• April 23-24, 2018 (1410 Music Bldg.)
  • Wireframe Studio + Digital Arts & Humanities Commons
  • UC Santa Barbara
Future Tripping Flyer

The Future Tripping symposium addresses our current climate of extreme uncertainty over economic, political, and environmental futures. Through play with data, games, machines, virtual worlds, living species and landscape, participants will bridge medium and methodology among emerging fields of environmental science, media theory and practice, and the digital humanities.

Future tripping (any student can tell you) is when you worry so much about the future that you fail to be in the present. To future trip is to fall prey to paralyzing anxiety, which for many millennials is tied to economic and social uncertainty–life after college, and the dreaded “FOMO” (fear of missing out). From our vantage point, the current political instability leads to a different kind of future tripping, the kind we are already accustomed to handling in our various disciplines of environmental criticism, media art and activism, and speculative literature.

Future Tripping brings together scholarship and stakeholders generally segregated by medium and methodology: the printed word, the moving image, or “new” media; art, or science; and theory, or practice. All of our invited speakers/exhibitors work across these dividing lines. Artist Christina McPhee creates abstract computer-generated visualizations of natural environments (in fact, Punctum Books will release a commonplace book on her work around the time of our launch). Ecologist Danielle Christianson studies red firs in Sequoia National Forest using both traditional fieldwork and virtual-reality models based on terrestrial laser scanning. And Susana Ruiz combines art practice and design, computation, and storytelling to explore emergent forms of social justice, aesthetics, and learning, particularly through games.

Thank you to our UCSB Co-Sponsors: Dean Majewski, Humanities and Fine Arts; College of Letters & Sciences; Interdisciplinary Humanities Center; Carsey-Wolf Center; Center for Information Tech & Society; Digital Arts & Humanities Commons; Transcriptions; Media Arts & Technology Program; Orfalea EJ/CJ Hub; Department of Environmental Studies; and the Department of Film and Media.