FNAR264: Art, Design, and Digital Culture”, and is interested in making computer science and computer graphics more accessible and understandable to those outside the discipline. Myles has been on the Penn SIGGRAPH Board for three years and is the current President, working towards helping underclassmen feel welcome within the computer graphics community.

Jeremy Bailenson is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Thomas More Storke Professor in the Department of Communication, Professor (by courtesy) of Education, Professor (by courtesy) Program in Symbolic Systems, a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, and a Faculty Leader at Stanford’s Center for Longevity. Bailenson studies the psychology of Virtual and Augmented Reality, in particular how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others. His lab builds and studies systems that allow people to meet in virtual space, and explores the changes in the nature of social interaction. His most recent research focuses on how virtual experiences can transform education, environmental conservation, empathy, and health. He is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford.

Sarah Cameron Sunde is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist and director, working at the intersection of performance, video, and public art. Her work has been seen/experienced in New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, and San Francisco, and presented internationally in Norway, Netherlands, Bangladesh, China, Uganda, Iraqi Kurdistan, and now Brazil. Residencies include: Watermill Center, Baryshnikov Art Center, LMCC Workspace, Hermitage Foundation. Honors/Funding includes: MAP Fund, Princess Grace Foundation, Creative Climate Award 1st Prize, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst.  BA. in Theater (UCLA); MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice (The City College of New York, CUNY). www.SarahCameronSunde.com + www.36pt5.org

Award-winning filmmaker Liz Canner has produced many documentaries and transmedia projects intended to inspire positive change. She likes to employ the latest technology to explore human rights and environmental issues from a new perspective. A prime example of this is her critically acclaimed public cyber art documentary Symphony of a City on the housing crisis. Lost City of Mer, a cross-platform immersive interactive VR project on climate change, was recently featured at the UN General Assembly Climate Summit. Her latest documentary project Orgasm Inc., a New York Times “Critic’s Pick”, investigates the pharmaceutical industry. She has received over 60 awards and honors including fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Canner’s award-winning documentaries have been theatrically released, shown extensively on the international festival circuit, on Netflix (“most Popular” in the Critically Acclaimed section in 2012), Sundance Now and Kanopy (“Most Popular” in 8 subject areas) and broadcast on PBS, cable stations and internationally in many countries.

Zane Griffin Talley Cooper is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, whose research interrogates the political ecology of big data infrastructures, specifically how data extraction intersects with regimes of energy and raw material extraction. His present work is focused on the complex material entanglements of blockchain infrastructures, renewable energy, and rare earth mining in a changing Arctic, and how the Arctic is being prefigured as a natural site from which digital and renewable futures can be built and extracted. He is also a multi-modal scholar who uses virtual reality ethnographic filmmaking to help visualize, materialize, and spatialize the complex infrastructural entanglements in his research. Zane holds a B.F.A. in Film Studies from the University of Colorado, an M.A. in History from California State University San Marcos, and an M.A. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.

Roderick Coover is the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities 2019 Artist-In-Residence. His recent works, made in collaboration with writers, composers and computer scientists, include VR projectsmade for 360 cinemas and domes like The Key To Time and  Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project as well as the code-driven films  Toxi•City: A Climate Change Narrative and Penelope. His works are exhibited internationally in art venues and public spaces. He has received Fulbright, Mellon, Whiting, Spire and LEF awards, among others. He is professor of Film And Media Arts at Temple University and Founding Director of Temple’s PhD-MFA Program in Documentary Arts And Visual Research.

Jessica Creane is an immersive theater artist and game designer. She is the founder of IKantKoan LLC, focused on creating playful experiences exploring serious subject matter. Jessica is a Professor of Game Design at Drexel University and UARTS, a climate change game designer with The National Parks Service, and she recently gave a TEDx talk about embracing uncertainty through play. She is a graduate of The Pig Iron School of Advanced Performance Training and her work has been presented at The Franklin Institute, HERE Arts, FringeNYC, BostonFIG, IndieCade, Bandwi/d/th International, Tanween Creativity Festival in Ithra, Saudi Arabia, and her playable theater show, CHAOS THEORY, is currently running at Caveat Theater, NYC. 

Peter Decherney is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and an affiliation with the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition at Penn Law School. He is the Faculty Director of Penn’s campus-wide Online Learning Initiative and Director of the Cinema & Media Studies Program. He is the author or editor of six books including Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet and Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction. Prof. Decherney is also a regular contributor to Forbes. Films he has directed have been shown at international festivals and include a documentary about Myanmar’s film industry, a virtual reality documentary about a Kenyan refugee camp, and a virtual reality documentary about Puerto Rican artists after Hurricane Maria. He is currently working on a film about the Jewish community in Gondar, Ethiopia. Prof. Decherney has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar. He is an award-winning teacher, whose open online course on the history of Hollywood has enrolled over 35,000 learners.

Dargan Frierson is an Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and the head of the EarthGames group at the University of Washington. Frierson studies how climate change can alter big, climatic features, like storm tracks, tropical rain bands, or deserts.  He uses different types of models to investigate these features’ fundamental dynamics. Frierson and his EarthGames colleagues recently published a video game for smart phones and tablets called Deal: A Green New Election that follows a narrative arc of collective action: people of diverse backgrounds coming together to try to enact legislation that’s good for the environment and people too. 

Caroline Lachanski is a current Master’s student in Computer Graphics and Game Technology at the University of Pennsylvania. She has previously interned at Activision, working on the Call of the Duty renderer, and STRIVR, a VR startup, where she worked on a communication training application for the Oculus Rift and Oculus Go. She also previously worked for the Penn Library Digital Scholarship Team, where she developed interactive VR/AR experiences for visualizing archaeological artifacts and locations and authored step-by-step guides and workshop instructions for the Penn community. Caroline has served on the Penn SIGGRAPH Board for over three years, running workshops, mentorship programs, and social events for the computer graphics community at Penn.

Nick Montfort‘s computer-generated books of poetry include #!, Autopia, The Truelist, and Hard West Turn. He has collaborated on digital projects The Deletionist, Sea and Spar Between, and Renderings. He performs and exhibits his work internationally, in contexts ranging from the demoscene and livecoding concerts to art galleries and poetry readings. Six of his books, collaborative and individual, have been published by the MIT Press, most recently The Future. He is professor of digital media at MIT, where he directs The Trope Tank. He is also Professor II at the University of Bergen and a teacher at the School for Poetic Computation. Montfort lives in New York City.

Rachel Stevens is an artist, researcher and educator based in NYC. As half of Oyster City she created an AR walking tour and game about oysters located on Governors Island and was commissioned to create the Fish Stories Community Cookbook—with contributions from people in the Lower East Side. Her interest in ecology, space and place led to her participation in the 2019 Creative Ecologies and Decolonial Futures residency at Casa GIAP in Chiapas, and the 2017 NEH Summer Research Institute on Space, Place and the Humanities. She is an editor of Millennium Film Journal, teaches in the Hunter College Integrated Media Art MFA program, is a member of the Two Chairs curatorial collective and is currently working on a film about ecological, infrastructural and territorial entanglement at the St. Lawrence River. Projects have received support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Puffin Foundation and others.

The twins, Jaime and Javier Suárez Berrocal, were born in Colombus, Ohio, on September 12, 1982. Between 2007 and 2008, both obtained bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. They later traveled to Spain to continue their postgraduate studies obtaining MFAs in Art Production from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in 2010. During those years in Spain, they began research related to earth works and artistic interventions in nature, eventually developing in their practice concepts and strategies that respect and protect the environment throughout a creative process. Currently the twins are based in Puerto Rico, working as a duo under the manifesto VientreCompartido. Their artwork appears in private and public collections such as Casa Wabi Foundation in Mexico, Museo de Art de Ponce, Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, Museo De Francisco Oller, Foundation for Puerto Rico and Arte_Fist Foundation, Artist House Residency In Bayamón, among others.

Adam Vidiksis is a musician based in Philadelphia whose music often explores social structures, science, and the intersection of humankind with the machines we build. Vidiksis’s music has won numerous awards and grants, including recognition from the Society of Composers, Incorporated, the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and ASCAP. His works are available through HoneyRock Publishing, EMPiRE, New Focus, PARMA, and SEAMUS Records­­­. Vidiksis is an assistant professor of music technology at Temple University, a founding executive member of the SPLICE Institute, Academy, and Festival, and director of the Temple Composers Orchestra and the Boyer College Electroacoustic Ensemble Project (BEEP).