McHenry Library to celebrate new visualization spaces that enhance digital scholarship

January 25, 2018


An opening celebration to formally launch the VizWall, a large-scale visualization installation, and the VizLab, a Virtual Reality and 360 Lab, will take place on February 7, at the David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons on the ground floor of McHenry Library.

The VizWall is a 14'x4' screen installation that enables large scale presentation of visual materials or simultaneous interaction with multiple pieces of digital content. It now offers the entire campus community a new space to visualize their research and create interactive digital media. 

The new VizLab creates an opportunity for students to experience and develop projects in Virtual Reality. It also provides the campus with access to a high performance, graphics intensive workstation with available 3D modeling, animation, and Virtual Reality software. These new spaces were created through partnerships between the University Library, The Humanities Institute, the Humanities Division, CITIRIS, and the IDEA Hub.

“The spaces highlight how collaborative infrastructure projects create new possibilities for research, teaching, and learning on campus, and the role of the library as a hub for scholarly experimentation,” said Rachel Deblinger, director of the Digital Scholarship Commons

“The vision and leadership of The Humanities Institute has fostered a dynamic community of researchers on campus that has opened up these new partnerships,” she noted. “We will continue to work together to build the necessary infrastructure to inspire and enable ever changing modes of scholarly production and presentation.”

Deblinger added that the lab space has already been used for curriculum.

“Arts faculty have been bringing their students to the VizLab to draw and create in 3D, and a number of history and other humanities faculty will be using the lab this quarter to have students explore virtual reality spaces.”

The opening reception will include a presentation by assistant professor of history Elaine Sullivan about her work with 4D models of ancient Egyptian temple sites. Demonstrations in Virtual Reality will also be available throughout the event.

The Digital Scholarship Commons plans to additionally host two lectures at the VizWall this winter.

The University Library’s reception to celebrate the opening of the VizWall and VizLab takes place on Wednesday, February 7, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the The David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons, located on the ground floor of McHenry Library. Admission is free. RSVP Here


Introductory Workshop in TouchDesigner

 Materializing Interactive Research (MIR) is a computing lab for artists and designers created as a IDEA Hub Student Enterprise. MIR focuses on how physical, social play can meaningfully inform the ways we use sensing technologies in digital art and new media. This exploration of the relationship between the human body, motion-sensing, and responsive environments finds its most meaningful expression through a series of immersive creative-coding workshops.
A focus on work that promotes human-to-human computer mediated interaction, rather than siloed human-to-machine interaction aims to disrupt the often isolating nature of computer artworks. During workshops, MIR instructors will guide participants through embodiment exercises where they will examine the relationships between the body and space, the body and technology, and the body with other bodies. These exercises are rooted in theater, dance, mindfulness, and play therapy.

We hope to encourage artists and designers to consider the importance of the body and embodiment in their work, and to offer a counterpoint perspective to the Descartian dualism that often dominates the dialogue about how humans and machines should interact. In addition to providing opportunities for artists and designers to create their own works, MIR will use its experience to also operate as a consultation service, providing guidance for installation considerations, and produce plug-in software tools for artists looking for turn-key solutions.

IDEA Hub Fall Open House – Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Want to form an IDEA Hub team and gain access to IDEA Hub’s incubation facilities? Want to submit a community-project idea to IDEA Hub for its fellows to consider tackling? Want to mentor an IDEA Hub team? Want to tour the IDEA Hub OpenLab at UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media Center? Just want to learn what the IDEA Hub is all about? Come to the IDEA Hub Fall Open House on October 11, 2017, any time from 1 to 5 p.m., at UCSC’s Digital Arts Research Center (DARC), Dark Lab (Room 108). Refreshments are provided, and it’s free and open to the public.